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Could anyone tell me?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by dz88, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. dz88

    dz88 Member
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    Hey guys, I'm new on this forum. What would be the ideal course plan from freshman year of college that would make one a great medical student candidate.

    Do you guys first take chemistry or biology and then organic chemistry and physics? Is organic chemistry taken after all the other courses are taken? When should I take biochemistry?

    Could anyone tell me?
     
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  3. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy
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    pretty much follow the biology major.

    Fresh: chem/bio I and II
    Soph: physics adn ochem I and II
    Jr.: Biochem, etc.



    Take it whenever you want as long as you take them for the MCATs.
     
  4. AWhitehair

    AWhitehair EM PA-C. MD wannabe
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    geesh... slow down buddy. Let's take one step at a time. Start with Chem I and Bio I your first semester (some people take physics I too, but I didn't and don't recommend it either). Your next semester you take Chem II and Bio II (and Phys II if you took the first one). Your first semester of your sophomore year you take Orgo I and physics I (unless taken freshmen year). Second semester you take Orgo II and Physics II.

    This schedule varies depending on what your major is. If you're not a bio major you can wait till sophomore year to take bio I and II. The main goal is to get your pre-reqs done before your MCAT, which should be taken your spring semester of your junior year.

    You'll do fine, just don't stress too much. You are already ahead of the game. Some people don't find out about SDN until their last year of undergrad.
     
  5. dz88

    dz88 Member
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    thanks guys, I plan to take my MCATs the summer of my sophmore year, when would I have to take biochemistry? and what topics are on the MCATs?
     
  6. Pontifex Maximus

    Pontifex Maximus Rads-a-palooza
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    Don't do that. Take the MCAT in April of your Junior year.
     
  7. dz88

    dz88 Member
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    wouldn't it be better to get it out of the way and have more time for other things?
     
  8. gclax30

    gclax30 Member
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    ;)


    LIsten to Cozmosis, take it Junior year, especially if you're planning to enter med school immediately after college. Personally, I don't think 2 years of college is enough time to be able to master such a large volume of information. You might hurt yourself academically by taking on so much right away, and you don't want to have to explain a poor GPA on your personal statement when it comes time to apply, even if you have a 37 MCAT. (but maybe you are super genius, I don't know ;)

    You have plenty of time! Instead of rushing to cram it all in and run the risk of not doing well on the exam, take the extra semester-and-a-half to really prepare and then go nail it. You want to take it once and only once (if possible) so make sure you are well prepared.

    The scores are only good for about 3 years and you may decide later that you want to take a year off after graduation to work, do research, volunteer, etc. and you will be pushing the expiration date on your MCAT scores at that point. And don't say "nope, I'm going straight to med school right after college, I know I am, I've already made plans, etc." cuz a lot can happen in a few years. Yes you do want to "get it out of the way" eventually but give it the respect it deserves...it can make or break your chances of getting into your top choice school.

    Topics on the MCAT for the most part cover all of your basic bio: physiology, genetics (human and population genetics), microbiology, enzyme kinetics, cell biology, evolution and ecology, etc. An undergrad bio major should cover most/all of this.

    Organic unfortunately is organic, they don't focus on the biologically-related organic chem (which would be biochem I guess), a lot of it is "if you worked in a chemical factory and wanted the highest yield of such-n-such compound" type questions. So yes, you have to know all of those dumb reactions they make you memorize in ochem II. You can get all of the information covered on the MCAT here http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/about/start.htm

    Biochem is not on the MCAT, so don't rush to take it before the exam. I would HIGHLY recommend taking it as a junior or senior because most med schools want you to have it, and you'll have a much easier time with it in med school if you've already had it once. Hope this helped! :thumbup:
     
  9. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    Biochem is only needed by matriculation.

    Secondly, the MCAT will be offered 4 times per year when you will be taking so no one can give you exact advice.
     
  10. jackets5

    jackets5 Senior Member
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    Here u go here is the basic first year for a bio/pre-med person
    First Semester
    - English 1
    - Calc 1
    - Gen chem 1
    - Gen Bio- 1
    Second semester
    - English 2
    - Calc 2 or a social science humanities
    - Gen chem 2
    - Gen Bio 2

    Thats 15 credits a semster not bad for freshman year. Sophomore youll have, Orgo 1 and 2, a genetics class, physics 1 and some electives. biochem is usually an upper division elective im doing Biochem 1 right now as a senior and will be taking Biochem 2 next semester after i graduate.
     
  11. jsol

    jsol Member
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    is it ok to take the MCAT the august of your junior year instead of april? Thats what I am planning to do I will have all the pre reqs done plus genetics and physiology. The only thing I dont have that would help is biochem. And if I take the mcat in august I have the summer to dedicate studyin for it.
     
  12. gclax30

    gclax30 Member
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    It depends. I took it summer after Junior year but I planned to take a year off after school anyway. You can do it and still apply to enter right after graduation but your scores won't come out for about 6 weeks. So you'll be a little behind everyone else in the application process but it shouldn't be a big problem, especially if you really need those extra summer months to study!
     
  13. jsol

    jsol Member
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    no i mean the august at the start of my junior year not afterwards. Sorry for the confusion.
     
  14. lattimer13

    lattimer13 good boy!
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    how about going and talking to your premed or prehealth professions advisor at your college...that would be the place to start.
     
  15. Rendar5

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    biochem isn't required for most schools. If u want to take the mcats summer between sophomore and junior years, that's fine. as long as you got through the pre-req classes no problem. If you want, wait another year for mcats, and take a year off before med school (extremely common).

    As for being able to cram it all in by that summer, sure, shouldn't be a problem (of course, i'm an MS2, so getting that much info into one's head in a month or two is just standard procedure. therefore, take this advice with a grain of salt because a lot of this is relative). I was a chem major and took 3 years to do my req's, didn't touch biochem or genetics or statistics and took plenty of electives. , and did the mcats summer between jr. and sr. years of college, and took a year off so I could apply while not in school, take a break from academics, earn some money, and take a couple trips. It worked fine for me to not follow the "standard" advice/path. So honestly, do this whole process however you feel like it.
     
  16. dz88

    dz88 Member
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    thanks for your replies! Would repeating Calc 1 if I already took Calc BC in high school look bad to the adcoms? Would they think it as an easy A?
     
  17. Gavanshir

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    Yes yes you should definately work hard during your undergraduate. But mainly, nice thread title, it cracks me up! hahahha :laugh:
     
  18. Pontifex Maximus

    Pontifex Maximus Rads-a-palooza
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    I don't think they have access to your HS records.
     
  19. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy
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    Don't repeat. I didn't.

    And my advisor asks me everytime I see her, "hmmm you need calc". Then I say, "well I have calc III ", I get a questioning look. Then I explain I had calc in high school and got placed higher my freshman year. DON'T RETAKE. As long as you have 'A' calc don't take but definitely take a year of calc in college (or at least a semster)
     
  20. LucidSplash

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    My $0.02. I did a lot of the things you are thinking about doing, and if I had it to do over again, I would change some things.

    I wouldn't retake calc. I took AB in highschool and scored high enough to place into Calc II but chose to take Calc I instead partly because I was intimidated a bit and partly because I thought it would be an easy A. Well, it was, but I still took Calc II the next semester, and by the time I finished college I wished I had gone into Calc II directly because I would have freed myself up to take another class in my minor at some point. However, the only way adcoms know if you took an AP class in HS is if your schools allows you to use it as a credit and it is on your college transcript. If you don't use it (like I didn't use calc) then it won't show up. I did use an English AP score though, and that shows up.

    Also, I did take the MCAT August after my sophomore year because I had fulfilled all the prereqs and thought I was "getting it out of the way early." Well, I didn't score terribly, but I definitely think the extra time between then and April would have been beneficial to my score. I ended up not applying right out of college, and had to retake the MCATs anyway because my scores expired (and I did better). Since ALL of your MCAT scores will eventually go to the schools you apply to, do not think of taking it early as "practice" because if you do poorly, it won't kill you, but it won't be a point for you either.

    If it helps, I also followed the standard pre-med course track, and I took two courses actually named "Biochemstry" (one in the chemistry department and one in the biology department) - but I was a biochemistry major, so that doesn't really mean anything. Also, at my college, general chemistry is taught in one semester. If you have this option, I say do it, because it frees up more time later on (for taking more electives or independent study or whatever).

    Frosh: Gen chem, O-Chem I, Bio I and II, English, a Comp Lit course, Calc I and II
    Soph: Physics I and II, O-Chem II, Biochem, and 4 electives
     
  21. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    I disagree. It's a beautiful thing having the MCAT behind you when you're only halfway through college.
     
  22. DrHans

    DrHans mentally challenged
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    Only if you are prepared for it.

    I have to disagree with the person that had one semester of chemistry. I have attended about 6 different schools and all of them have had one year of chemistry. Most schools require the "one year" of chemistry.

    Go with the chem I and II and biology I and II your freshman year, then organic chemistry and physics your 2nd year if you aren't a biology/science major.

    Otherwise try to squeeze physics in your first year. JMHO.
     
  23. LucidSplash

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    It is true that most med schools require two semesters of chemistry as pre-req (I think this is what you are talking about, I am a bit thrown by your reference to attending 6 schools). I don't have a problem 1)because we cover everything that is normally covered in 2 semesters, we just do it in 1 semester and 2)because I had other "non-organic" chemistry courses (what they are really looking for). One of my biochem classes counts because it is listed as a chemistry class, and I also had PChem, since it was required for my major.

    If your major won't automatically line up extra chem courses for you that would fit the bill (like mine did) I still say taking general chemistry in one semester is great if it is an offered option (again, at my school it was the ONLY option) because it frees up time to take a different chem class (like biochem) or other electives.
     
  24. DrHans

    DrHans mentally challenged
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    :thumbup: Additional sciences (chemistry) would be key. I see where you're coming from. I was just trying to keep it general as the OP didn't mention his major. The one semester of chem would be nice although as stated I have yet hear of a school that has it. Was your school a small private school? For some reason that strikes me as the type of school with this structural set up. :)

    And sorry about the pchem ;)
     
  25. Bernito

    Bernito Senior Member
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    Biochem is not explicitly on the MCAT but it really helps if you have taken it. Immunology too. (I'm talking about the <10 questions that can make the difference between a 10 and 12+ in Bio)

    When you take the MCAT depends on the individual. Taking it as late as possible is probably best for most people b/c they typically have learned more, are better students/studiers, and are more mature in general.
     
  26. LucidSplash

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    LOL I'm sorry about the pchem too, I don't do math in 3 dimensions well. And yes, my college was a small, private school. I think (though I don't know for sure) the department/department chair was/is of the opinion that two semesters of general chem is an antiquated teaching model which assumes your students are idiots and you need to spoon feed them. There is an honors class vs. the regular class, but we just covered like 3 or 4 more chapters in the honors class and didn't have graded homework. The extra chapters were the random chapters that usually get skipped in a lot of general chemistry classes (don't ask me what they were now, b/c that was like 6 years ago) or we went deeper into some topics. :) It was all still one semester.
     
  27. BerkeleyMD

    BerkeleyMD Senior Member
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    The key is to finish all your pre-reqs ASAP, and take more upper div courses like physio/cell bio/pharmacology.

    This sounds extreme, but I was a bio major and since I knew about weird disease states from pharm and their cell biology I was able to just jump into the questions and not read the passage on the Biological Science section of the MCAT.

    The MCAT will give you passages that are way beyond what is expected with just biochem. If you have time and you are a bio major (its a good idea to go bio) then you should take these courses before the MCAT- you'll feel so much more confident.
     
  28. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    OK _ everybody has made good points about the class schedule issue, so I won't rehash that, but I will say thta as a Freshmen, there are a few things that you might want to consider doing.

    1. Get involved in research NOW. This will allow you to progress past the dishwashing stage, and into something more interesting, plus it will enable your PI to write, "over the last three years..."

    2. Consider doing something to gain clinical exposure now. Volunteering at a hospital is a good idea.

    3. The most overlooked advice - do something that interests YOU for no reason other than YOU are interested in it... Tai Kwan Do, Piano, whatever.. just something that you have a passion for. This will give you something to talk about during your interviews.

    Good luck!
     
  29. dz88

    dz88 Member
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    thanks for the great info, the thing is I'm a bio major, and I seem to have this impression that I should just take the minimum med school requirements to protect my GPA and ace my MCAT.

    However, some of you suggest to take higher level science courses to help with the MCAT like immunology, what if I just self-study those? Should I take higher level classes to impress them or should I protect my GPA?

    And I seem to be better at Math and Chemistry and worse at Physics and Biology. I seem to have trouble memorizing bio stuff. Any suggestions?

    I'll start on research too!
     
  30. Rendar5

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    do u really need to take an entire immunology for the <10 questionson the MCAT? Wouldn't it just be easier to use a PR or Kaplan review book to learn those concepts than take an entire class on it. I doubt the immunology u need to learn is in-depth at all (i don't remember what the immuno on the mcat's like, though. took it in august 2002)
     
  31. Bernito

    Bernito Senior Member
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    You can get the facts/definitions from something like Kaplan or PR. But they really don't cover it well (its more focused on review of the broad topics you learn in the basic bio classes).

    It seems kind of stupid to take an entire course for <10 questions I know. But that many will be the difference between a 10 and a really high score.
     
  32. dz88

    dz88 Member
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    so Bernito, which classes would you suggest I take to get a very high MCAT score?
     
  33. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    The thing that popped out at me here was your plan to take the "minimum" number of classes in your own major to protect your GPA. This tells me that you might be in the wrong major. You should be INTERESTED in taking the upper division classes, and WANT to take them for whatever you decide your major is. You can still be pre-med and major in anything you want. I majored in Philosophy and LOVED it - took more upper level classes than I had to because I found it INTERESTING.

    Oh.. and I just got an acceptance at one of my top choice schools, and wasn't a bio major. Good luck!
     
  34. dz88

    dz88 Member
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    i guess my impression is not a good one, so what are some of you guys' majors and why do you like/dislike them.
     
  35. Rendar5

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    was a chem major. i loved parts and hated parts. I enjoyed my physical chemistry lab a lot, even though it was a bitch at times. I took some graduate level organic classes even though I hated organic chemistry (i prefered the general/physical side of it), and had a really great teacher for the first half. I learned a lot about how to actually think about it instead of just having to know certain reactions. it was just in general fascinating.

    I also took a lot of electives. spent 3 years learning japanese, took linguistics, took classes on japanese history. took linear algebra, took basic computer science. I actually did better overall in some of those electives than in my major. I took the bare minimum of med school requirements, though. only 3 bio classes. a stupid intro one, bio lab which i actually found fun, and a class on cell biology. That was actually my first bio class i took in college, fall of my junior year. took it for the hell of it even though i didn't have the biology pre-reqs (took AP bio in HS though and had a decent basis). found I actually liked the class. got a B and went pre-med. luckily, since i was a chem major, that only meant taking 2 more classes I wasn't planning on taking.

    EDIT: oh yeah, i ended up taking mcat summer between jr. and sr. year, had a year off in which I worked. I didn't have any immunology or genetics or biochem or physiology outside of the stuff from the bio courses I described. I took a PR review course and had to learn all of my physiology through it. ended up doing just fine on the MCAT and in med school so far. that's me, though, it could be different for others.
     
  36. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    Everyone cool majors in Physics.
     
  37. Hoberto

    Hoberto Squirrel Girl
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    Yeah, but all the hotties major in engineering! ;)
     
  38. dz88

    dz88 Member
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    anyone else?
     

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