woolie

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Have people taken extra courses after their basic pre-reqs have been satisfied? I guess that this would be for the post-baccs in the crowd and not so much for the Biochem/Bio/Physics people. For the humanities people who have met their requirements and want to take some extra courses for preparation and MCAT reinforcement, where there courses more helpful than others? Biochem/Molecular/etc?

I am debating on taking more and if so what, or should I just kick back and do some volunteer work and save my money for the applications in the Spring/Summer. I'd like to improve my gpa but not drop it, since it's pretty good right now. What have other people done?


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tBw

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hmmm, I did the pre-reqs and sat the MCAT and so far that has been it (I am post-bacc). I am now starting an upper division Spanish course, which no doubt may appeal a little to med schools, but is more for my own edification than anything else, and I'm taking it pass/fail so that I don't have to worry about ruining my GPA if work/applications get in the way of the class...

I'm sure further bio work would help for the MCAT if you haven't taken it yet, but then again, it's not essential. I didn't have time and now the MCATs over I am spending my money on the apps themselves...
 
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woolie

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I've taken the MCAT 2 weeks ago and was feeling I will probably have to take it again :( since I found it such a struggle. Much harder than all the work I'd been doing all summer to prepare for it. I thought while I was studying for the MCAT that my pre-reqs were feeling pretty paltry compared to the Chem/Bio/Phys majors I was studying with. I felt like a big dummie to be honest and had to really spend all my time going over really everything while the bio majors were breezing by, or so it seemed.

That's why I thought I would take molecular or something like that, to help boost my science background and help for the MCAT again in April. I feel like now I know what I am up against and having more than 2+ summer months to study (full-time I admit) I could improve my score the second time around if I start to prepare earlier this time and prepare differently. I was really shocked at the level of the test, since in our Bio 100 we hardly touched the kinds of material on the actual test like the PCR and bacteria DNA, etc. It's hard to decide tho.
 
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DrMom

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a physiology course could prove helpful also, IMO
 

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Originally posted by DrMom
a physiology course could prove helpful also, IMO
Yeah. Too many frickin' psycho-premeds here take physiology, because they all hear it's good for the MCAT. You can see them sizing up the competition on the first day. The professor even feeds into it by saying, "everyone I have written a letter for has gotten into med school." As a result, they all suck up to him.

-RA
 

burlypie

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If anything, I would recommend more bio, especially if you think you'll take the MCAT again. I took it in August, and went in thinking I was really prepared. My pre-req prep was fine for chem, ochem, and physics, but the bio blew me away. I've traken Physiology (because I thought it was good for the MCAT) and there were very few physiology questions on the whole section -- the rest really required a good understanding of microbio. I felt like I was sinking...

So for april, try microbio, cell bio, or genetics (they're adding more of that in april)
 

greniedgal

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Hey. Speaking of prereqs and additional courses, does anyone know if Biochem (in the chem dept) would fulfill one semester of inorganic or organic chem requirements? Trying to plan my schedule accordingly...

Thanks!
 

Wednesday

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woolie,

I was a post-bacc and took physiology before the MCAT, and thought that helped a lot, although you do get some physio in bio I. After the test I took Biochemistry and I really wish I had taken it before, because I think it would have made the test a breeze! Biochem is the one I'd reccommend, you get a little genetics, and all the basic mechanisms for everything (which allows you to solve microbio and cell molecular problems as well). Try to take the course somewhere where they stress the concepts as opposed to straight memorization of cycles, because the memorization probably won't help you very much.

greiedgal--I remember some schools accepted biochem as one semester of organic, but you should check into individual schools. You wouldn't want to have to take orgo II the summer before you matriculate!
 
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woolie

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I think the decision is between Biochem and Molecular. I love organic Chemistry but felt that it was the bio that really clobbered me on the MCAT, well, that and the Physics and Gen Chem. But other than that .... :rolleyes:

I wonder if the Biochem would be too much like Organic and not enough Bio. The baby bio we had in no way prepared me for the in depth bacteria/DNA, genetics, etc., molecular stuff I found my self studying all summer. I thought Molecular with a lab should boost my Bio background alot. I wish I could take molecular and physio but I have to go back to work and make some money to pay for these applications. I don't have 3K in my back pocket or anywhere in sight!

Actually, I went to the first lab tonight and after all my MCAT work I really felt prepared for the course. :p This molecular class uses the Stryer Biochemistry test too, so this is why I have been confused. We'll see ...

Your suggestions have all been great and I hope other people are able to benefit from the discussion.
 

Lloyd Christmas

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Here's some advice from a current med student. I would first take the courses that you are most interested in, becuase you will get the most out of them (and you will subsequently do better grade-wise as well).
Two classes from undergrad that have really helped me so far are Biochemistry and Developmental Biology (Embryology). These are not easy classes, but they will prepare you very well for medical school. A lot of what I have done has been review thanks to these two courses.
You seemed to have a concern that Biochem may be too much chemistry and not enough biology - and my answer to that is that what seems to be stressed in med school is both the biology and the chemistry. The Biochem that I took in undergrad by far stresed the biology, and I am just that much farther ahead of the game becuase of it. Now I am not saying that med school is easy, becuase man it is not, but the pre-med school classes that I took really did a good job to prepare me. However, I did not take anatomy - something that may have been helpful. But because I have a strong base in other areas, I am able to spend a greater deal of time learning anatomy.
Basically what I am saying is that if you are able to chose - first do your homework: ASK YOUR ADVISOR OR A NEARBY MED SCHOOL ADMISSIONS DIRECTOR. But then take the classes that will be most relevant to your future studies: Biochemistry, Anatomy, Embryology, Molecular, and so on.
Good luck and sorry for the elongated response.:cool:
 

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Originally posted by greniedgal
Hey. Speaking of prereqs and additional courses, does anyone know if Biochem (in the chem dept) would fulfill one semester of inorganic or organic chem requirements? Trying to plan my schedule accordingly...

Thanks!
Well a lot of kids here used Biochem and their AP credit in Chem for their med school inorganic chem requirement...


-RA
 

hringrose

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Hi,

I am stuck with a dilemma over two courses. I can take either microbiology or physiology but do not know which I should take. I would love to here anyone's advice. I am writing the MCAT in 2003 and am hoping to study material that will help me do well on the biology section. Here are the course descriptions:




Human Physiology

Normal human function with specific reference to circulatory, respiratory and excretory activities and their regulation as well as their more common genetic, environmental and lifestyle pathologies.

Lectures, 3 hours per week.

Restriction: students must have a minimum of 3.0 overall credits.

Prerequisite: BIOL 1F90.

Note: computer simulations


Principles of Microbiology

Diversity, evolution, physiology and genetics of microorganisms with emphasis on applied, medical and environmental microbiology.

Lectures, 3 hours per week; lab, 3 hours alternate weeks.

Restriction: students must have a minimum of 3.0 overall credits.

Prerequisite: BIOL 1F90.


I know that I need to make the final decision. I am only posting here for advice from people more experienced than myself.

By the way... I am starting my second year of university and will be taking organic chem and physics all year.

Thanks,

Heather
 
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woolie

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Heather, I don't know if you chose your course yet, but from what people have said to me in my dilemma the physio would be a great course and better preparation than the micro. That sounds like a heavy course load tho, for a second year student with the physics and organic together. Those 2 are real killer classes as I painfully remember and the organic's designed to make us fail - :eek:

But to answer your question: defininitely physio or as others have said to me elsewhere: take classes you really like.
 
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