I've never seen a school require it but if med students say it's helpful, then go for it. However every university is different and personally, every lab I've taken at my college has nothing to do with the lecture portion and is extremely time consuming
You will want to take biochem lab if you want to be able to get into any sort of medical/biochemistry research that has a bench component to it. Also, it may help you integrate material and science really should not be learned solely by lecture.
If your school offers it with lab, take it. Labs are usually a grade cushioning method. I know many colleges don't offer Biochemistry with lab, so it's not a pre-medical requirement to take it with lab.
I never saw schools that really required it. It all depends how much research is important to you. I didn't take it and I detest research, so it all ended up fine because I never needed it anyway. The biochem research methods that are on the MCAT can be learned and reviewed in a book. However, it's not a bad choice to do it if you're interested in that sort of stuff.
David D, MD - USMLE and MCAT Tutor
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