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Epi course AMCAS classifcation

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by kmjannie, Apr 7, 2004.

  1. kmjannie

    kmjannie Senior Member
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    Well. I did an SDN search for how people in the past have classified their grad. epidemiology courses, and came up with very little. I realize that AMCAS only counts Bio, Chem, Physics, and Math toward the "sci" gpa that they calculate. I realize that my Biostats courses count as Math. But 2 of my epi courses also required alot of Math, and the 2 others we had to learn all this stuff about cancer and its molecular basis, and the other one I had to learn all of this infectious disease stuff. I took "biology" courses in undergrad that were less "bio-ey" than these epi courses. Can I classify these as Bio? Anyone with an MS or MPH applied in the past and been in the same situation? Any advice would be much welcomed. Have a great day all.

    Cheers.
     
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  3. camstah

    camstah running thru dandelions
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    all of my mph stuff was classified as all other, although i think the epi should have counted towards the bcpm gpa...it didn't for me though...don't know why....
     
  4. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Membership Revoked
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    I have an MS and a a few courses in Epi, and I classified the Epi classes as "Biology" under BCPM. That was in the late 90's, so hopefully this hasn't changed all that much.
     
  5. kmjannie

    kmjannie Senior Member
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    Well, hopefully the following helps out some people. I know there is quite a bit of controversy when it comes to this area...

    Summary: FAQ: BCPM/A: Course Classification Question
    Details: To Whom It May Concern:

    I have a question about course classifcation for some graduate courses I have taken. I am in an MPH program, which includes courses in biostatistics and epidemiology. Can I classify the biostatistics courses as "Math" in AMCAS? Some of the epidemiology courses I have taken have been rather math-intensive, and others have been relatively biology-intensive. Can I classify these as "Biology" or "Math"? Thanks.
    Sincerely,
    KJ

    Solution:
    Dear Applicant,

    Thank you for contacting AMCAS.

    The designation of BCPM/A codes depends upon the content of the course, not the course title or department. For example, some psychology courses study the chemistry of the brain. These courses can be designated as chemistry courses, even though they are taught by the Psychology Department. There are many cases where you may be unsure, such as biochemistry and engineering courses. These will be a judgement call on your part.

    If you are really having trouble deciding, then we suggest that you contact the professor of the course and ask his/her opinion.

    If you have any questions or if we can be of additional assistance, please contact us at [email protected] or (202) 828-0600.

    AMCAS
    Association of American Medical Colleges
    Section for Medical School Application Services
    2450 N St., NW
    Washington, DC 20037
    U.S.A.

    General Inquiries: (202) 828-0600
    Fax: (202) 828-1120
    www.aamc.org/AMCAS



    hah
     
  6. camstah

    camstah running thru dandelions
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    so i just submitted a academic change request...turns out four of my classes were misclassified then....thanks to this thread, i went and changed them...it may be a little late in the game, but it does bring up my science gpa....last year when i applied AMCAS classified them as AO, when I had thought they were BCPM....so i just stuck with it this year....too bad i didn't look sooner....
     
  7. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    Epi is Public Health so isnt it AO? I didnt classify it as BCPM. There really isnt any BCMP material in epi. A little math, but nothing you wouldnt learn in biostats.
     
  8. camstah

    camstah running thru dandelions
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    yeah, it's bcpm....everything we did in my epi class was math.....so it should be bcpm....
     
  9. camstah

    camstah running thru dandelions
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    and if it's got stuff from biostat, then it's math, and it's bcpm.....
     
  10. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    I dunno, i just dont think Epi is in the "spirit" of BCMP. Its really a personal call here. BCMP is supposed to determine our aptitude for math and science. My opinion is that Epi and most public health courses aren't "hardcore science" and thus dont count, and thats how I filled out my AMCAS. Comon now, if we could classify pub health courses at BCMP a lot of BCMP numbers would go way up. They're just not as hard as real science classes.
     
  11. FoughtFyr

    FoughtFyr SDN Lifetime Donor
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    No way Mike. They can be easily as hard. Try atmospheric chemistry or fluid hygrodynamics (both required in my MPH). And epi is absolutely BCMP. It is the "math of life science" and is a required course in a great number of medical schools. It is a measure of your aptitude for combining the basic sciences. I listed it as BCMP and I strongly urge anyone else to.

    In my experience there is a great deal of variation as to the difficulty depnding on the discipline, program and school. I have an MPH, as does my wife, and two of my closest friends. All from different programs. We each had very different courses and I don't think anyone found it "easy". Yes, it was easier than my M1 year, but I'd sooner retake M4 than my MPH!

    There are difficult "hard science" classes and easy ones too. I went ot a Big 10 undergrad institution where a summer session biochem course by a specific professor was an "easy A". Most pre-meds took it. Should we not have included it in BCMP because it was "too easy"? What about people who do their pre-reqs at community college, if their classes aren't as difficult, should they not list them?

    Medical school admissions is a dog eat dog game. Give yourself every edge that the rules allow. Period. Someone else is listing the courses that way to raise their GPA. That is certain. Don't shoot yourself in the foot in some noble gesture no one will ever know about. It isn't worth it.

    - H
     
    NucleusO likes this.
  12. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    I also have an MPH, and I wasn't saying that those classes are hard. I'm just saying that Epi in general isnt what you'd consider a "hard core science" class. You're probably right that some people are doing it, but that doesnt mean everyone should do it to "get an edge". I would feel uncomfortable fudging my course listings simply so I wont "shoot myself in the foot".

    I honestly felt that most of my public health courses werent BCMP and I listed them that way (I listed two, and one was an undergrad immunobio course). I guess this is really a personal decision then. If you feel comfortable listing it as BCMP, then list it as BCMP.

    I think its important to point out that one course classification for AMCAS is HEAL which stands for Health Sciences, and Public Health is listed as the course type that should be listed under HEAL. Epidemiolgy is as core of a "public health" course as it gets.

    For the record though, I found my public health classes in general to be measurably easier than the med classes (and premed) I've taken, but I think much of that has to do with my enthusiasm for learning about public health and how eager I was to learn it. A point to think about when pursuing medical school (it will be much easier to bear if its something you really want to do).
     
  13. FoughtFyr

    FoughtFyr SDN Lifetime Donor
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    Is HEAL new? I don't remember it from when I applied (1998 and 1999)? If so, then I apologize,epi would easily fit into either (my epi was extremely math intensive).

    I loved public health as well. Some of my classes were easy, others were easy for me and a few others but most had problems with them. When I applied I had the opposite problem as the OP. The only "C" I got in my MPH (heck, one of two "non-As") was in atmospheric chemistry. As much as I wanted to put it somewhere else, it went into BCMP :( .

    - H
     
  14. kmjannie

    kmjannie Senior Member
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    So, there is a HEALTHSCI classification of courses, and Public Health is listed under that. However, there is also a BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES listing, and psychology is listed under that. In the message I was sent from AMCAS, the example they gave is that neuropsych does not necessarily have to be listed as BEHAVIORAL/SS if it includes a lot of biology. Therefore, Epidemiology does not have to be listed under HEALTHSCI just because it is Public Health.

    The reason this is all so subjective is because, as one of you stated, public health courses probably do differ some between instituions, just as these neuropsych courses probably do. To make some sweeping generalization of all public health courses as just HEALTHSCI would undoubtedly be unfair to some whose coursework is more "hard science" oriented. So, I guess it is up to all of us to do the right thing here. If the spirit of the course was B, C, P, or M, then by all means, classify it that way.

    Make sure you can defend it though. I am applying to med school at the same institution as I am doing my MPH, and if the adcoms (some of whom may have joint appointments in Coll of PH and Coll of Med) look at my coursework and see that I have classified something as a BCPM that probably shouldn't be, well, I don't want to risk having that come back to haunt me.

    Well, that is my 2 cents. I'm glad this thread has been helpful. Best of luck to those in the current and upcoming application cycles.

    Cheers.
     
  15. lotanna

    lotanna Child of God
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    I did Epi, MS though and all my Epi classes were Science(Cancer Epi, Reproductive Epi...), my Biostats/SAS classes were under Math so it all fell under BCPM.
    My cancer class had a high bio focus, and we all struggled, same as my reproductive epi class, we spent many lectures on the hormones.
    AMCAS felt it was ok, do your own research
     
  16. Buckeye(OH)

    Buckeye(OH) 5K+ Member
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    I am a little bit confused, you say those classes fell under your BCPM? I assume you mean your grad BCPM right? Man if they let you combine your grad science with your undergrad science that would be advantageous for me.




    Could you please clarify?
    Thanks
    Adrian
     
  17. FoughtFyr

    FoughtFyr SDN Lifetime Donor
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    Yes, they go to your grad BCPM but that does bring up your overall BCPM.

    - H
     
  18. Buckeye(OH)

    Buckeye(OH) 5K+ Member
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    How would I calculate how much it brings it up?
     
  19. FoughtFyr

    FoughtFyr SDN Lifetime Donor
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    It depends on how many classes you took in undergrad, how many you will take in grad school and how well/poorly you perform...

    - H
     
  20. Buckeye(OH)

    Buckeye(OH) 5K+ Member
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    Could you elaborate on that a little bit please?
     
  21. guppythefish

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    Thanks for the information. I am currently in MPH Epi with similar classes you have outlined, did you have to explain AMCAS about the course content in the application? For example like, syllabus, lecture topics or catalog description?

    Thanks
     

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