pallhaco doce

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Hello,
I don't know how many people will have the same problem. I am a nontraditional applicant and I rushed to get myself ready for the MCAT and apply to med school. I only took one semester of GChem with Lab before I jumped into Organic and Biochem. The good news was that I finished ALL of my requirements in one year. The bad news is that I have not taken that last semester of GChem. Do you think that I need that last semester?

I have always been under the impression that these courses are more to prove that you can handle a certain amount of coursework and competition, rather than teaching something that is intrinsically important to medicine. I did well on my MCAT PS section and all of my other Chem classes, so maybe they would overlook this omission on my transcript.

A couple of current med students I have spoken to said that they also did not take the second semester of GChem, but I am still a little insecure about bailing out and having to take it next summer or something. Anyhow, your input is appreciated.

Thanks,
PD
 

Sweet Tea

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um, there's a reason why it's a gen chem REQUIREMENT. they want everyone to have a certain basic science background. i'd be very very careful about applying without any plans of taking that second semester of gen chem. sometimes they let people out of the requirement b/c they've taken upper level related classes (inorganic or analytical chem-- not orgo or biochem) that show they obviously know what's going on the the lower level chem classes. if you've just taken the requirements, you probably don't meet these criteria. just my opinion, but it's a risk i wouldn't be willing to take with my application.

yes-- the classes are more to show that you can handle the coursework than to teach you stuff you need for med school, but they're pretty strict about making sure those requirements are filled before you matriculate. ask dra. foxy about her time spent in biochem this summer-- even though she had been accepted to med school, she still had to take biochem (a requirement at her med school) over the summer before her med classes started.

i know this isn't the answer you wanted. you should check with some admissions office to see how flexible they are with their requirements. adcoms may be more flexible than i'm giving them credit for, but i kind of doubt it. good luck!!
 

tBw

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Originally posted by pallhaco doce
I only took one semester of GChem with Lab before I jumped into Organic and Biochem. The good news was that I finished ALL of my requirements in one year. The bad news is that I have not taken that last semester of GChem. Do you think that I need that last semester?
Okay, I'm going to try very hard to avoid my usual sarcasm in explaining the word 'pre-requisite' here. Who knows, perhaps out of 37,000 applicants, you are the exception...but I doubt it. A very few schools might make an exception for you, but not most. From their perspective, when you have 37,000 odd applicants for 16,000 or so spots you just don't need to waste time pandering to people who won't follow the most basic instructions you give them. If you look at the pre-reqs most schools will say that if you have AP credit for chem then you need to replace it with an adavnced chem course with lab - that AP credit alone is not sufficient. This would seem analagous to your situation to me. You may have shown via the MCAT you have self-studied the material - but you *still* need 8 units of chem with lab, not just 4. So either take the gen chem 2, or take an upper division class.

If you want to know quite how idiotic admissions staff can occasionally be - one of the schools I applied to required a letter from my professor confirming that my advanced level physics classes met certain criteria (as I tested out of intro physics...) and another school rejected a course entitled "Modern American Literature" as fulfilling it's english requirement as it had been taken in a "dept of comparitive literature" rather than an "english dept".

good luck.
 
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Bonds756

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Ditto with everyone. Without an upper level class to compensate for not taking GenChem, admissions officers might not look to kindly on your app. Talk to your advisor and call schools you are interested in to see what they think before applying.
 
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