May 29, 2010
35
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Just wanted to get some opinions on this since I am currently operating under a rather small sample size of 2, and the two people I've asked have had completely different opinions. I've already been accepted into the school of my choice to start in August, and I basically have the spring semester and summer to kick back. I had always planned on taking Biochem II and Histology this Spring even if I got in, thinking that it would kinda ease my transition into med school since Biochem and Histo (along with anatomy) will comprise my first semester curriculum. I'm not a gunner by any means, but it was a goal of mine to position myself to make med school as manageable as possible. And then I would take the summer to plan a trip and do some fun stuff before I start med school.

However, as a post-bacc who already has a degree, I have the option to just not take any classes at all. And since I'm already admitted, my motivation to take these classes at this point is starting to wane...so I solicited the opinion of two people I know.

Person 1 (3rd year student at the school I'll be attending) wishes he had taken these two classes prior to starting med school and strongly recommends that I take them. Says he thinks it would've given him a leg up and will make my life a little easier next year.

Person 2 (4th year at a different school) gave me a look like "WTF, you're already in, are you crazy?" and explained that the next two years of my life will be consumed by core science curriculum and that I should just take a step back from school until I start in August.

Both bring up valid points, so I'm still on the fence. What do you say, SDN'ers? I'd appreciate input especially from any current med students.
 

LRAccord624

MSIII
Oct 18, 2009
747
6
Houston
Status
Medical Student
I took biochem in college, got an A, and loved it. It has not helped me whatsoever in med school. I had to take it as a part of my major, otherwise I would regret having took it. Chances are that your class will not focus on the same things as med school and it won't help you.

On the other hand, histo was by far the most helpful class I took in terms of doing well in med school. That's because histology is a relatively unchanging science, and there is one general way to teach it. So chances are, it will definitely help you in med school.

To tell you the truth, if it were me I might just take histology, then get a part time job that I enjoyed just to keep myself from being bored. First choice would be to travel if I had the money.
 
Jul 22, 2009
143
1
Status
Medical Student
Just wanted to get some opinions on this since I am currently operating under a rather small sample size of 2, and the two people I've asked have had completely different opinions. I've already been accepted into the school of my choice to start in August, and I basically have the spring semester and summer to kick back. I had always planned on taking Biochem II and Histology this Spring even if I got in, thinking that it would kinda ease my transition into med school since Biochem and Histo (along with anatomy) will comprise my first semester curriculum. I'm not a gunner by any means, but it was a goal of mine to position myself to make med school as manageable as possible. And then I would take the summer to plan a trip and do some fun stuff before I start med school.

However, as a post-bacc who already has a degree, I have the option to just not take any classes at all. And since I'm already admitted, my motivation to take these classes at this point is starting to wane...so I solicited the opinion of two people I know.

Person 1 (3rd year student at the school I'll be attending) wishes he had taken these two classes prior to starting med school and strongly recommends that I take them. Says he thinks it would've given him a leg up and will make my life a little easier next year.

Person 2 (4th year at a different school) gave me a look like "WTF, you're already in, are you crazy?" and explained that the next two years of my life will be consumed by core science curriculum and that I should just take a step back from school until I start in August.

Both bring up valid points, so I'm still on the fence. What do you say, SDN'ers? I'd appreciate input especially from any current med students.

This is always a tough call, but my personal opinion would be to not take the classes. Even though previously taking biochem in college familiarized me with some of the intro material, med school classes focus much more on the clinical side of things. We did not have to memorize dozens of pKas, calculate pIs or worry about a lot of the stuff on which a traditional biochem class will focus. In the end, it couldn't hurt, but it's probably not very high yield. BTW, I'm really diggin' your name.:)
 
OP
A
May 29, 2010
35
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I took biochem in college, got an A, and loved it. It has not helped me whatsoever in med school. I had to take it as a part of my major, otherwise I would regret having took it. Chances are that your class will not focus on the same things as med school and it won't help you.

On the other hand, histo was by far the most helpful class I took in terms of doing well in med school. That's because histology is a relatively unchanging science, and there is one general way to teach it. So chances are, it will definitely help you in med school.

To tell you the truth, if it were me I might just take histology, then get a part time job that I enjoyed just to keep myself from being bored. First choice would be to travel if I had the money.
Thanks - I appreciate your input. Travel is definitely a top priority before I start school. Problem is I'm in a relationship and the old lady wouldn't be so happy if I up and left :laugh:. She's a teacher so I'm waiting til the summer to get the travel bug out of my system and we'll do something together.

Just to follow up...I took Biochem I this semester, also got an A and generally enjoyed the class but like you said, the class won't have any impact on how I do in med school. I have the same teacher for Biochem II, and he is assuring me that this one would be helpful (although chances are he's half bs'ing me to get me to register for his class that no one else wants to take). Got a copy of his syllabus and it's basically extremely heavy on metabolism - topics are glucose catabolism, glycogen metabolism and gluconeogenesis, citric acid cycle, electron transport and oxidative phosphorylation, photosynthesis (yuck), lipid metabolism, amino acid metabolism, mammalian fuel metabolism: integration and regulation, and nucleotide metabolism. I pretty much have no concept of what med school Biochem is like, but I assume that it would be centered around metabolic pathways...but realistically, I also assume much of what I'll learn in biochem if I took it this semester would quickly forgotten.

I like your idea of just taking Histo...seems like that is the happy medium.
 
OP
A
May 29, 2010
35
1
Status
Pre-Medical
This is always a tough call, but my personal opinion would be to not take the classes. Even though previously taking biochem in college familiarized me with some of the intro material, med school classes focus much more on the clinical side of things. We did not have to memorize dozens of pKas, calculate pIs or worry about a lot of the stuff on which a traditional biochem class will focus. In the end, it couldn't hurt, but it's probably not very high yield. BTW, I'm really diggin' your name.:)
ha thanks :), I think when I was registering a Seinfeld episode was on and I couldn't think of anything else.

Sounds to me like undergrad histo = high yield, while undergrad biochem = low yield. The histo class at my college has a great rep, supposed to be very difficult but very well taught. Leaning towards histo + PT job, put away some cash for traveling this summer...
 
May 21, 2010
496
4
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks - I appreciate your input. Travel is definitely a top priority before I start school. Problem is I'm in a relationship and the old lady wouldn't be so happy if I up and left :laugh:. She's a teacher so I'm waiting til the summer to get the travel bug out of my system and we'll do something together.

Just to follow up...I took Biochem I this semester, also got an A and generally enjoyed the class but like you said, the class won't have any impact on how I do in med school. I have the same teacher for Biochem II, and he is assuring me that this one would be helpful (although chances are he's half bs'ing me to get me to register for his class that no one else wants to take). Got a copy of his syllabus and it's basically extremely heavy on metabolism - topics are glucose catabolism, glycogen metabolism and gluconeogenesis, citric acid cycle, electron transport and oxidative phosphorylation, photosynthesis (yuck), lipid metabolism, amino acid metabolism, mammalian fuel metabolism: integration and regulation, and nucleotide metabolism. I pretty much have no concept of what med school Biochem is like, but I assume that it would be centered around metabolic pathways...but realistically, I also assume much of what I'll learn in biochem if I took it this semester would quickly forgotten.

I like your idea of just taking Histo...seems like that is the happy medium.
I have always wondered about this too. I took biochem I this semester and found out today that I made an A (thank god) but I have heard from many that biochem is a lot different in medical school. However, my question to med students is, isn't a large portion of the medical school biochem centered around metabolism?

I have some medical school biochem notes I've got from a friend, and I was planning on brushing over it in my gap year just to keep everything fresh and I noticed that there is ALOT of stuff on metabolism and nucleotides, along with the cardio/renal/gi stuff. Take a look. Perhaps this will help you:luck:
 

Attachments

May 21, 2010
496
4
Status
Pre-Medical
sorry, the files are so I cant load them. The other topics are Gi/Renal/Cardio/Respiratory, there and entire 50 pgs on Endocrine and Repoductive systems, nucleotide metabolism.