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I hate premed classes. Am I screwed?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Hedwig, Feb 13, 2002.

  1. Hedwig

    Hedwig Senior Member
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    Here's a doozie.

    I enjoy chemistry very much, and I enjoy the lessons in biology that are relevant to the human body. However, I really loathe all that stuff about photosynthesis and cell walls, and I can't stand physics. All those boring vectors. AHHHHHHH!!!! <img border="0" alt="[Pissy]" title="" src="graemlins/pissy.gif" />

    Is this a bad sign? Does anyone else want badly to become a physician but can't stand all the undergrad stuff that isn't at all relevant to medicine?

    (I spent all weekend studying cellulose and plastids, etc. What a bore. Sooooo frustrating!)
     
  2. Medic171

    Medic171 Senior Member
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    Most of that stuff IS relevant to medicine, although sometimes indirectly. Why do you think it is required pre-coursework? Besides, how do you know that "it's not relevant to medicine"? That is a pretty presumptuous statement to make.

    Physics id relevant in many ways, a simple one I can think of off the top of my head are surgery.

    Organic chem is the basis for all life and for bio chem.

    Biology is self explanatory.

    General chem is pretty useful to know in case you ever administer medicine, study the ph of the body, want to administer fluid that is isotonic to avoid killing your patient, doing radiological and nuclear based diagnostics.

    The examples are endless. You dont have to like everyhting, but if you hate it all you may want to rethink because the first 1 to 1.5 or 2 years of med school is basic sciences drawn upon general knowledge from premed sciences
     
  3. tBw

    tBw totally deluded
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Medic171:
    <strong>Most of that stuff IS relevant to medicine,....You dont have to like everyhting, but if you hate it all you may want to rethink because the first 1 to 1.5 or 2 years of med school is basic sciences drawn upon general knowledge from premed sciences</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hum, well, though I agree that the 1st 2 year of med school is basic sciences I think it would be pretty inaccurate to assume that everyone going into medicine was fascinated by all of their pre-req courses. If we were, maybe we would become chemists and physicists and botanists....but we don't, we want to be doctors, and this is just one more hurdle along the way.

    As you may be able to tell, unlike the previous poster, I completely understand your boredom with some of the pre-req material. I almost posted something along these lines after a particularly tedious review of latinate names for the plant kingdom just the other day. Bryophyta, Pterophyta, blah blah Boredofmyasso'phyta. I get through it as I try and see how it might be relevant (eg toxicology) but sometimes it's a real stretch...and then you just have to suck it up...just keep the goal in mind

    <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />

    g'luck
     
  4. tBw

    tBw totally deluded
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    ahem..as some of you may have noticed, the correct latinate name for that last group should have been "Boredoffmyasso'phyta" not "Boredofmyasso'phyta"...somehow that one letter makes all the difference <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  5. docteur

    docteur Junior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> "Boredoffmyasso'phyta" </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I'll second that!! I can't stand pre-med classes. But the worst part about it is when you tell someone what you are taking and they say, "Oh, I just loved O-chem, physics, cell bio..." Or the classic,"Well, thats the weed out process." It's just such a crock, there's nothing fun about any of them, regardless of the great teachers making jokes or whatever. Reading 50 pages a night about cell membranes sucks more personality and life from a person than dying.

    And have you ever asked a working physician if any of it's useful? They don't remember any of it. It's all prep for the Mcrap, and then you will dump it!

    Fells good to vent, and give my girlfriend a break from listening to that for Valentines. I know I am such a romantic. <img border="0" alt="[Lovey]" title="" src="graemlins/lovey.gif" />
    Thanks.

    Good luck getting through the boredom.
     
  6. bobo

    bobo Senior Member
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    Medic171:

    Dude, what the heck are you talking about? You obviously aren't in medical school. Undergrad physics is crap, I hated that course worse than almost anything else. Practically speaking, what you learn in undergrad physics has NOTHING to do with life as a doctor. The only relevance physics has is relevant, that is, physics is relative to everything in this world! The only stuff you may learn in med school related to physics is stuff like how blood swirls around bifurcations of arteries and may stagnate there, or that stupid formula about the radius to the fourth power, or laminar flow in blood vessels, etc. The point is, I could understand all these CONCEPTS with or without ever touching a physics textbook. Personally, I think physics is required coursework not because it is relevant to medical school, but to torture and weed out premeds. Of course if you are a biomedical engineer or nuclear med doc, etc. physics will be very relevant, but not for the rest of us ordinary schmucks.

    Don't worry too much, I hate basic medical science classes as much as I hated pre-med classes and I am doing fine in medical school. It is a matter of pushing yourself to learn a foundation for the formative years when you learn REAL medicine, not the basic science minutiae that PhD's love to torture medical students with.
     
  7. David511

    David511 Ponch's Illegitimate Son
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    C'mon, everyone knows that pre-meds take physics so they can learn stuff to pick up girls in bars with! There's nothing more attractive to a female than a man with an intimate understanding of centripetal force!

    Serious tho, while I didn't mind physics in undergrad, I just about hated all the other basic science courses (with the exception of genetics and cell bio)...As an MS1 I've had to deal with a bit of that sh!t, but mostly its the cool stuff that actually relates to the practice of medicine. As was said before, the basic sciences are mostly hoops the premed has to jump through in order to get that coveted bio degree (yeah, right). I think schools make you take those courses so they can afford to pay all those boring-ass Ph.D's they employ...

    Suck it up, stick it out. It'll get better in the future. If not, drop bio and become and art major. Those guys get all the chicks!

    And may I add, a happy f-in vday to everyone.
     
  8. Medic171

    Medic171 Senior Member
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    First, I never said you have to be fascinated with premed sciences, but he used words like hate and loathe, which are pretty strong. If I absolutly hated and loathed things I would question myself briefly.

    Second, physics is relevant. It teaches you to think in a quanitative way and builds your reasonong and problem solving skills, along with the skills of scientific methodology.

    You want some more examples of physics in medicine? Ok, how about cardiology. Everything from the electrical system, potentials, and dysrhythmias, to understanding ECG diagnostics. Also, fluid, pump, resistance, and fluid motion. Density(lungs, body fluids), Pressure(lungs, body fluids, ever hear of BP), (young, shear, bulk modulus deals with stress and strain--like in joints, tendons, ligs, and muscles),(fluid flow rate--like in arteries, it changes when they narrow[CAD] which is good to know since it is #1 USA killer, bernoullies equation deals with work/energy, I could list examples all day!!!

    Photosynthesis and cell walls---off the top of my head I think of both medications derived from plants,and methods of medication action across cell membranes, absorption and excretion, and bacterial diseases( some have cell walls or use photosynthesis).

    Point is, no, you do not have to love these sciences, or even like/enjoy them, BUT they are very relevant to life and medicine and they do provide foundations. True, most of us will forget alot of these premed science particulars when we are docs, but the general concepts and method of thinking and problem solving remain, and that is what is important.

    If you loathe and hate these sciences, you may want to examine why, because they are relevant both indirectly in the problem solving skill they build, and directly in thousands of ways like above.

    BTW, I am a social science major, and science is not my favorite subject, but I understand the relevence and importance of it. True, some of these classes are weedout classes, but they are not required soley for the purpose of weeding out, and their difficulty level is not the only way they weed out, they also show green premeds that medicine is about life science, not just using a stethescope, otoscope, tongue dpressor, and a white coat. A lot of the new premed kids have misconceptions of it, and those that hate the things it is really about get weeded out.

    We have to learn how to be critical thinkers, analyzers, and scientist before we can learn to be doctors. That is what premed science and 1=2 years of med school is for.
     
  9. bobo

    bobo Senior Member
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    Medic171, you are missing my point. While all the examples you gave do indeed involve physics - a knowledge of fundamental physics is not necessary to understand these concepts. You will NEVER see a bulk modulus formula in med school! Things like density and pressure are of course related to physics, but dude, so is the entire universe! They are ordinary concepts that any 10 year old can understand. Who gives 2 craps about Bernoulli in med school! There are many, many non-science classes to teach you to become thinkers and analyzers, probably moreso than the premed crap we are all forced to endure.

    Premed is just hoops to jump through. You will forget at least 90% of it when you are in med school. Then you will forget 90% of what you learned the first two years of med school. Then you will take boards and remeber some of it. then you will start to remember the important stuff when you are on the wards.

    bobo
     
  10. marleybfour

    marleybfour Senior Member
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    Bobo,
    I agree. In fact the other day a cardiovascular surgeon was looking at my MCAT review book and asked " You have to know physics for medical school?" I had to laugh.
     
  11. Medic171

    Medic171 Senior Member
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    be sure to share that opinion at your interview.
     
  12. bobo

    bobo Senior Member
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    My interview? For residency?

    Alright dude, I looked in my cadio packet from last year and yes, there were a few physics formulas. Things like R=8nL/pir4 and pouiselles law, and series and parallel resistanceand the good old Fick principle. NOBODY memorizes these stupid equations in med school. They are for conceptual purposes only. My point is that physics is not necessary for med school, by any stretch of the means. <img border="0" alt="[Pissy]" title="" src="graemlins/pissy.gif" />
     
  13. Medic171

    Medic171 Senior Member
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    sorry, I assumed because this was the pre-DO forum that you were pre. My bad. Well, I guess you being a current med student and me having not started med school yet that you know more about it than me. So, my apologies. Physics is useless in med school and the pricipals of undergrad physics have few if no applications in medicine. Physics is just a weed out class put there as a right to passage and misery to premeds. If you hate and loathe premed sciences, just deal with it and consider it an undesireable means to an end :p
     
  14. </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by eurotrash:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Medic171:
    <strong>Most of that stuff IS relevant to medicine,....You dont have to like everyhting, but if you hate it all you may want to rethink because the first 1 to 1.5 or 2 years of med school is basic sciences drawn upon general knowledge from premed sciences</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hum, well, though I agree that the 1st 2 year of med school is basic sciences I think it would be pretty inaccurate to assume that everyone going into medicine was fascinated by all of their pre-req courses. If we were, maybe we would become chemists and physicists and botanists....but we don't, we want to be doctors, and this is just one more hurdle along the way.

    As you may be able to tell, unlike the previous poster, I completely understand your boredom with some of the pre-req material. I almost posted something along these lines after a particularly tedious review of latinate names for the plant kingdom just the other day. Bryophyta, Pterophyta, blah blah Boredofmyasso'phyta. I get through it as I try and see how it might be relevant (eg toxicology) but sometimes it's a real stretch...and then you just have to suck it up...just keep the goal in mind

    <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />

    g'luck</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I agree that you don't have to like all of the pre-req's. I think it would help to be interested in Biology.

    But, they are not enough to tell if you actually want to get a doctorate in chem or physics. At our university, the first chemistry and physics courses taken for these majors are not the ones that the pre-meds take. They are the one's required for pre-engineering students. For example, the physics course for chem/eng/physics is calculus based. Whereas, the pre-med physics course is algebra based. But, if you are one of these majors and pre-med, than you would have to take the calculus based physics.
     
  15. </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Medic171:
    <strong>First, I never said you have to be fascinated with premed sciences, but he used words like hate and loathe, which are pretty strong. If I absolutly hated and loathed things I would question myself briefly.

    Second, physics is relevant. It teaches you to think in a quanitative way and builds your reasonong and problem solving skills, along with the skills of scientific methodology.

    You want some more examples of physics in medicine? Ok, how about cardiology. Everything from the electrical system, potentials, and dysrhythmias, to understanding ECG diagnostics. Also, fluid, pump, resistance, and fluid motion. Density(lungs, body fluids), Pressure(lungs, body fluids, ever hear of BP), (young, shear, bulk modulus deals with stress and strain--like in joints, tendons, ligs, and muscles),(fluid flow rate--like in arteries, it changes when they narrow[CAD] which is good to know since it is #1 USA killer, bernoullies equation deals with work/energy, I could list examples all day!!!

    Photosynthesis and cell walls---off the top of my head I think of both medications derived from plants,and methods of medication action across cell membranes, absorption and excretion, and bacterial diseases( some have cell walls or use photosynthesis).

    Point is, no, you do not have to love these sciences, or even like/enjoy them, BUT they are very relevant to life and medicine and they do provide foundations. True, most of us will forget alot of these premed science particulars when we are docs, but the general concepts and method of thinking and problem solving remain, and that is what is important.

    If you loathe and hate these sciences, you may want to examine why, because they are relevant both indirectly in the problem solving skill they build, and directly in thousands of ways like above.

    BTW, I am a social science major, and science is not my favorite subject, but I understand the relevence and importance of it. True, some of these classes are weedout classes, but they are not required soley for the purpose of weeding out, and their difficulty level is not the only way they weed out, they also show green premeds that medicine is about life science, not just using a stethescope, otoscope, tongue dpressor, and a white coat. A lot of the new premed kids have misconceptions of it, and those that hate the things it is really about get weeded out.

    We have to learn how to be critical thinkers, analyzers, and scientist before we can learn to be doctors. That is what premed science and 1=2 years of med school is for.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">If they wanted to make courses to weed out students, they would require much more difficult courses to do so: partial differential equations part 1 and 2 (this is used in medicine), physical chemistry, etc.
     
  16. Street Philosopher

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    i hated premed classes too. don't worry about it. they are designed to weed people out and kill their enthusiasm. i only discovered my interest in science through science electives and upper division courses.
     
  17. Sweaty Paul

    Sweaty Paul Senior Member
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    I would have to disagree with bobo and side more with medic171 in this discussion. First, I'm a second year med student. I think medic171 point is well taken that the very broad concepts of the undergrad science reqs are utilized everyday. I would argue bobo, that you find them easy now cause they have been pounded into your head so frequently (as we all have) that they have become second nature. No the average doc doesn't say how would bernoulli's eq. solve this prob, however, the understanding of how things are working is there and that is a fundamental buildiing block in the thought process of the physician whether they are actively aware of it anymore or not.
    Second, cardiology and all of those stupid vectors. Your right memorizing formulas for adding vectors isn't important, but, having an idea of how to utilize and apply vectors is critical. Do you have left vent or right vent hypertrophy, is an MI present, where is the heart ischemic? Every physician must be able to get the gist of EKG's even if not cardiologists to know when, at the very least, to get a cardiologist. Unfortunately, vectors are absolutely relevant in the understanding and interpretation of EKG's. If they weren't all of the cardio texts would devote their first chapter to a review of the vectors of the heart, the limb leads, and the chest leads.
    Those stupid cell membranes. Learn them, know them, love them. You will deal with them for everyday of the rest of your life. You will, unfortuantely, have to know how to get drugs into and out of the most basic functioning part of the human body...the cell. You will need to know why some things pass easily, need to about the various transporters, enzymes for the break-down (metabolism) of the drugs or nutrition or whatever. Your right plant names have no bearing. Photosynthesis isn't important, but understanding the differences in cell types is. Pharmacology will remind you of that everyday when you are trying to figure out what chemotherapeutic agent to give. It would behoove you to know that you can't kill a fungus the same way you would kill a bacteria, mostly because their structures are diff.
    I majored in History and philosophy. I thought the undergrad sciences a waste of my time too. In retrospect I find they have helped by providing a basis from which to begin my thought processes about any clinical prob. The docs I follow during preceptorships and clinical experiences don't think in terms of the undergrad stuff. Nor do they think in terms of what they learned their first two years of medical school. But, when they are explaining things to me and my classmates on rotations...lets say about a drug, the first thing they talk about is the drugs pharmacokinetics (physics and cell biology), why the drug is efficacious, all the while using basic science lingo that has become second nature to them to enhance our understanding and hopefully the patients'. All that basic "second nature stuff" is unfortunately the undergrad and years one and two basic science. They may not remember every enzyme in the krebs cycle, and that isn't important, however, they understand the concept of enzymes, their function, and the ramifications of changing or altering their functions.

    Good luck to you all. It ain't fun, but, though exams and boards suck; med school is a blast.

    Sweaty Paul
     
  18. tulanestudent

    tulanestudent Member
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    I agree with most that you don't directly use most of those little facts you memorize in premed. But, the "weed out" idea is probably why we all have to do it. I think some sort of weed-out process IS neccessary. I am a 3rd year med student who really, really didn't like too much of the premed basic sciences, but did enjoy learning most of the med school basic sciences (because you can see more of thier relevance to medicine) and am loving every minute of clinical training in 3rd year. The truth is, SUCCESS IN MED SCHOOL DEPENDS ON HOW HARD YOU ARE WILLING TO WORK, as well as some level of natural intelligence. Having the persistence to go through these premed classes now shows you are willing and able to put in this type of work in med school. So I appreciate this idea of weeding much more now than I did before med school, because I realize my classmates who were quick to change majors in their first few years of college really didn't have the determination and persistence to make it in med school anyway. Good luck to all of you. You can do anything if you want it badly enough and are willing to work.
     
  19. </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Schoolboy:
    <strong>i hated premed classes too. don't worry about it. they are designed to weed people out and kill their enthusiasm. i only discovered my interest in science through science electives and upper division courses.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Pre-med courses are not that tough. Again, if they wanted to weed out students, they would make us take physical chemistry, quantum physics, advanced organic chem, advanced advanced math etc.
     
  20. </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by tulanestudent:
    <strong>I agree with most that you don't directly use most of those little facts you memorize in premed. But, the "weed out" idea is probably why we all have to do it. I think some sort of weed-out process IS neccessary. I am a 3rd year med student who really, really didn't like too much of the premed basic sciences, but did enjoy learning most of the med school basic sciences (because you can see more of thier relevance to medicine) and am loving every minute of clinical training in 3rd year. The truth is, SUCCESS IN MED SCHOOL DEPENDS ON HOW HARD YOU ARE WILLING TO WORK, as well as some level of natural intelligence. Having the persistence to go through these premed classes now shows you are willing and able to put in this type of work in med school. So I appreciate this idea of weeding much more now than I did before med school, because I realize my classmates who were quick to change majors in their first few years of college really didn't have the determination and persistence to make it in med school anyway. Good luck to all of you. You can do anything if you want it badly enough and are willing to work.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Because someone changed majors, it doesn't mean that the individual went on to something less challenging. They may have gone on to something that was much more demanding. And of course more interesting to them.

    A woman in my orgo course several years ago left her pre-med studies to become a geophysicist. She was so good at physics, math, and geology that she couldn't just leave all that behind. She couldn't use any of the pre-med courses for entrance into a geophysics phd program, so she had to take two and a half years worth of req's just to get into that grad program.

    We can't generalize about why people leave fields or enter them. I am a med student and would never try something as demanding as geophysics.
     

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