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Most important subject to have mastered in Undergrad for Med school??

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by CuddlyKumquat, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. CuddlyKumquat

    CuddlyKumquat simply scrumpcious
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    What is it? Ochem? I keep hearing that after the MCATs, ochem is basically never even talked about, let alone tested on? Then what, Biochem? Genetics? Molecular Bio?
     
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  3. amy2003uva

    amy2003uva Senior Member
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    You got it... biochem, genetics, molecular bio. Anatomy wouldn't hurt, either. :thumbup:
     
  4. billclinton

    billclinton Senior Member
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    how to learn
     
  5. lord_jeebus

    lord_jeebus 和魂洋才
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  6. joe6102

    joe6102 by the power of grayskull
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    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

    i'll second that, and add how to maximize study time.
    some anatomy sure wouldn't hurt, but very little info from ug is required except maybe some basic bio and chemistry.
     
  7. Wee Free Woman

    Wee Free Woman One Day at a Time
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    Learning how to memorize information FAST, and then learning how to apply it FAST.

    Basically, study hard for the MCAT.
     
  8. deuist

    deuist Stealthfully Sarcastic
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    You're right in that you'll never do organic chemistry ever again. Physiology may help. Stay away from anatomy if its animal-focused. Very few undergraduate biology departments are going to let you study human anatomy with a cadaver. For me, classes and experience outside of the typical pre-med track are what prepared me more than anything else. As another poster mentioned, Spanish is a key language that any physician should study. Also, good volunteering experiences that let you work directly with patients are great for learning how to work with others.
     
  9. RxnMan

    RxnMan Who, me? A doctor?
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    Whichever class teaches you the value of determination and hard work.
     
  10. gostudy

    gostudy Black covfefe. No sugar, no cream
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    Biochemistry without a doubt has the best transition from ugrad to med school.
     
  11. homeboy

    homeboy I'm super cereal.
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    I agree--no contest. Biochem in undergrad ('specially if you major in it) helps tremendously.

    Phys if you have time.
     
  12. dr4ku

    dr4ku Member
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    I would put in a plug for microbio. If you get as much micro as possible, you will have had to cover biochem. But a year long biochem course and a major in micro would be my choice. Micro gives you coverage for year one cell bio and biochem and gives you an upper hand for year two micro and pathology.
     
  13. Chronic Student

    Chronic Student So Fresh, So Clean
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  14. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    You need NONE of the prereqs to do well in med school. They are merely hurdles for premeds to get past to get into med school. Some objective method of culling the herd. Biochem and physiology probably give you a minor cushion in those respective classes if you had it before, but I wouldn't give up the chance to take other courses to take those twice. Genetics isn't hard enough a course to both getting a headstart. Med school teaches you all you need to know and then some. I agree with those who suggested learning how to learn, or refining study habits -- that is about all you can come away with of value fro undergrad for this endeavor.
     
  15. jocg27

    jocg27 Senior Member
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    My college had a human anatomy course open to undergrads that used prosected (previously dissected by another class - the med students, I believe) cadavers.

    It's worth taking, but also be aware it's often probably not the same as the full medical anatomy course you'll get first year. I was glad I took the class as an intro, it helped to have heard the words before etc, but I'm not sure anatomy m1 yr was much easier for me than anyone who hadn't taken an undergrad course. There was lots of overlap, obviously, but the two courses focused on pretty different topics.

    I felt like I learned more about skeletal landmarks (a lot more here, actually), embryology, and muscle origins and insertions in the undergrad class. But there was nowhere near the depth of my med school course in terms of spatial relationships and that kind of thing. So I definitely still had lots of studying to do for the med school class.

    Second difference, doing your own dissection digging through pounds of fat to find something that's basically a short length of string is a whole different ballgame than searching for something on an already dissected body where everything unimportant is already removed and everything important is pretty much laid out for you to find.

    So, if you have time and your school offers it, it might be worth it to take an anatomy class, but it's not going to make or break you during first year - they're pretty much assuming you don't know anatomy when you come in.

    Biochem, molecular bio, and physio if you can are definitely most helpful in terms of being prepared for your med school coursework.

    That said though, really, best idea of all is have some fun in college, take some random classes. It's the last chance you'll really have to do so, and cmon now, who really wants to take 4 solid years of science. Take some English or Poli Sci or, I dunno, dance or something.

    Oh yeah, I guess I have suggested lots of classes already, but looking back, one of the more worthwhile classes I took in college was a personal finance course taught by a certified financial planner. I took this on some advice I heard about how doctors spend so much time learning science, etc, they never learn even the basics about handling and investing their money. Doctors do still, believe it or not, make lots of money and don't know what to do with it, plus after so much training they tend to have a sense of entitlement about what they can buy and where they can live, tend to have long, stressful work schedules, and start off in considerable amounts of debt. As a result, they waste a lot of money, and are forced to place a great deal of trust in other people such as planners to decide what to do with what they have left.

    Sure enough, the first day of class he was telling us about himself and his practice, and started talking about his clients who are doctors (I was the only premed in the course, the only non business/finance major in fact), and how he cannot believe the boneheaded decisions intelligent, educated, well-paid doctors can make with respect to their money. It is apparently common knowledge within the financial planning community that 'in terms of financial stupidity, doctors place second only to professional athletes.'

    Oh yeah also definitely try to learn a language. Spanish is especially useful, but anything is worthwhile in medicine. But don't expect to learn a language in two semesters of hour classes 3 days a week. If you think you can, you are sort of naive, and probably kind of arrogant. It's impossible. It's a language - an entire culture thinks, plays, works, lives, loves, and dies in this language, whichever one you happen to have chosen. Do you think someone can learn English in ~75 hours of classroom time, most of which they skip because they are hungover or studying for their organic chem class they have next hour?



    Hope this helps.

    :cool: :D
     
  16. Skaterbabe74

    Skaterbabe74 Senior Member
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    I don't think that's true at all. If your undergrad has a nursing program (or some of the other health science programs) they will most likely use cadavers or prosections. At most smaller schools(say under 10k students or so) the A&P the nurses take will be through the biology department and open to bio majors/pre-health/science majors. At my school, we used 3 cadavers(a 4th was switched out for the spring). The dissection was done by the lab teachers, the A&P prof(occasionally), and anyone from class who wanted to dissect. Obviously most of the nursing students didn't show up for the friday dissections, but we had a decent group of premeds show up at least a few times, and a couple of us who were dedicated and loved the experience dissected the entire year. I do think that the best way to learn anatomy is thru actual dissection tho. The lab classes were overloaded with students, and it's hard to cram 15+ people around a cadaver while they're pointing stuff out. Our lab was 4 hours long tho so once everything got pointed out we could meander around checking it out for ourselves. But getting your hands dirty really helps you learn where things are, and how it all goes together.
     
  17. Iwy Em Hotep

    Iwy Em Hotep The Welcomer
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    The poster who wrote Spanish is dead on.
     
  18. indo

    indo Feed me a stray cat
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    You gotta learn what NOT to study.
     
  19. Dr.TobiasFünke

    Physician 7+ Year Member

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  20. Samoa

    Physician Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

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    Undergraduate sciences: completely unnecessary either to learn or to remember

    Spanish: muy useful
    Study skills: he who has the best study skills wins. I'm not kidding.
    Time management: effective multitasking can camouflage less than stellar study skills
    Ability to relax when you don't have to be working. Harder than it looks for the kind of people who get into med school.

    That's it. They'll feed you all the knowledge you need. You just need a good work ethic and a good play ethic, and you'll be fine.
     
  21. BozoSparky

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    know your physical chemistry...

    ok ok, just kidding.
     
  22. jonathon

    jonathon Membership Revoked
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    It will always help to have a good understanding of how genetic diseases arrive. More and more diseases are being found to have a genetic cause.

    I’ve read before that most medical schools train their students to have knowledge about a lot of rare diseases and disorders but fail at the same time to really teach their students how complex the complex diseases are (like diabetes, AD, age-related macular degeneration, cancers, and so forth…. essentially the gene environmental interactions-both need to occur for pathogenesis to take place).
     
  23. amy2003uva

    amy2003uva Senior Member
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    you "need" none of the prereqs to do well, but i completely disagree that they are just for "culling the herd" and won't help in med school. not true at all!!!! my undergrad micro, genetics and anatomy helped me TREMENDOUSLY last year. recalling information the 2nd time around is much easier, and sticks more quickly. i did not have biochem in undergrad, and i had to work harder to do well because the material was not familiar. there was a noticeable difference in how hard you had to work to excel in a block, at least in my anectodal experience w/my friends and classmates, depending on whether or not you'd taken the course before.

    then on the extreme side one of my friends is a micro phd, and he spent the whole block gardening and remodeling his house while scoring 98% on the nbme.
     
  24. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Um, none of those are prereqs for med school. :rolleyes:
     
  25. deuist

    deuist Stealthfully Sarcastic
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    That's great, but none of them are required classes. How have organic chemistry and into to bio helped you?
     

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