I'm currently a junior, and I'm debating whether to take Biochem my senior year. I am debating whether to take it because some of the medical schools that I'm applying to highly recommend it. My pre-med advisor told me that since my grades for my science classes and MCAT scores are high, I don't need to take Biochem if I don't want to since medical schools will realize that I have sufficient science knowledge to be prepared for the biochem taught in medical school. However, I want to know the perspective of current applications on this issue. Does taking Biochem really help for medical schools that highly recommend biochem if you already have high science course grades and high MCAT scores? Also, I'm in the process of deciding which schools to apply to now. I've narrowed it down to 17 schools (5 In-State, 12 Out-of State). Is that too much? Money really isn't an issue, and I'm applying to a lot because I want to get into more than one so I have options to choose from. A lot of those 17 are top 20 ranking schools, so I'm not sure if I can get in or not. I really don't have any "safety" schools since the UC schools are really competitive for CA residents. Is that a good idea or should I add some "safety" schools? I need help choosing those schools that I'm applying to. I would really appreciate any advice. Thanks!