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New Biochem and Organic Chem Requirements

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TBSmeg

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Apologies if this has been addressed in another thread I haven't noticed.

Recently my pre-health advisers have been recommending people in my class (Juniors) to skip organic chem 2 and take biochemistry instead. The reasoning is most medical schools have or will be dropping organic 2 and asking for biochem instead in light of new MCAT changes. They claim that many have already made the change but haven't updated their websites and that they didn't start advising students to do this until they knew several had done so.

Can anyone who has been through the process confirm this?

I've taken Organic Chem 1 with lab and also Organic Chem 2 but without the lab. Would this then make my application invalid?

Would anyone recommend that I just take the lab to be safe in terms of applications? The lab course shouldn't be too hard, but it's very time consuming and I'd like as much time as I can to study for the MCAT so I'd prefer to only take what I have to this semester.
 

medmedman

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Hmm. I haven't heard about this. Though I would agree that biochemistry is more useful than organic chemistry 2 in medical school. I've had 0 orgo so far and quite a bit of biochemistry.

When it comes to lab, I know different schools have different requirements. Probably best to call up a few med schools and talk to their admissions and ask them if orgo lab 2 is required and if biochem is required. Biochem usually isn't.

Again, this is only what I think - better to get other's perspective
 

Zelda840

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I agree that you should call the med schools. My state school requires a year of organic with lab AND at least one semester of Biochem (no lab needed) and one semester of Genetics.
 

Lya

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Ideally, you need to take both orgo 2 with lab as well as biochem.
 

gyngyn

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I know that schools will start adding new requirements but didn't think it'd be so soon. Maybe @LizzyM, @Goro, or @gyngyn can help here.
The MSAR is just certifying the data for the next cycle and the trend is actually toward becoming less specific about required classes not more. The discussion at the AAMC this year centered on the methods by which schools could transition to competencies as opposed to required classes.
 
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Darth Doc

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Apologies if this has been addressed in another thread I haven't noticed.

Recently my pre-health advisers have been recommending people in my class (Juniors) to skip organic chem 2 and take biochemistry instead.

How many years do you have before you apply? Although the goal of AAMC may be to move away from specific requirements, most schools aren't there yet. If you're a junior now and plan to apply to 10+ schools (and don't plan on picking them based on them not requiring O Chem2), I would take the class since most schools still require it.

2nd option is to take it the spring of your senior year if you need it as a requirement for the medical school you get accepted to.

That being said, I've never taken O Chem 2, have taken biochem, and I'm starting med school in the fall. Just so happens, my school and I are a good match for each other.
 

TBSmeg

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Thanks for the prompt replies everyone. Of the schools that are in the process of changing, many are allowing some flexibility for people in my year due to the uncertainty, with some allowing students to do Orgo 2 + lab or Biochem. But again, only a handful I've found have stated this specifically.

I should mention that I am a Junior and I plan to apply this summer but I am graduating a semester early so this is technically my last spring semester and thus my last chance to take the lab. Most schools have told me that whatever requirements they have can be completed after the application but prior to matriculation. If I take it later it would have to be as a part-time student, which is possible but somewhat of a hassle.
 

TBSmeg

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How many years do you have before you apply? Although the goal of AAMC may be to move away from specific requirements, most schools aren't there yet. If you're a junior now and plan to apply to 10+ schools (and don't plan on picking them based on them not requiring O Chem2), I would take the class since most schools still require it.

2nd option is to take it the spring of your senior year if you need it as a requirement for the medical school you get accepted to.

That being said, I've never taken O Chem 2, have taken biochem, and I'm starting med school in the fall. Just so happens, my school and I are a good match for each other.

I am a Junior and I plan to apply this summer but I am graduating a semester early so this is technically my last spring semester and thus my last chance to take the lab. Most schools have told me that whatever requirements they have can be completed after the application but prior to matriculation. If I take it later it would have to be as a part-time student, which is possible but somewhat of a hassle.
 

justAstudent

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I am a Junior and I plan to apply this summer but I am graduating a semester early so this is technically my last spring semester and thus my last chance to take the lab. Most schools have told me that whatever requirements they have can be completed after the application but prior to matriculation. If I take it later it would have to be as a part-time student, which is possible but somewhat of a hassle.

It would probably be wise to just take the lab if at all possible then just to play it safe.
 
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terp720

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several of the schools i applied to this cycle said biochem was recommended (and could substitute for orgo 2) but would be required starting for people entering in 2015. I would just start looking at schools' websites because I came across several that were explicit about the change.
 

TBSmeg

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several of the schools i applied to this cycle said biochem was recommended (and could substitute for orgo 2) but would be required starting for people entering in 2015. I would just start looking at schools' websites because I came across several that were explicit about the change.

Could you name a few that you remember that had this change in place? I've been looking at several sites but I've only found maybe 6 or so that either gave the option to substitute with Biochem or opted for a nonspecific core competencies requirement.
 

terp720

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Could you name a few that you remember that had this change in place? I've been looking at several sites but I've only found maybe 6 or so that either gave the option to substitute with Biochem or opted for a nonspecific core competencies requirement.

I don't remember off the top of my head and without looking at individual schools websites. But my pre-health committee website says there are ~20 right now that already have it as a requirement, and more adding it. I found this little chart though by googling (link below), and also if you look at the MSAR, it should tell you whether schools require it.
http://www.brynmawr.edu/healthpro/documents/MedSchlAdvanScienReq_2014.pdf
 
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TBSmeg

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Thanks for the information.

Just to clarify, is it correct that most schools allow for you to apply before finishing requirements so long as you do so before matriculation? I would assume this is how people might apply and interview during senior year while still finishing the reqs? Would a school accept you and simply tell you to finish the reqs or risk getting the acceptance rescinded?
 

Goro

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At my school we make noise about adding perhaps either Biochem or Genetics or Cell Bio or Molecular Bio as a pre-req, and some people want simply an extra year of Bio (personally, I wish they'd drop Physics...it's too early 20th Century), but nothing concrete has been been done.

I know that schools will start adding new requirements but didn't think it'd be so soon. Maybe @LizzyM, @Goro, or @gyngyn can help here.
 
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ready2go2

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At my school (top ten college) orgo 2 is a pre-req for biochem. I am surprised to hear that is not the norm and you can skip orgo 2.....
 

LizzyM

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What I'd like and what will happen might be two different things but I'd like to see physics collapsed into one semester and Physics II replaced with Biostats. Ditto for O-chem II and Biochem. Drop English and add Anthropology/psychology or Sociology.Add Genetics or work it out that it is part of Bio I or Bio II.
 

onyisraw

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Some schools (such as Ohio State) already have both listed as requirements.
 

boomshaketheroom

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My biochemistry was super orgo-heavy. I can't imagine someone who skipped orgo 2 would be as successful or have a strong an understanding of the material. Also why wouldn't you take orgo 2? It is a great class and it helps you study for the MCAT.
 

gyngyn

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If I wanted to do Psych, I would have. For now, Psych 101 will be enough for me.
Exactly. To each his own. O Chem does not confer any special insights. It is more important that you distinguish yourself in your chosen field and provide evidence of proficiency in basic sciences.
 

nemo123

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Bio majors need O Chem to graduate..

I know some schools are now changing their bio major requirements because of the changes made to the new MCAT. Is your school not taking this route?
 

Arayh

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MCAT changes are including Biochemistry, Psychology, Sociology, and dropping the importance of Organic Chemistry, but still keeping some of it on the exam. This may be what's prompting the advice/changes.
 

Duff84

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At my school (top ten college) orgo 2 is a pre-req for biochem. I am surprised to hear that is not the norm and you can skip orgo 2.....

Yeah, I went to a smaller liberal arts school and even there we needed Orgo II to take biochem and you need biochem to take any upper level bio (molecular, immunology, etc). I still had plenty of credits free to take history, english, and other courses so I say just take them all. It can only help you with the MCAT anyways having a base knowledge.
 

boboyahoo

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some schools just require out of sequence chem classes. It is the weirdest thing on earth but lucky for you b/c the material might be easier. Otherwise, most students complain how confusing the subject is.
 

TBSmeg

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Thanks for the replies everyone. To clear things up: I've taken Orgo 1 + lab and Orgo 2 but without the lab. My original question was regarding taking the second lab now or waiting until after I apply and possibly taking it later. At my school Orgo is not required for Bio majors. Furthermore, our curriculum has been streamlined to reflect new MCAT changes: Ideally students take Orgo 1 and that is all they need to prepare for the MCAT and also for Biochem following it.

Is it correct that most schools allow you to apply before finishing the reqs as long as it is before matriculation? In such a situation do schools delay looking at the application or would they still review and possibly even accept you (on the condition that you finish the courses)?

Is a student any less competitive not having the requirements finished? I would think that might be so for a lecture, but since I'm only missing the lab, would that not make much difference?

I'm graduating a semester early so technically this is my last spring semester to take the lab. However I plan to be near my school working after I graduate so I could always enroll part-time to get that last lab if schools ask me to complete it. Passing on the lab this semester would give me a good ~4 hours that I can use to study some of the harder classes I'm taking or the MCAT.
 

ChemNerd07

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Be careful. Some schools require orgo 2 and lab to enroll in biochem.

Edit: apparently I can't read someone already mentioned this lol
 
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