One bastard professor (first-day of class)

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Challenge, Aug 29, 2000.

  1. Challenge

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    Hi folks,
    I got my bachelors' degree last year in exercise science and I'm getting post-bacc at a state university. I've already fullfilled basic pre-req and I registered for genetic and immunology. So I went to the first genetic class and asked the new professor whether I could take this class or not. I told him I took general bio, chem, organic and microbiology.
    He told me that I should take cell structure and function in order to take genetic to get a good grade. He then asked me why I would want to take this class and I told him that I
    was trying to be pre-med. I then asked some pre-med who took basic pre-req for medical
    school with B.A. degree could take biochemistry without taking cell structure function and asked if it's possible. He then told me that I should get a real good grade on everything or I will not get into medical school. He was like "you will not get a good score on MCAT and there will be no chance of going to medical school if you don't take
    biochemistry which also requires pre-req for genetics" wow... he doesn't even know me.
    He doesn't even know my grade at all. We just met 5 mins ago. So anyway he recommended me to take lower level class. He kept asking me if I know well on molecular genetic or other stuff like metabolism. I told him that I took metabolic nutrition. He replied with condescending attitude,"Oh nutrition! .. see that course doesn't seem to help you"
    So this [email protected]#$ing guy wanted me to drop this class and take cell structure and function.
    By the way he didn't even know what "general biology" actually teaches. I told him that
    it is college level intro biology course.
    Should I take pre-req for genetic or what?????
    Please help!
     
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  3. Relax. I've had professors hound me about that many times. I'll give you one example. True story. At my school, you have to take Analytical Chemistry before you take Physical Chemistry. But I was like, screw that right? So I went to the class the first day, all registered for it and everything. I even got that little note they send you in the mail, "You do not have the required prerequesites." Blah blah. Big deal. So I go to the class, and the professor lectures, afterwards, I approach her and talk to her about my situation. She pretty much said, "If you haven't taken Anal. Chem. then you'll probably fail this course." I paid no mind to that, and went straight to the head of the Chem. Dept. He gave me permission to take the course, and I ended up doing very well in it. Even better than some students in that class who had the prereqs for it. So, in the end it's all about how much you're willing to put into a course. If you know your stuff, then go for it. Don't let anybody hold you down. I once had a premed advisor try to tell me to take 10 credit hours a semester! True story. She was like "Maybe you should slow down, honey." I've never been to a premed counselor since. Everyone's just trying to hold you down, YOU do what's good for YOU. That's the bottom line. Good luck, champ.

    -imtiaz
     
  4. imu

    imu Junior Member

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    I agree with imtiaz. Only you know what you can and can't do, but be careful. This is the guy who gives you your grade. If he has a preconceived notion you can't do the work that could hurt you. Not an impossible situation if you want to stay in the class, but something you will have to deal with.

    I had genetics at a decent school and didn't think it was that hard. But every school is different.

    Do you like genetics? Have you looked at the text, the syllabus and his expectations? Do YOU think you can get a good grade?
     
  5. I have to say that although I do agree that sometimes it is possible to do well in a course w/o the required pre-reqs, I would have to think about the Genetics/Immuno course. I have had Bio as well as Cell Bio, Cell Phys, Genetics and Immuno and so I do feel qualified to add my .02.

    I do believe that having a course like cell bio under your belt would be a definate asset. You should look at the syllabus and see what it says...and maybe you will be another exception to the rule...but I venture a guess that this prof has taught the course before and is only making a statement based on his experience with prior students.

    Here is a good question for you. What do you have to lose by taking cell bio first? You have the opportunity to get another good science course under your belt with a good grade and will have more exposure to some topics in molecular genetics and immuno before taking the course. It couldn't hurt...and if the prof has a definate idea in is head that you can't do well in his course w/o this prerequ he may turn that inot a reality, ya know!!!

    Kris
     
  6. Challenge

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    Thanks ya'll for the advise!
    Well, I dropped both genetic and immunology because I didn't want to risk myself getting lower than A-. I wanted to learn step by step and not wanted to put myself into another disadvantage since English is my second language.
    The only biology class I have taken was one year general bio, one year human anatomy and microbiology(got C).
    I decided to retake some of science classes which I got Cs when I was crazy party undergraduate students.
    And I added physiological psychology which only requires intro psyc and one year general biology.
    Anyway, you guys made me feel much better after reading all your messages.. [​IMG]

     
  7. Yeah, I have to agree with this too. The only reason I stayed in that class was because the professor didn't remember my name. I sat in the back and took notes profusely. It was a big class (70+ students) so it was hard for her to keep up with names. I did what I had to do and I got an A. If the circumstances are in your favor, don't let people hold you back. I mean it, in all the years in college, I've only recieved advice that, to say the least, would hinder my progress. Be skeptical, ask around, and don't just take anybody's word. Pre-med advisors are junk if you ask me, at least at my school. And I don't need them to get into medical school anyway, there is no pre-med commitee to get recommendations from. In short, evaluate yourself and figure out what you can and can't do, and then act accordingly. Don't sweat it if you had to drop those classes, you'll only come back stronger. Good luck!

    -imtiaz
     
  8. wheatfarmer

    wheatfarmer Senior Member

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    Take Karate, then you could battle him after class!
     
  9. Socceroo4ever

    Socceroo4ever Senior Member

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    Are premed advisors as rotten as all that? My current chemistry advisor is also one of the premed advisors for my school, but we've not yet talked about medical school admissions. Should I be worried? On the other hand, I pretty much know what will be expected of me in general (best GPA I can muster, even better MCAT if I can sweat it), and what classes will give me an edge in the admissions process. I get the feeling premed advisors serve their best purpose in helping people decide they don't want to be physicians! [​IMG]
     
  10. Eleusia

    Eleusia Member

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    Not all premed advisors are useless. We have 1 health professions advisor, and were it not for her, many of the premeds at my college would be lost in this process. She's been an incredible help and is always there for us just to pop in and ask random questions. However, some advisors are useless. And there are a few professors at my school everyone knows to avoid. Bring up med school with your current advisor and see what he says. Then go ask a few others who you think have a decent clue. Compare the answers you get from them with other premeds. You should be a able to get a good idea of the usefullness of your advisors that way.
     
  11. Yeah, I want to point out that not ALL premed advisors are useless. Just all the premed advisors at my school, at least in my opinion. There is one that is decent, so I've heard. But he is supposed to be extremely malleable and doesn't have a spine. Basically he tells everyone the same thing. Everyone that I've talked to that has seen this guy comes out smiling from ear to ear. Maybe he just tells them what they want to hear so he can get rid of them. Who knows. Anyway, the point is, you don't want someone who just makes you happy, you want someone who will tell you the truth and who will lay out a gameplan for you to achieve your goals. So, it's definately not about how "nice" a premed advisor is, it's about whether or not they beleive they can help you, and they try to help you by laying out a gameplan, or at least proposing one. Both extremes are equally (excuse the colloquial language) "sucky." Find someone who's right dead center, who's honest with you about your status and who proposes something to you to try and fix your shortcomings. That's the best advice I can give. I can tell you personally that a MED SCHOOL ADCOM is the best person to talk to about getting into their school. You don't need to know them or anything, just make an appointment, bring your transcript, and have a talk with them. They're not going to write you down on their "list" and deny you admission for the rest of your life. You don't need the middleman(premed advisor), go straight to the head guys. That's just my take on it, good luck though!

    -imtiaz
     
  12. Socceroo4ever

    Socceroo4ever Senior Member

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    Hey, neat idea! I'll give it a shot with the next available ADCOM. Personally, I always had a good idea what I wanted to do with my life and how I'd like to achieve that, and I avoid professors and advisors that require everything to be done according to a set game plan. I'd rather an advisor who looks at what you want to do as a gameplan and merely suggest conflicts of interest, point out necessary prerequisites, and make sure you fulfill major requirements.
     
  13. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member

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    "Physiological psych"???!!! Now, that sounds like a useless class for a pre-med...I can't think of a single question on the MCAT which would fall under the heading above.

    Cell bio is a great class to take, on the other hand and, if it is taught well, it will help you in med school, as you have to retake all of cell bio during your fist year, usually 4 weeks of it, covering everything you covered in one semester as an undergrad and more, so it is definitely usefull.

     
  14. Challenge

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    Haha... I'm 4th degree black-belt master in Taekwondo.. I wish I could kick his butt with
    my side kick !!
     
  15. Challenge

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    The Cell Bio class has been closed. I tried to register in vain. Physiological Psych is like a Neuroscience. I'm also willing to take computer science. If taking classes that strictly prepares for MCAT really helps to get into medical school, why not everybody(pre-med) major in biology or biochem even though you're also very interested in anthropology or history and not worrying about time consuming and become a doctor at 25 or 26 and enjoy your life early?? Bio major with 3.0 doesn't have greater advantage getting into medical school than Antropology major with 3.5.
    It's all about how well you do in any of classes that YOU are interested in.
     
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  17. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member

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    Well, as an MSIII, I do have to disagree that it is "all about how well you do in any of classes (sic)that YOU are interested in". Many people do extraordinarly well in social sciences, for instance, but cannot learn biology to save their own life, much less someone's else....

    It was my understanding, from your original post that you already have a degree, so I am assuming that you have already TAKEN the classes you were "interested in". If you are trying to get into med school now, and not get an additional degree in the process, then you should concentrate in the pre-med requirements and on classes that will help you in med school. If my assumption is incorrect, and you are indeed working on a second degree, then disregard my posts.

    To answer your somewhat rethorical question as to why people take classes in antropology and the like while preparing for the MCAT: remember you need 120 credit hours to get a bachelor's degree. You certainly do not need that amount of credit hours in specific subjects to do well on the MCAT. The necessary subjects for the MCAT are physics, orgo, chem, bio and English. It is reasonable that the deeper your knowledge of these subjects, the better your potential performance (other factors come into play, such as, how good you learned them to begin with, how good a standardized test taker you are, etc). Humanities/socila sciences majors usually rock on the verbal part of the MCAT and leave the science majors to eat dust. However, the science majors usually manage to score higher in the science parts. You do not need 120 credit hours as a post-bac to prepare for the MCAT. So unless you have lots of time to spare and lots of money to waste on tuition, my advice is that you stick to classes that will serve you well on the MCAT and in med school.

    There are many people in med school who took only the bare bone pre-recs and did fine on the MCAT and got in. Once in, the wished they had taken extra bio classes because it would have helped alleviate their workload somewhat had they seen the material before. In the first year of med school, biochem/bioscience majors in college have it a lot easier (albeit not "easy") because of their background.

    I guess I got tired of hearing some people in my class whining: "oh, I would have done better on the biochem test (or the histo/cell bio/ physiology, just take your pick) if I, like many others in our class, had taken some of these subjects as a pre-med...". Well, guess what?! My answer is: "you chose to take anthropology/psych/Spanish/poetry whatever as an undergrad because you liked it. You got a lot out of it in personal satisfaction and this is great. The price tag attached to it is that a lot of subjects that could be familiar to you now in the sciences, you are seen for the first time. So, you know who Jung is, and your med school classmates don't. On the other hand, they know what a respiratory epithelium is and you don't. No point in whining about it!"
     
  18. Challenge

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    UHS2002,
    The experience I had in college was a lot different from some of folks who already have decided to become a doctor or have worried about future really seriously.

    I majored in science of nutrition and exercise so I had to take all the basic pre-med requisites in order to graduate. When I was in college, I hated going to class and enjoyed too much in college being as a bad drunken immature kid. Now I'm retaking some basic pre-med req such as organic and I'm enjoying it. Now, I like microbiology that I used to hate.
    I'm trying to raise my overall GPA and take some higher biological science courses also to strengthen knowledge in science which I'm preparing to go to grad school majoring in biochem!! I just really need to boost my undergrad GPA.
    Well I've read a book about medical school and it saids some medical school recommends taking computer science and some school favors students who also has great social science background with excellent grades.
    Believe it or not. :p

    UHS2002 I totally undertand what you mean .
    But Physiological PSY (neuroscience) is not useless class to prepare for med school. And Yes, it is kinda useless for preparing MCAT.
     
  19. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member

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    Well, if you need to bring up your GPA, thus needing to take extra classes, it does make sense taking the extra classes you enjoy. [​IMG]
     

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