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DBC03

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One of the schools I'm applying to recommends taking PChem if using AP credit to replace Gen Chem. My research PI thought this was the greatest idea ever. And it just so happens that the course taught by the best professor at our school fits perfectly into my schedule and leaves me the perfect amount of time to volunteer and work. So it made sense to sign up. That said, I haven't taken Calculus since 1999 and my last physics class was in 2000. Diff-Eqs is more recent at a whopping 2001. Since class starts next week, is there anything I should do in the mean time to prepare? I'll be done with most med school applications by Wednesday.
 

Lucca

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Review basic integral and differential calculus. That's the basic math you will need for PChem. Use khan academy for this.

I don't know what your p Chem course will be like so I don't know what topics exactly are covered. The key to PChem is to really understand the math. Seemingly obvious processes are not really that obvious when you put them under the microscope, so understanding the equations really well gives you the most insight. If your PChem series includes quantum mechanics like mine, you just need to know how to do multi variable calculus, first and second order differential equations (particularly the solutions to the wave equation), and some basic linear algebra (operators, linearization, eigenvectors and eigenvalues).

PChem was my favorite science subject in college. You really can get a lot out of it if you put in the work! It really made everything from gen Chem click for me on a deeper level.
 
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Doctor-S

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One of the schools I'm applying to recommends taking PChem if using AP credit to replace Gen Chem. My research PI thought this was the greatest idea ever. And it just so happens that the course taught by the best professor at our school fits perfectly into my schedule and leaves me the perfect amount of time to volunteer and work. So it made sense to sign up. That said, I haven't taken Calculus since 1999 and my last physics class was in 2000. Diff-Eqs is more recent at a whopping 2001. Since class starts next week, is there anything I should do in the mean time to prepare? I'll be done with most med school applications by Wednesday.
You will be dealing with various calculations/formulas ... approximations.

When I was enrolled in pchem, we studied and analyzed different theories/concepts in an effort to thoroughly understand the basis of each theory/concept/calculation/formula, including whether the formula (etc.) was valid or not valid -- complex problem-solving skills -- bridging the gap between math and its application to chemistry.
 
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CAFFEINE!

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I think as long as your algebra skills are solid, then you should be fine. The 2 P-chem classes at my undergrad rarely used calculus to solve problems.
 

Dox4lyfe

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I think as long as your algebra skills are solid, then you should be fine. The 2 P-chem classes at my undergrad rarely used calculus to solve problems.
It really depends on the professor. Some really love torturing their students, so they throw in as much calculus as they can.
 

Ampharos

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DO NOT TAKE PCHEM. At my school, only the chemistry took pchem and it was miserable for all of us. The math really isn't the difficult part -- the difficulty is in the theory and how to apply the theory to the math. PChem is built upon a number of cases/examples and understanding how to prove/solve when there are deviations. Particle in a box? What happens when the particle is on a ring, or the boxes are tilted? Proofs all day every day.

Many of the posters say that it's professor depended though, and I would agree. Maybe I had a really difficult experience.
 
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863168

@DBC03 Buy a stuffed animal. Preferably one that doubles as a stress ball and a universal pillow when you are power napping. Make sure you don't spend more than $9.99 for it. That way you can throw it into alligator territory when you're done with the class as symbolic exorcism.
 
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@DBC03 You are signaling that you want to withdraw from this class, but you still registered for it. You state that this class would make you eligible for one school, but that is a low yield outcome. You have no projected expectations for this class based on the fact that you are survey sampling n=1 students from other institutions. Having taken a biochemical toxicology course, a biochemical pathology course, and a biochemistry nutrition course I can say that the amount of permutations an advanced course can take is mind numbing.

In this sense, your school's reddit thread would be a better online query for getting n=1 feedback. From a logical perspective, this is a mistake. The upsides that you have listed are intangibles that don't necessitate any positive outcomes, but the downsides are tangibles that indicate you will struggle with the subject matter.

From a cost-benefit-analysis I would drop the course before withdrawal period begins. Up to you. Sometimes life is about taking the road less traveled. Albeit you're walking down this path as a cripple with a blindfold on. Don't worry, the stuffed animal will protect you.
 

DBC03

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I'll meet with the professor this week. I've heard he is a great professor and not a difficult grader, so it may be a better option than the others. And I need a few extra non biological chem classes, so it comes down to what fits in my schedule.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
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timephone

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Talking to the professor is the best idea, especially if he/she has a reputation as a good teacher (more likely to actually respond to you, lol).

I'm thinking of doing a 2nd degree in Biochem, and taking PChem would be one of the biggest hurdles in pursuit of that goal. My school is pretty average so I'm not expecting it to be too hard. If I were you, I'd only take the PChem if you're really interested in getting deeper into chemistry, and you don't mind having to grind through some difficult math to get there.
 

DBC03

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I talked with the professor today, and he threw a few calc problems at me, which I was able to easily answer. He explained his teaching style (he'll be going over all the math we need to know) and I am actually really excited about starting next week. So I'm definitely going to stick with it. Let's hope rate my professors is right again.
 
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863168

I talked with the professor today, and he threw a few calc problems at me, which I was able to easily answer. He explained his teaching style (he'll be going over all the math we need to know) and I am actually really excited about starting next week. So I'm definitely going to stick with it. Let's hope rate my professors is right again.
Good. You did your due diligence. Good luck with the process, I hope you hear back from a medical school soon.
 

NotYou20

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I talked with the professor today, and he threw a few calc problems at me, which I was able to easily answer. He explained his teaching style (he'll be going over all the math we need to know) and I am actually really excited about starting next week. So I'm definitely going to stick with it. Let's hope rate my professors is right again.
I was going to advise you to drop it, but this is a great step. You'll be just fine. enjoy it, it's a cool class!
 

aldol16

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What PChem are you taking? PChem is traditionally a one-year sequence with quantum chemistry, kinetics, and thermodynamics. Nowadays, some universities water it down and teach all that in a semester or only teach the kinetics and thermodynamics components. For kinetics and thermodynamics, you should review basic differential and integral calculus. That should get you through. For quantum, you'll need better math skills, depending on how in-depth your course goes into that topic.
 

DBC03

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What PChem are you taking? PChem is traditionally a one-year sequence with quantum chemistry, kinetics, and thermodynamics. Nowadays, some universities water it down and teach all that in a semester or only teach the kinetics and thermodynamics components. For kinetics and thermodynamics, you should review basic differential and integral calculus. That should get you through. For quantum, you'll need better math skills, depending on how in-depth your course goes into that topic.

The professor told me today that they start with Thermodynamics for this semester - I'm not even sure if i have to take next semester, so we'll have to see what I think when I get there.
 
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@aldol16 It's pretty astonishing. My alma mater now offers watered down Organic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry. Kline published a textbook instead of just coming up with the Second Language series. The world is a fascinating place.
 
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aldol16

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The professor told me today that they start with Thermodynamics for this semester - I'm not even sure if i have to take next semester, so we'll have to see what I think when I get there.

Then it's probably a thermodynamics/kinetics course. So differential and integral calculus would be helpful, along with being solid on pre-calculus like natural logs, etc. It helps if you're good a visualizing functions, like what happens to e^-x when x goes to infinity.
 

Obnoxious Dad

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Taking P Chem is as dumb as carrots. I know several physicians who were chemistry majors. They all say that P Chem is useless in medical school and more difficult than anything they encountered in medical school. Why would you trash your grade point for one medical school among many? No matter what you may believe now, your math classes are almost 20 years old. You are behind. Who cares if P Chem makes your slave driver PI happy? Your research PI isn't applying to medical school. If you don't get into medical school, that's no skin off the PI's back.

I will also tell you that medical school admissions offices won't care that you took P Chem. They don't go through every transcript with a fine tooth comb looking for difficult courses. They don't have the time. Find another course. Have you taken any economics?

Your situation should serve as a warning to all high school seniors who want to be physicians. Seniors should never, ever take AP classes for college credit. They should just start with freshman chemistry, math, biology etc. They all count as credits and if the student finds them easy as a college freshman, so much the better.
 
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ChymeofPassion

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From what I've heard of PChem and how horrible it is, I don't know why a premed would take it. That said, I have to take it to graduate, so I'm doing it my last semester with one other joke class AFTER applying to medical school.
 

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NOOOO! Please do not take Pchem if you have any interest of ever going to medical school. Think of how hard organic chemistry was and now multiply that by 10. Nothing in the class makes any sense whatsoever unless you are a mathematical expert, and even then it painstakingly miserable. It is beyond useless for anything related to medicine and will more than likely hurt your GPA and more importantly will give your portfolio a downward trend. I would also avoid majoring in chemistry or any other hard science. I speak from experience......please do not make the same mistakes I did.
 

Lawpy

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    I don't know why people are discouraging OP from taking pchem. The professor seems fine and the content is not hard to learn. I used the following resource for pchem:

    This book is an excellent resource for pchem, and I did well in the class by practicing a lot from it. Just learn the concepts, ask questions whenever you are confused, do a lot of practice problems, and you will be fine.

    Pchem is not a hard course if you put in the effort. I dealt with much much harder courses in chemistry and physics, and honestly, doing a lot of practice problems and utilizing office hours help a lot.
     
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    DBC03

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    NOOOO! Please do not take Pchem if you have any interest of ever going to medical school. Think of how hard organic chemistry was and now multiply that by 10. Nothing in the class makes any sense whatsoever unless you are a mathematical expert, and even then it painstakingly miserable. It is beyond useless for anything related to medicine and will more than likely hurt your GPA and more importantly will give your portfolio a downward trend. I would also avoid majoring in chemistry or any other hard science. I speak from experience......please do not make the same mistakes I did.

    I hate to say this, but I honestly didn't find Organic Chemistry to be that hard. I loved it. But I might have enjoyed Biochemistry more - it's a tough call. I know everyone means well, so I'm taking this all in before I start on Monday. On the other hand, I got the syllabus today and the professor clearly wants us to succeed based on the grading scale. I'll look at the book this weekend and see if I can understand it.

    Keep in mind that I've been an engineer for eleven years and passed multiple professional licensing exams, all of which required upper level math. While I don't use calculus on a regular basis, I haven't been sitting on my rear end twiddling my thumbs all day. So I'll definitely go through the book and make sure I have an idea about what's going on and will not be afraid to drop the course or change next week based on my first three days.
     

    DBC03

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    I don't know why people are discouraging OP from taking pchem. The professor seems fine and the content is not hard to learn. I used the following resource for pchem:

    This book is an excellent resource for pchem, and I did well in the class by practicing a lot from it. Just learn the concepts, ask questions whenever you are confused, do a lot of practice problems, and you will be fine.

    Pchem is not a hard course if you put in the effort. I dealt with much much harder courses in chemistry and physics, and honestly, doing a lot of practice problems and utilizing office hours help a lot.

    That's the book we're using for class. Too funny!
     

    Rhabdoviridae

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    NOOOO! Please do not take Pchem if you have any interest of ever going to medical school. Think of how hard organic chemistry was and now multiply that by 10. Nothing in the class makes any sense unless you are a mathematical expert, and even then it painstakingly miserable. It is beyond useless for anything related to medicine and will more than likely hurt your GPA and more importantly will give your portfolio a downward trend. I speak from experience......please do not make the same mistakes I did
    I hate to say this, but I honestly didn't find Organic Chemistry to be that hard. I loved it. But I might have enjoyed Biochemistry more - it's a tough call. I know everyone means well, so I'm taking this all in before I start on Monday. On the other hand, I got the syllabus today and the professor clearly wants us to succeed based on the grading scale. I'll look at the book this weekend and see if I can understand it.

    Keep in mind that I've been an engineer for eleven years and passed multiple professional licensing exams, all of which required upper level math. While I don't use calculus on a regular basis, I haven't been sitting on my rear end twiddling my thumbs all day. So I'll definitely go through the book and make sure I have an idea about what's going on and will not be afraid to drop the course or change next week based on my first three days.


    For me, the biggest distinguishing factor between organic chemistry and Pchem was that orgo was conquerable with enough hard work and practice. With Pchem, I felt the course was all over the place and that there really wasn't too much that could be done to master the material unless one had the necessary mathematical skills/aptitude to actually comprehend the theories. While I think your engineering background may help you, I don't know why anyone would put themselves through this if there is any sort of alternative available. Contrary to what anyone says, getting into medical school is very numbers based game before anything else, and this is a class where it very difficult to get an A.
     
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    DBC03

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    For me, the biggest distinguishing factor between organic chemistry and Pchem was that orgo was conquerable with enough hard work and practice. With Pchem, I felt the course was all over the place and that there really wasn't too much that could be done to master the material unless one had the necessary mathematical skills/aptitude to actually comprehend the theories. While I think your engineering background may help you, I don't know why anyone would put themselves through this if there is any sort of alternative available. Contrary to what anyone says, getting into medical school is very numbers based game before anything else, and this is a class where it very difficult to get an A.

    I think what saddens me about this entire process is that everyone seems so intent on getting good grades that we have all lost our intellectual curiosity and cut ourselves off from challenging ourselves. I realize I have plenty of time ahead of me to challenge myself, but I hate giving up a class just out of fear that I might not get a good grade. On the other hand, I don't have room to get a B, so I have to watch my grade carefully to make sure I keep up with the material.
     

    Rhabdoviridae

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    I think what saddens me about this entire process is that everyone seems so intent on getting good grades that we have all lost our intellectual curiosity and cut ourselves off from challenging ourselves. I realize I have plenty of time ahead of me to challenge myself, but I hate giving up a class just out of fear that I might not get a good grade. On the other hand, I don't have room to get a B, so I have to watch my grade carefully to make sure I keep up with the material.

    I don't like it either, but that is what it is. Med school admissions has always been like this and will likely continue to be this way for the rest our lifetimes. And yes, rest assured that you will have plenty of time to prove your capabilities when you get to classes you need to take in medical school. Keeping up with the material will only take you so far with Pchem. You will need to internalize everything and truly understand theories by doing practice questions (and not memorizing formulas or solutions) in order to succeed. Good luck, and remember that if you do not like the class, there is nothing even as remotely difficult in comparison in medical school.
     
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    aldol16

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    I don't like it either, but that is what it is. Med school admissions has always been like this and will likely continue to be this way for the rest our lifetimes. And yes, rest assured that you will have plenty of time to prove your capabilities when you get to classes you need to take in medical school. Keeping up with the material will only take you so far with Pchem. You will need to internalize everything and truly understand theories by doing practice questions (and not memorizing formulas or solutions) in order to succeed. Good luck, and remember that if you do not like the class, there is nothing even as remotely difficult in comparison in medical school.

    I don't see understanding PChem theory being a problem for OP, since they have been an engineer for years and seem quite proficient with math. The number one key to success in PChem is understanding the math; the number two key is understanding how that math models the theory. You're right - it's not all just a bunch of equations. If you just memorize equations, expect to do poorly. You have to be able to understand what those equations mean and what they tell you - with a strong math background, OP should have no problem.
     
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    863168

    I think what saddens me about this entire process is that everyone seems so intent on getting good grades that we have all lost our intellectual curiosity and cut ourselves off from challenging ourselves. I realize I have plenty of time ahead of me to challenge myself, but I hate giving up a class just out of fear that I might not get a good grade. On the other hand, I don't have room to get a B, so I have to watch my grade carefully to make sure I keep up with the material.
    If you need to buy inflated college courses in order to challenge yourself, then you are the one who is bereft of intellectual curiosity.
     

    DBC03

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    If you need to buy inflated college courses in order to challenge yourself, then you are the one who is bereft of intellectual curiosity.

    You're right. I definitely should have gone with General Chemistry just to be safe then used all my extra time to study PChem on my own.
     
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    863168

    You're right. I definitely should have gone with General Chemistry just to be safe then used all my extra time to study PChem on my own.
    You are taking P. Chemistry for eligibility to apply to one medical school out of many others you could apply to without that restriction. You are taking upper division classes because you are really worried that retaking General Chemistry makes you appear to be intellectually disinterested or that mediocre results will hurt you harder than if you got the same results in "physical Chemistry". You are attempting to play the game you state you hate, but you are playing it... bad.
     

    DBC03

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    You are taking P. Chemistry for eligibility to apply to one medical school out of many others you could apply to without that restriction. You are taking upper division classes because you are really worried that retaking General Chemistry makes you appear to be intellectually disinterested or that mediocre results will hurt you harder than if you got the same results in "physical Chemistry". You are attempting to play the game you state you hate, but you are playing it... bad.

    I have AP credit for Gen Chem and at the age of 36, I have no desire to take a class with freshman. I could just retake it for an easy A - that would be padding my GPA, but I'm not overly interested in just padding my GPA and having that class listed twice on my transcript. I'm required to take additional non-biological chemistry classes in addition to my AP credit for multiple schools. My options include inorganic chemistry or physical chemistry - possibly analytical chemistry. P Chem fits in my schedule the best (giving me the option to volunteer every Tuesday) and will give me a really great basis for the computational biological research I am doing this semester. And it happens to fulfill a particular request at one medical school. I'd rather take the class that fulfills that requirement, adds to my research, and fits in my schedule. And the reason everyone thinks this is a terrible idea is that it *might* be difficult and *might* lower my GPA. Honestly, I have so many credits at this point that a B wouldn't nudge my Science or cumulative GPA any further down, so it's really not that important. I just think it's too bad we feel the need (and unfortunately, rightly so) that students should never take anything that wouldn't result in a guaranteed A. I realize med schools care a lot more about the actual grade than the difficulty of the class. So I am technically much better off retaking Gen Chem. But, yes, I refuse to go back and take an intro course that would double up on what I've already done in order to simply pad my GPA.
     

    Rhabdoviridae

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    I have AP credit for Gen Chem and at the age of 36, I have no desire to take a class with freshman. I could just retake it for an easy A - that would be padding my GPA, but I'm not overly interested in just padding my GPA and having that class listed twice on my transcript. I'm required to take additional non-biological chemistry classes in addition to my AP credit for multiple schools. My options include inorganic chemistry or physical chemistry - possibly analytical chemistry. P Chem fits in my schedule the best (giving me the option to volunteer every Tuesday) and will give me a really great basis for the computational biological research I am doing this semester. And it happens to fulfill a particular request at one medical school. I'd rather take the class that fulfills that requirement, adds to my research, and fits in my schedule. And the reason everyone thinks this is a terrible idea is that it *might* be difficult and *might* lower my GPA. Honestly, I have so many credits at this point that a B wouldn't nudge my Science or cumulative GPA any further down, so it's really not that important. I just think it's too bad we feel the need (and unfortunately, rightly so) that students should never take anything that wouldn't result in a guaranteed A. I realize med schools care a lot more about the actual grade than the difficulty of the class. So I am technically much better off retaking Gen Chem. But, yes, I refuse to go back and take an intro course that would double up on what I've already done in order to simply pad my GPA.

    By all means, please pad your GPA. Take easy courses and/or ones that you know you can get an A in. There is enough challenging material that medical schools actually require you to through (gen chem, orgo, physics, bio, calc). There is simply no reason to do more than that. I find it hard to believe that any medical school would require you to take inorganic chemistry or physical chemistry. Make sure you are reading their requirements correctly. At your stage in life, I don't think you have the time to do anything that could potentially make this process more difficult than it already is, so it may be best to just swallow your pride and take general chemistry with the freshman.

    One more thing that I haven't seen anyone else bring up. You said you are currently 36 and have been out of school for some time. Even though you once knew general chemistry (at least well enough to score well on the AP exam), that sort of knowledge tends to get lost with time. Considering that that information will appear on the MCAT (as opposed to physical chemistry) this is another reason why taking general chemistry again may be in your best interest.
     
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    Lawpy

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    That's the book we're using for class. Too funny!

    You will be fine. Just make sure you ignore the pessimism and doomsday posts that are unfortunately prevalent on SDN Forums (and tragically, it's even worse in the school-specific discussions). They do nothing but make things seem a lot worse than they really are.

    You have a strong math background and you have strong analytical skills. As long as you put in the time and effort into it (and ask your professor with any questions you may have), you will do well in the class and increase your cGPA/sGPA.
     
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    DBC03

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    By all means, please pad your GPA. Take easy courses and/or ones that you know you can get an A in. There is enough challenging material that medical schools actually require you to through (gen chem, orgo, physics, bio, calc). There is simply no reason to do more than that. I find it hard to believe that any medical school would require you to take inorganic chemistry or physical chemistry. Make sure you are reading their requirements correctly. At your stage in life, I don't think you have the time to do anything that could potentially make this process more difficult than it already is, so it may be best to just swallow your pride and take general chemistry with the freshman.

    One more thing that I haven't seen anyone else bring up. You said you are currently 36 and have been out of school for some time. Even though you once knew general chemistry (at least well enough to score well on the AP exam), that sort of knowledge tends to get lost with time. Considering that that information will appear on the MCAT (as opposed to physical chemistry) this is another reason why taking general chemistry again may be in your best interest.

    Honestly, I do get the concern here. And I really appreciate everyone giving advice. And I almost always take advice given, so I have thought through it at this point. And my life would be immensely easier in some ways if I took gen chem. I got a 131 in the C/P section of the MCAT, so I bushed up on Gen Chem last year and that would obviously help me get an A in that class. But that class also requires LAB and we know how much time that takes and how much of your grade depends on other students. And Freshman aren't exactly responsible, so I really hate to depend on them for a good portion of my grade. I called the school and verified Physical Chemistry. It's not a hard and fast requirement, but I know that there are two other schools that require upper level chemistry classes in lieu of AP (and I think they look down on retaking classes you have transcript credit for), so I'll have to move forward with this.
     
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    Ad2b

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    requires LAB and we know how much time that takes and how much of your grade depends on other students. And Freshman aren't exactly responsible
    oh boy. you realize those freshman could easily be your medical school classmates, right?

    And if you are disparaging them now... how well do you think that will work out in the future? The age from 18 - 22 doesn't really mature people that significantly.

    Side story: my lab partner in gen chem when I returned was this bubbly, big blue eyed, big busted, cleavage baring young lady of about 19. Was I nervous? YEAH! Oh hell yeah. I wanted nothing but an "A"... turns out MY ageism against HER age was misappropriated. She encouraged me when I was down, I kept her level when her bf caused issues. We BOTH got A's... and she's still one of my friends for which, I'm always thankful.

    YOU need to learn to fit in with this group. That's on you, imo and if you can do it while under the relative lack of stress of ugrad pre-reqs, all the better.
     

    DBC03

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    oh boy. you realize those freshman could easily be your medical school classmates, right?

    And if you are disparaging them now... how well do you think that will work out in the future? The age from 18 - 22 doesn't really mature people that significantly.

    Side story: my lab partner in gen chem when I returned was this bubbly, big blue eyed, big busted, cleavage baring young lady of about 19. Was I nervous? YEAH! Oh hell yeah. I wanted nothing but an "A"... turns out MY ageism against HER age was misappropriated. She encouraged me when I was down, I kept her level when her bf caused issues. We BOTH got A's... and she's still one of my friends for which, I'm always thankful.

    YOU need to learn to fit in with this group. That's on you, imo and if you can do it while under the relative lack of stress of ugrad pre-reqs, all the better.

    Oh, I completely get your perspective on this. I'm actually 100% cool with all the sophomores I took classes with last year and have had absolutely wonderful experiences with all of my classmates so far (and I guarantee they would agree with me on this). However, I heard horror stories from those sophomores about the freshman lab mates they had and I am just not willing to put my grade into the hands of someone who is in his/her first semester at school and is completely uninterested in the class (keep in mind I'm at a massive >50,000 student university and Gen Chem includes people who have never taken a science class and aren't into working in lab and couldn't care less about the grade). All of the sophomores I met were awesome and I am happy to work with anyone like them in the future. But you can't tell me that freshman don't mature by the time they graduate. I don't think that's fair to the freshman.

    Also, the TA I work with in my lab had to TA Gen Chem lab and she warned me from taking it based on her experiences. I trust her opinion.
     
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    Ad2b

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    (keep in mind I'm at a massive >50,000 student university and Gen Chem includes people who have never taken a science class
    U of MN and another #50,000k student university alum here :) UMN doesn't allow people to take the gen chem course without either having had it in high school or passing the gen chem placement test... so, that might have helped me escape the non-science people.

    Bottom line: I think you need the gen chem with the freshmen. I found when I attended lab for the 2nd semester, it was full of "true" freshmen who ... yeah, didn't really give a rip. BUT when I got to lab, it was interesting to find other older than freshmen students there and one happened to end up being my lab partner. She was studious but, maybe, not that smart? I ended up doing all the work anyway and teaching her along the way.

    Just be careful. PChem is not a pre-req, not used in anything in med school from what I've seen of friends' books/materials/blogs.
     

    DBC03

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    U of MN and another #50,000k student university alum here :) UMN doesn't allow people to take the gen chem course without either having had it in high school or passing the gen chem placement test... so, that might have helped me escape the non-science people.

    Bottom line: I think you need the gen chem with the freshmen. I found when I attended lab for the 2nd semester, it was full of "true" freshmen who ... yeah, didn't really give a rip. BUT when I got to lab, it was interesting to find other older than freshmen students there and one happened to end up being my lab partner. She was studious but, maybe, not that smart? I ended up doing all the work anyway and teaching her along the way.

    Just be careful. PChem is not a pre-req, not used in anything in med school from what I've seen of friends' books/materials/blogs.

    I promise to be careful - I get one full week to figure out how it goes, so if I'm lost during the first class (we go over differential calculus), I'll drop it. So far all of the schools I have applied to have requested upper level science classes to prove that I can handle the course load of medical school. I don't think Gen Chem meets that requirement and would look worse specifically because I already have credit for it at two separate schools and have successfully completed the classes that follow it. I appreciate everyone's concern and trust me that PChem wasn't exactly the first science I thought of when I read "upper level science classes," but the fact that one school specifically requested it ( and let's hope I get in and can ask them exactly why) and it directly applies to my research this year, I feel like it's a better choice than inorganic. However, if Introduction to Drug Discovery opens up - with one of the best professors on campus - I may take that instead. I could also take Biomolecules (organic 3). I'll keep all of these in mind throughout this week.
     

    DBC03

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    Just an update - The material was fascinating and I did really well - over 100% on both exams. I survived and am really glad I took the class. I can’t necessarily recommend the same for others, but it was a good decision for me.


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    aldol16

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    Let this be a lesson to future pre-meds who would otherwise shy away from challenging themselves!
     
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    Obnoxious Dad

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    Let this be a lesson to future pre-meds who would otherwise shy away from challenging themselves!
    Nonsense. This guy who took P Chem is an anecdote. I am glad he performed well but admissions committees at most medical schools aren't going to pore over this guy's transcript and say "Oh gee you aced P Chem!". His performance in that class will be ignored. The Adcoms don't have the time, resources or inclination to normalize transcripts. This is the reason that only 12% of first year medical students are physical science majors. One third of all medical students didn't major in any science. It's disgusting but that's the way it is.
     

    Dox4lyfe

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    Nonsense. This guy who took P Chem is an anecdote. I am glad he performed well but admissions committees at most medical schools aren't going to pore over this guy's transcript and say "Oh gee you aced P Chem!". His performance in that class will be ignored. The Adcoms don't have the time, resources or inclination to normalize transcripts. This is the reason that only 12% of first year medical students are physical science majors. One third of all medical students didn't major in any science. It's disgusting but that's the way it is.
    If you clicked on OPs name, you'd see she identifies as a female. Also, no one said anything about impressing adcoms or the normalization of transcripts. If someone is intellectually capable of handling a course like pchem, this is a perfect example of why they should take it if they're interested and want to challenge themselves and why one shouldn't just be thinking about pleasing adcoms. Sure, if your past history shows that you can't handle the rigor and complexity, then you'd be a fool to attempt it.
     

    Obnoxious Dad

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    The OP's gender is irrelevant.

    The original post is in the premedical forum. I am willing to make the heroic assumption that the OP wants to go to medical school. If somebody wants to go to medical school, they had damn well please admissions committees. Your point of view contradicts the data and the literature concerning medical school admissions. This is a numbers game. It's driven by GPA and MCAT. If one third of the jamokes getting into medical school are not science majors, it's pretty clear that admissions committees don't care if an applicant took PChem.

    Everytime I see somebody in this forum encouraging a premed to take calculus based physics or major in engineering or one of the physical sciences, I smell a troll. I suspect that poster is simply trying to cull the field for himself or a family member. You may be sincere. I don't know. However, I am completely confident that you are wrong.
     

    DBC03

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    The OP's gender is irrelevant.

    The original post is in the premedical forum. I am willing to make the heroic assumption that the OP wants to go to medical school. If somebody wants to go to medical school, they had damn well please admissions committees. Your point of view contradicts the data and the literature concerning medical school admissions. This is a numbers game. It's driven by GPA and MCAT. If one third of the jamokes getting into medical school are not science majors, it's pretty clear that admissions committees don't care if an applicant took PChem.

    Everytime I see somebody in this forum encouraging a premed to take calculus based physics or major in engineering or one of the physical sciences, I smell a troll. I suspect that poster is simply trying to cull the field for himself or a family member. You may be sincere. I don't know. However, I am completely confident that you are wrong.

    This is probably the first time someone has ascribed nefarious intentions to my posts. Since I’ve already been accepted to med school, I don’t exactly want to cull the playing field. I asked for advice on how to succeed at PChem. Some people gave me advice. I took said advice and succeeded. I also added that I don’t think that’s the right thing for everyone to do, but I wanted others to know the outcome in case they consider the taking the class in the future.


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    DelayedGratification

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    I am currently taking PChem also...it definitely takes you out of your comfort zone

    If you clicked on OPs name, you'd see she identifies as a female. Also, no one said anything about impressing adcoms or the normalization of transcripts. If someone is intellectually capable of handling a course like pchem, this is a perfect example of why they should take it if they're interested and want to challenge themselves and why one shouldn't just be thinking about pleasing adcoms. Sure, if your past history shows that you can't handle the rigor and complexity, then you'd be a fool to attempt it.
    i completely agree with this post
     

    aldol16

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    Nonsense. This guy who took P Chem is an anecdote. I am glad he performed well but admissions committees at most medical schools aren't going to pore over this guy's transcript and say "Oh gee you aced P Chem!". His performance in that class will be ignored. The Adcoms don't have the time, resources or inclination to normalize transcripts. This is the reason that only 12% of first year medical students are physical science majors. One third of all medical students didn't major in any science. It's disgusting but that's the way it is.

    Nobody is insinuating that any pre-med should take a difficult course just to impress admissions. The world doesn't revolve around being pre-med, you know. But if there's a course that a pre-med wants to take and he or she is shying away from it just because it's difficult, let this be a lesson to them. Difficulty is subjective and a good student will take the courses he or she is interested in and do well. I have given no advice on whether course difficulty will impress adcoms. Go to another thread for that.
     
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    Robin-jay

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    One of the schools I'm applying to recommends taking PChem if using AP credit to replace Gen Chem. My research PI thought this was the greatest idea ever. And it just so happens that the course taught by the best professor at our school fits perfectly into my schedule and leaves me the perfect amount of time to volunteer and work. So it made sense to sign up. That said, I haven't taken Calculus since 1999 and my last physics class was in 2000. Diff-Eqs is more recent at a whopping 2001. Since class starts next week, is there anything I should do in the mean time to prepare? I'll be done with most med school applications by Wednesday.

    Advanced P-Chem 600 was the hardest course I ever took.
     
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