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Physiology or Biochem

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by rhlsg, May 10, 2007.

  1. rhlsg

    rhlsg 7+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2006
    San Francisco
    I'm currently finishing up my pre-reqs and planning out the rest of my schedule. In my last semester, I have the option of taking Physiology or Biochem before taking the MCAT. Which one would you recommend? I'm planning on taking whichever I don't take during the following semester, but not in time for the MCAT.

    Any advise from folks that have already taken the MCAT would be much appreciated.

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  3. spicedmanna

    spicedmanna Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    I think physiology is more useful for the MCAT. There were a slough of physiology-related questions in the BS section. This is in my experience, and it was with the pre-computerized version.
  4. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion 10+ Year Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    I say take whichever one you struggled with in bio. At my school, bio includes about 5 weeks of physiology, overviewing organ systems at the level of ion channels and G proteins. Our bio series includes about 6 weeks of biochemistry, if you include DNA replication and transcription along with TCA cycle, glycolysis and photosynthesis. I found biochem much, much more difficult, and I've worked on it a great deal more during MCAT prep than physio, which is a relative breeze.

    The aamc site has a scary-long list of subjects covered on the MCAT, and you can probably use this as your guide for whether the biochem subjects or the physio subjects are where you'd benefit from more work.

    Best of luck to you.
  5. MSTPbound

    MSTPbound student Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

    Oct 1, 2006
    I agree. My gut reaction is to say physio because a greater percentage of the info will be more useful to you in MCAT prep than biochem... but you should let your sense of strengths and weaknesses guide you. Depending on the biochem text, it may end up being an excellent review of a WHOLE LOT of biology, gen chem, and orgo as well as biochem an molecular bio (e.g. Voet and Voet)... in this case, biochem might be a GREAT way to prepare.

    Good :luck: !

  6. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee. Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jun 17, 2004
    Where I hang my hat.
    biochem. Hands down.
  7. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    I agree with physiology. It will help you tremendously on those pesky renal hormone questions.

    I did fine on the orgo stuff with Orgo I and II. Sooooo glad I took 2 semesters of A&P.
  8. RxnMan

    RxnMan Who, me? A doctor? Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Looking at the responses, you've got good people all answering in different ways!

    Organic I and II at most schools prepares you well for the MCAT, so Biochem would be icing on the cake. Physio isn't tested that much (to my recollection) so it may not be hugely beneficial to take that either.

    The answer? Take whichever one you think you'll like the most - that's the one you'll be the most motivated to learn in and understand the material. And be most likely to get a good grade in.
  9. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Agree with this. If your prereqs were good, you really already have everything you need for the MCAT. I wouldn't worry about taking either of these for MCAT purposes. A good MCAT prep class will get you more points than either of these.
  10. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS 7+ Year Member

    May 22, 2005
    Law2Doc beat me. I was going to say take NEITHER if you are just trying to get ready for the MCAT. Your time would be better spent in either a formal prep course, or just doing practice tests and then studying areas you find you are weak in on your own.
  11. rhlsg

    rhlsg 7+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2006
    San Francisco
    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'm still not sure yet which I'll take, but it sounds like I can't go wrong either way.

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