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Post-bac course selection

PositivityKillsYouEarly

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Jan 11, 2017
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  1. MD/PhD Student
    I plan to take one course this semester and another course next semester as I should focus more on gaining clinical experience.

    These are the courses recommended to me by the post-bac director:

    genetics, microbiology, cell bio, molecular bio, anatomy & physiology

    I can take any of these, but which of these is seen the most positively by the medical admissions committee? I wish to take those that help me with medical admissions the most. I already took MCAT.

    Thank you for your time.
     

    DBC03

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      I plan to take one course this semester and another course next semester as I should focus more on gaining clinical experience.

      These are the courses recommended to me by the post-bac director:

      genetics, microbiology, cell bio, molecular bio, anatomy & physiology

      I can take any of these, but which of these is seen the most positively by the medical admissions committee? I wish to take those that help me with medical admissions the most. I already took MCAT.

      Thank you for your time.

      When picking my classes, I went to websites for schools who still seem to care about which classes you take. Johns Hopkins was particularly helpful. I thought Cell Bio and Genetics were very helpful for the MCAT. Molecular Bio is something I probably would have chosen if I had the option (did not). Any would work, but I think Mol Bio and Cell Bio might be the most helpful if you can only choose 2.
       
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      Catalystik

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        I plan to take one course this semester and another course next semester as I should focus more on gaining clinical experience.

        These are the courses recommended to me by the post-bac director:

        genetics, microbiology, cell bio, molecular bio, anatomy & physiology

        I can take any of these, but which of these is seen the most positively by the medical admissions committee? I wish to take those that help me with medical admissions the most. I already took MCAT.
        Genetics>cell bio=molecular biology>physiology>microbiology.

        If you take anatomy before your final term prior to med school matriculation, you won't recall enough for it to have been worth the effort.
         
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        DBC03

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          When you said website, do you mean a page showing curriculum of medical school? Or is there actually a page showing a list of courses they like to see in an applicant's transcript?

          I went to their admissions requirements for med school. They had suggestions for people who had already taken AP Bio or who were older applicants. It's hard to find suggestions like that since so many schools have moved to recommended competencies and not straight up course work.

          I will add that now that I have fulfilled the lab requirements, I'm avoiding micro bio as it's one of the few courses that requires the lab at the same time and I just don't have time. Genetics and cell bio labs - but genetics in particular - was very helpful for the MCAT. More so than the class.


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          DBC03

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            Genetics>cell bio=molecular biology>physiology>microbiology.

            If you take anatomy before your final term prior to med school matriculation, you won't recall enough for it to have been worth the effort.

            I've always wondered about molecular vs. cell. On the other hand we have an upper level class after cell bio that goes further into depth on the molecular side. So maybe cell is a broader overview? Class names seem to differ from school to school.

            I've also heard immunology is particularly helpful. But the only class offered at my school is online and has Saturday exams, so I had to nix it.


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            DBC03

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              @Catalystik - what are your thoughts on immunology? I have a friend in dental school who thought it was particularly helpful, but he can't say for medicine. He also thought physiology was helpful, but our class fills up too quickly for me to get a spot. And I'm never sure if anything that applies to dental applies to medical. I have heard micro is helpful, but I already gave reasons for not going into that. Are there reasons to continue in upper level genetics courses after taking general genetics? I'm signed up for cell metabolism, which is a pre-req for cancer bio and molecular bio of the cell (I think they are splitting hairs at this point). But I'd rather take more upper level genetics classes.

              @PositivityKillsYouEarly - are your labs included in the classes? Those are time sucks, so I avoid them if possible, but you are limited by the school. I'm trying to think of other schools whose admissions sites listed preferred coursework. You might want to look at Duke, Emory, Cornell as well. I'll post if I remember others. I'm trying to up my GPA, add upper levels, and find something that may have some applicability to med school (I don't want to waste time or money) so I've been looking into this for a while as well!


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              DBC03

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                One more note - I emailed Hopkins last year asking about this and got two very snarky responses, so I suggest going with the info online or calling if you have more questions... they said Cell Bio then either genetics or physiology - but my options were limited to only those three.


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                djtallahassee

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                  Maybe this is the wrong mindset, but why are you taking the course? Do you need another science? It is not likely to raise your gpa appreciably and you already took the mcat. May be worth finding a full time clinical job IMO


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                  Catalystik

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                    @Catalystik -
                    1) what are your thoughts on immunology? I have a friend in dental school who thought it was particularly helpful, but he can't say for medicine. He also thought physiology was helpful, but our class fills up too quickly for me to get a spot. And I'm never sure if anything that applies to dental applies to medical. I have heard micro is helpful, but I already gave reasons for not going into that.

                    2) Are there reasons to continue in upper level genetics courses
                    after taking general genetics? I'm signed up for cell metabolism, which is a pre-req for cancer bio and molecular bio of the cell (I think they are splitting hairs at this point). But I'd rather take more upper level genetics classes.
                    1) I think immunology is a terrific course to take prior to med school, as you can take the long form of the course and thoroughly digest the material. Ditto with physiology. Not so much with Microbiology.

                    2) It depends on how intense the first course was. If it was incredibly tough and on par with a weed-out class, one is probably enough.
                     
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                    PositivityKillsYouEarly

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                      @PositivityKillsYouEarly - are your labs included in the classes? Those are time sucks, so I avoid them if possible, but you are limited by the school. I'm trying to think of other schools whose admissions sites listed preferred coursework. You might want to look at Duke, Emory, Cornell as well. I'll post if I remember others. I'm trying to up my GPA, add upper levels, and find something that may have some applicability to med school (I don't want to waste time or money) so I've been looking into this for a while as well!

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                      The classes don't include labs. They are geared towards post-bacs so the classes don't take as much time and thus labs are not included. Thanks, I'll look into those other schools' requirements as well.

                      Maybe this is the wrong mindset, but why are you taking the course? Do you need another science? It is not likely to raise your gpa appreciably and you already took the mcat. May be worth finding a full time clinical job IMO

                      Thanks for your concern. My pre-med advisor told me that this is not to raise my GPA, but to prove my competency in academics. My focus should be on scribing/shadowing so I am only taking one course per semester.
                       
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                      PositivityKillsYouEarly

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                        Genetics>cell bio=molecular biology>physiology>microbiology.

                        If you take anatomy before your final term prior to med school matriculation, you won't recall enough for it to have been worth the effort.

                        I guess I'll be thinking of either genetics or molecular bio for the time being. I'm definitely going to do more research before any finalization. BTW, I already took immunology at undergrad so that might not be the best choice for me (for those who say it's a good one).
                         
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                        Goro

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                          I plan to take one course this semester and another course next semester as I should focus more on gaining clinical experience.

                          These are the courses recommended to me by the post-bac director:

                          genetics, microbiology, cell bio, molecular bio, anatomy & physiology

                          I can take any of these, but which of these is seen the most positively by the medical admissions committee? I wish to take those that help me with medical admissions the most. I already took MCAT.

                          Thank you for your time.
                          ALL of them!!!!!!!!
                           
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