Pre-Med course work is offcially the dumbest thing ever.

MagicDrumSticks

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Great job to whoever thought about this idea, you dumb ****s.

Not only do classes like Physics and Chemistry reflect absolutely NOTHING you will be learning in med school. But it's a complete waste of everyone's time and energy. I hope the person who thought that putting pre-med students through the tortures of undergrad classes died of a horrible cancer mixed with some sort of burning related death.

First of all, I love medicine, I love the interaction with patients and the satisfaction I see that doctors recieve when they successfully diagnose and treat patients.

But classes like Gen Chem and O Chem are SERIOUSLY discouraging and depressing me. I have made pretty much Bs in all my sciences courses. 2.62 GPA (After first year) And I studied HARD, but this stuff just sucks. I took classes like A&P which DO reflect med school and I made easy As, there's something wrong here. I have seen people quit right in front of me, saying they couldn't handle the damn classes.

Who agrees? Some people even try to justify that we will be using this in our career, the nerve.
 

Pwny

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I feel ya, but probably without most of the anger. I'm more frustrated with myself. I just finished my first year of college, and I'm retaking a different version of a math class for the third time (took engineering math and failed, second time I took another math class only to do poorly in it again AND find out the academic advisers from my OWN COLLEGE gave me the wrong advice, so I could have completely sidestepped that situation!). I'm now taking a math and bio class over the summer. I should be fine in math now that I'm taking the one I was always supposed to take, but bio. Wow. It's intro to bio and the professor isn't curving the class even though midterm averages are 50% (/end rant).

Anyway, after that paragraph, I guess I am pretty angry, haha. It's just making me question if pre-med is the right path for me if I can't even handle these lower-division classes. Some things come easier to others, and I can’t help but wonder if I’m the type of student meant to be weeded out. I wish I could easily assuage my doubts on my own ability but for now, all I can do is improve in studying efficiently, and hang on for my dear life and sanity.

and I will admit I laughed when I read your post (especially the first paragraph), so thank you, I really, REALLY needed a hearty laugh. Now back to biology... :bullcrap:
 

Parts Unknown

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Not only do classes like Physics and Chemistry reflect absolutely NOTHING you will be learning in med school.
Yeah, those courses really only impact your understanding of physiology, which is a pretty superfluous subject. :rolleyes:

In all seriousness, if you learn subjects like pulmonary and renal, you will find yourself dealing with a lot of horrifying things you though you'd left behind: acid-base equations, pH, partial pressures, air flow, osmolarity and osmolality, ions and whatnot. So pay attention, sooner or later it will be on the test.
 

Bacchus

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Its all part of the game... and you must play the game.
 

fried rice

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Great job to whoever thought about this idea, you dumb ****s.

Not only do classes like Physics and Chemistry reflect absolutely NOTHING you will be learning in med school. But it's a complete waste of everyone's time and energy. I hope the person who thought that putting pre-med students through the tortures of undergrad classes died of a horrible cancer mixed with some sort of burning related death.

First of all, I love medicine, I love the interaction with patients and the satisfaction I see that doctors recieve when they successfully diagnose and treat patients.

But classes like Gen Chem and O Chem are SERIOUSLY discouraging and depressing me. I have made pretty much Bs in all my sciences courses. 2.62 GPA (After first year) And I studied HARD, but this stuff just sucks. I took classes like A&P which DO reflect med school and I made easy As, there's something wrong here. I have seen people quit right in front of me, saying they couldn't handle the damn classes.

Who agrees? Some people even try to justify that we will be using this in our career, the nerve.
Look, I did just as poorly as you did in my freshman year (almost exactly actually), and I am perfectly willing to attribute my struggles (and thus a metric ton of stress) to med school requirements. That said, it's not so much that the material is going to be particularly useful but that the study skills and work ethic required for such courses are necessary for medical school, and it is obvious as to why med schools demand exceptional performance of applicants. Struggling in pre-reqs indicates either a poor work ethic, poor study skills, inability to grasp the material, or all of the above.
 

IHeartNerds

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Yeah, those courses really only impact your understanding of physiology, which is a pretty superfluous subject. :rolleyes:

In all seriousness, if you learn subjects like pulmonary and renal, you will find yourself dealing with a lot of horrifying things you though you'd left behind: acid-base equations, pH, partial pressures, air flow, osmolarity and osmolality, ions and whatnot. So pay attention, sooner or later it will be on the test.
So true.

To the OP: you have no idea what a medical school curriculum is like -- so please don't judge the uselessness of your classes just yet. The anatomy and physiology you took probably represents <2% of what is in an MD program. A solid background in basic science and research methodology is what separates MDs from NPs.
 
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MagicDrumSticks said:
Not only do classes like Physics and Chemistry reflect absolutely NOTHING you will be learning in med school.
True, physics is only the foundation of the universe as we know it... :rolleyes: Those nifty formulas covering fluid dynamics (blood flow, respiratory volumes), statics (bones?), all physics.

The only dumb pre-med coursework is...ah man, I was working on a quote there or something.
 

MacdaddyDaniels

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we take all these classes to prove that we are smart enough to do so, not because we need to know it. It sucks but its the truth. We jump through all these hoops so they know we want to be doctors bad enough to go through all this and can handle large amounts of material.
 

YeOldeMan

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Are you kidding me? GenChem and Orgo have absolutely no value to your study in medicine? Physics has no use in medicine? Wtf are you talking about? Every process in your body is governed by the rules of these fields.

If I had my way, every premed would be taking math through differential equations, linear algebra, and probability....a flurry of engineering courses, and a lot of specialized physics (and of course, quant chem, pchem, comp-chem, math-bio, genomics, etc.). Be thankful medical and pre-medical studies still let such mediocrity exist.

EDIT: Although, on a good note, undegrad physics, engineering, and math types are becoming more and more present in medical school. Maybe doctors will actually start knowing how the body works.
 
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IHeartNerds

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We jump through all these hoops so they know we want to be doctors bad enough to go through all this and can handle large amounts of material.
This is absurd. If schools just wanted to see how much pain we could endure, they would make everyone major in aerospace engineering. I'm not saying organic chem and calc-based physics were extremely helpful to me, but they're not irrelevant.
 

RogueUnicorn

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This is absurd. If schools just wanted to see how much pain we could endure, they would make everyone major in aerospace engineering. I'm not saying organic chem and calc-based physics were extremely helpful to me, but they're not irrelevant.
nor are they impossibly difficult
 

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nor are they impossibly difficult
agreed. But, I think it's fair to say that if you have trouble with those concepts, you may have trouble teaching yourself the concepts presented in medical school.
 

Samus Aran

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Great job to whoever thought about this idea, you dumb ****s.

Not only do classes like Physics and Chemistry reflect absolutely NOTHING you will be learning in med school. But it's a complete waste of everyone's time and energy. I hope the person who thought that putting pre-med students through the tortures of undergrad classes died of a horrible cancer mixed with some sort of burning related death.

First of all, I love medicine, I love the interaction with patients and the satisfaction I see that doctors recieve when they successfully diagnose and treat patients.

But classes like Gen Chem and O Chem are SERIOUSLY discouraging and depressing me. I have made pretty much Bs in all my sciences courses. 2.62 GPA (After first year) And I studied HARD, but this stuff just sucks. I took classes like A&P which DO reflect med school and I made easy As, there's something wrong here. I have seen people quit right in front of me, saying they couldn't handle the damn classes.

Who agrees? Some people even try to justify that we will be using this in our career, the nerve.
bahahaha boy do you have a serious wake up call coming your way when you actually start med school. for the record, you will be using concepts you learn in chem during your career. diabetes, electrolyte balances, blood chemistry and ph, etc., are based on the fundamentals taught in gen chem. organic chem (and later on, pharm) will help you understand the relationships between the makeup of the human body and the drugs you will be prescribing to your patients one day. if you can't handle this, well...
 
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i used to think like the OP...but then i realized i was acting like the kids who whined, 'when are we ever going to use ALGEBRA????????'

now i work with some of those kids in retail and they have no idea how to quickly tell a customer how much a 40$ item will be if it's 40% off. (they have to use a calculator...and most of them still do .4*item, item-answer rather than just .6*item)

point is, the things that we complain about that we're never going to use....it's the FOUNDATION of EVERYTHING else we'll learn.

you can't take biochem without ochem, and biochem is (to me) a huge asset in understanding mechanisms of biological functions. you don't want to learn medicine like nurses or PT/OT majors learn it (no insult intended; they don't NEED to learn background etc for their job)

you want to learn medicine like a doctor. you want to not only learn that lipid biosynthesis takes place, you want to learn WHY it takes place and HOW it takes place which will lead you to understanding if there is a problem in the pathway it will present itself in X way because Y step is blocked. you may explain it to a patient in an easy way, but that is because you UNDERSTAND it enough to break it down for someone.
 
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MagicDrumSticks

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True, physics is only the foundation of the universe as we know it... :rolleyes: Those nifty formulas covering fluid dynamics (blood flow, respiratory volumes), statics (bones?), all physics.

The only dumb pre-med coursework is...ah man, I was working on a quote there or something.
Yeah? Well the last time I checked, my doctor didn't really look at how gravity affects my blood flow or how much gas exchange is taking place in my lungs.

Face it, it might come back again in theory, but claiming that you will use the stuff in a practical, real world-applied way is absurd.
 

cliffhuxtableDO

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Yeah? Well the last time I checked, my doctor didn't really look at how gravity affects my blood flow or how much gas exchange is taking place in my lungs.

Face it, it might come back again in theory, but claiming that you will use the stuff in a practical, real world-applied way is absurd.
You don't get it.
 
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Yeah? Well the last time I checked, my doctor didn't really look at how gravity affects my blood flow or how much gas exchange is taking place in my lungs.

Face it, it might come back again in theory, but claiming that you will use the stuff in a practical, real world-applied way is absurd.


Haha, spoken like a true premed ignoramus.

We all know it's frustrating trying to slog through all those classes, but they do have practical value. Of course you don't understand this yet, you're not in medical school. No one ever said you'd be crunching a bunch of physics equations in between seeing patients in your practice. But the very concepts you learn in these "useless" classes will form a part of the backbone upon which many medical school topics are built. And from there, your understanding of more complex CONCEPTS and FUNCTIONS will develop.
 

Ashers

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Yeah? Well the last time I checked, my doctor didn't really look at how gravity affects my blood flow or how much gas exchange is taking place in my lungs.

Face it, it might come back again in theory, but claiming that you will use the stuff in a practical, real world-applied way is absurd.
Gravity affecting your blood may not come up every day as that per se, but you do still have to know how gravity affects bloodflow --> pooling --> not to brain --> syncope. And yes, we did have a lecture about that, and how it will be affected if someone is in water.

And that second example sounds a lot like it might come up in anesthesia -- a required rotation in some schools.

Also, a lot of the equations: Michaelis-Menten, Ohm's Law dressed up for medicine (deltaP=QR), etc... these are just a start.
 

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Yeah? Well the last time I checked, my doctor didn't really look at how gravity affects my blood flow or how much gas exchange is taking place in my lungs.

Face it, it might come back again in theory, but claiming that you will use the stuff in a practical, real world-applied way is absurd.
Dude. This stuff actually is important. If you don't want to learn it, then you might want to reconsider your career path.
 

austinap

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OP, all of the topics that you pointed out were the very conceptual ones. A&P is almost entirely memorization with only a few key concepts tying everything together. Physics, chem, molecular bio, etc... those are all very conceptual classes where much of the specific material can be forgotten so long as you remember the themes well.

You also seems to group all doctors together. For example, a family doctor probably won't use organic chemistry the same way as an anesthesiologist, and probably won't use physics the same way as an orthopedic doc.

Personally, I'd like to see more hard sciences as pre-reqs for med school. Having been through all of these, my suggested pre-req list would be:

1-2 semesters gen chem
1 semester basic organic chem
1-2 semesters biochem
1 semester advanced organic chem (chem biol, for example)
2 semesters classical physics
1 semester advanced biophysics
1 semester algebra
1-2 semesters calc
1 semester diff. eq.
1 semester probability theory
1 semester population biology
1 semester cell biology
1 semester biophysical chemistry (protein dynamics, etc)
1 semester physiology
1 semester advanced cell biology


I think most adcoms agree that those would be the ideal prereqs, but don't want to actually enforce that for fear of losing real diversity in their classes since it would be almost impossible to complete them without being a science major. However, if you went in knowing a fair bit about each of those topics, you could start of med school by relating the different concepts and learning how they apply to medicine. You could spend your time actually learning medicine, rather than learning the basic science foundation that medicine rests on.
 

RogueUnicorn

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more than anything, the OP proves the system is working since his chances at med school is justifiably diminished.
 

YeOldeMan

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Yeah? Well the last time I checked, my doctor didn't really look at how gravity affects my blood flow or how much gas exchange is taking place in my lungs.

Face it, it might come back again in theory, but claiming that you will use the stuff in a practical, real world-applied way is absurd.
You're clueless but you're telling people to "face it?" It's pathetic that your doctor does not know *why* he must operate on you only when you are lying down. What if the doctor encounters something he has not seen before? What if it's time critical too? With a little theory and calculations, he might be able to do something. Otherwise, he'll be stuck there holding his dick. You think everything that can ever happen has been documented in medicine?

You want to know a little secret. For all their supposed "knowledge", doctors don't really know what they are doing. You don't see something wrong there? I think it's dysfunctional. And I don't think people with your attitude should be doctors.
 

SteinUmStein

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Great job to whoever thought about this idea, you dumb ****s.

Not only do classes like Physics and Chemistry reflect absolutely NOTHING you will be learning in med school. But it's a complete waste of everyone's time and energy. I hope the person who thought that putting pre-med students through the tortures of undergrad classes died of a horrible cancer mixed with some sort of burning related death.

First of all, I love medicine, I love the interaction with patients and the satisfaction I see that doctors recieve when they successfully diagnose and treat patients.

But classes like Gen Chem and O Chem are SERIOUSLY discouraging and depressing me. I have made pretty much Bs in all my sciences courses. 2.62 GPA (After first year) And I studied HARD, but this stuff just sucks. I took classes like A&P which DO reflect med school and I made easy As, there's something wrong here. I have seen people quit right in front of me, saying they couldn't handle the damn classes.

Who agrees? Some people even try to justify that we will be using this in our career, the nerve.
Uh, how are you going to deal with MS1 classes that are 3x harder and just as "irrelevant" to your future career? Sometimes you just have to suck it up...
 

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It's true that to most practicing docs premed coursework is a distant faded memory. It's not so much using the knowledge as having made it thru the hoops.
 

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love the snobbish engineering posts. im sure your complex knowledge of quantum physics will come in handy when you're disimpacting a 90 y/o at 3 am intern year :laugh:
 

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Personally, I'd like to see more hard sciences as pre-reqs for med school. Having been through all of these, my suggested pre-req list would be:

1-2 semesters gen chem
1 semester basic organic chem
1-2 semesters biochem
1 semester advanced organic chem (chem biol, for example)
2 semesters classical physics
1 semester advanced biophysics
1 semester algebra
1-2 semesters calc
1 semester diff. eq.
1 semester probability theory
1 semester population biology
1 semester cell biology
1 semester biophysical chemistry (protein dynamics, etc)
1 semester physiology
1 semester advanced cell biology
A few points:

I can see the utility in a lot of those classes, but question why they need to be pre-reqs? So here goes my rebuttals

1. there's no need for pre-req classes of stuff your'e going to learn in med school anyway. What use is college physiology? I learned it all at a more applicable/advanced level in med school. SAme goes for biochem. I didn't take any of it. I learned some of it in my bio and cell bio classes sure, but never took a formal class in it. I did med school, and we learned biochem then and there as it applied to medicine. med school biochem was important sure, but there was ntohing ion biochem college classes (i spoke with friends who had taken) that put them at a major advantage to me or gave them any steps up on the boards


2. No need for pre-reqs in stuff you're only going to deal with after specializing and not before. biophysical chemistry? That's of little use in med school unless you're going into research or pharm, in which case you should learn it then. Biophysics? Sure that's very important for stuff like orthopedics, so learn it then. It's not like you have to deal with that stuff as a med student on clinical rotations

3. Ones i think add nothing: advanced organic chem. I was a chem major and took it. The only chemistry I dealt with in med school that was useful (And some of it was) was a sliver of organic, a good amount of general chem, and a bit of physical chemistry (not a pre-req, but physical chem puts gen chem to shame and meant i already understood pharm at a higher level). There was absolutely nothing I learned in advanced organic that helped me anywhere in med school.

4. I totally agree with proving that you're math capable by taking a more advanced math course in college. But if you can do a pre-req with one semester of advanced calculus, there's no reason to have a pre-req of algebra. If you wanna do md,phd, I can see a need for ODE. I totally agree with some form of population bio and/or probability theory. statistics, probability, and population theory all are important in preventive and evidence-based medicine and being able to properly apply it. I'd say make one of those a highly recommended pre-req, but not a requirement.

I mean, we don't want to force people to have 0 electives and apply after 4 years

To the OP:
If you can't handle the workload of gen chem, bio, organic chem, you cannot handle the workload of medical school. Your doctor might not use it, but your doctor sure as hell was able to handle the coursework of those courses. There is a ton of coursework in med school and the point of it is to be able to handle 99+% of clinical scases, including the rare stuff you dont' normally use, like understanding fluid mechanics to properly judge someone's right atrial pressure based on distension of neck veins.

If you want to be able to take care of 90% of patients with great skill, understanding their basic anatomy, physiology, with a good knowledge of pathophys and pharm, then go nursing or PA route. It's less work and you can still do what doctors do in the majority of cases. It just means you'll need to refer the weird and complex cases to the doc you're working with every now and then.
 

chiz2kul

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Are you kidding me? GenChem and Orgo have absolutely no value to your study in medicine? Physics has no use in medicine? Wtf are you talking about? Every process in your body is governed by the rules of these fields.

If I had my way, every premed would be taking math through differential equations, linear algebra, and probability....a flurry of engineering courses, and a lot of specialized physics (and of course, quant chem, pchem, comp-chem, math-bio, genomics, etc.). Be thankful medical and pre-medical studies still let such mediocrity exist.

EDIT: Although, on a good note, undegrad physics, engineering, and math types are becoming more and more present in medical school. Maybe doctors will actually start knowing how the body works.
Personally, I'd like to see more hard sciences as pre-reqs for med school. Having been through all of these, my suggested pre-req list would be:

1-2 semesters gen chem
1 semester basic organic chem
1-2 semesters biochem
1 semester advanced organic chem (chem biol, for example)
2 semesters classical physics
1 semester advanced biophysics

1 semester algebra
1-2 semesters calc
1 semester diff. eq.
1 semester probability theory
1 semester population biology
1 semester cell biology
1 semester biophysical chemistry (protein dynamics, etc)

1 semester physiology
1 semester advanced cell biology


I think most adcoms agree that those would be the ideal prereqs, but don't want to actually enforce that for fear of losing real diversity in their classes since it would be almost impossible to complete them without being a science major. However, if you went in knowing a fair bit about each of those topics, you could start of med school by relating the different concepts and learning how they apply to medicine. You could spend your time actually learning medicine, rather than learning the basic science foundation that medicine rests on.
LOL wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut?
 

austinap

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A few points:

I can see the utility in a lot of those classes, but question why they need to be pre-reqs? So here goes my rebuttals

1. there's no need for pre-req classes of stuff your'e going to learn in med school anyway. What use is college physiology? I learned it all at a more applicable/advanced level in med school. SAme goes for biochem. I didn't take any of it. I learned some of it in my bio and cell bio classes sure, but never took a formal class in it. I did med school, and we learned biochem then and there as it applied to medicine. med school biochem was important sure, but there was ntohing ion biochem college classes (i spoke with friends who had taken) that put them at a major advantage to me or gave them any steps up on the boards


2. No need for pre-reqs in stuff you're only going to deal with after specializing and not before. biophysical chemistry? That's of little use in med school unless you're going into research or pharm, in which case you should learn it then. Biophysics? Sure that's very important for stuff like orthopedics, so learn it then. It's not like you have to deal with that stuff as a med student on clinical rotations

3. Ones i think add nothing: advanced organic chem. I was a chem major and took it. The only chemistry I dealt with in med school that was useful (And some of it was) was a sliver of organic, a good amount of general chem, and a bit of physical chemistry (not a pre-req, but physical chem puts gen chem to shame and meant i already understood pharm at a higher level). There was absolutely nothing I learned in advanced organic that helped me anywhere in med school.

4. I totally agree with proving that you're math capable by taking a more advanced math course in college. But if you can do a pre-req with one semester of advanced calculus, there's no reason to have a pre-req of algebra. If you wanna do md,phd, I can see a need for ODE. I totally agree with some form of population bio and/or probability theory. statistics, probability, and population theory all are important in preventive and evidence-based medicine and being able to properly apply it. I'd say make one of those a highly recommended pre-req, but not a requirement.

I mean, we don't want to force people to have 0 electives and apply after 4 years

To the OP:
If you can't handle the workload of gen chem, bio, organic chem, you cannot handle the workload of medical school. Your doctor might not use it, but your doctor sure as hell was able to handle the coursework of those courses. There is a ton of coursework in med school and the point of it is to be able to handle 99+% of clinical scases, including the rare stuff you dont' normally use, like understanding fluid mechanics to properly judge someone's right atrial pressure based on distension of neck veins.

If you want to be able to take care of 90% of patients with great skill, understanding their basic anatomy, physiology, with a good knowledge of pathophys and pharm, then go nursing or PA route. It's less work and you can still do what doctors do in the majority of cases. It just means you'll need to refer the weird and complex cases to the doc you're working with every now and then.

Most of the classes I listed are because of the conceptual knowledge that they add. The current trend in medicine (and I expect this will continue to be the case) is treating diseases at the molecular level whenever possible. In order to understand the newer treatments (and those yet to exist), a solid foundation in those fields seems to me to be essential.

I also am not suggesting these as a realistic pre-med requirement list, but rather a body of knowledge I think would be ideal to have before tackling medicine.

Now, my specific counter arguments:

1. Physiology is actually the one I care the least about. Biochemistry, however, I think should be absolutely required. My reason is this: if you don't know the basics of protein and biomolecular structure in med school, it's going to take you much longer to understand the complex interactions between them. It's going to be almost impossible to understand how a drug works when you're still trying to figure out what proteins look like. It's also going to be hard to understand any of the current literature.

2. Biophysics isn't necessarily something that only applies to specialities. Transport, diffusion, etc, are concepts fundamental to how the human body works. Understanding at least basic biophsics will make many medical concepts easier when you initially encounter them. In any case, I promise you'll have a more fundamental understanding of what is going on, and I don't think that's ever a bad thing. Biophysical chem is another one that I don't feel as strongly about -- but I would recommend some sort of advanced biochem. Again, modern medicine is very much medicine at the molecular level, this just helps with that understanding.

3. I completely agree with 'advanced organic chem' if you mean a standard organic reactions type class. I was suggesting something more along the lines of chemical biology combined with physical organic chem. Again, this is to help with understanding of how many new drugs work, and *why* they are designed that way. This is one that I think you can ignore in many cases, but if you plan on doing anything at all research oriented or academic in nature I think this is essential.

4. As far as math, for me it's all conceptual. It's been so long since I've taken any calc or ODE that I'm sure I couldn't solve many problems anymore. However, ODE specifically taught me how to think about system behavior, and it has proven to be insanely useful to me. There are a lot of trends in ODE, and many of them are useful. I think a good probability class should be essential as it related to almost everything in medicine. Look at the current PSA screening debate - if you didn't understand probability, it would be almost impossible to have a valid opinion about how useful it is as a screening tool.
 

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OP let me show you a simple explanation of how basic physics and gen chem are useful.

Why does dehydration result in muscle cramps, explain the pyschiological reasons. answer:

As the amount of water in the body is lost the osmolarity, (chem concept) increases because the concentration of Na+ ions increases. Since neuronal action potentials are governed by the depolarization of neurons, the increased Na+ ion concentration outside the neuron will result in a higher concentration gradient, (physics concept). This will upset the balance between the influx of Na+ ions and outflow of K+ ions. Specifically more Na+ ions will find their way into the soma of the neuron raising the resting membrane potential and bringing it closer to threshold. The result is that less stimuli is required for action potentials, thus resulting in more action potentials, and hence more muscle contractions, ie cramping.

You see, basic physics and gen chem are required to answer questions such as this, (and this one is about as easy as they come).

Oh, and in case you still aren't convinced, the fact is that to get into med school you need to do well on the MCAT and a full 1/3 of that exam is on Physics and Gen Chem.

So if you want to be a doc, suck it up and learn the material.
 

45408

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Yeah? Well the last time I checked, my doctor didn't really look at how gravity affects my blood flow or how much gas exchange is taking place in my lungs.

Face it, it might come back again in theory, but claiming that you will use the stuff in a practical, real world-applied way is absurd.
:laugh: I guess you haven't *checked* in the past hundred years then.
 

FuturaDocta

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Everything builds on itself, especially in the sciences.

A full understanding of biology comes with a full understanding of chemistry. They aren't separate subjects for they overlap a lot.

The schools don't want you to be tunnel visioned. They want you to apply everything you learned into medicine.

There is more than meets the eye and soon you will discover what all these courses are essential for everything you learn.

Plus, you need to do well in these courses and learn to study proficiently, at least before you are a senior, in order to do well when you start medical school. Otherwise, you may find it hard to even pass your first year (assuming you get in).

PS. Proficiently does not = More study hours, it ='s new tactics that fit your study habits. You can't just sit your head on a book and all the information will diffuse into your brain, unfortunately:p.
 

xmsr3

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Most of the classes I listed are because of the conceptual knowledge that they add. The current trend in medicine (and I expect this will continue to be the case) is treating diseases at the molecular level whenever possible. In order to understand the newer treatments (and those yet to exist), a solid foundation in those fields seems to me to be essential.

I also am not suggesting these as a realistic pre-med requirement list, but rather a body of knowledge I think would be ideal to have before tackling medicine.

Now, my specific counter arguments:

1. Physiology is actually the one I care the least about. Biochemistry, however, I think should be absolutely required. My reason is this: if you don't know the basics of protein and biomolecular structure in med school, it's going to take you much longer to understand the complex interactions between them. It's going to be almost impossible to understand how a drug works when you're still trying to figure out what proteins look like. It's also going to be hard to understand any of the current literature.

2. Biophysics isn't necessarily something that only applies to specialities. Transport, diffusion, etc, are concepts fundamental to how the human body works. Understanding at least basic biophsics will make many medical concepts easier when you initially encounter them. In any case, I promise you'll have a more fundamental understanding of what is going on, and I don't think that's ever a bad thing. Biophysical chem is another one that I don't feel as strongly about -- but I would recommend some sort of advanced biochem. Again, modern medicine is very much medicine at the molecular level, this just helps with that understanding.

3. I completely agree with 'advanced organic chem' if you mean a standard organic reactions type class. I was suggesting something more along the lines of chemical biology combined with physical organic chem. Again, this is to help with understanding of how many new drugs work, and *why* they are designed that way. This is one that I think you can ignore in many cases, but if you plan on doing anything at all research oriented or academic in nature I think this is essential.

4. As far as math, for me it's all conceptual. It's been so long since I've taken any calc or ODE that I'm sure I couldn't solve many problems anymore. However, ODE specifically taught me how to think about system behavior, and it has proven to be insanely useful to me. There are a lot of trends in ODE, and many of them are useful. I think a good probability class should be essential as it related to almost everything in medicine. Look at the current PSA screening debate - if you didn't understand probability, it would be almost impossible to have a valid opinion about how useful it is as a screening tool.
:eek: Physiology is what you care least about? It teaches the basics of how organ systems work and interact with each other. You absolutely, positivley have to have Physiology down cold if you want to get into and through med school.

Learning how stuff works at the molecular level is fine and good but if you don't get physiology you can't be a doctor.

For example, a collegue might say "the patient has Cushings", they expect you to know that that means hypercortisolism. You then need to recall from physiology that cortisol is a stress hormone that causes catabolism of tissues and acts as anti inflamatory and immunosuppresent.

That is why docs get trained so thoroughly, so they can communicate quickly in the language and concepts of science.
 

JJMrK

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If you don't like it, no one is forcing you to do it.
 

rocketbooster

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yea, sorry med students, but you're giving a few rare examples. when you come across those few examples linked to old premed prereqs, you can simply review those old concepts. it's not that hard, and it's rare.

I think every doctor should have taken the basic sciences, though. It just makes sense.

They really aren't useful in medicine, though. Some med schools show surveys of med students indicating how useful certain undergrad classes were in med school. Go look at some of those. Classes like ochem and physics were found useful by like 10% of med students at the one I saw haha.

The thing is undergrad classes like physiology and anatomy were also found pretty useless by most med students, lol. The level of detail you learn in undergrad is so small compared to med school. Even if you don't take a semester of undergrad anatomy, you'll be caught up in 2 weeks with those who did take it. My med school friends summed it up by saying, "The amount of material we would learn in an upper division biology class over an entire semester we learn in 2 weeks in med school." :laugh:
 

FuturaDocta

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Everything builds on itself, especially in the sciences.

A full understanding of biology comes with a full understanding of chemistry. They aren't separate subjects for they overlap a lot.

The schools don't want you to be tunnel visioned. They want you to apply everything you learned into medicine.

There is more than meets the eye and soon you will discover what all these courses are essential for everything you learn.

Plus, you need to do well in these courses and learn to study proficiently, at least before you are a senior, in order to do well when you start medical school. Otherwise, you may find it hard to even pass your first year (assuming you get in).

PS. Proficiently does not = More study hours, it ='s new tactics that fit your study habits. You can't just sit your head on a book and all the information will diffuse into your brain, unfortunately:p.
 

BerlinDude

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I agree with OP. All you really need to know to practice modern medicine is a series of ritual chants to the goat god.

Interestingly enough, Jason the magical goat god has no head. This is because he survived a partial birth abortion using his own magical healing powers.
 

muhali3

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OP is just mad because he got bad grades. Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean it's irrelevant. What you're saying is like "Why do I have to take English classes in High School if I already know how to read and write?" You may only think the basics are necessary, but understanding the minute details and fundamentals of it leads to a much better application of it when you're practicing.
 

Rendar5

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:eek: Physiology is what you care least about? It teaches the basics of how organ systems work and interact with each other. You absolutely, positivley have to have Physiology down cold if you want to get into and through med school.

Learning how stuff works at the molecular level is fine and good but if you don't get physiology you can't be a doctor.

For example, a collegue might say "the patient has Cushings", they expect you to know that that means hypercortisolism. You then need to recall from physiology that cortisol is a stress hormone that causes catabolism of tissues and acts as anti inflamatory and immunosuppresent.

That is why docs get trained so thoroughly, so they can communicate quickly in the language and concepts of science.
You don't need to have physiology down cold going into medical school. The point of medical school is to teach it. And any college physiology you learn is going to be learned in 1 weeks' time in med school anyway.
 

Rendar5

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yea, sorry med students, but you're giving a few rare examples. when you come across those few examples linked to old premed prereqs, you can simply review those old concepts. it's not that hard, and it's rare.

I think every doctor should have taken the basic sciences, though. It just makes sense.

They really aren't useful in medicine, though. Some med schools show surveys of med students indicating how useful certain undergrad classes were in med school. Go look at some of those. Classes like ochem and physics were found useful by like 10% of med students at the one I saw haha.

The thing is undergrad classes like physiology and anatomy were also found pretty useless by most med students, lol. The level of detail you learn in undergrad is so small compared to med school. Even if you don't take a semester of undergrad anatomy, you'll be caught up in 2 weeks with those who did take it. My med school friends summed it up by saying, "The amount of material we would learn in an upper division biology class over an entire semester we learn in 2 weeks in med school." :laugh:
Definitely on-point. The point of pre-reqs as has been said is to show you can handle the workload. The point of the MCAT is to prove you understand the basic concepts taught in the pre-reqs.
 
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yea, sorry med students, but you're giving a few rare examples. when you come across those few examples linked to old premed prereqs, you can simply review those old concepts. it's not that hard, and it's rare.
:laugh:


Don't apologize for being wrong. It'll happen frequently enough in medical school, and you'll wear yourself out with it.

Polling medical students about how useful they thought a premed class is useless. For starters, there are plenty of things you simply take for granted having already learned some basics in undergrad. Your argument seems to be "these classes are useless in undergrad", but it's kinda hard to "simply review those old concepts" if you never learned them in undergrad. Sure, another part if it is just "learning to jump through the hoops", and it's a rite of passage and whatnot, but the classes are important if you want to go further.

The first two weeks of our biochem class hinged severely on understanding acid-base balance, enzyme kinetics, etc. Nearly half of cardiovascular physiology presupposed we had a strong understanding of fluid dynamics. Cell physiology and transport systems are taught at nearly every medical school using circuit analogies of varying complexity (much to the dismay of my classmates who did poorly in circuits during Physics in undergrad). Acid-base popped up again in renal physiology.

These are just some examples off the top of my head. You don't have time in medical school to sift through some old undergrad notes/texts, and you certainly don't have time to teach yourself the material if you never learned it in the first place. And this is all just first year medical school stuff.

Sure, there's a plenty in those undergrad courses that won't follow you to medical school, but there is certainly plenty that does, and it's easy to see if you actually take a minute to reflect on your first year of medical school. Having a strong grasp on these fundamentals seems trivial, but you'd be amazed at how much easier it is to study these more in-depth concepts if you've nailed down the essentials in undergrad.
 
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Somewhere med school admission committees are reading this topic and high-fiving themselves because these courses are doing what they're supposed to, weed out pretenders.
 

austinap

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:eek: Physiology is what you care least about? It teaches the basics of how organ systems work and interact with each other. You absolutely, positivley have to have Physiology down cold if you want to get into and through med school.

Learning how stuff works at the molecular level is fine and good but if you don't get physiology you can't be a doctor.

For example, a collegue might say "the patient has Cushings", they expect you to know that that means hypercortisolism. You then need to recall from physiology that cortisol is a stress hormone that causes catabolism of tissues and acts as anti inflamatory and immunosuppresent.

That is why docs get trained so thoroughly, so they can communicate quickly in the language and concepts of science.
I'm talking about pre-med requirements. Physiology is easy if you understand biochemistry, transport, and cell biology. At that point, it's not a lot more than memorization. Med school is for teaching this stuff. You don't need to know more than the basics of this before med school, because you'll learn it all there.
 

redlight

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Somewhere med school admission committees are reading this topic and high-fiving themselves because these courses are doing what they're supposed to, weed out pretenders.
lol..+1

i don't think that's all there is too it but that was funny.

OP these courses will build the foundation of what you'll learn in future science courses. they just want us to cover all the basics of science before we move to more focused curricula that draws from knowledge from many different branches of science.

and honestly, if you cannot handle these courses, why would you think medical school would be easier? just because you did well in anatomy? master the basics or you'll be screwed later in more advanced science courses.
 

Parts Unknown

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Yeah? Well the last time I checked, my doctor didn't really look at how gravity affects my blood flow or how much gas exchange is taking place in my lungs.

Face it, it might come back again in theory, but claiming that you will use the stuff in a practical, real world-applied way is absurd.
I can see you haven't spend much time in an ICU.
 

Kong Bu

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yeah grrrrr. school is grrrrrrrrrrr
:laugh:

Yeah, I can understand. I remember reading a book that took place in the 1960's-1970's in China about a boy who learned dental surgery by being the disciple of a dentist. That dentist learned from his father, who learned from his father, and so on. Teaching dentistry was actually just a family tradition for them. :laugh:

No DAT, no pre-med courses, just family tradition! And no, this wasn't some sketchy dentist either, although he was the village dentist. But that doesn't matter ;)