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Pre-med courses in one year?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Rhys, Sep 8, 2001.

  1. Rhys

    Rhys Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 31, 2001
    Hi everyone, I'd love some advice from the experienced science students! I did my B.A and M.A. in English, and now am going to apply to med. school. I want to finish the required science courses in one year (2 semesters, possibly 3.) I don't want to take 2 years, as I already feel 'behind' and plus I don't want to waste any more student loans than absolutely necessary. I believe I'm determined enough to pull this off--plus I figured it would be a good test for med. school--but I have NO science background and wonder if it's possible. For instance, I would take 4 classes each semester: Chemistry I, Biology I, Physics I, and Organic ChemI, then the second part of those the next semester. These seem to be all med schools require. In the third semester, I'd probably take an anatomy or biochemistry course. Is it possible to take Organic Chem and Chem I (which I assume is Inorganic) at the same time? Or does one build off the other? I guess what I'm asking is if these courses are different enough so that one isn't a pre-requisite for another. I'd appreciate any help, thank you!!!!!!!
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  3. Sonya

    Sonya Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2001
    First I'll assume you have all the neccesary math for chemistry and physics.
    I would suggest talking to a pre-med counselor or advisor at your school. at my school, you had to finish all the inorganic chemistry before organic. but, it may be different at your school.
    It WILL be an intense load, in any case -- especially since you have no background. usually those classes all have labs, and are difficult classes and long labs (especially organic chemistry). But, it's possible.
    I would definetly talk to an advisor at your school, and look up course pre-reqs there. Maybe talk to some of the profs who teach the classes.
    Good luck,
  4. BCgirl

    BCgirl Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 15, 2001
    You would have to look into your particular school. Chem I is probably a prereq for organic (it is at my school anyway), so it wouldn't be possible for you to do all the courses in one year here. That would be a really heavy year, especially for someone that doesn't have a science background... You also have to write the MCAT sometime too. Good luck :)
  5. Snoopy

    Snoopy Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2000
    I was in a similar situation and was able to complete all of my prerequisites in 15 months. I took 2 semesters of Chemistry with lab and 2 semesters of Calculus (required for Physics at the school I attended and by some med schools) over the first summer. I then took Organic Chemistry with lab (Chemistry was required as a prerequisite) and Biology with lab during the regular school year. I finished with 2 semesters of Physics over the following summer and took the MCAT in August. I started taking Physics during the regular school year and could easily have continued it but the professor was absolutely the most incompetent person I've ever seen in a classroom so I dropped it. If you're a good student and well organized you should have no problem doing it in 12 months though you'll have to work hard. The only real drawback for me was that I had to study for MCATs while I was still taking my courses.

    Good luck!
  6. Pepe

    Pepe Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 1999
    San Antonio, Tx. USA
    In theory you could do it in one calender year. Realistically though, it is very difficult. The reason is not so much because of the academic load which would be difficult, but to be honest the scheduling of the classes would almost be impossible. To make it work you will have to have a bunch of lab times that do not conflict because you are going to be taking four labs simultaneously at one time or another, and you will have to go to a school that offers both parts of gen chem, or organic concurently. In other words does your school offer both Org1 and Org2 in the same semester. Some schools do but some don't. I would say that you don't have a compelling reason to rush to be done by January of next year because January of next year doesn't mean anything. Your application cycle will start in the spring/summer of 2002 for the class starting in the fall of 2003. This means that you have to be finished by spring of 2002, (or at least taking the classes). I hope this is making sense. Basically what it boils down to is you have more than a calender year from this January to finish so you might as well take it and not risk burning out or getting bad grades. Anyway good luck to you and I hope it works out. Of course I might have totally miscalculated and it could be very possible
  7. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    I think you'd be better off doing it over two semesters and a summer. I can't imagine going into organic without having taken inorganic...especially if you have no science background whatsoever.

    Besides, the hours are going to pile up.

    Consider this:
    • Inorganic & lab--4 hours
      Organic--3 hours
      Biology & lab--4 hours
      Physics & lab--4 hours

      15 hours

      Second Semester
      Inorganic & lab--4 hours
      Organic & lab--6 hours
      Bio & lab--4 hours
      Phyiscs & lab--4 hours

      18 hours

    At least that's how my school is.

    That's not a whole lot of hours for either semester (maybe a bit high 2nd semester)


    Do realize that these aren't easy classes. But also consider that these are the only classes that will determine your science GPA and these courses are also scrutinized by the ADCOMS.
  8. Rhys

    Rhys Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 31, 2001
    Thank you all so much for your help and wonderful advice! I think I can save myself years of headaches and heartache just by asking you brilliant people questions. :) I've got to sit down and figure out the logistics--I had no idea about the application process taking a year, etc...thanks again and keep us updated on all your adventures--I love to read about them! :)
  9. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    Well, there's more to applying than just having good grades. You'll have to take the MCAT after you've had all the above listed that means if you start this semester (better hurry and register), the earliest you could take the MCAT is April, but still you probably won't have finished all your classes. Then if you have to wait till summer to take O chem you won't be able to feasibly take the MCAT until August. Then interviews will take place approx. in November, and the earliest you could be Matriculated would be in the spring. So you wouldn't be able to start this year, or next year. You've got at least 2 years to go.


    That offers you a couple options. You could either continue your education with a Masters degree, or you could get a job related to your degree. And I'm sure there's several other options you could explore. But either way, I think you will increase your chances of being matriculated if you keep busy.
  10. cg1

    cg1 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 23, 2000
    Two questions:

    Concerning loans, you can always work while you're taking PreMed classes, so that will help your finances, and you could spread out your PreMed schedule.

    More importantly, how old are you? If you're younger than thirty, then I would ask, "What's the rush"?? There are a lot of people in your boat. Take your time, because the only "deadline" is in your head. :)
  11. CardiacGuy

    CardiacGuy Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 20, 2001
    I agree with the majority of the responses. You should think about taking some time and concentrating on getting good grades with your sciences. Overloading yourself is just asking for trouble.
  12. alina_s

    alina_s Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 24, 2001
    There are post-bacc programs that cram all of the courses into 15 months. Goucher is one and you can get a long list of them from AAMC. However, they tend to be quite expensive and since the med school pplication process takes a year, students are left with a year when they aren't students (have to pay off loans) but probably aren't able to get a well-paying job either. Going part-time seems less painful unless you are independently wealthy. Good luck!

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