drlemons

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Dec 30, 2016
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My premed advisor is pressuring me to take on the following schedule this coming fall semester:

Microbiology + lab
Genetics + lab
Organic chemistry 2 + lab
Physics 1 + lab

On top of volunteering, being a supplemental instructor, etc.

Not to mention I'm a wife and a mother to a stay-at-home toddler so it's not like I can sit in a dorm and study all day everyday.

Anyway, I've expressed my desire to only take 3 sciences with their corresponding labs but she won't let up and I'm worried because she'll essentially be the one writing my committee letter.

What would you do?


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sb247

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My premed advisor is pressuring me to take on the following schedule this coming fall semester:

Microbiology + lab
Genetics + lab
Organic chemistry 2 + lab
Physics 1 + lab

On top of volunteering, being a supplemental instructor, etc.

Not to mention I'm a wife and a mother to a stay-at-home toddler so it's not like I can sit in a dorm and study all day everyday.

Anyway, I've expressed my desire to only take 3 sciences with their corresponding labs but she won't let up and I'm worried because she'll essentially be the one writing my committee letter.

What would you do?


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Take only what you can get an A in.....letter be damned
 
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Definitely do not bite off more than you can chew and let your grades and family life suffer. How are the labs of those courses set up? Some labs require more work/time commitment than others. For example, at my undergrad, Physics 1 Lab was a very easy course that required no additional work outside of the course. On the other hand, Genetics lab required several hours outside of class coming in at odd ours (early morning/late night) to feed drosophila flies.

Organic Chemistry and Physics + labs seems doable to me in one semester, but it is up to you.

Good luck.
 
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gonnif

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4 labs? You advisor is under the lingering misperception that an applicant must prove they can handle an overly aggressive schedule. This is not true. you should never take more than you can do well in. Grades are always, always, always, more important than the courseload. At most med schools you dont need Organic Lab II so drop it. Indeed at many medical schools Organic Chem II isnt required with Biochem being required instead. Microbio isnt required at most (perhaps all) so put that aside. Physics is required for schools and MCAT but could be taken closer to MCAT. Genetics is very useful but again not required at most.

If you are taking the MCAT in the Spring then Physics is a must
Biochem instead of Ochem maybe better
(SDN: what schools still require Ochem II?)

if your advisor is the letter writer here, you may want to seriously consider using individual LORs. as a wife and a mother you a nontrad and that would be reasonanble explanation for not going thru the committee process
 
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Inspired Chaos

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I took 4 labs one semester and it wasn't fun. I have 3 young kids and barely saw them during the week, but got 6 As that semester (two non-lab courses). I haven't done anything like that since because it was really stressful, even though it worked out okay.

I'd recommend against if you have hesitation. And for what it's worth, I practically had to beg my advisor for that credit hour override seeing as she thought it was an awful idea.

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Catalystik

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My premed advisor is pressuring me to take on the following schedule this coming fall semester:

Microbiology + lab
Genetics + lab
Organic chemistry 2 + lab
Physics 1 + lab

On top of volunteering, being a supplemental instructor, etc.

Not to mention I'm a wife and a mother to a stay-at-home toddler so it's not like I can sit in a dorm and study all day everyday.

Anyway, I've expressed my desire to only take 3 sciences with their corresponding labs but she won't let up and I'm worried because she'll essentially be the one writing my committee letter.
Considering the other demands on your time, I suggest not taking more than two labs. Is the lab embedded in the courses, or do you sign up for them separately?
 
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drlemons

drlemons

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4 labs? Your advisor is under the lingering misperception that an applicant must prove they can handle an overly aggressive schedule. This is not true. You should never take more than you can do well in. Grades are always, always, always, more important than the course load.


This is reassuring. Thank you! We also started discussing the MCAT and she automatically outlined a plan for me to take the MCAT twice which I thought was so weird. What good does it do to put students in the mindset of not doing well on their first MCAT..

Oh and I'm a Chem minor so I need organic II for that.


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drlemons

drlemons

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Considering the other demands on your time, I suggest not taking more than two labs. Is the lab embedded in the courses, or do you sign up for them separately?
Genetics and micro labs are embedded. Organic and physics are separate. I'm too "type A" to take a lecture without the lab though so if I take 3 lectures then I'll do 3 labs. Organic and physics should be easier labs though.


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OP
drlemons

drlemons

2+ Year Member
Dec 30, 2016
211
133
Texas
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Pre-Medical
Definitely do not bite off more than you can chew and let your grades and family life suffer. How are the labs of those courses set up? Some labs require more work/time commitment than others. For example, at my undergrad, Physics 1 Lab was a very easy course that required no additional work outside of the course. On the other hand, Genetics lab required several hours outside of class coming in at odd ours (early morning/late night) to feed drosophila flies.

Organic Chemistry and Physics + labs seems doable to me in one semester, but it is up to you.

Good luck.
Yeah, our bio labs are time sucks but chem and physics should be fine. I'm just going to do genetics, organic, and physics with their labs and save micro from another time. Thanks for the valuable advice!


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Goro

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My premed advisor is pressuring me to take on the following schedule this coming fall semester:

Microbiology + lab
Genetics + lab
Organic chemistry 2 + lab
Physics 1 + lab

On top of volunteering, being a supplemental instructor, etc.

Not to mention I'm a wife and a mother to a stay-at-home toddler so it's not like I can sit in a dorm and study all day everyday.

Anyway, I've expressed my desire to only take 3 sciences with their corresponding labs but she won't let up and I'm worried because she'll essentially be the one writing my committee letter.

What would you do?


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Gawd, data point # 44,089,237,057,363,838 that most pre-med advisors are morons.

OP, you've received good advice in this thread.
 
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Blanky

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You are certainly doing the right thing by taking control of the situation.
My opinion would be to take physics and orgo which should be pretty easy and either add one science or a couple gen eds required for the degree.
 

JustintheDoctor

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4 labs? You advisor is under the lingering misperception that an applicant must prove they can handle an overly aggressive schedule. This is not true. you should never take more than you can do well in. Grades are always, always, always, more important than the courseload. At most med schools you dont need Organic Lab II so drop it. Indeed at many medical schools Organic Chem II isnt required with Biochem being required instead. Microbio isnt required at most (perhaps all) so put that aside. Physics is required for schools and MCAT but could be taken closer to MCAT. Genetics is very useful but again not required at most.

If you are taking the MCAT in the Spring then Physics is a must
Biochem instead of Ochem maybe better
(SDN: what schools still require Ochem II?)

if your advisor is the letter writer here, you may want to seriously consider using individual LORs. as a wife and a mother you a nontrad and that would be reasonanble explanation for not going thru the committee process
Rutgers requires it
 

PatchA

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Jun 24, 2016
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Medical Student
Your pre-med adviser does not haveto live with the consequences of a bad semester, and they are notorious for giving bad advice (several threads on SDN about just that). Take only what you can handle. Even if this did reflect poorly in their mind and become part of your letter (which I sincerely doubt) 1) their letter is only part of your committee letter, 2) a bad GPA will not be made up for with a nice letter from your adviser.
 
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