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Prereqs

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by greniedgal, Aug 10, 2002.

  1. greniedgal

    greniedgal Member 7+ Year Member

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    Aug 9, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    Hey everyone! I have a couple general questions about prereqs that hopefully you all can help me with.....since many of you have already applied. I took general bio and chem as a freshman and didn't do well in them. Then changed my major and graduated with good grades. Post bac I took some higher level bios and chems at a local community college (ie Anatomy, Physiology, Cell and molecular bio, Microbio, Biochem etc.) Now I'm wondering if these 'upper level' courses will count for the '2 semesters general bio and 2 semesters general chem.' I would think they'd accept more advanced courses for general ones, but I don't know. Does anyone have experience with this?
    Also I heard that many med schools look down upon taking science courses at community colleges. How true is this? I mean I took them there for location and price..not that they are easier.
    Any responses from your experiences would be appreciated!
    :)
     
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  3. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    3,398
    15
    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    They will want see all your grades irregardless of which ones. The grades for ALL classes that are designated as Chemistry, Biology, Physics, or Math will be lumped together to determine the BCPM GPA, what many people call the Science GPA. You must have a 'C' or better in all the requisite courses (General Bio, General Chem, General Physics, Organic Chem, and possibly Biochem, possibly a Math Course(s), possibly English course(s), possibly Psychology course(s) depending on the school).

    I personally don't have any experience with Community College classes but it is doubtful that it will put you at any serious disadvantage.
     
  4. greniedgal

    greniedgal Member 7+ Year Member

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    Aug 9, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
     
  5. efex101

    efex101 attending Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    2,713
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    Apr 19, 2002
    MN
    If you do not have the pre-reqs then you need to get them regardless of how many upper level chem/bio you have. The only exception that I have read at some med school sites is replacing one of the gen bio semesters with some other upper level bio class like cell/molec. If the school requires one full year of general chemistry that is what you need to have from my understanding. I am not sure if you have already done all your pre-reqs and then added some more upper level courses, or you only did one semester each of gen bio and gen chem. Also do not forget organic and physics (which I am sure you have but just in case) Also your best bet is to go to individual med school sites that you are interested in and reading the requirements, it seems that more schools are now also requiring one semester of biochem.
     
  6. jonquille

    jonquille Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Mar 4, 2002
    Schools have different policies about "not doing well" in the prereq courses. Obviously, if you failed either chem or bio, you would need to retake those, because you wouldn't have technically completed those courses.

    Some schools require you to have at least a C in all prereqs. Others don't care, as long as you have at least a D-, have done upper level work, have a convincing reason for having done poorly, and have convinced them that you are past the period where you were performing badly. EVERY MED SCHOOL IS DIFFERENT. I know that schools have very different procedures from applying this past year and speaking to admissions directors at schools I didn't get accepted to (in case I had to reapply, I wanted to know specifically what they would want to see me do -- but I did get in to med school so I'm all set! :clap: )

    <B>I would call the med schools</B> you want to apply to and ask their policies regarding grades less than C's. While it may be embarrassing, you would be able to find out which schools you shouldn't bother to apply to if they won't look at you because they don't consider that you have satisfactorily completed the official pre-med requirements. The other possibility is that if you REALLY still want to apply to a school that has that policy, you could take those courses again during the year you are applying, and tell them that you are in the middle of taking the classes and you will update them with the grades.

    There is this pre-med resource that I think is the coolest: A woman who was the director for admissions at New York Medical College answers pre-med questions (from their specific situations) on this website: http://www.examkrackers.com/forums
    I think she (Judy Levine) has mentioned something about adcoms not being *psyched* about community college courses, but I don't really recall. You could read the answers she gave to other students, and even ask her yourself for her opinion on what she thinks you should do.

    But I would say, after applying (blech), my biggest piece of advice would be to call schools to see if they'll even consider you given your grades in those classes. It could save you a lot of money, and time, and ego, and let you focus more on the schools that will take a more comprehensive and balanced look at who you are, what challenges you've overcome and how you are achieving now, and how great a physician you'll be.

    Good luck.
     
  7. jonquille

    jonquille Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Mar 4, 2002
    P.S. I noticed you are from Philadelphia -- I am moving to Philly on Wednesday to start med school! I am very excited. Philadelphia seems like a great city.
     
  8. greniedgal

    greniedgal Member 7+ Year Member

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    Aug 9, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    Thanks for your insight! Yes, Philly is a great city and you'll like it here. What med school will you be attending?
    I agree and plan on calling schools. I want to ask them specifically if getting A's in higher level bios and chems will consider me as having complete the general prereqs. I mean you can't do well in such classes if you don't understand the basics. Hm..... I am making my schedule now for the fall and I'm debating taking Cellular and Molecular Bio, because it's a higher level course. But do you think med schools would rather see me take general bio 1? Also I would think the higher level courses would better prepare me for the mcat.
    Once again, you'll like philly alot...many things to do....and the biggest congrats on your acceptance! :clap:
     

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