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Required Sciences - Why Take Physics Last?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Mac656, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. Mac656

    Mac656 2+ Year Member

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    I'm a freshman and I'm going to finish a year of biology and chemistry this May, and I've got to choose a science for next year. Everybody insists that I take organic next year and leave physics till junior year. Assuming I take the MCAT at the end of junior year, why would I not want to have organic fresh in my mind? I just don't understand why people believe in taking the bio-chem-orgo set first instead of taking one of these three key classes junior yr?
     
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  3. AnEyeLikeMars

    AnEyeLikeMars Member 7+ Year Member

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    Why not have physics fresh on your mind? Off all the sciences on the MCAT, orgo carries the least weight. It doesn't really matter though. You can take it whenever you want.

    I think the reason why most people do it that way is because the chemistry sequence is two years. It makes sense to start that right away. A lot of people take general bio early because they're bio majors. Physics tends to get pushed to junior year to avoid taking it with orgo during the sophomore year. This is just how it commonly works it. There are many routes to the same place.
     
  4. Caristra

    Caristra 10+ Year Member

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    There is no rule that you have to take physics last. I didn't. I think having physics actually helped me with the other courses. Take the courses in whatever order suits you best, but make you sure you brush up on everything before MCAT time.
     
  5. GreenShirt

    GreenShirt 10+ Year Member

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    I agree with AnEyeLikeMars. Orgo is the least represented topic on the MCAT so it's not going to help to have that "fresh" in your mind over others sciences. Since Orgo requires some gen chem knowledge, it usually comes after gen chem so those things are fresh in your mind. Another reason is that physics requires calculus, which not everybody has in HS. Also, orgo tends to be more of a pain so people like to get it out of the way.

    The only reason to move physics around, IMO, would be to take the MCAT earlier, ie take it along w/ orgo your sophomore year or take it the summer before sophomore year so that you can take the MCAT after sophomore year and have everything fresh in your mind. But, in the end, it's really up to and your personal preference.
     
  6. blargh

    blargh Banned Banned

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    why not take all of them sooner rather than later and spend the rest of the time reviewing?
     
  7. foofish

    foofish 7+ Year Member

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    SDN
    Yup....and for many (if not most) postbacc programs for those doing all the prereqs, physics usually comes first (gen chem and physics the first year, orgo/bio the second year). Your physics-last rule just happens to be the way you and your friends are choosing to do it.
     
  8. postbacker

    postbacker Banned Banned

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    FWIW, I read somewhere recently that the traditional high school science sequence is backwards...when I went through, it was Bio - Chem - Physics, and it is now thought by "experts" that sequence would better serve the students in reverse order...
     
  9. foofish

    foofish 7+ Year Member

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    At least for us, it's in part because a year of gen chem is a prereq for bio (which is heavy on biochem), so the only way to make it a 2 year program--and not 3 years--is to take physics first. Also, there was a bit of overlap between gen chem and physics (e.g. quantum mechanics, fluids, etc) first year, and then a lot of overlap between orgo and bio second year, which was helpful....easier to see how all the subjects fit together.
     
  10. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I went to a talk by Leon Lederman, Nobel physicist, who said the exact same thing.
     
  11. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

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    I took gen chem freshman year, organic chem sophomore year, and bio 1 and physics 1 in spring of freshman year, and bio 2 and physics 2 in fall of my sophomore year. I was in great shape to take the MCAT after sophomore year. I'd recommend that.
     
  12. Dookter

    Dookter Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    That's interesting you bring that up. My fiance is getting her masters in education while I'm in med school. [Yes, I will have a suga-momma soon!]. Anyway. She came home and told me how they had someone tell them this the other day in class. I disagree based on my own experiences, largely b/c of the math involved with those courses [or at least when I took them]. There was really no math needed for bio. Chem required at least some math. And physics required the most math. I knew kids who were a few math classes behind some of the rest of us, and they had trouble with the math in chem and physics....
    EDIT: Remember, this is high school we're talking about. How many freshmen are ready for physics at that point?
     
  13. montessori2md

    montessori2md Member 10+ Year Member

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    On the Road Again
    I think it's better to take them all at once ;) It's like a whole year MCAT review.

    Seriously, I know it's hard to schedule 2 labs, but why not take orgo and physics next year, take the MCAT next spring, and then if it sucks, you have another year of cushion to wait to apply, you can take biochem or microbio or human physio to increase/cement your knowledge, and then be superready.

    I took orgo lecture over the summer and then took the lab during the school year. I don't know how your orgo classes are structured, but for us, the lab and lecture weren't exactly related (IR wasn't covered in lecture, only in lab), so it was not a big deal to delay. That has helped it stay "fresh".
     
  14. 75969

    75969 Guest

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    I took gen chem and bio 1st year, then orgo and physics second. This worked well because I had one memory based and one 'math' based class each year.
     
  15. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central 2+ Year Member

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    MDApps:
    Physics was the first class I took when I considered becoming premed, because I knew it would be my worst subject and I didn't want to suffer through Orgo and the like only to bomb physics in the end and lose all chances of making it into med. I got a B+, so I gave myself the green light to proceed with the premed route.
     
  16. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    The way Leon Lederman presented it would be a qualitative physics class with little mathmatical rigor. He suggested that the fourth science be a more math rigorous physics.

    The idea comes from starting at the smallest unit of matter and working your way up in complexity.
     
  17. BigRedPremed

    BigRedPremed Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    I don't understand why people can't just take orgo and physics together.
     
  18. Brigade4Radiant

    Brigade4Radiant 10+ Year Member

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    Physics 221
    Chemistry 351
    Math 152
    Midieval studies
    Biology 240


    These are my classes next year. My advisor said that it would be wise not to take Orgo 2 and Physics 2 together.
     
  19. Brigade4Radiant

    Brigade4Radiant 10+ Year Member

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  20. 75969

    75969 Guest

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    Florida
    This is why I never listened to advisors...you know yourself better than they know the average joe blow premed that comes in their office.
     

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