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should i change to biochem?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by jon stewart, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. jon stewart

    jon stewart Senior Member
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    Right now i am a bio major and i dont find it very interesting, it seems like most of the classes are just memeorization and i am kinda getting sick of it memorizing useless facts. I went to a biochem lecture with my freind who is a upperclassmen and i liked that class a whole lot more, so i am thinking of switching my major to biochem, but i want to know a little more about it. The only reason i picked bio in the first place was beacause i am more interested in cellular biology and at the time i didnt know that i would have to take all these other classes on ecology and plants, so im not sure what major focuses more on this. But i dont want to take classes on ecology and plants and all this stuff that i find realllllyyy booring!!
    Any suggestions comments? any biochem majors??
     
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  3. tulane06

    tulane06 Private Joker
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    Biochem is also memorization, in fact I find it more tedious and less interesting than classes like cell bio, etc. However, if you really hate eco, go ahead and do the biochem major, just make sure you know what you are getting in to.
     
  4. humuhumu

    humuhumu nukunuku apua'a
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    A biochem major is excellent preparation for the MCAT and med school; however, I wouldn't do it unless it really interests you.
     
  5. Thundrstorm

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    What year are you? The key word in your friend's case is "upperclassman"," not "biochem." More advanced classes tend to require more advanced thinking. I hated my bio classes freshman year b/c they were so boring, but my more advanced classes were way cooler. I was a biochem major, though, and it is a cool major, but it still involves a lot of biology obviously. In fact, most of my classes were either bio or chem, not an integration of the two. My guess is that the prereqs are pretty similar, right? So maybe you can take decide about declaring your major a little further down the road.
     
  6. wm103099

    wm103099 Junior Member
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    I'm not a biochem major, but if you don't like memorizing you aren't going to get away from it by changing to biochem. Besides CVA, biochem was the most memorization I've ever done in a class. Plus, I think you'll get plenty of biochem in med school. But what do I know, I'm not even sure why I'm responding to this post, nevermind.
     
  7. jon stewart

    jon stewart Senior Member
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    Im a sophmore and my freind is a junior who is a bio major. The reason i need to decide soon is that the coursework after this year is pretty different. Uptil the end of my sophmore year its almost the same. But the major is actually biochem and biophysics, so i will have to retake the physics series with a calc based class since the one i am in now is non calc based. Also, i will have to take experimental chemsitry instead of o chem lab, so i geuss i have till the end of this year to decide. My upperclassmen freind whos a bio major has to take two terms of a different biochem sequence, and if i change to biochem will have to take three terms along with biochem lab and also i will have to take biophysics along with its lab. I will also have to take a year of p chem, i geuss thats where the real difference is.
     
  8. imsotired

    imsotired Senior Member
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    Unless you really liked calculus, physics, and chemistry, I don't think you should switch your major to biochem. The harder classes (like physical biochemistry, physical chemistry, biophysics, etc) are all about using and deriving equations. Not much memorization at all. But I don't find any of this information useful or interesting. I would rather be taking a bio course to be honest with you. And biology gets better once you start taking upper division courses like immunology, micro, etc.
     
  9. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy
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    If you hate it that much then change. But I wouldn't want to take pchem for the life of me. I was a chem major for my first 2 years of undergrad. I'm a biochem major now, but its a pre-med/dent/vet biochem which means I just have to do a year of biochem, lab and then I can take any bio/chem electives that I want to finish the major. I plan on taking micro/physio/anatomy/cell bio etc. It really depends on how the major is set up. But I wouldn't want to take pchem. ick. But if you like it, go for it!
     
  10. jon stewart

    jon stewart Senior Member
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    Im not a big math person...... :( but i so far i have gotten B+'s and higher in all my chem classes i have taken, and i think i like chemsitry. Physics is interesting but its rather difficult and takes lots of practice.......hummmmm

    If i were to switch to biochem i would have to take vector calc and some other infinite series math class... Are the upper level courses really math intensive? Or is it just using basic calculus rules like integration, derivatives stuff like that?
     
  11. sscooterguy

    sscooterguy Senior Member
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    I was in your situation way back when. Looking back, I wish that I didn't even do a science major. It did interest me, but not to the extent that medicine does. If I had to do it all over again, I'd take the prerequisits and have a non science (econ, history, art, spanish) or engineering major. That way, I'd understand much more about other aspects of medicine and science than just biology. I finally decided although I was intersted in biochem/cell molecular biology, I'd get enough of it later on in medical school (and if I didn't get into med school, I probably wouldn't want to do anything with a biochem major anyways). I ended up switching to General Bio (which was a separate major at UMich). This allowed me to take less lab classes and allowed for more non science classes, which I took full advantage of. I ended up having a lot of fun in the other classes, but as I said before, I wish I switched all the way into another major. Good luck.

    sscooterguy
     
  12. DoctorFunk

    DoctorFunk Get down with the boogie
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    Regardless of your undergraduate major, you are not going to be able to avoid rote memorization once you hit medical school. You may as well get used to it at this time and start working on what study methods you find to be most effective in learning a massive amount of material in a short period of time.

    That being said, have you explored a major such as Cell Biology, Genetics, or Microbiology? Any major focusing on these topics should interest someone who is more focused on the cellular level of biology and still provide an excellent base of knowledge for med school.
     
  13. 75969

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    How many ecology type classes are required for biology at your university? I only had to take ecology (and ended up taking animal behavior because I needed an upper level class....but it was not at all required of the degree). The degree (at my university) has potential to be catered towards what one is interested in...for example, you can take:

    Bio 1 & 2/Cell bio/Genetics/Ecology/Physioogy/Histology/Comparitive Anatomy/Micro/ Virology/ Biochem/ Genetic Engineering and be done with the Bio (BS) degree....all those classes (with exception of ecology) are of interest to me, and I am also interested in te cellular level biology.

    I was in your position last year and so started a Chem double major...I like the chem that I have taken so far, but now I will have to retake calculus (a different level). Now, I am trying to decide whether I want to keep the chem or turn it into a "very thorough minor" :laugh:
     
  14. jon stewart

    jon stewart Senior Member
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    i only had to take one ecology class and i hated it like hell....but if i were to stick with my bio major i would have to take microbio with lab, cell bio, genetics, evolution, stats, calc which i have already taken, biochem and some other courses that i cant think of right now.

    So far i have taken gen chem and a quarter of o chem and i have liked all those classes so far. The lowest grade i got was one b+, with everything else being A's. For bio on the other hand, the highest grade iv gotten was a B and the lowest was a C+ from fall terms ecology clas....lol :thumbdown: i geuss i need start memorizing more!!!
     
  15. 75969

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    You might be taking the "memorization" of biology too far....

    When I study Biology, I try to understand what is happening and why--so go online, find animations of the topics to watch...draw everything out if possible- know WHY things are happening. After you have this down, go back and fill in the details.

    Also, if you are considering a major in biochem, make sure to take cell bio first-- a lot of cell bio is the big picture of biochem (it might help you decide which major to follow through with).
     
  16. nimotsu

    nimotsu 荷物
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    I'm a biochem, and it is memorization. I liked it much better than biology, though. I can't explain why.. perhaps a more elegant approach to study systems with quantitative aspects.

    If it interests you, then go for it. But be warned.. you're life will be much more painful than that of a biology major. I don't know if it's true for every school but anything with -chem ending major means good 'ole pchem! And if you have to take pchem and don't like math that much, then stick with bio. You'll probably have to take some other chem electives, so check out your major sheet before jumping.
     
  17. werd

    werd Senior Member
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    i was a biochem major and enjoyed it a lot. the requirements vary from school to school, but in general you get out of the plant/ecology parts of biology and add quite a bit of chem and a little more math. the only advanced-math upper-level course i had to take was pchem... as a biochem you'll have to take 1 or 2 semesters of this depending on the school. a lot of courses in the major use tricky algebra and such but not the heavy high-level stuff.
    in the same way that physics is behind chemistry, chemistry is behind biology and biochem looks at biological processes in a "what's the chemistry and physics behind this" sort of way. in biology you'd learn the TCA cycle, in biochem you'd learn the enzyme mechanisms behind each step (it's just practical application of organic chem). my undergrad biochem didn't have a memorization-intensive approach, but if you're premed you can expect to have every biochemical pathway shoved down your throat in med school so either way it's in your future.
    one more thing... it depends on the size of your university, but majoring in "molecular biology" is not the same as "biochemistry," and may be another good option. my biochem degree consisted of 20 chem courses, 9 bio courses, and 4 biochem courses as the central theme. molecular biology is similar to biochem but with less the chem emphasis and still no silly plants or furry forest animals. cheers.
     
  18. jon stewart

    jon stewart Senior Member
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    we dont have a molecular biology major as a option, we have biology, microbiology, chemsitry, biochem, i wish we did have a molec bio major that would be perfect for my interests. I think i need to take a closer look at microbio. What the hecks biophyics, it sounds terribly difficult. But the only physics courses we take are just gen physics with calc, so i dont understand what biophysics is exactly, how much physics is acutally involved?
     
  19. MDhopeful023

    MDhopeful023 ...hopeless romantic...
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    Hi there, I graduated with a BS and MS in BCH... I have to say the bio students had a hard time in BCH (introductory level)... mostly due to alot of pathways you have to know back and forth... I suggest you to pick up a BCH book and see what you are getting yourself into... If you decide to you have to also take Physical Biochemistry and Physical Chemistry etc... which all come when you switch your major...
     
  20. bolnoi

    bolnoi Membership Revoked
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    yes, biochem indeed involves a lot of memorization, no less than biology. but it is also based very much on organic chemistry. did you take it, liked it?? indeed, in biochem you can take courses which are completely devoted to chemistry of transcription, or chemistyr of cell signalling, etc. you said you liked cellular biology, so did you take a bio course where they used Lodish textbook? i believe people take that and organic chemistry during sophomore year, and only then decide whether they're into bio or biochem or some other branch of biosciences.
     

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