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Should I take anatomy in undergrad?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Auron, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Auron

    Auron Cruisin' the Cosmos
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    I'm currently registered for Gross Anatomy (with lab and cadaver) at my undergrad for the spring, and I can't decide whether to take it or not.
    Its not required for my major, and if I don't take it I'll most likely take evolution or some other upper division bio class.

    I graduate after spring and plan on taking MCAT in May after classes finish. This is my tentative schedule as of now for spring:

    Gross Anatomy
    Physics 2
    Physics 2 Lab
    Endocrinology (not required, not sure if its worth taking either)
    Evolution of Intelligence
    Animal Behavior
    Great Ideas In Medicine (writing intensive)


    so all that plus MCAT prep, 20hrs/ week job, and my gpa is borderline.

    What do you think, take anatomy? I'm afraid that it'll take away too much time and effect my performance in my other classes - which is a big deal as I need a 4.0. I have had difficulty in the pre-reqs and am also wondering if an "A" in anatomy would impress the adcoms and show that I could handle med school work?


    I'd really appreciate any help, thanks guys.
     
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  3. savant

    savant XIII
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    why do you want to take it?
    if it's out of interest, then, by all means...
    but if it's for med school prep, i've heard that most undergrad anatomy courses are quite different from med school...and that you would forget what you learned by then anyway...
    mcat doesn't test anatomy
     
  4. linguini

    linguini Hopeful member
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    That seems like a really heavy workload considering MCAT prep and work. I took anatomy...the professor was great but I don't remember a thing. I would drop it if I were you. Endocrinology sounds interesting and might help you for the MCAT (but the endocrine info for the MCAT you can learn on your own as well).
     
  5. Auron

    Auron Cruisin' the Cosmos
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    2 reasons - out of interest and the belief that If I got an "A" it would alleviate doubts about whether I could handle med school due to grades in some pre-reqs. Of course, MCAT will demonstrate my competence and ability as well if I can obtain a very high score and which I'm currently prepping for.

    The main thing is - I want a 4.0 no matter what, and I want to show that I can handle the work. I'm just not sure if its work taking the risk to my gpa.
     
  6. 146233

    146233 Phthirius pubis

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    Right. Why risk not performing at your best on the MCAT because you want to see "if you can get an A" in an unrequired undergraduate course? I'd say drop anatomy, do well in your remaining courses, and use the extra time to study for the MCAT.

    BTW, whoever said an endocrinology course is going to help for the MCAT is mistaken. There simply isn't enough endocrine-specific material on it to be anywhere close to worthwhile. :)
     
  7. bennnythejet

    bennnythejet once is nonce
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    if this is your last semester of college, i'd use it to learn about something you won't have a chance to study later on. i took an art history class in each of my last two semesters and i wouldn't give up the knowledge gained there for any number of points on the MCAT. if you're concerned about grades, you can always take something pass/fail.

    you're going to learn anatomy in med school anyway...
     
  8. Auron

    Auron Cruisin' the Cosmos
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    Yeah, I think you're right. I will drop anatomy and take a class thats a lot less time consuming and difficult. I would much rather put all that time and energy into the MCAT, which would ultimately help me a lot more as an applicant. I think my interest in anatomy made me sign up for it, and subsequently made me hesitate to drop it...but I see now that a 4.0 and high MCAT trumps everything else at this point, and should be my main focus right now.

    Does it look odd if you're say, a health science major and you take courses in evolution and animal behavior? Wouldn't it make more sense to take classes like immuno etc? (adcom thought process?)

    Th reasons I'm taking classes like animal behavior is because I'm genuinely interested in the subject and as its my last semester of college - I would like to take classes that really interest me as I'll likely never have a chance to do so again - plus they're still upper division bio classes.

    I hope the adcoms don't look down upon me for not taking typical bio classes when I had the choice of taking other upper division classes, due to my interest.
     
  9. bennnythejet

    bennnythejet once is nonce
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    there is no way they'll look down on you. i only took one upper level bio class in college.
     
  10. mynamehereMD

    mynamehereMD hmmm... somethings wrong.
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    I took anatomy with a cadaver lab and loved it. Its been my favorite course in all my UG. I did spend WAY more time on it than any other class though. Lots of terms and having to identify tiny nerves on multiple cadavers that don't look anything alike. I got an A but spent probably 15 hrs. a week either studying or in open lab.
     
  11. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It
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    I stronglyrecommend endocrinology, especially over anatomy. Loads more interesting, imo, and helpful for mcat/bio. That and who DOESN'T like endocrinology?
     
  12. dr zaius

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    If your class/lab is anything like the one I took as an undergrad, do not take it with that schedule. It was essentially like taking two separate 3 credit hour courses. It's fun to learn using the cadavers, but I wouldn't risk it if I were you.
     
  13. Auron

    Auron Cruisin' the Cosmos
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    Yeah, I'm thinking taking endocrinology except that that I hate the profs teaching style (took them for cell bio last semester - it was horrible). But I've heard that this course is nothing like cell bio (in that this course is all case studies and not presented like a typical lecture course), so maybe it wont be so bad? If I don't take endocrinology I might take biology of complex systems - and I have no idea what we learn in that class, or what a complex system is exactly. Or ecology, which is boring but preety easy :idea:
     
  14. air bud

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    endocrinology would do absolutely nothing for the MCAT. Focus on studying for the MCAT so you can take it in the summer and get in your app as soon as possible
     
  15. Auron

    Auron Cruisin' the Cosmos
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    bump for any other thoughts..
     
  16. 135892

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    I think this is your answer right here...
     
  17. greg1184

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    This has nothing to do with the MCAT, but as a medical student, when I look back and see what I would have done differently in undergrad, I would have taken an anatomy course. Now, anatomy in undergrad is no where near as intense as it is in medical school (especially my medical school, which has anatomy in an 8 week block), but I found that out of all of my colleagues, the people who had the easiest time adjusting to anatomy were people who had it before. No, you will not remember everything from undergrad anatomy when you reach medical school, but at least you will have heard some of the terms used. IMO the hardest part of anatomy that I personally had to adjust to is learning the "language" of it, especially if you haven't had it before.
     
  18. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    Endocinology on the MCAT? No way dude. I didnt come across a question that asked even about a hormone on any practice test or real test. If there is a quesiton on endocrinology, its going to have to do with a passage from which you can deduce and use your reasoning skills. You arent going to need to have hormones memorized.


    OP, if you are intersted in anatomy, then take it. Its an awesome course. I'm a kinesiology major, so ive taken all the anatomy and physiology and what not. I know a lot of people who graduated before me from my major who are now in med school and they all tell me how thankful they are to have taken anatomy (and conversely how they wish they had taken biochem).
     
  19. Auron

    Auron Cruisin' the Cosmos
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    I guess a good question to ask is if anyone here has taken anatomy and a full load of classes and prepared/did well on the mcat?
     
  20. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness
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    Adivice: if you're taking the MCAT, you need to lighten your load. Easiest coursework possible, drop any course you can, and you probably need to quit/reduce the hours of your job if it's at all possible (is the little bit of extra debt really worth it?).

    For the record, Anatomy with Cadaver dissection seemed to help those that took it during Anatomy lab. But I wouldn't trade a single point on the MCAT for that tiny bit of advantage.

    Getting an A in Anatomy/Endocrine/whatever isn't going to show them you're ready for medical school. What's going to do that is your MCAT. It's a huge standardized test with the sole purpose of showing them that you're ready for medical school. It weights either equal to or higher than your entire cum GPA in this process. Don't screw around with it.
     
  21. Auron

    Auron Cruisin' the Cosmos
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    Here's another problem - if I don't get into an MD program for some reason, I'm seriously considering doing OT (occupational therapy) and they require anatomy, so It satisfy the requirement for OT programs.

    So if I don't take anatomy and dont get accepted to an MD program, I'll have to take it at some other school for OT programs. If I take anatomy, It will take away time for MCAT prep. I'm afraid that I won't be able to succeed in med school because I'm not THAT interested in the sciences, I find classes like biochem utterly boring and don't want to study these subjects hours on end. I think I'd be an excellent and caring doc, but I'm not sure I have the stamina or could stomach studying the material.
     
    #20 Auron, Jan 6, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  22. SweetButterfly

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    Does your class allow you to sit in some classes?

    Mine does...with permission from the professor or lab instructor.
    This happens to be one class that Id love to sit in eventually (if i have time). No pressure on your GPA, youll get to hopefully learn the material and get a feel for the class.
     
  23. Lukkie

    Lukkie Membership Revoked
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    hell yeah man anatomy rules one of my favorite classes through my whole undergrad. i even read gray's anatomy for fun now
     
  24. 146233

    146233 Phthirius pubis

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    Excellent choice. :) You'll get more anatomy than you know what to do with in medical school and the "early prep" the course would provide you isn't worth the risk of not being as prepared for the MCAT.

    Please, please, please do not select your courses based on what you think [or people have erroneously told you] that admissions committees "want to see". Schools want to see that you've done well in any course of study about which you are passionate. (And in their prerequisite courses.) I was a criminal justice and psychology major. Then I got a masters in criminology. It made for excellent banter at my interviews.

    So you're on the right track; absolutely take classes that interest you. (I took Film History when I had a spare class to take. It was hands-down one of the best courses I've ever taken and I've never watched a movie the same way.)

    Enjoy undergrad; it's going to be over before you know it. :)
     
  25. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It
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    Really?
    :rolleyes:

    Regardless, I also made it a point to highlight that endocrinology is geniunely interesting. I didn't just say take it for the MCAT. I didn't take endocrinology for the MCAT and it was probably one of the best bio courses I ever took next to biochem.
     
  26. slowbutsteady

    slowbutsteady slowbutsteady
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    sorry, didn't read the whole thread.

    don't take gross anatomy.

    be sure to take genetics.
     
  27. fahimaz7

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    The two times that I took the MCAT (04 and 07), I had at least one full passage on endocrinology. With that said, there was nothing in these questions that I "knew" without having to read the passage. Without a PHD in Physiology, I doubt anyone would be able to answer the questions, from a passage, without having to read the material that is provided.

    My questions were on T3/T4 structure, function, and regulation (both of it's release and it's target activity).

    L2 read the passages = good MCAT scores. Most of what you need to know is given to you within the passages.
     
  28. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
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    If you read the Kaplan section on Physio, you will be able to answer any discretes on endocrine or blood flow or whatever else they ask.

    There is no need to take an undergrad physio class.
     
  29. MarylandDude

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    What? :eek: what MCAT did you take? Endocrinology is most certainly heavy on the MCAT. I had a whole passage on Insulin/diabetes with a mouse model, PTH and Calcitonin action and had a whole bunch of stand along questions on the reproductive hormones on my real MCAT. Plus I took about 30-40 practice tests (no joke) and endocrine was definitely on at least 70% of them.

    To the OP I think endocrine would be a better choice but it is tested at such an elementary level that you can certainly study it on your own. Focus on the MCAT.
     
  30. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It
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    Well then, by that logic, why even have science prerequisites? Don't take physics, don't take chemistr, don't take biology, don't take anything. Just use the review books and you'll be fine.
     
  31. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
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    if you needed to take physio, it would be a required pre-req. the others are obviously required to matriculate not just for the MCAT.

    now, that says nothing of the merit of the pre-req courses in preparation for medical school or their utility in general.
     
    #30 Jolie South, Jan 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  32. justdoit31

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    I would skip it if you could graduate without it- no medical school requires physio and doing well on the MCAT should be a top priority for you.

    That said it could be helpful on the MCAT...but it seems you have a pretty busy schedule!
     

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