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Should i take anatomy to prepare for medschool

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Sonya, Oct 25, 2001.

  1. Sonya

    Sonya Senior Member
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    Hi,

    This is kindof a premed ques, but i thought it'd be best to ask you guys.

    I'll graduate in may, and then will work (research lab or company) for two years then start medschool. I may take some grad classes along the side.
    my brother is an MS1,and just finished a big chunk of exams, and was visiting and telling me about it.

    So, i thought, maybe to prepare myself for medschool, i take anatomy. not an undergrad anatomy class, but the real medschool anatomy. Of course, i'd repeat it when i enter medschool. maybe i'd just audit it or take it pass/fail.
    Sounds like a good idea? you think medschools will let me. maybe if i didn't use up one cadaver?
    Whay anatomy? I CAN NOT absolutely can NOT memorize tons of info. I sailed through all my math/physics and such. I struggled through classes that required a lot of memorizing (cell bio, history). So, i guess anatomy would be my weak point in meschools as MS1

    Advice appreciated. does this sound like a good and/or feasible idea?

    Thanks,
    Sonya
     
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  3. doepug

    doepug Senior Member
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    Hi Sonya -

    I don't know if it's possible to take a med school anatomy course, unless you've matriculated somewhere as a medical student. I'm pretty certain that Wash U doesn't allow undergrads in the course. Anyhow, as trite as it sounds, there's a certain rite of passage associated with meeting a cadaver for the first time as a medical student. Anatomy is certainly challenging, but it was also a psychologically powerful course for me... I finally understood that I wasn't a biochem major anymore. The key to anatomy is realizing that everyone gets through it. It isn't always barrels of fun, but everyone gets to the finish line. The simple truth is that a med school won't accept you unless they're convinced you can get through their curriculum.

    Most first year med students are on a level playing field -- anatomy will be new for 95% of your class. Your time before med school is limited, and if you're anything like me, you'll wish you could've taken a dozen more courses by the time you show up as a first year student. Don't feel obligated to take the class. You'll do fine in anatomy someday. You'll be amazed at how comprehensive your memory can be.

    Cheers,

    doepug (Wash U - LA '00)
    MSII, Johns Hopkins
     
  4. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member
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    While I agree that you should be having fun, I know that the folks who already took anatomy once are much happier right now than those of us who didn't. Take it at a community college as a NON-CREDIT class. Just get the basics. I would say, "YES!!" take it -- I have big practical exam in gross anatomy tomorrow and it would have been nice to not have to cram all this in at once. Take care,

    Becky
     
  5. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    I would say that it would have definitely helped to have taken anatomy before medical school. However, you will learn the material either way. So it's really only a matter of time, so you would have to weigh whether it is worth spending the time to get a head start versus doing something else with your time. I can tell you that medical schools often discourage students from taking anatomy as undergrads because the faculty like to mold students' learning according to how they like to teach. But if you have the spare time and don't mind inhaling formaldehyde, then I'd say go ahead. :D
     
  6. FSUMED

    FSUMED Senior Member
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    You should check to see if your school has a cadavar anatomy class for non med students. I know some schools use them for some grad classes. That would be much easier to get into I think than an actual Med school gross anatomy.
     
  7. kd

    kd Senior Member
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    Any type of anatomy exposure before med school is useful, though anatomy will still be tough regardless. I took an undergrad anatomy class before med school - the course that is typically taken by Nursing and other pre-allied health majors. While it certainly can't compare with what we're covering in Gross, it was still helpful. Basically, in undergrad anatomy, we learned all the bones and muscles, along with some of the nerves and blood vessels- so once I got to medical school anatomy, I didn't have to devote as much time to basics (like memorizing all the skull foramina) and could spend more time on the tougher things, like learning innervations, etc. If nothing else, undergrad anatomy will get you familiar with the terminology, which is half the game itself.
     
  8. ckent

    ckent Membership Revoked
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    Hi Sonya, I recall from some of your previous posts that you are an undergrad at Wash U. Wash U offers an excellent anatomy class in their bio department, Vertebrae Structure. It's actually the anatomy of the cat and dogfish, but you would be surprised to know how similar human anatomy is to cat anatomy, the class was taught just like a med school class (in intensity as well as volume, I would recommend taking a light load while you take that class) while I was there. It really helps for med school, besides learning memorization techniques, most of the anatomy is readily transferable from cat to human. I hope that it's still being taught there, it's a great class.
     
  9. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    That's great to hear, as I'm taking a very similar course. I guess it's the same except for the title, mine's "Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates". :)
     
  10. Sonya

    Sonya Senior Member
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. Yes, there are many classes we can take to prepare for medschool. I considered vert structure. But i have a limit to my electives, and they were cell bio, genetics and physiology. I think those were bad choices, and I should of taken biochem, but what's done is done. and i don't have room for more electives.

    I'll be in chicago area once i graduate. Either working at northwestern or in a company. Anyone know how northwetern, UIC, pritzker, or rush would feel about my getting into their anatomy class?

    If i take something equivalent to the medschool class, I'll definetly take it pass/no pass.. because I have a feeling i'll have trouble with it. If it's my only class, and undergrad... i'm may hope i'll do well and take it for grade.

    I'm totally amazed how many of you know i go to WashU. ;) :p

    Thanks
    Sonya
     
  11. Fix-it-Man

    Fix-it-Man Member
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    That sounds like a great idea Sonya. As a matter of fact I took 3 years out of college before med school. I spent one year doing exclusively research at a biotech. co. Then I got into BU's masters in medical sciences program. And there I took many real med school courses w/med students, including anatomy. I am a 2nd year med student now, and although I had to redo all those courses they helped me immensely with my overall performance and grades; I am still reaping the benefits in such courses as immuno. and micro. (&later pharm.)!! I recommend taking a post-bac or masters program geared toward out-of-college pre-meds...that way you could not only take gross but also a whole host of "real" medical courses. The downside is it's gonna cost you at least 30 grand.

    Good Luck
     
  12. Sonya

    Sonya Senior Member
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    The real downside is the commitment. I thought about doing masters, but decided not to. It's only two years, and I'll be working full time, and preparing and taking MCATs, and doings Applic. I may take grad classes, but a masters program seems to be too much of a commitment. and, i didn't really see the benefit of masters.

    Sonya
     
  13. tc

    tc Member
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    I used Acland's Video Atlas of Human Anatomy (5 tape set) to study for my MS1 anatomy course. The tapes are excellent. They show detailed, clean dissections from bones to muscles, nerves and vascularization. If you know everything on those tapes, you will sail through gross anatomy.

    Don't take the class. Use the tapes to study at your own pace. You will have to memorize hundreds of bones and even more muscles, nerves and bones, so get started early.

    And no, I don't work for Acland but he damn sure worked for me.

    tc

    :)
     
  14. jubei0766

    jubei0766 Member
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    I was in an anatomy class(community college) and saw couple of medical students who were headed to medical school. I also saw some physical therapy students and nursing students as well(everyone was coming from a very diverse background). I supposed they were taking it to get an early exposure.
     
  15. Sonya

    Sonya Senior Member
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    Thanks for the suggestiong, TCutler

    I went to a community collge earlier, I know everyones from totally diff backgrounds. The closest class they had was anat/phsysio combined.
     
  16. guardian

    guardian Senior Member
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    Good question. I may be asking myself that two weeks from now :eek:.
     
  17. doepug

    doepug Senior Member
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    Sonya (and other aspiring med students) -

    If you really want to get a leg up on the memorization techniques, take microbiology!

    I have a set of infectious disease exams tomorrow, and the number of silly facts that need to be memorized is remarkable. If you're concerned about your ability to digest copious amounts of minutiae, I'd *highly* recommend a solid micro class. In my opinion, this is much more challenging than memorizing anatomical relationships, which you will observe and palpate first-hand.

    -doepug
     
  18. Fah-Q

    Fah-Q Senior Member
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    I think you are getting a little ahead of yourself. First of all, you have yet to graduate from undergrad yet and you are talking about entering med school 2+ years from now. While it certainly is good to have a positive, goal-oriented attitude towards your education, you do come of as a bit arrogant. You need to actually be admitted to medical school first. Calling up a med school and asking if you can sit in and audit an anatomy class and participate in lab will not be looked favorably upon. If you want a mecial education then apply to medical school like everyone else. Why should any medical school devote valuable resources and teaching time to someone not even enrolled in their program? This plan of yours definitely displays a sense of entitlement to a medical education and that sort of attitude can almost guarantee you a bunch of rejection letters. You have to earn the honor of learning anatomy from a cadaver. If you are really interested in learning anatomy then take the course at a community college or buy a good textbook and read while you sit at your research bench for the next two years. Anatomy can certainly seem like an overwhelming subject but it isn't the hardest class you will encounter in med school. I think the other classes you took (cell bio and physiology) were good choices for preparing for med school. I don't think attempting to learn anatomy 2 years before med school is worth your time. You will have forgotten most of it by the time you start. Good luck.
     
  19. Sonya

    Sonya Senior Member
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    okay...
    I aslo thought medschools weren't going to be easy about sharing the cadaver resource... that's sortof why i asked here... But i suppose i was thinking just attend the lectures.

    and i'll accept your opinion.
    but, seriously, I don't see how it would tie with my admissions. It wont neccesarily be at the school same school i'm admitted to, because there is no telling where i'll be admitted.

    Suppose it's the summer before your senior year of high school, and you decide to take a class at your local university (you haven't yet received your college admission). You are not telling me people don't do that... lots of people do. Is that arrogant? Is that saying you're assuming you're entitled to a college education? Is that any different from my situation?

    I'm just thinking about it now. anotomy is 1 yr long, if done at a medschool. I'll graduate in may, and then maybe take it/prepare for it that year, or maybe the next year.

    WashU lets (hell, lists it under our electives_ undergrads take "cell and organ system bio".. which is a first year medschool class. but, i do see how they will not want to share lab resources, esp cadaver.
     
  20. Fah-Q

    Fah-Q Senior Member
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    Good argument about the high school senior taking college courses but there are a few differences between that and your situation. First, a high school senior would still have to apply and be admitted to the school in order to take courses at the college. You are talking about taking the med school course without applying to med school. Second, those programs that allow high school seniors to take college level courses are usually solicited by the college and are sort of revenue builder. I have heard of med schools offering courses during the summer for pre-meds and even high school students but these are not equivalent to a real med school course and would not be worth your time. I still think that you will most likely do fine with anatomy and it sounds like you are well prepared for med school. You don't need anatomy before you matriculate.
     

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