Should I take Biochem while applying?

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Apr 20, 2002
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Gosh, I haven't posted in a while.

Anyway, I need some advice from anyone who's willing to give it. Like most of you, I'm applying now. However, I'm a bit behind the ball. I've only completed about 8 of the 20 secondaries I anticipate I'll receive. . .
I graduated a year ago, and I didn't take biochem in college. I'm considering taking it this semester (fortunately, the Harvard Extension school hasn't started classes yet). I think it would be an interesting class, and it would be nice to not have to play catch-up when I (hopefully) start medical school.
However, I'm working full-time and my job is just starting to get more stressful. And of course, there are all those applications to worry about, plus the possibility of interviews.
Applying to med school needs to be my first priority now. That said, if I work hard in biochem, and get an A, maybe it will convince some adcoms to pull me off a wait list next spring? :)
I'm just not sure what level of stress to expect from this application process, or from a biochem class that meets one evening for 2 hours a week. . .

If you think my question is boring or hackneyed, please just ignore it.

Thanks! and sorry this is so long!

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You don't need biochem to get into medschool. (I took it and got my only C :( ). My advice is to concentrate on your applications. You will have trouble enough keeping up with secondaries with your job, and once you start going to interviews, it will be hard to avoid missing class and falling behind. If you think the application process is stressful, wait until you start interviewing. It is downright grueling (not to mention time-consuming and expensive). I'm not saying you couldn't do it, but why do it if it's not necessary? :confused:
I'm almost in the exact situation you are in. Here's what I was told about taking biochem now. I was told that the vast majority of applicants in the past entered medical school with out taking biochem and did just fine. Even today there are many med students that never took biochem either and do just fine as well. Its not like you are going to remember all that much from that class, plus, I have heard that biochem in med school is a completely different "animal" so to speak. Taking a class on it may be helpful but then again there will be many classes that you will take in med school that you have never been exposed to either.

I don't think its worth it and I especially don't think getting an A in biochem will help you get in off of a waitlist. I would see publishing a paper as more helpful in that situation in addition to a letter of intent or interest when you get to that point

just my $.02.
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double check to make sure your school don't require biochem. i am taking biochem now--but only cause i'm applying to umich, and they specifically require biochemistry.

if they dont' require it, don't bother.
I agree with Saiyagirl. I'm also applying this year and taking biochem only because UMich, USC and UC Irvine require it.
Sorry, I forgot that some schools require it. :oops:
i'm taking it b/c irvine & usc require it. otherwise i wouldn't do it.

I took the second half of the biochem course at Harvard Extension when I was working in Boston (Biomolecules and their Transformation, right?). And I think it is do-able, but you have to keep up with the material. It is a lot of memorization(cycles, structures, etc...). But if you keep up with the reading and classes, you should be fine. The nice thing about the Extension classes is that you can work while taking them. PM me if you want more info.
biochem is tough if u don't remember organic well, but it's almost essential to survive in med school..
Thanks for the advice, everyone! :)

I'm leaning toward not taking it, since I'm already having trouble keeping up with these applications. Every evening when I get home from work, I just feel too drained to write. Even when I have some down time at work, I just don't feel inspired to pour my heart out on paper, while being bathed in flourescent lights in my tiny cubicle.

Question: Does anyone know if UChicago (Pritzker) requires biochem? I notice they ask about it in the secondary.
Foxy got into Pritzer (not a slight on Foxy's numbers or background, just I don't think that that's true)? Do you mean Finch?? I thought she turned down Finch for Florida?
About Pritzker and biochem.

They do not require it. HOWEVER, PRITZKER'S CURRICULUM IS HEAVILY BASED ON BIOCHEMISTRY AND THEY STRONGLY RECOMMEND TAKING IT. They kind of make it a point to emphasize this. Why they still don't officially require it though in light of this is anybody's guess.