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social science major = disadvantage in med school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by sotired, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. sotired

    sotired sotired

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    Since I was a sociology major in college and only took the four major prereqs (orgo, bio, physics, gen chem. – no biochem) I’m wondering if I’ll be at somewhat of a disadvantage this fall when I begin medical school, where many of the students have already had courses in anatomy, physiology, biochem during undergrad

    What do you guys think?
     
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  3. Vvandenn

    Vvandenn Member

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  4. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this

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    lol I didn't take biochem either and my interviewer at Downstate made a big deal about it, but I told her I was brushing up on it myself and had bought a textbook (true btw).

    Anyways, don't worry too much about it, I think it was mostly just my interviewer, since interviewers definitely bring their own biases into what they think is important.

    If a med school really cares that much they'll just accept you then make you take the course before you matriculate (over the summer).
     
  5. PEN15

    PEN15 Member

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    since when did med schools start accepting people they knew were going to fail or be at a "disadvantage?"
     
  6. sotired

    sotired sotired

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    i'm not implying that i'll fail, i'm just asking if it will be significantly harder for me to compete with classmates who are seeing some of the material for the second time
     
  7. y8507

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    I think it will inevitably be harder for someone who has not taken as many science courses in ugrad. A friend of mine was an urban studies major, and he says that life would have been a lot easier this year (M1) if he had taken a few more upper levels (particularly anatomy & physiology and biochem). I don't think you'll be failing or anything like that, but it's always easier for someone who has more experience in something to succeed at it in the future.

    But, remember, science majors suffered during ugrad, while you learned something different that you probably won't get the chance to ever again. :)
     
  8. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member

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    The only advantage I can see is knowing how to study the sciences already, which possibly comes in handy in cutting down on the amount of time it takes to adjust and find your medschool groove. But it takes everyone a while to adjust so we're not talking any major advantage

    I never had biochem before, I'm doing really well (I think this is just because I really like the class, I know, supernerd here) and I know a few kids who were biochem majors who are really struggling. I was a neuro major undergrad and I'm doing well in neuro but there are kids who've never had it who are doing better. Theres a few concepts like 2nd messengers and ion gradients that I was already familiar with which might have helped the first time we heard them but now that we've had them 6-7 times I think we're all on even ground and I'm not even thru 1st year.

    And I agree, if you get accepted then the adcomm thought you would do well in medschool so don't fret too much. They wouldn't let all these nonsci majors in if y'all were bombing out all the time.
     
  9. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member

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    The general consensus I've seen is that UG classes just brush over the surface of the depth that a medschool course in the same discipline will go into. Or their focus is entirely different, like UG biochem is all about structures and medschool biochem is not. So they might have an easier time on the first few lectures, but no huge advantage. I majored (meaning multiple upper level and grad courses in it) in Neuro and sometimes I've seen what they're talking about in my medNeuro class, and sometimes its all new to me too. Just taking 1 physio class isn't going to do much for you when you get to medschool physio.
     
  10. old_boy

    old_boy Contrarian

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    It will be an advantage. Don't listen to those (many) premeds who think you need to be a bio major to get into or do well in med school.

    You'll learn everything you need to know re biochem and other sciences in med school, although as others have said you may need to work a little harder than those that have seen the material before. Sociology is cool. It will lead to interesting conversations with your interviewers. I was an econ major and found this to be the case. Definitely a positive along the interview trail.

    Good luck!
     
  11. sotired

    sotired sotired

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    thanks for all the responses!:) yeah, i definitely saw how being a non-science major worked to my advantage throughout the interview season, but i guess i couldn't help being a little apprehensive about being "behind" when med school starts..
     
  12. argonana

    argonana SDN Donor

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    Really? My experience has been the opposite, at least with biochem--we went into far more depth in undergrad. We had far more time (say two quarters, rather than just a couple weeks) to do problem sets, think about the energetics of pathways and individual reactions, analyze and appreciate structures, as you mentioned, and basically learn things from a basic science perspective. Med school, on the other hand, is more like one huge survey course. Fundamentals are rarely addressed, and those who come in with a strong foundation in any scientific area (as I did with (ONLY) biochem and math) are at a huge advantage with respect to those areas.

    My undergrad biochem course was significantly more difficult (but more valuable) than biochem in med school. Can't speak to anatomy or physiology because I took neither course in undergrad.

    I think some of it comes down to what type of learner you are. If you don't have many qualms with accepting things at face value, then you'll be fine, because you'll certainly be presented with everything you'll need to know for the exams. However, if your soul requires that you learn things from the "bottom up," then you will probably find first year a little frustrating, with lots of gaps in the presentation of material, and you will likely end up putting in a bit more study time than some of your bio-type counterparts.

    On a more positive note, I'd wager that everyone arrives at about the same page by the end of first year. And humanities types are often the coolest and brightest classmates to have. :thumbup:
     
  13. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin

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    The non-science majors have a steeper learning curve for the first few weeks, especially for schools that start with biochem. Everyone however has a pretty steep learning curve regardless of major. Med school is very different than Ugrad. A non-science major is going to be 'a bit' disadvantaged but if you get into medical school you can hang and make the grades. The difference btw sci and non-sci majors disappears after the first month or so after everyone gets used to med school.
     
  14. Kfire326

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    If you can self-discipline as far as studying habits, time budgeting, etc. then you should be fine. I know someone who graduated with a Psychology bachelors, only took the bare minimum pre-med courses, ended up going to stony brook, and passed their biochem with honors.
     
  15. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin

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    well i know this guy who was a sociology major and took the bare minimum pre-med courses and he went to Columbia and graduated with an MD in 1 year. Beat that...

    Stop using anectodes, they mean nothing.
     

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