I am planning to take statistics. My school's mathematics department offers "elementary statistics" and the psychology department also offers "elementary statistics". I've heard that some medical schools require statistics. Do any of you know which one would probably be the right one to take? I'm tempted to take the psychology one just because I hear it is harder, but would it not count under the BCMP courses? Also, I would appreciate it if any of you could post which medical schools require it that you know of. Thanks!!!

i don't think any schools actually *require* statistics courses, but many recommend that you have some kind of background in it, to help out with the basic epidemiology stuff you'll be learning in med school. the vast majority of people i know in med school never took any kind of statistics, so don't feel like you need to take it.

Benji, The decision of which type of statistics to take should probably depend on your year in school and your major. If you are in a science major, especially bio, and are a frosh or soph, take the psych course. It will be harder, but you will learn more. At our school, the math dept stats course is pretty useless to a science major and teaches you very little. I took this class, but only because I needed elective hours late in my college career. By the way, very few med schools, MD or DO, require math at all anymore, but I would still do some calc and stats if possible - couldn't hurt right. Plus, it looks better on a transcript than a semester course in bowling.

Benji, I actually took BOTH psych statistics and math statistics b/c I minored in both. Basically, the psych one is more practical for science, and the math one is probably more useful for those in business. When I took the math statistics, I was the only non-business student in the class. But, I should also mention that my psych statistics was a total bore. I really didn't think one was harder than the other, BUT the math statistics one was more challenging to me and thus more um..."enjoyable." Anyways, I probably sound like a dweeb (sp?) now. Psych statistics won't count for BCMP. Anyways, I started with this post w/ the intention of helping you since I took both, but I guess the decision is up to you since the two vary at different schools.

UCLA does require statistics as a part of their math prerequisites. I talked to their adcom office yesterday and they said any elementary statistics would fulfill the prereq. You may want to check the prereq list for every medical school you plan on applying to.

i think that statistics counts for the math requirement. if a school requires that you sit in one year of math class, but only cares that you finish calc 1, then stats counts. that's what i did. if you are looking to get anything out of it, take psych, because the techniques you'll learn *might* help if you are doing research. but if the other one is easier, i might do that if it's going to count for math anyway. as far as edification is concerned, i think that intro stats is pretty bogus. statistics is really specific, and basically only interesting if you are using it to get an answer from a pool of data. besides, a good calculator can do anything i learned in my intro stats class. a waste of time if you ask me. i needed it for my premed recs, but only for the year of math. if you don't need statistics, go take an english class!

I haven't heard of any medical school requiring statistics. I took two quarters of calc and one quarter of stats to make it one year of math. I took "Basic Statistics", which is what schools want. I know that many med schools accept stats, but I haven't heard of any med school (and I don't remember any secondaries) asking specifically for statistic classes. Take a stat class that fulfills "Basic Statistics" and you should be okay. Hope this helps!

UCLA does. When completing their 2dary, if you click on the 1 yr math requirement it lists statistics as a mandatory part of that 1 yr. Moreover, stats is a great thing to have in your mental toolkit for both medicine and science. There will definitely be a time when you need to find out if results are statistically significant or not and it's cool to understand the methodology. Supposedly, medicine is moving ever farther, ever faster towards research. My undergrad, the University of Washington, had a really cool math series for biology majors that integrated stats into a calculus series EC I didn't know about it and landed up taking the series for engineers But it was useful regardless. I wouldn't take a course b/c it sounds harder, but b/c the curriculum sounds better. I would think though, that psych would probably have more interesting stat applications egs (all that p-value, two-tailed T-test stuff for studying poplulations. That'll come in handy. The book Biostatistics by Stanton Glantz is excellent for learning the stuff. I also think stats could potentially help for the MCAT. I took the August MCAT and it seemed more data interpret-esque that a good stats course could prepare you for. Either way it's great you're taking the course. You'll be well-served I'm certain.

Psych stats is not the same as the kind of stats you'd get through a biology major. I wouldn't choose one or the other just to fulfill a stats requirement. If you're not a psychology major, don't take psych stats...it's not really going to get you anywhere. Someone said it might help with t-tests and whatnot, which is true...but you really don't need that kind of thing unless you're going into clinical research. It really would be a waste of time - you'd get your easy A but it's not going to help in the future. More applicable to the medical field would be epidemiology and biostatistics. Although when I took it, I thought it was the most pointless bullcrap ever invented, supposedly it's extremely important (think CDC). If you're a biology major, most likely it'll be some kind of "population biology" requirement. As far as schools requiring statistics, a lot of schools integrate statistics into "math for premeds" or "calculus for premed" . If you felt compelled to take one, I'd take the mathematics one and not the psychology one. Because psych stats is not really considered "real stats" yet.