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Undergrad biochem vs. med school?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Ludy, Oct 7, 2002.

  1. Ludy

    Ludy Senior Member
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    Hey all,
    My biochem prof from undergrad emailed me today asking if I could give him some advice. He wants to know, from the perspective of current med students, what he could do to make the course more effective in the long run for students going to med school. I'm an M3 now, so I don't remember the specific differences between undergrad and med school courses and what was emphasized as an M1 very well anymore... so, if anyone has suggestions, that would really help me (and my prof) out. Thanks!:D

    As a side note, my personal opinion is that Lippincott is way too detailed for the boards. After you finish class exams of course ;) , all you really need to know is what's in First Aid, and it doesn't hurt to go through the biochem Underground Clinical Vignettes in the month before Step 1. Good luck to you all!
     
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  3. orthoman5000

    orthoman5000 Senior Member
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    Now I didn't take an undergrad biochem course but I did just finish up my medical biochemistry course (took the shelf exam on Friday).

    My advice would be to use a book like Lippincott's or BRS Biochemistry to guide the content of the course. The material that was in these books was almost exactly the entire content of the course. We did have a fews days worth of lectures on the biochemistry of cancer at the very end of the course and a lecture on xenobiotic metabolism toward the end that aren't covered in the review books, but everything else was almost the same.

    I don't think an undergraduate course could go wrong using the Lehninger text. I've been told this is a standard biochemistry text, and although it wasn't our required text it was the text that most of the professors took their lecture material from. It might has well been our required text over the worthless book they recommened.

    Also to better prepare for medical biochemistry an undergraduate biochemistry course should emphasize memorization of pathways more. Our teachers were always saying "understand, don't memorize" but they would ask questions that would require complete memorization of several pathways. If nothing else memorizing glycolysis and the TCA cycle would be good preparation.
     
  4. Resident Alien

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    All undergrad biochem courses make you memorize the metabolic pathways.
    The difficulty is your prof wouldnt want the biochem course become a purely pre-med school biochem.

    I guess its suffice to know the pathways (with enzymes and kinetics, reversibility of reactions and stoichiometry).

    To sum it up, your professor could consider the following:

    Glycolysis, Krebs cycle, electron transport chain ... shunts like the pentose phosphate shunt, protein metabolism and its link to carbohydrate metabolism, lipid metabolism and its link to the pathways, nucleic acid metabolism, and vitamins (esp. those in the enzymes catalyzing the metabolic reactions).
     
  5. daveshnave

    daveshnave Senior Member
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    I think things such as Krebs/glycolysis, and any intermediate metabolism topics will most likely already be covered in any decent undergrad biochem course. Having myself taken biochem in college and then again in med school, I noticed that the main difference was that the med school biochem course tended to go into details about metabolic diseases, where my undergrad biochem did not discuss these topics as much or at all. The "classics" such as Tay-Sachs were mentioned in undergrad, but not things such as Niemann-Pick or Gaucher's disease. Relative to undergrad classes, a substantial amount of med school biochem covered topics related to hemoglobin (synthesis/breakdown, etc.), again with more of a focus on diseases (hemoglobinopathies/thallasemias). Just some advice for starters...
     
  6. Resident Alien

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    We didnt even do this in med school biochem!!
     

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