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What classes?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by swiftlars, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. swiftlars

    swiftlars New Member

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    I'm sort of new to the whole college thing so please forgive me.

    Ok, so I decided I want to try and get into medical school. What classes should I be taking for my undergraduate though? I know they should be science-related but is there a required cirriculum you must follow? Right now I'm about 3/5 of my way through an associate's of science degree at a community college. I only took this route because I had no idea what I wanted to do.

    It would be a lot easier if I saw something such as "The following classes are required in order to be admitted to medical school" (I know it doesn't work this way). 90 hours are required but 90 hours of what?

    I'm trying to figure out how the whole major thing works as well. The associate's of science that I'm currently doing has a nice list of classes that are required with all credit hours listed. Does a major in say pre-med or biology have this as well? Unfortunately my advisors were not too helpful.

    So what should I be doing after my associate's? A bachelor's degree of something?

    Again, I apoligize for for so many dumb questions.
     
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  3. Hoberto

    Hoberto Squirrel Girl
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    There should be an advisor at your school you could talk to. Most community colleges will have someone familiar with the courses required to apply for medical school and will be able to help you with any other concerns you may have as well. Since it sounds like your advisor sucks you should talk to some of the biology profs at your school. Undoubtedly someone is there who can help you. You just have to find them. ;) The nice about CCs is that the faculty are really there to help you, the student.

    You will want to get a copy of the MSAR just to get some information about schools and requirements. You could just use an older one for now from the library and then get a new one during your application year. It is invaluable.

    Another good resource is the AAMC Website. You can check out their Medical Education section for lots of information regarding the MCAT, courses, schools, GPAs and more.

    Yet another resource is the FAQ stickies at the top of all the forums. They will include the answers to just about any question youmay have regarding this process from high school through med school.

    Most (if not all) medical schools will require you to take:
    One year of General Biology with labs
    One year of General Chemistry with labs(Also called Inorganic Chemistry)
    One year of Physics with labs
    One year of English

    Some schools also require:
    Math through Calculus 1
    Statistics
    Biochemistry
    and/or others

    It is possible to take all of the required courses at your community college but not necessarily recommended. Now, contrary to what you will see on SDN, CC credits are accepted by the vast majority of schools. If you are aiming for top schools this will become an issue. However, if you just want to be a doctor and aren't so concerned about the med school you attend I wouldn't worry about it.

    You can major in anything you like for your bachelor's degree. A BS or BA is fine. The vast majority of medical schools will require you to complete your undergraduate degree before matriculation. So, you shouldn't plan to just take 90 credits and start applying to med school.

    There are very few places that offer a pre-med major. Personally, I would recommend against taking it if it is offered at your school. You should major in something that you are very interested in. You also want to pick a major that will garner you the highest GPA. Don't be afraid to get a BA in philosophy if that is what really turns you on. If love Biology, then go ahead and get a BS in Biology. This is entirely up to you. (Of course, the flip side of this is that only ~50% of people who apply to med school get in. So, you may want to pick a major that will help you get a job if the med school thing falls through. )

    Once you move to a 4-yr institution and pick a major you will get a nice list of the courses, when to take them and their credit hours, just like you got when you started at your 2-yr institution. You will have some leeway to choose elective courses though, and may want to take some jr/sr level biology or chemistry if you decide to take all your pre-reqs at the CC. Of course, if you are a Bio or Chem major you will take plenty of upper level classes. ;)

    Basically, it is a pretty straightforward plan after your associate's academically: 1. Pick a Major (BS/BA), 2. Take Classes and keep grades high, 3. Study for and take MCAT in jr year, 4. Apply to Medical School.

    So, now that you have an idea about what to do course-wise you have to decide how to beef-up your application with some sort of extra-curricular work. There are a tremendous number of ways to do this. The key is to do something throughout your undergrad and do it well. You want to show commitment to a cause when you begin applying to med school. Some ideas are to volunteer in your local hospital, soup kitchen, nursing home, Red Cross center. You aren't limited to medically related things, though. For example, if you are passionate about helping disadvantaged students earn their GEDs than help at a tutoring center. If you are fascinated with anthropological research than pester the anthro professors and get some research experience. You don't have to do this 40 hours/week. Medical schools understand that some students have full-time jobs. Like I said, the key is to show commitment. You want to do something for years if possible.

    One more thing, if you haven't shadowed any physicians now is the time to do so. You can learn a lot about medicine and what it entails by following a doctor around during his typical shift. If you can follow several different types of physicians that will help too. You want to be sure that you'll like medicine and be able to show/tell medical schools that you've really researched medicine as a career and aren't just choosing it randomly.

    Okay, if you have read this far you must be serious or bored! Don't be overwhelmed with everything. Enjoy school and life, don't become crazy and obsessed! You are still supposed to enjoy undergrad and have fun. :luck: :)
     
  4. swiftlars

    swiftlars New Member

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    Thank you so much for such an informative reply. I greatly appreciate it!
     
  5. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    Hoberto, that was quite possible the longest, and most helpful response I have seen. I was just going to say "buy the MSAR, it will answer your question." :thumbup: :thumbup:
     
  6. Hoberto

    Hoberto Squirrel Girl
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    Gee, thanks! :) I am soooo procrastinating my Reactor homework, but what better way to procrastinate than SDN!!?? Actually, I know how people tend to react about CCs on here and wanted to say something helpful and positive in case some meanies came around to help out.
     

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