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Which courses will give you a leg-up for med school?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Asumi, May 6, 2001.

  1. Asumi

    Asumi Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    Hey guys, got one more for ya,

    Are there any classes that you wish you had taken in undergrad that could have made life a little easier for you in med-school? In the MSAR I have noticed that schools list Biochem, statistics, genetics, MCB as suggested courses. Any advice on taking extra classes that would make me that much more prepared for the brutality?
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  3. Pepe

    Pepe Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 1999
    San Antonio, Tx. USA
    I wish I had taken Neuro-anatomy, Histology, and Embryology. At my school Embryology was taught as part of Gross Anatomy and comes at you very fast. I sure wish I would have known the difference between ectoderm and endoderm before the first day of school. I did take Biochem and Metabolism as an undergrad and it made life much easier the first semester of school. I will tell you though that you don't NEED any of these classes, but they will, or at least should help you.
  4. gower

    gower 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2000
    New York
    You should already have learned "ectoderm" and "endoderm" in HS biology, or certainly by the end of a first year biology course. By that time you should have known that "endo" means "inner" and "ecto" means outer, and "derm"=skin/layer/covering. Many common roots of words/terms in the sciences come from Latin and Greek. You do not need to learn those languages, but you pick up the meanings of the commonest terms from taking elementary biology and chemistry courses. If you deem it necessary, you can buy a small scientific dictionary, which will give you the roots as well as definitions of terms. French, Italian, Portugese and Spanish speakers might recognize Latin roots more easily than others because those languages derive from Latin. The names "Latino", often used for Hispanics, and "Latin America" are based on the Latin roots of Spanish. Several other European languages also have Latin roots, courtesy of the Roman Empire. English itself, while primarily a Germanic language, (the Angles and Saxons were Germanic tribes) has words of French derivation introduced by the Norman Conquest (the Normans were orginally Germanic-speaking Vikings who settled in Normandy, then under the French King). Enough already.
  5. abbeydesert

    abbeydesert Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2000
    I'm just finishing up an undergrad course in Embryology and frankly, I think it was a complete waste of time in terms of preparation for med school. We spent most of our time talking about fruit flies, frogs, and worms. The focus seemed largely on experimental developmental biology, particularly at the molecular level- we spent a lot of time talking about things like bicoid mRNA in Drosophila or Hox genes in mice. We barely glossed over the chapters on endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm, so we never studied the development of specific structures as it relates to the gross anatomy (which is what I suspect the focus is on in med school) Though it was certainly an interesting course, I can't fathom how it could be much use in med school.
    OTOH I also just finished up undergrad anatomy- and though I know it barely scratches the surface of what I'll have to know next year in Gross, I feel like I will be that much ahead of the game next year.

  6. Pepe

    Pepe Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 1999
    San Antonio, Tx. USA
    Let me be a little more specific on the embryology I was talking about. Our college offered a Human Development class which would have been excellent preparation for medical school. That truly was a fascinating and insightful lecture on the history of language and culture though. I was only using endo, and ecto as an example.
  7. docuw

    docuw Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 6, 2001
    My Developmental Bio class was just as abbeydesert described as well. bicoid, hox, beta catenin, germinal discs, blah blah. I hated it. Oh well. At least I could tell a mother fruit fly why her son has wings in place of its halteres when they visit my clinic. :D
  8. sanford_w/o_son

    sanford_w/o_son locl jnky-gota thred man? 5+ Year Member


    l3T chA05 Re1gN!
  9. boilerbeast

    boilerbeast suPURDUEper 7+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    I wouldn't stress about it too much, but if you get a chance, I would go ahead and take biochem, metabolism, molecular biology, and physiology. It's true that you don't NEED these things before med school, but it really is nice to have a little bit of background. The information comes at you very quickly and in huge volumes and it's a lot less overwhelming the second time around.

    Don't stress yourself out, though. Take these courses pass/fail or audit them. You will get challenged enough in med school. :)
  10. BlondeCookie

    BlondeCookie Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    In order of importance:

    1) Human Anatomy or Physiology
    2) Biochemistry
    3) Microbiology

    Human Embryology & Histology aren't that big of a deal. Just my opinion that Anatomy & Physiology are far more important. Though, if you have the time then take the Embryo + Histo if you like to after Anatomy.
  11. tupac_don

    tupac_don Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    May 16, 2004
    Embryology helps, biochemistry helps only if its medical biochem, regular biochem is not of much use, maybe only the Kreb's cycle/glycolysis stuff. Physiology helps, anatomy probably helps, but med anatomy is probably one of the most comprehensive, but any anatomy is helpful just to get you used to that type of thinking. Histo is useful and probably neuroanatomy. But it will defiently give you a good base to build off. Not that you can't do well without having the courses, but trust me having a good base, allows you to relax on some parts and really learn the new info that you never seen. So it helps from that point of view. Good luck.
  12. matthew45

    matthew45 Rock Chalk. 7+ Year Member

    Aug 29, 2003

    I second this motion with a few qualifications. I would pick Physio over Anatomy and I would put micro about biochem.
  13. SteveUTexas

    SteveUTexas hmmm..... 7+ Year Member

    May 16, 2002
    Houston, TX
    I think one course that has been overlooked by the previous posters is IMMUNOLOGY. Learn it and learn it well, it comes up over and over again.
  14. Iwy Em Hotep

    Iwy Em Hotep The Welcomer 10+ Year Member

    Aug 25, 2004
    In all seriousness:

    1) A public speaking course.
    2) A journalism or other class where you learn to write concisely.
    3) As many foreign language classes as possible.
    4) An art and/or sculpture class.

    You don't need more science. It helps a *little*. Any advantage that you have will be short-lived. Being confident with presentation, and being able to write quickly and well will help a *lot*.
  15. OSUdoc08

    OSUdoc08 Banned Banned

    Sep 30, 2003
    -Physiology :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
    -Biochem :thumbup: :thumbup:
    -Genetics :thumbup:
  16. OSUdoc08

    OSUdoc08 Banned Banned

    Sep 30, 2003
    I'm not sure how a sculpture class will give you a "leg up" in medical school.

    I had a great advantage over other students in my school by having completed paramedic school.
  17. humuhumu

    humuhumu nukunuku apua'a 7+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2005
    Wow, this thread is almost 5 years old. At this point the OP's probably in med school or pursuing some other dream.

    Anyway, I second anatomy and/or physiology.
  18. fantasty

    fantasty Physician 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    The one with the CHUDs
    I'd say no to stats (I like stats but it doesn't help at all)

    I'd say yes to:
    human genetics
    nutrition & metabolism classes within biochem

    Spanish & public speaking are actually really good ideas for the clinical years.
  19. fantasty

    fantasty Physician 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    The one with the CHUDs
    sanford w/o son is on a quest. check the threads in the lounge :)
  20. remedios

    remedios Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2006
    I took the first year of medical school in college. It really helped with the first year of medical school.

    Seriously though, if you finish your premed requirements and have spare time, take some classes you were always interested in but never got around to take. Once you start medical school it'll much harder to pursue your other interests.

    The reqs should be adequate in preparing you for medical school. And in terms of having "a leg up", I would say that the information you learn in med school is a lot more in depth than a college course of similar materials. Your performance will largely be influenced by your abilities as a student/test taker in general rather than an extra course in anatomy or physiology you took.
  21. Iwy Em Hotep

    Iwy Em Hotep The Welcomer 10+ Year Member

    Aug 25, 2004
    This might be partly biased, since you do want to do EM. :)

    But I think art classes help you when it comes to doing 3D rotations in your head for surgery or endoscopy. Some people might be naturally good at this, but then again, some people are naturally good at lots of things.
  22. lattimer13

    lattimer13 good boy! 10+ Year Member

    Nov 11, 2002
    Pacific NW
    i agree. :thumbup:

    also if you have no idea of how to use the keyboard i would take a typing class as lots of places have electronic health will save you a ton of time. once you get into med school you'll have the rest of your life to learn and live medicine.
  23. CanIMakeIt

    CanIMakeIt Fellow 10+ Year Member

    Oct 8, 2003

    but you don't need to take any of these to do good though .....

    edit: I just rrealized this thread is over 5 yrs old :laugh: :laugh:
  24. logos

    logos 100% Organic 10+ Year Member

    Nov 15, 2002
    Out there.
    In order of importance:
    Anatomy <---I didnt have this and therefore was behind (=more work)
    Immunology <---having had this was an advantage
    Biochem <----I barely had to study for this

    I think most other classes won't help genetics...because med school genetics is 1/3 basic genetics and 2/3 memorizing genetic diseases.
  25. fun8stuff

    fun8stuff *hiding from patients* 10+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    The art and sculpture class would be a waste of time. Althouh the other classes might help some once you ge to third year, they won't give you a leg up... 1 & 3 would be the most important out of these.

    Classes that would be of ore help would be to take more science as people have said...
    medical biochem
    medical embryology
    medical anatomy & biochem
    medical genetics
    molecular biology
    medical nutrition

    I have taken most all of my med schools first year classes and I would say it has helped tremednously. I have taken many of the classes above.. the least helpful were the ones listed 1-4.
  26. OSUdoc08

    OSUdoc08 Banned Banned

    Sep 30, 2003
    I disagree with this. I took anatomy and it was not helpful. Physiology was the golden course.
  27. Gimlet

    Gimlet Cardiac Anesthesiologist 10+ Year Member

    Nov 29, 2004
    Looks like you all have become unwitting pawns in Sanford w/o Son's reign of chaos.
  28. bigred001

    bigred001 Member 5+ Year Member

    Nov 19, 2005
  29. OSUdoc08

    OSUdoc08 Banned Banned

    Sep 30, 2003
    Exactly. Those are always the 2 courses I recommend. :thumbup: :thumbup:
  30. fpr85

    fpr85 "newbie" 5+ Year Member

    Sep 1, 2004
    This thread is five years old! Why do you think sanford's account was put on hold? hehe.
  31. fun8stuff

    fun8stuff *hiding from patients* 10+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    why would u get put on hold for bumping old thread? i didn't realize it was TOS violation... what's so wrong with it?

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