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Which Physics??

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by Ellebarry, 05.19.14.

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  1. Ellebarry

    Ellebarry 2+ Year Member

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    I already preregistered for my classes for the fall and just found out there are two different physics courses. Fundamentals of Physics and General Physics. I can take either to satisfy my degree, but which one for premed?
    I'll schedule an appointment with an adviser, but I'd like some other advice now since I won't get an appointment right away. My husband thinks I need to take General, but I think it's suppose to be Fundamentals. Or does it really matter?

    The descriptions for the two are:

    Fundamentals of Physics

    Introduces algebra-based general physics that meets the requirements of programs in liberal arts, secondary education and health-related fields. Cover mechanics, heat and wave motion in first term.

    General Physics
    A survey of fundamental concepts and methods of physics as a basis for further study in science and engineering. Emphasis is on classical principles and their application to mathematical analysis of physical problems. The first term includes topics in mechanics, fluids and sound.
     
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  3. J Senpai

    J Senpai Grab my arm. Other arm. MY other arm. 5+ Year Member

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    I haven't seen @agent B for a while, so I think we're safe.

    The first one is algebra/trig based physics. That is what is tested on the MCAT and is the more basic plug and chug class. The latter is calculus based and is intended for physics and engineering students. It will be more in depth and will require at least calculus I. Whether it's "harder" will depend on you.
    At the end of the day, they both satisfy the prerequisite requirements.
     
  4. Spinach Dip

    Spinach Dip Delicious with nachos 2+ Year Member

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    Algebra based is the minimum requirement.

    You can do more if you want...
     
  5. moop

    moop 1K Member Banned Account on Hold

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    What's he got to do with this
     
  6. Shazam243

    Shazam243 2+ Year Member

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    Ask which one is calculus based, and take that one. The calculus involved is not advanced, and easy to self-learn.

    Both will prepare you for the MCAT.
     
  7. ronnicus

    ronnicus 2+ Year Member

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    I'd take general if I were you- I'm in the algebra based one right now and it's way too easy- you don't really get to understand physics, something you really need calculus to do. Physics is so interesting and as a premed you only take it once. Make it count- learn it well and you'll see the world in a whole different way. On the other hand, if all you want is to pass the MCAT and spend your time elsewhere, then by all means take the fundamental one.
     
  8. Zelda840

    Zelda840

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    Weird. A lot of the med schools specifically say you need one year of General Physics, though at my school there are two kinds of General Physics: algebra based and calc based. Fundamentals is something entirely different at my school and something that would not be ok for med schools, just like fundamentals of organic.
     
  9. J Senpai

    J Senpai Grab my arm. Other arm. MY other arm. 5+ Year Member

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    He/she/it is very adamant, in such threads, on every premed taking calculus based physics due in part to a personal bias in being a physics major.
     
  10. moop

    moop 1K Member Banned Account on Hold

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    Oh. I thought it was cause algebra physics is a little ridic bc you just can't tear away the two subjects. To which I agree vehemently.
     
  11. Ellebarry

    Ellebarry 2+ Year Member

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    I just finished Calculus this semester, but I think I'd prefer the algebra based one, which is the one I'm currently enrolled for. I will think more on it. Thank you for all the responses.
     
  12. kyamh

    kyamh 2+ Year Member

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    Well, I'll be happy to take up the torch then :D. The reason pre-meds take pre-reqs is to learn to think, NOT to pass a test. Whether or not you use physics in medical school is irrelevant. It is important to learn how to ask the right questions, how to problem solve, how to work hard, and how to become a better educated person in this world. College is not a prep school for medical school, it is an educational experience. Many students on this site, whether they like to think it or not, will not go to medical school - some because they don't get in, others because they choose to pursue something else. In either case, all of us are much better off getting as much out of our education as we can, not just the bare minimum.

    Also, if your school has a committee for pre-meds then they are very likely to mention whether you challenged yourself with a harder course or not. My pre-med committee is upfront about telling medical schools all about which classes are easy on your transcript and which are typically challenging.
     
  13. Ellebarry

    Ellebarry 2+ Year Member

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    Thank you @kyamh for putting it that way. Now I'm leaning towards the calculus based one. Not because I'm gunning for a good letter, but I do want to challenge myself. I would like a class that's going to help prepare me for the MCAT and it's hard to get out of that thinking. However, I'm sure the classes will be much more beneficial overall and for every aspect in my life if I focus more on/appreciate what I'm actually learning rather than how it's going to help me pass the test. Again, it's difficult to get out of that streamlined test thinking, but I will at least now be more aware and can try to alter it.
     
  14. kyamh

    kyamh 2+ Year Member

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    I stand by all that I said with the giant grain of salt: don't tank your GPA ;) (though, personally, I would take an A- in the calc one rather than an A in the algebra one...which is exactly what happened)
     
  15. PreMedOrDead

    PreMedOrDead I'm sure you'll get in... 2+ Year Member

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    My new answer to this question is: If you have to ask, take Algebra-based physics.
     
    moop, The Buff OP and gyngyn like this.

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