How far ahead do I need to think?

From the discussions here about pre-reqs, whether med schools will take CC classes and similar, calculus a requirement, etc, I am wondering do I need to start actually researching certain med schools to find out their specific requirements? Or should I follow a general pre-med path and after a year or two start looking at what med schools want?

It cannot hurt to look at a broad range of schools just to see if there is anything odd that they require or suggest so you can plan accordingly.
are you seeking a first bachelor's degree ? In what major?
at most schools, a major like Bio Sci will allow you to fulfull most if not all med schools pre-reqs while also fulfilling the major's requirements. For example, Bio Sci at my school requires either 3 qtrs of Calculus or 2Q calc + 1Q statistics =and, 1Q calc is prereq for Physics II at my school.
When I saw that medical schools never asked for >2Q of calculus and often suggested statistics or accepted 1Q Calc/1Q stats, I opted to take statistics at my CC to fulfil my math requirement for transfer to univ, and then taking 2Q calc at the univ. that way my statistics cost $13/unit and I've got it covered for the future and I take my calc when convenient in my schedule (e.g. 1Q before Phys II;2Q in my last qtr).
if you are looking at another major, then you'll have to integrate your major's requirements with the pre-med requirements. Since this can take some skill in scheduling the most direct path, you should start to become aware of what is required now.
Basically, the premed requirements are:
1 yr Gchem w/lab
1 yr Ochem w/lab
1 yr Physics w/lab
1 yr Biology
These are the same courses you will need for the MCAT.
Additionally, a few schools have a math requirement, others English comp, some specify Biochem or Molec Biology (or both). others have suggestions (in addition to requirements) like Spanish or Psychology. Requirements can be found on the schools' websites - or get the MSAR book (Med Sch Admissions Requirements) from AAMC. Osteopathic schools are similar in their basic requirements.

I am tentatively planning to major in psych or anthroplogy with a minor in biology. I either am going to start at a CC this fall or go to the nearby state university. I have been going to school off and on for years but basically I am starting over.
Thanks for the info!

It shouldn’t hurt to check with the schools you plan to apply to. I just did this last week with the University of Wisconsin since I’d heard somewhere that most schools don’t accept CC prereqs. Well, surprise, surprise, they do. Maybe it’s because the CC I will be attending is also part of the UW system (if you’re planning on a private college, I’d check for sure), but based on what I found out, most state schools will accept CC credits if they’re from the same system. One caveat, though, they need to be accepted for transfer by a four-year undergraduate institution, so check with the college you’re planning to transfer to and make sure they will be acceptable.
Sorry if this is rather incoherent, I just got up after four hours of sleep and am currently guzzling coffee-it hasn’t quite kicked in yet! blink.gif

QUOTE (LisaS @ Apr 17 2003, 08:41 PM)

Basically, the premed requirements are:
1 yr Gchem w/lab
1 yr Ochem w/lab
1 yr Physics w/lab
1 yr Biology
These are the same courses you will need for the MCAT.

Most med schools also require the year of lab with biology.

I wanted to pose a question to Judy…
I am considering enrolling in my first set of pre-reqs this summer. I basically need to take them all.
I have a BSBA in Accounting from a private university.
What is more favorable for pre-reqs? CC or 4-year?
I am assuming your answer will be 4-year. So, how vital is it that all pre-reqs be taken at this level? Additionally, how important is it that I attempt to take all classes at the same school? I live in an area that has about 8 4-year schools and 3 large CC's. I do have to work full-time, so where I go may have to vary based upon class times, etc.
Your advice would be appreciated!

Justin, I don’t have Judy’s extensive experience but let me see what I can do with these questions…
All things being equal, 4-year colleges do “look better” to medical schools and if you’ve got the option, it’s probably wise to choose 4-year. There are lots of people who simply don’t have a choice - a CC is their only local option, or the only one that works with their schedules, etc. You do the best you can with what you’ve got available to you.
There are a few medical schools that really don’t like CC credits. Duke is one, I believe. But most schools don’t care that much - especially if you do well on the MCAT, which will be the testament that you learned something in your prereq classes.
How vital is it? Well, it’s vital if you want to go to Duke biggrin.gif but it is NOT vital for most schools.
As for taking all the classes at the same school - if you take 'em all at the same school, you might have the option of a pre-med committee advisor. (or not, at some schools the advisor and committee are only available to full-timers, undergrads, etc.) The advisor can be helpful. Or may know very little about helping non-trads. Similarly, a “committee letter” (essentially, a composite of recommendations from your professors and others) is something a lot of medical schools will ask for, but it is not usually a requirement. Most schools will only do committee letters for people who meet some sort of time and/or credit total requirement, so splitting your credits up among different schools could make you ineligible for taking advantage of the committee letter. But that’s not a big deal; submitting individual LORs (letters of recommendation) to schools is more time-consuming, but NOT a negative factor for your application.
it’s been my impression, from listening to other people discuss this, that schools are well aware of the need for people to construct a class schedule that is compatible with the rest of their life, and schools don’t ding you much (if at all) for CCs if that is what you had to do in order to get the credits.