Is AP beforehand really that important?

Okie, so I have a few dilemmas here that I’m unsure as to how to solve. The first is whether it’s worth taking 6 units (2 classes) extra to get an A.S. in Biology before transferring to UC Davis. No real need for it…I’d just prefer to have some sort of degree since in one more year I’ll have been in college full-time for 3 years.

The second, and far more crucial in my opinion, is whether to take anatomy & physiology before medical school at my CC before I transfer to UC Davis. For those of you who have already done A&P in med school, did you feel as if it was really a necessity to already have prior knowledge of the subject? It’s basically either take the first of the three bio pre-reqs, anat, and phys, or take the entire bio sequence before I transfer to Davis. I can’t decide which.

I think of the A&P I had for Nursing school ( same as you are asking) As an Intro to it. I then studied Pathophysiology in Nursing school and now in Medschool.

Really it will not hurt at all and will give you a heads up on some things. Anatomy is Harder in medschool because of the amount you learn.

Anatomy is something you may be studying for many years to come I know I will still review, I think to remember it all only comes after years.

I took A&P at CC before moving to my current University. I really enjoyed the coursework, and I think it provided me a good foundation to build on - and it’s also a pre-req for a number of really interesting classes, like neurobiology and clinical gross anatomy.

As for the AS - up to you, of course. I can appreciate how it’s nice to have “something” semi-tangible to represent your commitment, though I don’t know how beneficial it would be in and of itself.

I took A&P during my CC years because I had thought of going into nursing school, and I’m glad that I did. While as mentioned above, it would be an intro…I think that when you do take the classes in med school, you may find it easier to recall information. Since a lot of Anatomy is memorization which is time consuming, having had an intro to it, will be a benefit (especially as we get older). Also, those areas that you may struggle with during A&P, may come clearer when you take the med school course, and you’ll probably have some ah ha! moments.

While it is only an Associates degree that I received (versus bachelors), I am still very proud of it (also it’s nice seeing Summa Cum Laude on it as well). So I say go for it…

It certainly won’t hurt to take it before medical school. However, from most of the comments I’ve seen, it doesn’t give you a HUGE leg up, either. But, the more exposures you have, the more comfortable you will be with it.

IMO, the biggest advantage to taking physiology before med school is for the MCAT - there was a surprising amount of physiology on the MCAT.

Thanks for the input guys…it seems as if my schedule has made the decision for me since the time for the anat class conflicts with calc, and well, I /have/ to take calc. not that I want to or anything…I think what I’m going to do though is maybe just pick up an A&P text (any suggestions would be great) and just read a little here and there. I’m sure I’ll finish it by the time I go to med school.

As far as the A.S. goes, I am still contemplating it since I only need 1 unit in speech and 2 units in health/phys ed but I am curious how adcoms would look upon obviously ghetto-grade “fluff” classes such as those. I don’t really have any reason to get one anyway I guess since I’m going directly to Davis and getting a bachelor in biochemistry. Blah. Why must we always torment ourselves on the most trivial things?


Most degrees have requirements for “fluff” classes - phys. ed, other general education requirements. It’s doubtful that they will make any difference one way or the other (unless you do poorly in them). It kind of sounds as if the degree is at least somewhat important to you - maybe just as proof of accomplishing something so far - and there’s nothing wrong with you. I wouldn’t delay your plans to transfer or anything just to get the degree, but if you can get the A.S. without doing much extra, go ahead and get it.

On the subject of “fluff” classes - I encourage you to take time to enjoy your pathway. I.e. - if there is a class that you want to take just because it sounds interesting (even though it doesn’t fulfill any degree requirements), take it. So many people rush through the Bachelor’s degree requirements without taking time to explore things that they may never have the opportunity to explore again. Plus, who knows - it might give you something interesting to talk about during interviews.

Well, you do have a point Emerg, which prompted me to look at it a little closer and I think I figured out something that’ll work now. For the 2 units of health/phys ed I would need to do, I’m going to take scuba diving in the fall and advanced scuba diving in the spring (gee, what torture to get virtually free scuba training and have it count as class credit, hehe) and then for the speech requirement I’ll just take one speech class over the summer.

That way I only have to do 15 and 14 units for the fall and spring instead of 18 and 17. Sounds a lot less painful.

Don’t worry about the A&P. I didn’t have a hair of it, and anatomy went fine for me. It wasn’t fun all the time, and it was a lot of work, but it was fine.

I also agree that having A&P I/II is helping tremendously with MCAT practice. General Bio just didn’t cover human A&P as in-depth as what’s covered on the MCAT because, at least in my class, we spent a lot of time learning about other organisms with info that isn’t tested on the MCAT.

I would definitely recommend it for the MCAT.


Well, ironically I am ending up taking A&P, although it’s for a different reason. Obviously, it would be arrogant to assume that there’s a 100% chance I’ll get an acceptance somewhere on the first round of applications.

Solution? Well, I’m already going to be an EMT, and the only requirement to enter medic school that I would be missing after acquiring some experience as an EMT would be A&P, so I’m killing two birds with one stone by taking it now. One, I’ll already have learned A&P (and learned how it relates to medical care which is really the ideal way to learn A&P imo). Two, if medical school says no, I have nothing holding me back from applying to medic school and being a paramedic until I do get accepted to medical school.