The Final Stretch - Good plan?

Well I’m almost there. Finished out last semester with a 100 on my chemistry final (had to drink to that).

Evaluate this goal line plan of mine:

How important are the “recommended” classes for med school? I get mixed responses, and I’ve heard plenty of people say they aced the MCAT with only taking the bare essentials. In the end statistics and genetics will be the only recommended courses that I take.

This [Fall] semester I’m taking Chem 112 and Genetics - and over the summer Organic 1 & 2. I know that might not be a good idea, but here the summer organic course supposedly has more A’s than the fall semester course, so I’m going to give it a try.

I just really want to be done with everything by August. My apartment lease ends on August 1st, so I want to knock these last chemistries out and high tail it out of this place! Also staying another semester would mean resigning another apartment lease, and even tho I work just about full time @ Walmart I still would have to take out more student loans to help top me off.

This way I can (mayyyyybe) move back in with the parents [God knows I don’t want to], study hard, work full time and pay off some of these loans, take the January MCAT and retake if necessary in April - and Apply June 2012! :slight_smile:

First of all, congratulations on your last semester! You (obviously) rocked that chem class.

In terms of your plan – it all depends on you, and what you want. If it’s really important for you to be done by August 1, and to have that extra time to work, then you should go with it.

But you have to weigh the pros and cons.

From my perspective, there is some benefit in taking those additional “recommended” courses – in part to increase the competitiveness of your med school application, and in part to prepare yourself for med school. I know I plan on at least taking biochem and A&P, and hopefully microbio too (my post-bac program also offers an awesome pathophysiology elective that I’m dying to take …). Also, I’m personally wary of taking such an intensive course (orgo) over the summer – there is just so much material. But again, that’s just me.

Really, your plan sounds fine – you just have to decide on what works best for you, all around. Good luck!

I’m not sure the recommended courses are so important to get into medical school. They are more to help you be successful once you do get in. Anatomy and Physiology would be helpful. Biochemistry, and genetics also. I didn’t take any of them, but had a genetics course back in undergrad in late 1970’s (thus NOT including molecular genetics), and anatomy and physiology similarly ancient.

Just got thru first year Biochemistry in med school and although it was a bit tough without having had it in undergrad, both organic chem and undergrad biology were helpful prep.

Based on first semester, I’d say genetics and biochemistry would be the most helpful. Several of the other students mentioned that their undergrad anatomy didn’t help them that much because it was so much more detailed in medical school. Have physiology coming up, so I’ll let you know my impressions after that


Ditto to what Kate said. The additional courses will certainly not be of much help on your MCAT. They might be of some value to an adcom reviewing your file.

However, on my end I would strongly recommend them. I had one class of Biochem before I came in and I can honestly say it was my saving grace in med school Biochem. Without my previous exposure to it I would have been floundering in the med school class and also not understood/retained much of it.

I would also recommend a class in Anatomy and Immunology. If you can just take one, take an Anatomy with lab. Also yes to the Statistics for preparation for Biostatistics/Epidemiolog y.

Finally, although the pre-reqs may not help you in med school pedagogically, however, I believe that they play a very important role in ‘priming’ your thinking for the academic onslaught. I don’t know about your friend, but the pre-reqs were critical in helping me score above average on the MCAT.

Also, you may not remember the specifics but the principles of things like Le Chatelier, Colloid solutions, Raoult’s law, Bernoulli’s and other things you study will play an important part in helping you understand the million theories and experiments that you read in med school.

Thanks for the responses everyone. I see how the additional courses can definitely help when I get in med school… I still haven’t made a final decision but I will begin to consider taking the additional classes. I can still take the MCAT in January and April - I’ll just take the classes as a prep for medical school itself!