virology, medical bacteriology, immunology and human anatomy and physio?

Hello everyone! First, I want to thank everyone here for their sound suggestions. Although I do not post much, I do read this forum frequently, and have used many of the “been there done that” approach by other nontraditional students to my advantage. However, I have not heard much on the degree of effectiveness of the biological courses stated in my title for medical schools. So as my topic title states, do courses like immunology, medical bacteriology,virolgy and human physio help out any? And second, do medical schools look at those added courses along with human anatomy and physio with favortism?


Hi Joe,

Well, I surely don’t think that they will hurt, and once you get into medical school, you’ll have a foundation so you won’t be starting on the bottom with learning the subjects. These seem like classes that are part of a medical laboratory technology course (save A&P)…is that your background?


You’re going to get somewhat different “flavors” of these subjects IN medical school, so I don’t know that med schools actually really care that you’ve taken those. YOU may find them interesting and a good foundation for the future, and that is a good enough reason to take them. But you should take them for your interest in the subject now, not for how they’ll look on your application. Honestly, all those BCPM classes will be lumped together and neither virology nor A&P is going to get any special notice or consideration. (sorry)


Thanks for the response; rough week at work. Anyways, I posed the question because I took those courses and did very well in them, and was asking to see if those courses would be of any help in medical school,and to what possible degree could be benefited from them–I have read some people wished they had taken some of these courses during their pre-med, as they have found them benificial. I guess my original post did not really convey my question like I thought it would.

Thanks for the reply though!



All those classes will come handy…but only to some limited degree. You’ll have an advantage over those people who never took any micro before…

If you did well in these classes good for you! It will show to the ‘ad comms’ that you are capable of learning science (but again - these classes alone is not enough to get into a med school).

Just don’t expect that only because you already covered some topics, you’ll be able to ‘fly by’ through med school.

I took biochem in undergrad. It was extremely helpful for me, b/c at least I had a big picture of some topics, and only had to fill in the details. I also took a very advance molecular biology class in undergrad, and whatever took us entire semester to cover in BIOL 484, we covered in 2 lecture hours in med school.


Thanks for the response! If the “ad comms” look at them as proof of ability, then I have accomplished one of three things:

  1. show “ad comms” my ability, and commitment to turning my undergrad gpa around by demonstrating it through a grade of an “A”.

  2. help me with the mcat.

  3. An intro(prepatory course) to med school material.

    Thanks you for those who responded. I feel like I am on the right track now!!

No it is not my BG. I took them after Microbiology, because I found them interesting, and helpful towards my goals.

Joe, they’ll help with med school, but not a lot. Some of the loudest wailing I heard over the first medical micro exam was from people who aced Immuno and/or majored in microbiology. Still, a little familiarity won’t hurt, and those people were whining about a rather better grade than I was.

From your experience, what are some of the major differences, and what kind of materials make it “that” much harder?

What texts do you recommend to read that would be helpful? I plan to pick up a few reads this holiday break, and it sounds like this may be a good oppurtunity for me to get my feet wet a little and read some of it to get a little more familiarity.



Take a look at some of the board review books (BRS, for example). the BRS books come with practice questions that will give you a pretty good idea of the level of knowledge you need for the boards. I have found them to be pretty consistent with what is taught in the classes. The key word is concentration–this material is shoveled at you FAST and you have little time to catch your breath between lectures. They might teach an entire undergraduate semester of biochem in one week, and they expect you to retain all of it. Best of luck,

Quite honestly I’m not sure that anything can truly prepare you for the pace and volume of medical school. It is just a different sort of animal from any previous academic venture, requiring a lot of time no matter what your background is. No doubt that it is helpful to have taken courses in relevant subjects, but I have to say that I didn’t get the sense that my classmates who’d majored in, say, microbiology were any better off than the ones who’d majored in history. It’s just different. The undergrad survey courses or even the grad-level highly specific courses are about the knowledge for knowledge’s sake, but med school courses are all about how these subjects fit into the field of human medicine.

So it’s different. Don’t stress out too much about it ahead of time.


Thanks for the pointers. Also, what do you think about Sherri’s Medical Microbiology textbook? I have been reading it for about a week now, and to me it seems pretty good, in terms of showing the applications of microbiology in medicine.

Thanks for the heads up. No I am not going to stress it. I just want to read some of the

material, because I find it interesting.