Pre-Med Classes to take in High School?

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AsianDan
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Pre-Med Classes to take in High School?

Post by AsianDan » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:54 pm

First let me start off by introducing myself. My ethnicity is obviously Asian and my name is Dan. I just have have stumble upon this while googling requirements for medical school.
Currently, I'm in my sophomore year, and scheduling sheets are due next week.

My question is or should I say certainty is about my classes I will take for junior year.

Here's my schedule that I'm planning on for junior year in high school.

AP English Literacy and Composition I/II
AP Calculus I/II
AP Biology I/II
AP Psychology I/II
Anatomy and Physiology I/II
Spanish 3A/3B

I know its going to be a rough year, but they'll knock out most of my requirements to graduate high school, but at the same time will give me college credits if i past the spring college exam.

Will this be alright if I'm planning to head into a future in medicine? TBH, I really don't know what type of doctor I will be yet, though I know i want to be one for sure.

Thanks for any hope though [:


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DrDave
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Re: Pre-Med Classes to take in High School?

Post by DrDave » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:03 pm

AsianDan,

The courses you take in high school won't have a direct impact on whether you get into medical school or not. There is a slight indirect effect in that the better you do in high school, the better the college will be where you go for undergraduate studies, and you'll likely want to go to the best college you can. If you want to go to a top tier medical school, you'll need to go to a top undergraduate college. For most medical schools, though, it won't matter too much where you go to college, as long as you take the required pre-med courses and do well. You'd mostly want to go to the best college possible for your own education, not because it would get you into a particular medical school.

The courses you are suggesting will be a challenge for most people, but I'm guessing you've done very well thus far in high school in order to be eligible for those courses.

I wouldn't worry about taking the courses to meet your high school requirements, as I'm sure you'll easily meet those requirements during your 4 years of high school.

As for college credit, there may be some advantages. The advantages aren't huge unless you want to graduate a year early and save a year's worth of tuition costs, but there may be some smaller advantages.

Doing well with a challenging schedule may help with college applications. Just make sure you are able to get good grades and that you don't overdo things where you don't have time to do well. Also, make sure that you have time to do the non-academic things you enjoy. You don't want to spend the year totally stressed. Depending on your abilities and your high school, you'll need to make that decision for yourself.

Based on the those courses, I'm not sure what you'd plan on taking your senior year as most high schools probably don't offer an English course beyond AP or a math course beyond calculus. You may have options of taking more advanced courses at a community college your senior year, or maybe your high school has other options available.

Did you already take chemistry and/or physics? You'll want to have taken at least general high school chemistry and physics (and you'd probably be taking honors level based on your coursework), but I'm assuming you've taken one of those by the end of sophomore year and maybe you are planning to take the other your senior year, plus maybe another AP science course in the one taken sophomore year.

Good luck. If you get good grades in the courses you are planning, you will likely do well in college science courses and be a strong candidate for medical school. It is still early in your education though.

Again, make sure you are doing things (academic and non-academic) which you enjoy.

Best of luck!

AsianDan
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Re: Pre-Med Classes to take in High School?

Post by AsianDan » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:19 pm

Oh wow, I'm pretty amaze by what you have said. Yeah, I already know that taking these classes wouldn't help me to get into a particular medical school.

Well, I still have to take government and economics my senior year to finish all the high school requirements.

I usually finish my homework quickly and understand the process quickly too. Its just sometimes I focus on socializing and outside activities rather than studying giving me a B+ in some of my classes. Right now, I'm maintaining a GPA of 3.8. I'll list my current schedule below.

First Semester
Algebra 2 ACC I
AP US History I
Spanish 2A
Honors Chemistry I
Honors English I
Keyboarding [.5 credit out of 1 for a require visual arts and design. basically a blow off class]

Second Semester
Algebra 2 ACC II
AP US History II
Spanish 2B
Honors Chemistry II
Honors English II
P.E II [ need 1 credit for fitness, but i chose not to do two seasons of sport ._. ] i blame my dad.

The second semester is the courses I'm taking right now at this moment. I got all A's except my chemistry class since this particular teacher, we got, is very strict. She tells that she teaches stuff that is way advance then needed for honors chemistry since she wants us to get into a good college. I'm like "then try to give us good grades" So reading the book helps more then her lecturing. My rant is done. Sorry D:

I already take honors chemistry as you can see. And i have taken honors biology freshmen year. I am however planning to take AP Physics my senior year with AP chemistry. What are your thoughts on that? Good idea or no?

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DrDave
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Re: Pre-Med Classes to take in High School?

Post by DrDave » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:48 pm

You said you'd be taking AP physics and chemistry your senior year, but it doesn't look like you've taken honors physics yet - or did you take physics and biology your freshman year?

I also now noticed you'll be taking anatomy and physiology next year in addition to AP bio. There will probably be some overlap there, so just make sure it is reasonable to take both courses together. It may be more reasonable to just take only AP bio (I assume you took honors bio as a freshman) and take another course - maybe a non-science course. If you'll have taken AP chem, bio, and physics before you graduate, I would think you've more than done your share to get ready for being pre-med in college.

Assuming you've taken honors physics before your senior year and you didn't struggle with either physics or chemistry, then it may be reasonable to take both AP chem and AP physics together your senior year. You definitely don't "need" to take such challenging courses, but you seem very motivated and seem to be getting decent grades so far. If you do okay next year with that tough schedule, you'll probably be fine senior year taking two AP science courses.

You probably know best what you can handle, but your school advisor would hopefully be able to give you some good advice as well.

AsianDan
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Re: Pre-Med Classes to take in High School?

Post by AsianDan » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:12 pm

Oh, geezus, my school advisor had called me down and declare me crazy. She told me that I had been managing a 4.0 GPA since I was in the fifth grade and ask me if I wanted that to be ruined straight infront of my face. I was like, " Does it matter? Better courses with a reasonable grade = looks very good on transcript"

She was like, "its your choice, but if you die its not my fault." I was like alright, thanks for worrying about me and she laugh :D

And for the AP Physics question. We are require to take Pre-calc or above to take AP Physics. And in Algebra 2 ACC, its with pre-calc in it the second semester. So yes i have met the requirements to do AP physics senior year. But now from reading what you have said, i have overdone myself. I might reconsider....

I took honors biology freshmen year.

So far, I'm managing grades above a B with no effort in trying. Trying = playing games for two hours and then doing homework and then go to sleep with no studying time...

I know if I comepletely isolate myself for the whole week, me acing a class would be pretty easy. The concepts i chose are what i like. It all just depends on the teacher since they could make it boring or fun.


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DrDave
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Re: Pre-Med Classes to take in High School?

Post by DrDave » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:23 pm

Even though you'd have taken pre-calc, are you sure honors physics isn't a pre-requisite for AP physics?

I am not sure you are entirely correct:
"Better courses with a reasonable grade = looks very good on transcript"
You should make sure there is an option to drop or change classes without any negative impact if you find yourself in over your head.

AsianDan
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Re: Pre-Med Classes to take in High School?

Post by AsianDan » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:43 pm

I just checked and there isn't such thing as honors physics in my school. Regular physics however require only knowledge from Algebra 1 and above.

Yah, I'm reconsidering on changing my schedule from AP LIT to regular English 11.

And I have further questions. My dad thinks learning another language, Spanish, is a good way to communicate with patients in the future. I am already bilingual speaking English and Vietnamese. Vietnamese being my native tongue since I was born there in '95. Would Spanish be handy in the medical field?

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DrDave
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Re: Pre-Med Classes to take in High School?

Post by DrDave » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:41 pm

Spanish would be a great language to know as a doctor in the US. It is probably good to know, regardless of what career you do. If I were to do things over, I would probably take Spanish in high school.

Hello

Re: Pre-Med Classes to take in High School?

Post by Hello » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:03 pm

Yeah...I'm wondering about this too.
I'm a freshman, and I'm currently taking

Biology 1 Pre-AP
Pre-cal Pre-AP
World Geography Pre-AP
Journalism
Band
English 1 Pre-AP
Chinese 2

Next year I'm taking

Chemistry 1 Pre-AP
Calculus BC AP
World History AP
Computer Science Pre-AP
Chinese 3 Pre-AP
Band

I want to go to Pre-Med, so I'm wondering if I should do Multi-variable Calculus next year or double up in science.

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DrDave
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Re: Pre-Med Classes to take in High School?

Post by DrDave » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:19 pm

Hello,

I don't think you need to worry too much about what classes you are taking in high school. You are clearly very advanced in math if you are taking pre-calc as a freshman. The science classes you are taking are pretty typical. Whether you want to double up in science is really up to how much you think you can handle and still get good grades, without getting overwhelmed in the process.

Assuming you are getting good grades in all of your classes, you probably plan on looking at some top colleges. Assuming you do well in college in the pre-med courses, you should be a strong candidate for medical school. How you do in college will be a far more important factor in whether (and where) you get into medical school than whether you took 3 AP science classes in high school. Getting top grades in hard classes could possibly help you get into better undergraduate schools, or qualify for scholarships.

Just to keep things in perspective - most medical schools don't have a specific college math requirement. Of those medical schools that do have a math requirement, none require math beyond calculus. The fact that you are very strong in math can help you get into a top college, but taking more advanced math won't necessarily make any difference on your medical school application.

The only possible exception would be if you accomplish amazing things in the math field in college (or any particular area of study) - as that would definitely make you a stand-out on your medical school application.

The bottom line is - don't worry too much about getting into medical school now. You'll have plenty of time to worry about that later.

PrasadB

Re: Pre-Med Classes to take in High School?

Post by PrasadB » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:44 pm

Hi AsianDan:
Hopefully, you are planning to apply for the needed Medical Schools too this year, besides applying to some Undergraduate Schools. Being as a serious and potential Medical college student, you can apply directly from the HighSchool to some Medical Schools which give guaranteed admission. This point didn't come up in the previous discussion, so thought of mentioning it. As you know, besides your advanced coursework and good GPA, your SAT/ACT, SAT subject tests and AP course scoring also plays a role.
Good luck,
PrasadB

Heythere

Re: Pre-Med Classes to take in High School?

Post by Heythere » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:25 am

Hey, so this is completely unrelated, but I'm going into my junior year and I have literally the same schedule as you!! Haha, I'm going into pre-med too, and I know some schools (like brown) don't accept AP courses for chem etc... Instead I'm taking a few credits at my community college after school this year and next year, as they are actual credits, and are beneficial... This is way late for you but it's just an idea you might have wanted to know :) good luck!

pwooddance

Re: Pre-Med Classes to take in High School?

Post by pwooddance » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:27 pm

Hi, I'm very concerned that I will not do well with rigorous courses as well. I am a freshman and completely overwhelmed as I begin to plan out my next four years. I really want to major in Pre-Med. And I am not Asian, even though I wish I was. I also attend a performing arts high school. Currently I am taking;

English Honors 1
Accelerated Biology
Accelerated Geometry
MUN/Geography Honors
French 1
Dance Tech 1
AVID 1
Intro to Musical Theater
Acting 1

I want to continue my performing hobbies and take the path into the medical field. I love the art of surgery and hope some day to make a difference. I am having serious conflicts involving the arts. I was curious if it would be advised to drop my Performing Art classes and mainly focus on my studies. I am a straight "A" student and would like to proceed into AP and Honors classes in the further. I was also wondering if I should take AP Calculus or AP Statistics for my senior. Thank you

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DrDave
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Re: Pre-Med Classes to take in High School?

Post by DrDave » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:03 am

If you are a Freshman in high school, it is too early to worry about medical school. Your goal in high school is to get into a good college. The specific classes don't matter whether you plan to go to medical school or become a history professor. Take challenging classes and do well in them and you will get into a good college. Don't over stress yourself out in the process though. If you are taking honors classes and getting A's then you will have plenty of good choices for college no matter what you decide to study at that time.

I would also recommend you take the classes that are of interest to you. If that is performing arts, then take performing arts classes.

As to stats vs calculus, that is up to you. Many medical schools don't even require calculus. If you are strong in math then taking calculus may be a better choice. If you aren't good at math, then stats may be a better fit. You won't need to decide for a few years though.


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