When do you take pre-med courses?

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When do you take pre-med courses?

Postby Guest » Thu Jul 15, 2004 9:35 am

I?m 18 and I just left high school. I really want to pursue a career in medicine. I?ve learnt a lot from the messages posted here but there is one thing that isn?t completely clear. Several courses have been stated as a requirement for med school, 1 year organic chemistry etc. But when do you do these courses? Do you do them while getting your first degree or after? That would mean there?s a time period between completing your first degree and entering med school, right? And also, does doing premed as a major cover these prerequisite courses, or does it exempt you from other courses in med school?
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Re: When do you take pre-med courses?

Postby DrDave » Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:05 am

In order to get accepted to medical school, you have to complete the required pre-med classes. Most people take then while they are obtaining their college degree - in whatever field they are studying. For example, you could be a philosophy major in college, and still take the required pre-med classes during your elective time - there is usually a lot of flexibility in any major regarding electives - so any major can still take the required pre-med classes. Therefore, there is no time between obtaining your college degree and starting medical school.

There are some people who finish college, and work for a few years, and then decide they want to go to medical school. They'd have to make sure they take all of the necessary pre-med classes if they didn't while they were in medical school.

Finally, there is no such major as "pre-med". "Pre-med" just means you are planning on applying to medical school, and therefore you are taking the courses necessary for medical school application. You still have to major in a field - such as biology, chemistry, psychology, philosophy, etc. As far as I am aware, any classes you take as an undergraduate will not exempt you from taking them in medical school. I believe there were some biology graduate students who took our medical school biochemistry class, so perhaps if they changed and went to medical school, they wouldn't have to take that particular class. However, I don't recall many classes that were open to students who were not in the medical school.
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Re: When do you take pre-med courses?

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 16, 2004 4:59 am

Thanks Dr. Dave, that really helped. Its begining to become more clear. However, another question, do you think students who major in the subject areas relevant to medicine (biology, chemistry etc) have an advantage over students who major in abstract subjects like dance or engineering?
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Re: When do you take pre-med courses?

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:12 am

One more question, what are the policies for external exam achievements? Lets say for example could a student submit passing grades for A level chem, bio, physics and math does that mean they dont have to do those prerequisite courses?
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Re: When do you take pre-med courses?

Postby DrDave » Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:25 am

1. Major doesn't really matter from what I've heard. Many are science majors for a few reasons. First, if you take all the pre - med classes, you've probably met almost all of the requirements for a major in biology. Second, most doctors have an interest in science fields in the first place. However, some people say that having a non-science major will help you stand out a little bit amongst all of the science majors. I personally don't think it makes that much difference - except that being a non-science major may make for a more interesting interview as your major might become a topic of discussion. Some people will have a minor or double major, and that will also show some diversity in your interests.

2. Regarding "external exam achievements" - I'm not sure what you mean by that. When I was in high school, we had "AP" classes (Advanced Placement). At the end of the year, you can take a standardized national test, and those are scored on a scale of 1-5. Colleges would count certain scores towards college credit. Most medical schools would also count the AP credit towards meeting some of the pre-med requirements. However, some people retake the class in college anyway because the class may be more intense in college than it was in high school, and if some of it is review, it may make for a class to get a higher grade in to help your GPA.
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