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What are the most important classes to focus on for a student interested in pre-med?

I am a rising college freshman planning on pursuing a medical career. #hospital-and-health-care #healthcare #college #career #medicine

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James’s Answer

hi ashley,

i graduated from UT-Southwestern Medical School in 1993 and have been a family physician for 20 years.

you asked an interesting question that got me thinking.

generally, you're not going to need or recall much from your Calculus or Physics courses. unless maybe if you go into Nuclear Medicine or Orthopedic Surgery.

your initial Biology and Chemistry courses are also mostly forgettable.

Organic Chemistry is probably the first class where you will remember some things for the rest of your life. but even then it's mostly the lingo. for instance, you'll keep hearing about methyl groups, alkaloids, free radicals, and such the rest of your career. just don't ask me to actually synthesize a methylated alkaloid!

if you're daring enough to take Biochemistry in college you won't regret it. you'll finally start learning things that will be directly applicable to future patients. i'd put Physiology in that category as well but not quite on the same level.

i didn't take Microbiology/Immunology or any of the various Anatomy courses during college but they probably would have been useful as well.

i'm also going to mention that the most useful college course i ever took was not a pre-med required class. it was taught by the Classics Department and was called "Medical Terminology." they taught you the root word or origin of medical words. suffice it to say that it really helps to understand what your medical school professors are saying.

of course, i agree with the previous respondent that you need to get good grades in everything. but i think the gist of your question was that some courses are more pertinent for your career path than others.

and my answers are from someone who does direct primary patient care. if you're going to be an academic or a Pathologist then my answers might not work for you.

i also strongly agree that you need to find compatible study partners. the enormous amount of material makes going it alone incredibly difficult.

good luck!

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Richard’s Answer

Agree with the other answers but would like to add: Make sure to do well on the courses that are on the MCAT including:

Organic and inorganic chemistry.
Basis research methods and statistics.
Ethics, philosophy, cultural studies as well as population health, social sciences and humanities.

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Jasmine’s Answer

All of your courses will be important, but you must do well in your science classes as well. Biology, Chemistry,Anatomy & physiology, and your math courses as well. If you find yourself struggling, seek out a tutor or a classmate to study and compare notes with.
#healthscience #biology #premed