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Jazzy

Confused About Pre-Med Requirements

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I’m starting to plan high school for my 8th grade dd who thinks she wants to go into medicine. I know it’s early, but I regret not doing a better job planning for my oldest so I just want to think things through.

 

Dd would like to take DE courses that will give credit towards her degree and give her a little leeway while in college, so I’m trying to figure out which classes she should take.

 

From what I read on a few college websites, they prefer students to take math and science courses at the university instead of CC.

 

So I was thinking dd should focus on taking the core classes on this list from our CC:

 

https://www.collin.edu/academics/programs/GeneralEducationCore.html

 

However, when I look at premed degree plans such as this one, I don’t see those core courses, like history, government, etc. listed:

 

https://www.baylor.edu/prehealth/doc.php/288289.pdf

 

How do I figure out which courses she should take that will apply to a degree?

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For pre-med, you can major in what you want to as long as you satisfy the pre-med requirements. So she should be looking at stuff that will apply as general education requirements for whatever major she's potentially interested in.

 

Many pre-medical students do choose to major in biology or chemistry because there is a large amount of overlap, but one of my friends did Art with minors in Biology and Chemistry.

 

All of the classes that Collins lists as requirements are very general and should apply to general education almost any place. If she's not looking at getting an AA but just some DE, many schools in other states do not require two semesters each of us history/government. 

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That’s good info. I’ll only plan on having her do one semester each of history and government.

 

So if I look up the requirements for a biology or Spanish or whatever degree and see the requirements, she’ll need to take those courses, and the pre med requirements are in addition to those courses. Is that right?

Edited by Jazzy

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Most medical schools are now looking for kids that have majors outside of the sciences, they want more well rounded students. Both of my sisters are have applied and been accepted into medical school within the last 6 years and my daughters friend applied for a a GAPMed program 2 years ago, and this was a big topic of discussion. As long as they have a strong science background and meet the required math and science courses and do well on the MCAT, I would tell your kid to pursue areas that interest them. 

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Oh no, is this anything like College Confidential? If so, I am in trouble! Lol!!!

 

Thanks for the link!

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If finances are going to be a concern for undergrad, and she will have a need for merit aid, I would proceed with caution into the dual enrollment world. Keep in mind that those grades will stick with her and impact her GPA. They will also be sent to med schools ultimately.Choose courses in which you are certain she will have success.

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… However, when I look at premed degree plans such as this one, I don’t see those core courses, like history, government, etc. listed:

 

https://www.baylor.edu/prehealth/doc.php/288289.pdf

 

How do I figure out which courses she should take that will apply to a degree?

 

This is not a degree plan, just Baylor's recommended prerequisites. You can see their catalog  (page 65 -  66) for their degree plans. This link is for the College of Arts and Sciences, BA and BS degrees

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I'll second the caution of being careful selecting courses for DE.  Every single one of those grades will count toward her med school GPA, etc.  Be sure she's likely to succeed at the college level and pacing.  

 

Another option to consider is AP.  Those can provide college credit (pending the college), but the grades don't get counted as they are high school courses.

 

As others have said, have her pick a major she likes in undergrad.  She's more likely to do well in that major and she'll enjoy herself in the process.  The pre-reqs just get added in.

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Be careful about just taking distribution requirements in CC and then saving all the hard classes for your last 2 years of college.  You need a couple of years of chemistry, a year of bio, and then some calculus and physics too.  You'll do better spread that out over 4 years.  I don't see anything wrong with taking, say, your chemistry and calculus or physics classes at CC.   I suspect you'll do better to take bio at university, but even that is not set in stone.  

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Community college may not be her only choice for DE. Both of my dds did DE at the local university. I'm not saying that's always the way to go, but it's good to be aware of all of the choices. 

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I’m starting to plan high school for my 8th grade dd who thinks she wants to go into medicine. I know it’s early, but I regret not doing a better job planning for my oldest so I just want to think things through.

 

Dd would like to take DE courses that will give credit towards her degree and give her a little leeway while in college, so I’m trying to figure out which classes she should take.

 

From what I read on a few college websites, they prefer students to take math and science courses at the university instead of CC.

 

So I was thinking dd should focus on taking the core classes on this list from our CC:

 

https://www.collin.edu/academics/programs/GeneralEducationCore.html

 

However, when I look at premed degree plans such as this one, I don’t see those core courses, like history, government, etc. listed:

 

https://www.baylor.edu/prehealth/doc.php/288289.pdf

 

How do I figure out which courses she should take that will apply to a degree?

 

Your plan is very similar to ours.  All 4 of my oldest want to be some form of doctor.  None of them plan to major in biology (I've kinda warned them against it, because we were biology majors and if I could get into a time machine and stop myself, I would).  Unless someone gets some huge scholarship, we are going to start at cc, do the Texas Core Curriculum and then transfer to one of the state universities.  We have a close friend who is a doctor and he's been giving us college advice.  He said starting at cc is fine.  I also heard to wait for the premed-related science classes for when they transfer to university.  And, yeah, that crams a lot of science stuff in the last 2.5-3 years, but I figured if my kids can't handle it, they are probably in the wrong field.  As a biology major, I had multiple science classes every semester.  *shrug*    

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Evanthe, I have thought the same thing... If she can’t handle a heavy science load at the university, then med school probably isn’t a good idea.

 

If things work out, though, I hope she can get calculus and some science done through as was suggested above.

 

Why do you regret majoring in biology?

Edited by Jazzy
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Oh no, is this anything like College Confidential? If so, I am in trouble! Lol!!!

 

Thanks for the link!

 

As long as you are collecting facts, this link is one you should have bookmarked:

 

https://www.aamc.org/data/facts/

 

It gives you REAL stats on med school applicants and matriculates from all sorts of angles, including major, GPA, gender, state, etc.  It's very interesting to look at and allows you to see how students within your state fare.  Some states make it FAR easier to get into med school than others (generally by supporting state med schools and restricting many admissions to state students and/or keeping it affordable).

 

Whenever I saw "stats" or recommendations it was very helpful to go on this site to either confirm or deny what I had heard.  

 

It won't help you with CC course info though.  A "ton" of what med school admissions folks are looking for is still kept confidential - partially because there is no one "set" of answers, but you can see the trends and odds for many other things (like Bio is just fine as a major statistically - though one should only choose it if they LIKE it IMO).

 

The only other "beware" I need to add is for undergrad (college) pre-health advisers.  Once I got my guy into undergrad I left the counselor scene telling him to attend and pay attention to his pre-med advisers at that point.  BAD IDEA.  At his school, these advisers gave incredibly wrong information (not just to him) and almost made it so he didn't make it into med school even though he had stellar stats and ECs and had his school's top recommendation.  Fortunately, doctors he had been shadowing learned about what had happened and "fixed" it.  Turns out his pre-med advisers had NO med school experience at all.  They seemed to be students who hadn't been able to find jobs, so the U gave them the position - they weren't even pre-med students.  (sigh)  I still have to wonder, WHY???  But he's doing super well where he is, so it turned out ok - just a bit of a stress test to get there and a lingering bad memory to warn about.  Use the student doctor site the pp gave you for much better information coupled with the actual stats and consider the state you are in as it makes a difference.

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Thanks for the link and the advice! I was warned not to blindly trust the advisors at the CC so it’s good to know I need to be careful at the undergraduate level, as well.

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Another nice thing to have when you apply to med school is research experience.  I'm not sure if you can get that while still in CC, but I imagine it's easier to find a lab to work in while you are at university.  

 

Doing research shows that you have a curious mind, and are something of a kindred spirit with the research faculty at the medical school.  It also gives you something to talk about during interviews.  

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Thanks for the link and the advice! I was warned not to blindly trust the advisors at the CC so it’s good to know I need to be careful at the undergraduate level, as well.

 

This morning I had a chance to look up the med school Class Profile for U Rochester.  I used these to help guide my guy with expectations of med school admissions.  You can change the year in the URL to see that they use essentially the same template every year with just a few variations.  This tells me the things they look for in successful applicants remain more or less the same every year.  At least for UR (and I expect others), just grades is not enough.  They definitely expect to see other things.  'Tis worth it to read it over for 3 - 4 years to get a decent idea.  It's even better to let future pre-meds read it over (maybe not in 8th grade though, but definitely by 10th or 11th) so they can determine if it still interests them.

 

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/MediaLibraries/URMCMedia/education/md/documents/2021-profile.pdf

 

FWIW, in the year I linked, my guy is the juggler (fire and more!).  He also had research, is fairly fluent in sign language and knows some Spanish + French, has been on medical mission trips, volunteered for hospice, shadowed several doctors, graduated Summa Cum Laude with heavy course loads most semesters and a double major and double minor, etc, etc, etc.  He saw the attributes expected and got on fire to rise to the occasion.  To him it's a calling - a love.  It's no surprise at all to me that his last text to us was sharing that he got the top grade on the exam for what's considered the toughest course freshman year.  He puts his heart into it.  That's even after we did our job as parents discussing all the schooling and daily life requirement of doctors (the tough parts of the job) in an attempt to get him to pick a different path.  It didn't work.  ;)  My other two have NO interest in being a doctor.  

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Most medical schools are now looking for kids that have majors outside of the sciences, they want more well rounded students. Both of my sisters are have applied and been accepted into medical school within the last 6 years and my daughters friend applied for a a GAPMed program 2 years ago, and this was a big topic of discussion. As long as they have a strong science background and meet the required math and science courses and do well on the MCAT, I would tell your kid to pursue areas that interest them. 

To complete all the premed math and science courses and also major in a non-science field graduating in four years,  you would most likely need to start them in DE before going to the 4 year college.

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To complete all the premed math and science courses and also major in a non-science field graduating in four years,  you would most likely need to start them in DE before going to the 4 year college.

 

You can go on the med school websites and they usually have a list.  We downloaded one and looked at it once.  The list was a lot less than what I had to take as a biology major.

 

But, there's always summer semesters.  My sister and I graduated early by doing the summer semester every year.

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You can go on the med school websites and they usually have a list.  We downloaded one and looked at it once.  The list was a lot less than what I had to take as a biology major.

 

But, there's always summer semesters.  My sister and I graduated early by doing the summer semester every year.

I was using the Baylor list as an example that someone else posted. It had a bunch of required Pre-med courses.

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Evanthe, I have thought the same thing... If she can’t handle a heavy science load at the university, then med school probably isn’t a good idea.

 

If things work out, though, I hope she can get calculus and some science done through as was suggested above.

 

Why do you regret majoring in biology?

 

Ack, I don't know...it was probably just MY college, but one of the reasons was every single person who majored in biology was trying to get into med school or dental school.  So, no one actually *liked* the field and was interested in it.  There was a big atmosphere of "everyone just needed to get an A and then forget all of it" and it was really competitive, but like a fake competitive.  So there was that...  And it was an enormous amount of work with horrible job prospects.  My semesters were stuffed with classes like calculus, organic chemistry, mendelian genetics, etc.  After all that, when I went to find a job, the pay was so bad...I had a baby my last semester of college and the pay people were offering barely paid her daycare costs + groceries.  And it definitely wouldn't cover student loans.  Plus, there are so many biology jobs that are just volunteer positions.  Like people are literally willing to work for free in that field - Lol.  

 

There is also a big movement away from classical biology and more towards cellular/molecular.  So, most of the kids in my class had like a 3rd grade education in zoology and botany...but were biology majors.  It was irritating.  And I was in the process of applying to grad school before I had the baby and that was one of the big criticisms from the professor at one of the colleges I was applying to.  Younger students having no knowledge of classical biology.  I don't even think my university offered botany.  *shrug*   

 

I sound so cynical and bitter.   :tongue_smilie:

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As a pre-med student (oh god) although quite non-trad, let me chime in:

 

1) Stay far, far, far, far away from SDN. Trust me on this one.

 

2) Pre-med advisors probably don't know what they're talking about, especially if you are at all not traditional in any way.

 

3) Do your own research. It's obviously too early to know what schools your DD will apply to, but most want to see community service after high school, exposure to the medical field in some way, maybe an introduction to research, etc.

 

3a) voluntourism is not a good thing. Service to your community that you'd do even if you weren't applying is.

 

4) Regardless of how it's phrased, for "premed" and the MCAT, you need the following set of courses: 1 year of general biology, 1 year of general inorganic chemistry, 1 year of general organic chemistry, 1 year of physics (algebra based is fine), 1 semester of psych, 1 semester of soc. Recommended but not always required: biochem, specific biology courses (genetics, cell, devo, micro), stats, calc. 

 

4a) You're also going to need humanities/social sciences courses. 1 year of English is the bare minimum, but a lot of schools have required credits in hum/so-sci for applicants. Some of those courses need to be writing and critical thinking heavy. If you don't like hum/so-sci but you need the credits, bio-psych, physical anth, geography, language are good options.

 

5) Taking pre reqs at the CC is fine. As long as you take some science classes at your uni as well. So Bio 1/2 at CC, upper level genetics at the uni. It's also a good way to get some of the grit-it-and-get-it done general education classes out of the way. 

 

6) Don't lock either of you into premed. That's only going to end in tears.

 

 

Evanthe, the movement to cell/mol vs bot/eco/evo/zoo is exactly why I am staying as far away from my school's bio dept as possible.

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One of my cousins is an eminent in his specialty, (mostly) retired M.D.  I asked him, yesterday, what his undergraduate degree is in. He responded that it is in Biochemistry. He explained that he attended a small college that did not offer Pre-Med. He was aiming for Medical School, and went for Biochemistry.

 

IMO it is really a bad idea to take courses that are central to your major, by AP, DE or in a CC. Better that those courses are taught by (hopefully) professors in a college or university that will grant an undergraduate degree.  AP would be the most suspect of those 3 categories of courses. 

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5) Taking pre reqs at the CC is fine. As long as you take some science classes at your uni as well. So Bio 1/2 at CC, upper level genetics at the uni. It's also a good way to get some of the grit-it-and-get-it done general education classes out of the way. 

 

 

This. 

 

FWIW, when I took calculus at UTD, the exact same instructor was teaching the exact same material with the exact same level of rigor etc at Collin. He's probably retired now (this was in 2005, and he was already like 70 or something), but, Collin is not a bad CC (I've attended it and I've attended worse). As long as whatever classes you take there aren't the most advanced classes you're taking, it really shouldn't be an issue, so, if you're taking Chem 1, 2, and Org Chem 1, 2, there, I'd maybe throw in an upper division chem at the 4-year. If you don't want to do that, maybe only take Chem 1, 2, at the CC and then take Org Chem 1, 2, a the 4-year (actually, I'm not sure if premeds need an upper division chem - if they do (biochem?), this is a moot point). 

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As a pre-med student (oh god) although quite non-trad, let me chime in:

 

3a) voluntourism is not a good thing. 

 

...

 

5) Taking pre reqs at the CC is fine

 

And yet, regarding 3a, the class profile from UR (like I posted a couple posts upthread) says:

 

"Countless others have volunteered in various outreach or medical mission trips abroad, either independently, or as part of various groups such as Global Brigades and other college or religious sponsored organizations."

 

And middle son, in med school, has yet to meet any traditional entry classmate who has done a pre-req course at a CC.  There may be some there, but he hasn't met them yet when they have discussed their backgrounds.

 

Any reader can take that for what it's worth, esp since it's just a data point for one med school.  Others might differ.  I do believe non-traditional med school applicants are assessed differently than those who are aiming for med school.  When we attended "Med School Wanna Be" days prior to selecting an undergrad, this is point blank what we were told by two different schools (NOT including the one my lad is now attending as they either didn't have such a day or we didn't go to one there).

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And yet, regarding 3a, the class profile from UR (like I posted a couple posts upthread) says:

 

"Countless others have volunteered in various outreach or medical mission trips abroad, either independently, or as part of various groups such as Global Brigades and other college or religious sponsored organizations."

 

And middle son, in med school, has yet to meet any traditional entry classmate who has done a pre-req course at a CC.  There may be some there, but he hasn't met them yet when they have discussed their backgrounds.

 

Any reader can take that for what it's worth, esp since it's just a data point for one med school.  Others might differ.  I do believe non-traditional med school applicants are assessed differently than those who are aiming for med school.  When we attended "Med School Wanna Be" days prior to selecting an undergrad, this is point blank what we were told by two different schools (NOT including the one my lad is now attending as they either didn't have such a day or we didn't go to one there).

 

 

Soooo.... volunteering abroad. There's different kinds. Many of the ones premeds do are, at best, voluntourism. The Smile people or Engineers are one thing-- they're verified, they're bona fide, they don't pop in for a week to do photo ops and claim support/infrastructure building/saviour-ing. It's so incredibly important to vet a volunteering opportunity abroad and to make sure you aren't overstepping your scope/scale/licence while there. I'll admit I may be a little tetchy about the ~volunteering~ whether locally or abroad that pre-whatever kids do-- partly because it used to be my job to ride herd on them, and partly because I see a lot of "we need points on the application, so let's use poor people!" rather than any kind of honesty in the approach to service even now. 

 

Trads are often straight-through-at-a-4yr students, so there may be few who did CC classes. I don't know how non-trad friendly Rochester is, that far north isn't really on my list! (Especially after that snow the other year!)

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Soooo.... volunteering abroad. There's different kinds. Many of the ones premeds do are, at best, voluntourism. The Smile people or Engineers are one thing-- they're verified, they're bona fide, they don't pop in for a week to do photo ops and claim support/infrastructure building/saviour-ing. It's so incredibly important to vet a volunteering opportunity abroad and to make sure you aren't overstepping your scope/scale/licence while there. I'll admit I may be a little tetchy about the ~volunteering~ whether locally or abroad that pre-whatever kids do-- partly because it used to be my job to ride herd on them, and partly because I see a lot of "we need points on the application, so let's use poor people!" rather than any kind of honesty in the approach to service even now. 

 

Trads are often straight-through-at-a-4yr students, so there may be few who did CC classes. I don't know how non-trad friendly Rochester is, that far north isn't really on my list! (Especially after that snow the other year!)

 

But whether you don't care for a type of mission outreach doesn't matter to adcoms TBH.  ;)  That's an argument for other threads.  Admissions at least at UR seems to expect to see something.  My guy has been to a fair number of them both in high school and college.  I'm not upset with a single one he went on as they were all legit in our assessment.

 

Rochester is very non-trad friendly.  There are several older students in his class with impressive accomplishments (some of which are mentioned in the class profile).  Some (many?) of them have taken pre-reqs at CCs because they didn't get them during their normal college years.  It's the trad students he hasn't seen CC pre-reqs from.

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As a pre-med student (oh god) although quite non-trad, let me chime in:

 

 

You are not actually in med school, correct?

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As a pre-med student (oh god) although quite non-trad, let me chime in:

 

1) Stay far, far, far, far away from SDNTrust me on this one.

 

 

4) Regardless of how it's phrased, for "premed" and the MCAT, you need the following set of courses: 1 year of general biology, 1 year of general inorganic chemistry, 1 year of general organic chemistry, 1 year of physics (algebra based is fine), 1 semester of psych, 1 semester of soc. Recommended but not always required: biochem, specific biology courses (genetics, cell, devo, micro), stats, calc. 

 

 

 

What is SDN?  

 

Is calculus not required for premed?  Is the psych and sociology requirement new?  

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IMO it is really a bad idea to take courses that are central to your major, by AP, DE or in a CC. Better that those courses are taught by (hopefully) professors in a college or university that will grant an undergraduate degree.  AP would be the most suspect of those 3 categories of courses. 

 

I will disagree with this.  When you start taking those bio and chemistry classes in college, you want to arrive as well prepared as possible, because you'll be competing for A's with students who have already had AP chemistry or AP biology in high school. 

 

When I'm feeling particularly disillusioned, I surmise that few if any premeds taking college chemistry are actually learning the material for the first time.   Those that are get weeded out.  

 

And you want to have high grades, not just in your core premed classes, but also in your major of study.  So arrive as a freshman having prepared for college as much as possible.  You don't want to begin your career as premed engineer with a C in physics.  

 

Challenge yourself in high school, take those difficult AP and honors classes at the risk of getting a lower grade, if only to better prepare yourself to get higher grades when it counts: in university.  

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Some (many?) of them have taken pre-reqs at CCs because they didn't get them during their normal college years.  It's the trad students he hasn't seen CC pre-reqs from.

 

 

But then you also get into the self-selection bias - maybe all the traditional students motivated enough to get into medical school are all paranoid about not taking prereqs at the CC, even if the med school doesn't care, but the perception of them caring among applicants means nobody takes those classes at the CC. IOW, it might not matter one iota (especially if you have upper division classes in the same discipline to prove that you can hack those classes, and it's actually a decent CC). 

 

Anyway, I don't work in med school admissions - I mostly posted because I know for a fact that Collin's classes, at least in math, are (or at least were, but I doubt it's changed) not inferior to good state U's classes.

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I will disagree with this.  When you start taking those bio and chemistry classes in college, you want to arrive as well prepared as possible, because you'll be competing for A's with students who have already had AP chemistry or AP biology in high school. 

 

When I'm feeling particularly disillusioned, I surmise that few if any premeds taking college chemistry are actually learning the material for the first time.   Those that are get weeded out.  

 

And you want to have high grades, not just in your core premed classes, but also in your major of study.  So arrive as a freshman having prepared for college as much as possible.  You don't want to begin your career as premed engineer with a C in physics.  

 

Challenge yourself in high school, take those difficult AP and honors classes at the risk of getting a lower grade, if only to better prepare yourself to get higher grades when it counts: in university.  

 

I 100% agree with you, but I suspect Lanny was meaning to actually accept credit for AP, etc, in those courses instead of their college equivalents rather than not preparing well in high school.  I could be mistaken.

 

'Tis common to have taken those courses in high school and repeat them for college credit in college as yes, many pre-meds come in having done similarly.  It's good to be prepared.

 

Calc is still required by many med schools if I'm remembering correctly.

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I 100% agree with you, but I suspect Lanny was meaning to actually accept credit for AP, etc, in those courses instead of their college equivalents rather than not preparing well in high school.  I could be mistaken.

 

 

 

Yeah, I'm pretty sure taking AP biology in high school and then applying to med school is not an option, LOL!  

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But then you also get into the self-selection bias - maybe all the traditional students motivated enough to get into medical school are all paranoid about not taking prereqs at the CC, even if the med school doesn't care, but the perception of them caring among applicants means nobody takes those classes at the CC. IOW, it might not matter one iota (especially if you have upper division classes in the same discipline to prove that you can hack those classes, and it's actually a decent CC). 

 

Anyway, I don't work in med school admissions - I mostly posted because I know for a fact that Collin's classes, at least in math, are (or at least were, but I doubt it's changed) not inferior to good state U's classes.

 

True - and it becomes a "Which came first, the chicken or the egg" scenario?"  Something impossible to answer.

 

When I asked schools that don't accept DE courses (undergrad places, not med schools) I was told it's because it's impossible to know which ones were good and which ones weren't.  They knew some were, but they couldn't trust the content and felt it was unfair to students to let them think they were equivalent courses and expecting knowledge that might not be there.

 

I definitely know the cc courses at our local school were nowhere near equivalent to my guys' 4 year schools.  Not even close.

 

Therein lies the problem.  Same course name.  Different content.  Who's worthy and who isn't?  Some higher level schools just opt not to worry about it.  Our state schools count the credits and students come back from Penn St and/or Pitt telling me they were woefully unprepared.  It's now common in our school to recommend students repeat the courses in college IF they are dependent upon those courses for their major (like Calc, etc).

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Oh and I've written about this before, but a few years ago I was chatting with a surgeon who is on the admissions committee at a top 10 med school.  He raved about an applicant who attended CC before transferring to state university.  The student explained he did it to save money and get smaller classes that are better taught than the large auditorium classes at the university.  Plus he still gets the more prestigious university degree.  The doctor was impressed with how well this student considered his options and made such a rational choice, particularly given the additional expenses of med school.  I don't know anything else about this student--he was probably also impressive in other areas--so take with a grain of salt.  

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Oh and I've written about this before, but a few years ago I was chatting with a surgeon who is on the admissions committee at a top 10 med school.  He raved about an applicant who attended CC before transferring to state university.  The student explained he did it to save money and get smaller classes that are better taught than the large auditorium classes at the university.  Plus he still gets the more prestigious university degree.  The doctor was impressed with how well this student considered his options and made such a rational choice, particularly given the additional expenses of med school.  I don't know anything else about this student--he was probably also impressive in other areas--so take with a grain of salt.  

 

Just from what I've read on the Hive, I suspect places with better CCs (like CA?) are just fine.  I'm only going off hearsay, but I think considering this board, it's an educated guess.  

 

Once again, it helps to realize any advice can be area (or school) specific.

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There's also a big difference between someone who does Orgo and Physics during summers at the CC while attending FancyPants U and someone who just plain starts there -- the first looks like they're trying to get easy classes. 

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Most medical schools are now looking for kids that have majors outside of the sciences, they want more well rounded students. Both of my sisters are have applied and been accepted into medical school within the last 6 years and my daughters friend applied for a a GAPMed program 2 years ago, and this was a big topic of discussion. As long as they have a strong science background and meet the required math and science courses and do well on the MCAT, I would tell your kid to pursue areas that interest them. 

 

I agree! Take a look at these post-bac programs where college grads can do all of the pre-med classes in two years: https://apps.aamc.org/postbac/

 

And then they can major in whatever interests them for undergrad. And those non-pre-med majors often have a leg up in admissions to med school because they stand out: https://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/medical-school-admissions-doctor/2015/08/12/shine-on-medical-school-applications-without-a-premed-major

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Anyone wanting to see stats about various major "fields" can look at this table:

 

https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/factstablea17.pdf

 

It shows number of applicants, matriculants, average GPA, and average MCAT scores associated with each.  There might be a little bit of an edge toward other majors and a little bit more difficult for Health Sciences (WHY?), but the average GPA and MCAT scores of matriculants stays pretty darn level to where I think the actual major is pretty meaningless if one has the scores, grades, and ECs they are looking for.

 

I'd pick a major based upon what the student likes, not any perceived edge in admissions.  I don't see an overwhelming trend to favor any particular field using real up to date stats.  Picking what one likes gives them better odds for getting those good grades - and helping them enjoy undergrad!

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What is SDN?  

 

Is calculus not required for premed?  Is the psych and sociology requirement new?  

 

student doctor network. it's a self-selected pool of neurotic premeds who post constantly. if you don't have a 6.3 out of 4.0 gpa and a 950 out of 528 MCAT, you'll never get in, according to SDN.

 

Most schools no longer require calc. Almost all require 1-2 semesters of college math, which courses are school specific. The psych/soc are needed for the "new" MCAT, it changed considerably in 2015. It's now bio/psych/soci behavior; bio/chem science, physics/gen chem science, and critical analysis/reading. No essay.

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This.

 

FWIW, when I took calculus at UTD, the exact same instructor was teaching the exact same material with the exact same level of rigor etc at Collin. He's probably retired now (this was in 2005, and he was already like 70 or something), but, Collin is not a bad CC (I've attended it and I've attended worse). As long as whatever classes you take there aren't the most advanced classes you're taking, it really shouldn't be an issue, so, if you're taking Chem 1, 2, and Org Chem 1, 2, there, I'd maybe throw in an upper division chem at the 4-year. If you don't want to do that, maybe only take Chem 1, 2, at the CC and then take Org Chem 1, 2, a the 4-year (actually, I'm not sure if premeds need an upper division chem - if they do (biochem?), this is a moot point).

Thanks for sharing your experience with Collin. This CC is also our back up plan for ds in case he doesn’t get enough merit money to go straight to a 4 yr. so it’s good to know it is a quality school.

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