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Just a little rant on med-school admissions. Anyone else frustrated that medicals schools have such vague prerequisites requirements? For a program that is amongst the most competative i'd expect some clear instructions on what marks to get in what specific classes...when I first researched requirements it said that you can be ANY major you want and no required courses...how does that make any sense? A least give prospective students some recommendations on what to take to relate/prepare for medical school material. When I first decided to go the med-school route I was so damn confused on what courses to take. I was certainly determined and didn't want to have a "backup" career like engineering, but also didn't want to over-take too many hard bio/chem courses. Took me such a long time to determine what to take, how many credits they were, and what is related to medicine and mcat preperation without over-doing courses that were too hard. At least give 5-6 required courses (bio/chem/anatomy) and put up a bunch of electives rather than just saying "anything you  want."

That was quite long but anyone else go through this dilema? :) 

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This is dependent on the school, but I think most of them do suggest courses even if they're not required, in addition to or in place of required courses. This is true of McGill and also UBC if I remember from their blog. In terms of grades, it all counts towards your GPA which you want as high as possible.

When picking undergrad courses it's smart to look at these requirements across schools, but I don't think most people plan that much ahead and in detail since things change. Yes the required courses are posted now and if there's changes to admissions it might be announced ahead of time, but not always. So most people do the heaviest work load that they can manage and that they hopefully enjoy also, which achieves what med schools want you to do. Call it good luck or whatever that the majority of people thus fulfill prereq requirements come applications. 

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On 9/26/2018 at 9:46 PM, VictorLin0725 said:

Just a little rant on med-school admissions. Anyone else frustrated that medicals schools have such vague prerequisites requirements? For a program that is amongst the most competative i'd expect some clear instructions on what marks to get in what specific classes...when I first researched requirements it said that you can be ANY major you want and no required courses...how does that make any sense? A least give prospective students some recommendations on what to take to relate/prepare for medical school material. 

Nothing you do in undergrad is very helpful for medical training. Hence why schools don't care what you do in undergrad. 

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As someone who has gone through the whole process, I can tell you that medicine is really an art. Trying to figure out who to pick is very hard, especially as we move away from paternalistic medicine and into more patient-centred care. Soft skills are very important - more than ever before.

I agree there should be a little more structure, but a lot of schools are experimenting with different strategies to select for soft skills. The biggest revolution in the last 8 years was the MMI so now the schools are looking for the next big thing I guess :)

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Even if there's not many "required" courses, most schools look for the MCAT and thus a lot of people will take a few science courses to help prepare, as you did.  Also, given the nature of the admissions process, where most people apply as broadly as possible, if one school requires course X, then many people will take it in order to be eligible to apply to that particular school.  So that might mean many take OChem, even if there's one or two schools where it's actually required.       

 The biggest thing in undergrad is getting a strong GPA to make you competitive - while a strong anatomy background wouldn't hurt you in med school, there's usually no point in planning too far ahead, given the uncertainty of the process. 

It's also usually a good idea to have some solid backup/alternative plans and so to choose a major accordingly - admissions could take more than one cycle and there's just way more applicants than seats.   

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1 hour ago, NLengr said:

Nothing you do in undergrad is very helpful for medical training. Hence why schools don't care what you do in undergrad. 

actually think there is a lot of truth to that - medical school will teach you medicine. Everything before that is just learning how to learn. 

since medicine really is both an art and a science - and I really don't mean that in a wishy washy way either - going almost any route is useful. 

I have multiple undergraduate degrees and honestly the ones that I use the most in medicine are my psychology degree and my computer science degree. My premed degree was a solid science program but I think really there was about 4 courses that actually were useful in med school (human physiology, human anatomy, human nutrition and statistics - I didn't take immunology but that probably would have been useful as well). Everything else helped me get into medical school (ie the mcat which you know is important of course) but didn't help me directly once I was IN medical school (there is almost no clinical medicine in premed degrees).  Chemistry was practically useless, all the math I did was useless, physics are useless until I got into radiology and even then you have to relearn it as 8 years had past at least), and a lot of biology was useless as well except often it seems purely by accident. 

even the MCAT is half science and half arts - and it is the arts part that trips most people up - CARS. 

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30 minutes ago, rmorelan said:

 

even the MCAT is half science and half arts - and it is the arts part that trips most people up - CARS. 

I agree with a lot of what you said, but wonder if this last point is more a consequence of most applicants being "science heavy" rather than being more "artsy".  

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8 hours ago, tere said:

I agree with a lot of what you said, but wonder if this last point is more a consequence of most applicants being "science heavy" rather than being more "artsy".  

sure it is - that is exactly what I think it is. My scores jumped on the mcat in that section post doing an arts degree. Most arts students will struggle with the science parts of the mcat similarly unless they take special steps. There is nothing magically about CARS - it is just that shockingly doing 4 years of intensive work in basically reading and writing argumentative literature will make you better at reading comprehension :)

 

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