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UBC's Biopsychology program


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Does anyone here have experience with the Biopsych program (as a graduate of the program or a current student)? I am interested in it, but as it is a small program I haven't really heard too much about it. My end goal (for now) is to attend medical school. A lot of people have been telling me to go for the more traditional science degree (eg. Biology, Biochemistry) because "it will prepare you for medicine more" but I don't really agree with that.

 

Any input on interest-factor, lab hours, workload, etc. would be appreciated!

 

(I'm not sure where this thread should be! Apologies in advance..)

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I took the BSc psych program and graduated two years ago. I applied to med school when I graduated but was rejected and one of the comments for my rejection was BSc in psych. However, it is a great program and is the closest thing to an undergrad neuroscience program we have at UBC.

 

But they have changed the name of the program so that now you get a degree in Behavioral Neuroscience instead of Biopsychology. Interestingly, I have received interviews at both med schools I applied to now that my degree is in behavioral neuroscience and not psych. :confused:

 

I would definitely recommend the program but you may run into problems if you want to get into med school.

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I took the BSc psych program and graduated two years ago. I applied to med school when I graduated but was rejected and one of the comments for my rejection was BSc in psych.

 

Why is a BSc in Psych a problem? I thought that med schools didn't care whether you had a BA or BSc, let alone which program you completed...:confused:

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but was rejected and one of the comments for my rejection was BSc in psych.

 

I don't understand why it would matter either, but now am feeling a bit worried. What exactly did they (adcom?) say?

 

I really want to do a degree in this but would like to avoid a shock when I apply to meds. Yikes...

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I have the same degree - BSc Psyc from UBC... it is definitely NOT a hindrance to getting accepted. Although I have yet to be accepted to UBC, people graduating from my program have been accepted in the past with absolutely no problems. In fact, it seemed like 80% of my classmates were gunning for med! I have no idea why the adcom would tell you a BSc in Psych is a problem - a friend of mine was even accepted his first time applying after only three years of a BA in philosophy.

 

I enjoyed the Biopsyc program - its what got me interested in medicine in the first place. It covers a lot of neurophysiology, always with application to real life and clinical scenarios, and neuroanatomy, including labs where you dissect sheeps brains and perform cool experiments on rats (at least when I did it). The program is small too, so it has a good student to teacher ratio.

 

Also, all the med prereqs are required courses for the program and one generally has a lot more elective time than most undergrad science programs to take random language and fine art courses.

 

Hope that helps,

 

supa

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Sorry guys, I did not in anyway want to turn you off of the Biopsych program. It is awesome. The profs are great and I loved it! I know that a large number of people get into med school with varying academic backgrounds including people with psych backgrounds. And I believe the Biopsych program prepares you for any careers including med school or research.

 

I just wanted to let you know that when I got my rejection letter one of the two comments on the bottom said, "BSc in Psych"

 

Sorry for any confusion and I really do recommend the biopsych program to anyone and everyone.

 

Good luck to everyone waiting to hear back. 15 days left!!!

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Sorry guys, I did not in anyway want to turn you off of the Biopsych program. It is awesome. The profs are great and I loved it! I know that a large number of people get into med school with varying academic backgrounds including people with psych backgrounds. And I believe the Biopsych program prepares you for any careers including med school or research.

 

I just wanted to let you know that when I got my rejection letter one of the two comments on the bottom said, "BSc in Psych"

 

Sorry for any confusion and I really do recommend the biopsych program to anyone and everyone.

 

Good luck to everyone waiting to hear back. 15 days left!!!

 

Can you elaborate on what that comment means??

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Sorry guys, I did not in anyway want to turn you off of the Biopsych program. It is awesome. The profs are great and I loved it! I know that a large number of people get into med school with varying academic backgrounds including people with psych backgrounds. And I believe the Biopsych program prepares you for any careers including med school or research.

 

I just wanted to let you know that when I got my rejection letter one of the two comments on the bottom said, "BSc in Psych"

 

Sorry for any confusion and I really do recommend the biopsych program to anyone and everyone.

 

Good luck to everyone waiting to hear back. 15 days left!!!

 

Neurodude -- what school wrote "BSc in Psych" as a comment in your rejection letter?

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Hey there,

I would not worry about these "notes" that UBC puts on your files... They are just that - notes...

 

Mine last year said a couple things:

 

"Bach of Integrated Science"

 

This can not be a bad thing. This too is a great program and almost everyone that I hung with in my undergrad is in medical school. This program, as far as I am concerned, breeds med students. Therefore, I think this is a positive note.

 

"low average only in first year"

 

Take that as you wish. Again, however, I do not think that was negative.

 

"7 verbal score"

 

Hey it is verbal... This is likely more of a flag. However, I have a freind that had a 6 last year and another with 7 7 7 a couple years back and they are both in or done med school at UBC...

 

All that said... I would not worry about the program you are in. In my opinion - I think these smaller programs help to facilitate a better education (by having students in a more self-directed role and taking charge of their own education - ISP anyway) and the med school realizes this.

 

Hope that helps. There is no smacking needed...

d

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I am currently enrolled in BSc Psych at McGill. I am conducting research with a physician who used to be on the admissions committee for McGill medicine. He has told me that coming from a non-traditional background (ie. something other than bio, physio, etc) is actually sometimes an advantage since it makes you stand out. I am not suggesting that a traditional background is not a good thing, of course it is since you can be sure that you are receiving great preparation for a medical degree . However, please do not worry about taking psych since it can be (in my biased opinion) a great prep for med school provided that you take the prereqs. It didn't stop me from being interviewed :).

 

Good luck.

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Hey there,

I would not worry about these "notes" that UBC puts on your files... They are just that - notes...

 

Mine last year said a couple things:

 

"Bach of Integrated Science"

 

This can not be a bad thing. This too is a great program and almost everyone that I hung with in my undergrad is in medical school. This program, as far as I am concerned, breeds med students. Therefore, I think this is a positive note.

 

"low average only in first year"

 

Take that as you wish. Again, however, I do not think that was negative.

 

"7 verbal score"

 

Hey it is verbal... This is likely more of a flag. However, I have a freind that had a 6 last year and another with 7 7 7 a couple years back and they are both in or done med school at UBC...

 

All that said... I would not worry about the program you are in. In my opinion - I think these smaller programs help to facilitate a better education (by having students in a more self-directed role and taking charge of their own education - ISP anyway) and the med school realizes this.

 

Hope that helps. There is no smacking needed...

d

 

Just as an aside, what was your English mark and writing sample grade (if you don't mind sharing). I've heard that a low VR can be compensated for by a good WS/English mark.

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Just as an aside, what was your English mark and writing sample grade (if you don't mind sharing). I've heard that a low VR can be compensated for by a good WS/English mark.

 

Hey there Kuantum,

My english I took like 10 years ago and got a B and C+...

I had an R on the writing sample. Go figure. I am barely literate, yet, I write in the 95 percentile.

I hate the MCAT.

Are you applying to Vancouver via OPP? Either way - good luck - 12 days.

d

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Hey there,

I would not worry about these "notes" that UBC puts on your files... They are just that - notes...

 

Mine last year said a couple things:

 

"Bach of Integrated Science"

 

 

Hey you guys. I actualy asked them what it meant. Basically that sheet you get with your rejection is the actual sheet that goes in to see the Admissions Committee. So it is a summary of you. It means nothing to why you were rejected. It is a note for themselves when they go up to present you to the Admissions Committee.

 

Cheers

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That's good to hear! Honestly, it makes sense: I personally don't see why a degree in Integrated Sciences or Psychology should be viewed in a negative light. If anything, the non conventional route seems more appealing (to me at least, with the smaller class sizes).

Thanks for the input all :D

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  • 4 weeks later...

If it makes you feel any better EVP... I was a Biopsychology student at UBC and graduated in '06 and got accepted into UBC Med this year... I've heard there are four other first year Med students that did the same degree as me in various years... So no worries :)

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drpepper that is great to hear! congrats :D !

 

i'm applying to biopsych in a few days--i'm pretty sure that's the program i want to do. except maybe for lab reports. yuck.

 

thanks everyone, i definitely feel less uneasy now. it's all that premed talk i hear in my classes that scares me sometimes but i am slowly learning to block that all out.

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Honestly, don't worry about what your undergrad degree is in. They absolutely do not favour traditional science degrees over anything else. Just take something that interests you and that you can get good marks in. I did psychology and linguistics (much less science-y than biopsych) and was accepted at 2 medical schools. If anything, I think having an unusual undergraduate degree helped my applications.

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i just got thinking.

 

psyc260: what's it like? it's 8 credits (whoa..). what exactly do you do/learn? do we get to play with rats??

 

Hey there,

 

I'm currently in biopsych (err...I'm actually on exchange this year, but I'm in the biopsych program at UBC). I took Psyc 260 two years ago and my advice is: don't be overwhelmed by the 8 credits deal. I imagine they bumped up the credits because it's an intro course so you have to learn a lot of information (like every single part of the brain and what it does and how parts interact with each other and blah blah blah), but if you cue card it or some other excellent way of fact-memorization and keep on track, it's no problem. When I switched to biopsych, I found that I had an easier time learning and memorizing everything because everything is so interesting! =) For example, you learn how a part of the brain does so-and-so to one's libido then Gorzalka tells you a crazy story about sex-maniac rats and bam = stuck in your memory. =)

 

If they're doing the same lab this year, then yes, you get to play with rats. You get rats injected with a type of serotonin and record how many times the guy sniffs the girl rat out, how many times he tries to penetrate, how many times he actually does, etc. It's fun and it's funny. =) The hard part is writing the two papers, but the lab portion was really my first introduction and connection to research, which is invaluable to your med school application IMHO.

 

Okay, enough blabbing. =)

 

Sam

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