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Engineering Students applying for Med-School ...........

Guest dayne67

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Guest dayne67

Hi, this is my first time posting at this Forum. I have just finished my 3rd year of engineering and have decided to try and take courses at UofT that will allow me to apply to different Med-Schools in Ontario. I plan on studying these courses from Sept-April and the next spring/summer session of 2004. I also want to write the MCAT in August and apply for Med-Schools by October (in 2004). Of course, in September (2004), I plan on going back to finish the last year of my engineering degree.


I already have a good physics background and have taken one university half-course in chemistry. I know I first have to take a full-credit first year BIO, some more Chemistry (Intro Organic, and maybe some Inorganic). For my second BIO course (in the summer/spring session), I don't quite know what to take (because I want to take a course that would help me in the MCAT)? Should I take Cell Molecular Biology? Or Animal Physiology? Or some other BIO course?



Plus, Is this a workable plan? Or would I need more organic chem and BIO?


I would appreciate the advice.

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Guest Danish

Hey dayne67,


I was in the same position as you a couple of years ago so mabye info about what I did will help. I graduated from Queen's in Mech Eng in 2001 and then I spent the next two years doing med pre-reqs at UBC. I also wrote the MCAT last summer. As far as courses for the MCAT, the only one that REALLY helped was a full year organic chem course. When it came time to study for that section, it was just review. For biology, the only course I took before the MCAT was on evolution, so that didn't help much. However, I found learning the human biology for the MCAT pretty easy, as it was just straight memorization. Just get a good prep book. If you've taken a grade 12 high school biology course, you should be fine. If you have to take an extra biology course, just pick something that interests you. I think your plan is definitely workable, as it has worked out for me. I think as long as you meet all the pre-req requirements for each school you should be fine. I don't think extra biology or organic will help too much. However, I'll let you know if I'm getting my butt kicked from lack of extra biology when I start this fall. :P

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Guest dayne67

Thanks for the info, Danish.


I will try to make sure I get a REALLY good prep book for the MCAT. Though, I am not so sure if I will be able to squeeze the 2nd year ORGANIC chem course in my planned schedule. I think I will only be able to take the 1st year intro ORGANIC chem course

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Guest UTMed07

Hi dayne67:


Is this a workable plan? Or would I need more organic chem and BIO?
Seems workable... but I'd also consider a few other plans.



Why not finish the engineering degree and then do the prerequisites? -- Get the engineering behind you... you can then switch your brain to memorization mode.


If you're not in a rush to get to medical school...

Have you looked at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering's (IBBME) Clinical Engineering program? I don't know too much about it... just that someone in my class took that route to preparing for medical school. Perhaps you can do the prereqs while doing a MHSc.



I did a master's degree (MASc - IBBME/Mech Eng) and my supervisor was a really good sport about allowing me to take the prerequisites I needed. He seems to attract the engineering-med school wannabes--I'm going to be the fourth student of his that is going to medical school and he has a pretty good success rate.



I'd try to weasel your way into BIO250Y (Cell & Molecular Bio), this is what I did and I know another engineering student that pulled it off. I took this course and enjoyed it. I didn't hear too many good things about the first year biology course at U of T.


I don't quite know what to take (because I want to take a course that would help me in the MCAT)?
Organic chemistry is a good one to take. Also, it is my impression that med schools generally consider this course important; one of my interviewers said it is strongly correlated with performance in medical school. BIO250Y is another good one (discussed above).


A good second bio course is Intro. to Human Physiology (PSL302Y -- also required some weaseling to get into), it is all about how things work, fun and sort of engineeringish (yup, I occasionally like making up words :) ), but no math. Some schools are pretty lax about what constitutes biology; U of T often will accept biomedical engineering courses (e.g. Biomechanical Engineering, Biomaterials, Thesis - Biomedical Topic).


You might want to look at a biochemistry course, if you're not in chem eng and have time. The half course chemistry (the standard in engineering) I had was causing me a bit of grief at some schools.


You don't need a lot of courses. You have most Canadian schools covered if you have:


-1 full year physics course (w/ labs) -- you're okay here

-1 chemistry course (w/ labs) -- I weaseled out of the second half w/ a few course that had some chem in 'em.

-1 organic chemistry course (w/ labs)

-1 biology course (w/ labs)


I find it is shame that the engineering curriculum is so inflexible; it makes getting rereqs for med school a pain. Good news is I've heard changes are underway (at least at U of T) to make things better in the future.




Yay... Mech Eng! :D

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