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Hi there,

I'm currently an undergraduate student in a program that doesn't require me to take Organic Chemistry as a prerequisite. I'm hoping to not have to take it at all (as I know that it hurts many students' GPAs) and to learn the material on my own for the MCAT but are there medical schools that require you to have taken Organic Chemistry?

Thanks in advance!

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McGill does.

Candidates are required to have completed 7 introductory basic science courses (minimum of 21 semester-hours/ credits) with labs: 

  • 2 introductory Biology courses with labs (at least 6 cr.);
  • 2 introductory Chemistry courses with labs (at least 6 cr.);
  • 1 introductory Organic Chemistry course with lab (at least 3 cr.);
  • 2 introductory Physics courses with labs (at least 6 cr.)

http://www.mcgill.ca/medadmissions/applying/requirements-edu/basic-science-prerequisites

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As noted, some schools in Canada do require organic chemistry, and if you're looking at the US at all, most schools there do.

It can be helpful for the MCAT, but is by no means required. Chemistry basics do need to be learned for the MCAT, but that can be self-taught without too much difficulty, though it does of course take a bit of time. I had zero chemistry courses at the university level, organic or otherwise, and did quite well on the MCAT.

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The OChem content has decreased with the MCAT 2015 from my understanding.  OChem as a standalone class with no labs might be worth considering.  Notwithstanding ralk's somewhat exceptional case, most people do find university courses in Chem helpful, although with dedication and discipline it could likely be learned on its own.  Biochemistry is much more useful than OChem both on the MCAT and during medical school.  

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2 hours ago, calcan said:

The OChem content has decreased with the MCAT 2015 from my understanding.  OChem as a standalone class with no labs might be worth considering.  Notwithstanding ralk's somewhat exceptional case, most people do find university courses in Chem helpful, although with dedication and discipline it could likely be learned on its own.  Biochemistry is much more useful than OChem both on the MCAT and during medical school.  

I agree - biochemistry is much more useful than Ochem. I personally found having taken ochem really helpful when teaching myself biochemistry for the mcat though.

As far as I know, none of the Western schools require Ochem (UBC, UofC, UofA, USask... Manitoba might still require biochemistry...).     Correct me if I'm wrong! 

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2 hours ago, Koopatroopa said:

I agree - biochemistry is much more useful than Ochem. I personally found having taken ochem really helpful when teaching myself biochemistry for the mcat though.

I had a similar experience. There was very little Ochem on the mcat when I took it. But the ochem that I did made it a lot easier for me to wrap my head around biochem, and there was a lot of biochem on my mcat. 

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3 hours ago, Curiousaboutapps1 said:

Mine was almost entirely Orgo and biochem in two different sections. There is significant variation between tests. 

Sure, but regardless the level of detail in MCAT Orgo is nowhere close to the level of depth covered in a typical yearlong OChem series.  Biochem is helpful, but even then, much of it can be self taught (amino acids, and the various metabolic cycles/pathways, etc)

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4 hours ago, Curiousaboutapps1 said:

Mine was almost entirely Orgo and biochem in two different sections. There is significant variation between tests. 

According to the AAMC, the biochemistry content in CPBS should be approximately 25% and 15% for Ochem; while for BBFL should be approximately 25% for biochem and 5% for OChem.  But there's definitely a great deal of test variation (from the links): 

"These percentages have been approximated to the nearest 5% and will vary from one test to another for a variety of reasons. These reasons include, but are not limited to, controlling for question difficulty, using groups of questions that depend on a single passage, and using unscored field-test questions on each test form."

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