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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok everyone I need to ask if I'm the only person experiencing this in school and if not how did you all deal with it.

Here's my issue. I am very anal about detail(s) when it comes to all of my sciences and this has affected the way I feel about my professors since I've been told that the details are not important at this time. However, the way my mind works is very detailed oriented. If you tell me why it satisfies my curiousity and I can move on, however if you can't offer me a reasonable explanation it drives me crazy and I harp on it. I have take the same chemistry course twice because the first time around I took it I felt rushed so the second time I took it I found it edited out to only what the instructor thought was important and hence I felt cheated! I ended up correcting the instructor on several lectures that he gave because his methods were outdated and he was not happy with me to say the least.

Anyway, I am finding myself once again taking this damn general chemistry course at Linfield University because I want to understand not just copy what I'm being told to do. I feel its important to know your material since someone is placing their lives in your hands at some point in your career. However, this mindset is causing me to take twice as long to finish my BA degree in biology. I have this same issue with Math and several other sciences.

What's your take on this? Should I just do the content and have it memorized only not to understand it so when it's time to take the MCAT I've fricken clueless and have to study twice as hard or should I continue to move at the rate I'm going?

How do you all feel about your course content honestly! I pay $300 plus per credit and I feel for that amount of money I should get a proper education!


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I think a lot of pre-meds go through the same stuff -- there's always a struggle between what you should simply memorize for the test and what you need to actually conceptualize and understand in order to be able to use it effectively in the future.

That being said I think you should keep in mind that the undergraduate basic sciences are just that: basic. While they are important to understand and complete with high grades for admission to medical school and for taking the MCAT, it may come as a shock to you that what you learn in undergraduate is more geared towards training you to effectively cope with and process horrendous amounts of information.

With medical school admissions becoming tougher and tougher every year admissions committees want to select candidates that they feel confident will not be overloaded by the TONS of information they will have to memorize thoroughly throughout their medical education. A good indicator of their ability to cope with that is their undergraduate academic performance. But in reality the stuff you're required to take in pre-med such as organic chemistry, botany, zoology, etc will rarely if ever come to your aid in terms of having a solid knowledge base in medical school.

Biochemistry, physiology, anatomy and microbiology (if you happen to take them) would be the key subjects to make sure you have a very strong grasp of because that information WILL be useful to you in medical school. But in terms of a general chemistry course or a general biology course I would say don't spend time retaking these courses. Giving yourself double the time to get through it is going to spoil you for when you get to a medical program where you'll have half the time you do right now to process and learn something.

If your school has a learning resource center or a tutoring program I would suggest you check in with them to perhaps go over the main concepts that these classes usually test students on and also meet up with the professors and ask them which parts of their curriculum they feel would be the most useful to a health sciences student. You could spend more time on those parts of the course and not need to take a class twice.

Just my two cents. #wink
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