Wednesday, 17 August 2011

1. To Prereq, or not to Prereq... To Prereq!

This week’s post is an argumentative debate between Danielle and Jeff on the prerequisite course requirements imposed by medical schools on prospective students, i.e. “the prerequisites.”  Danielle is arguing for them and Jeff is arguing against them (despite what the truth and our opinions may actually be). 

O chem, G chem, B chem, Bio, Calc, Psych, and Phys. If you know what I am talking about then you probably, like me, have quite a strong feeling about these classes. I took them all for 1 reason… because I love science…haha let’s not kid ourselves…I took them because I knew med schools wanted me to. If they told me to take the history of ancient Chinese pottery I would have jumped on that bandwagon guns a blazin’.  When I started university I was pretty dumb, to tell you the truth, I listened to what other people and med websites told me to take. Now after taking all these courses I am quite glad I did. I took every possible pre-req so that I could apply to any medical school in Canada if I wanted to, which I never did but that’s another story.  

I am slightly against required pre-reqs but seeing as I am the keen one and did them all I was much more prepared for this side of the argument over Jeff who only took the minimum. So here it goes.  

The main advantage for going to the trouble of taking all these courses is that it truly does allow you to cover all your bases or cover your ass. You can choose to be a med rebel and take your own idea of what courses it takes to be a good med student. I wish you luck and hope that you know better than almost every medical school in Canada and the States’ dean. There are only 2 schools in Canada that do not have any form of pre-reqs and if you feel like you are ready to only apply to 2 schools of 17 then be my guest. When it came to medicine, I was going to do everything in my power to give me the utmost advantage.  

The main reason they want these courses is so you can demonstrate that you can survive hell and learn from it and blah blah blah.  It is not a nice time to take all these courses in your first few years and I do honestly think that they want to make sure you are strong enough. They want you to demonstrate that you can run some 5km runs before you attempt their ultra-marathon. They want to see that you can do well in these basic components before they give you a stethoscope and ask you to actually interact with patients.  

What I do hope you take from our post is that there really are options for you. Do not feel strangled by the pre-reqs and do not feel like you are at a disadvantage if you just have a normal biosci degree either. Med school is really just looking for your journey. Most schools have standardized your journey into a series of tiny pre-req steps but you need to know that it is just one pathway. You can hop a plane and take a trip over the steps or you can take a slightly different path. All that matters in my mind is that you have taken a journey and can show them that.

- Danielle