My Answers to some common Premed Questions
Last edited July 31, 2001


Essentially, you'll need first year Bio, Chem, English, and second year Organic Chem, and third year Biochem. These courses will be all you need to do well in the MCAT, as long as you pick up, and use an MCAT review book or two. As far as doing well in the Physics section of the MCAT, given your background in Arts and current Law degree (pardon my assumptions), I don't think that a simple "refresher" course would be sufficient for you to do well in the MCAT. This means you might also want to look into doing a first year Physics course, even though it's not a UBC med pre-requisite.

I'd advise you to check out all the other medical schools; I'll try to get their web addresses up on my site soon. The final trip-up might be whether there are pre-requisites to taking UBC Bioc 300. At UVic anyway, Bioc 200 was a pre-req for Bioc 300. BIOC 200 also had pre-reqs, which meant that it took at least two years before Bioc 300 could be attempted in your third year. As a result, you should really check out UBC's Bioc 300 pre-requisite courses to see how much time you'll need to invest.

I suspect that taking these pre-req courses at a community college might be advantageous, as the hours might be more flexible. Certainly, you'll interact more with the professors, and this will be crucial as you try to get an academic letter of reference (now mandatory at UBC). I think as long as you do well in the courses, the admissions committee will not look unfavourably on you.

Finally, I realize that I've just dumped a tremendous amount of information, and hurdles into something you've obviously looked hard at. Naturally, time and finances will play a role, but you should also look at why you are attracted to medical school. It will be a very long haul; 2-3 years for pre-reqs, 4 years for med school, and minimum 2 years for family practice (4-6 years for most specialties). But if it's truly what you want, and it will make you happy, I encourage you to follow your heart.

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