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Hello,

 

After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree 1.5 years ago, I’m starting Pre-PA classes this upcoming at a local university. However, I recently decided that I’m going to get the ball rolling by taking a class this January (can’t start a full load yet…work is too many hours currently/tedious). I’m thinking that I will either take Anatomy or Medical Terminology online. Also, is it ever an issue to take a class online for Pre-PA if it’s a class that usually doesn’t require a lab?

 

Which would you recommend as a start? It seems as if more programs require Anatomy than require Med Terminology? Also, at the end of all of this, there is still a slight chance I will apply to medical school instead so from that stand point, which class would you recommend?

 

Thank you!

Michael

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Hello,

 

After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree 1.5 years ago, I’m starting Pre-PA classes this upcoming at a local university. However, I recently decided that I’m going to get the ball rolling by taking a class this January (can’t start a full load yet…work is too many hours currently/tedious). I’m thinking that I will either take Anatomy or Medical Terminology online. Also, is it ever an issue to take a class online for Pre-PA if it’s a class that usually doesn’t require a lab?

 

Which would you recommend as a start? It seems as if more programs require Anatomy than require Med Terminology? Also, at the end of all of this, there is still a slight chance I will apply to medical school instead so from that stand point, which class would you recommend?

 

Thank you!

Michael

 

Don't take anything online. If you are looking into both med/pa school, I would start with gen chem/gen bio. Then anatomy/phys. Take med terms, why not? It was by far the easiest class I have been in and very helpful. Take orgo after gen chem is finished with. Some pa schools require it, some don't. All medical schools do. 

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Eh, take anything online where the learning won't be diminished.  Lab sciences would be the LAST thing I would try and take online, medical terminology would be the FIRST. (I did end up doing OChem (A-) and Med terminology (A) online in my PA school prerequisites, BTW)

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Thanks for your feedback, PAGuy55 and rev ronin! 

 

This January will be the only time I take a class online before I start in-person classes at a local University in May. Thus, would you definitely recommend medical terminology for this 1 online class then or do you think taking anatomy online in January more beneficial?

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Med term is definitely very useful to get a good grasp on medical vocab that will pop up time and time again throughout the science courses you'll take. I would def recommend that as a first course.

 

Also, I took most of my pre-rec courses online (since I worked both alternating day and night shifts full-time at an ER, it was impossible for me to commit to in-person classes at a community college/local university). For most of my science classes (anat/phys, microbio, etc), it was a hybrid course (in-person lab and online learning) and the rest were purely online. It wasn't ever an issue during any of my interviews, and in fact, they actually congratulated me on my grades because I was taking a few courses at a time while working full-time. Long story short, I ended up getting into my top school, so if you can't take classes in-person, don't be scared by online courses.

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I took mine at a local community college because I had to go in to take tests in person. I would check with a community college around you because I believe most would probably offer a med term course online.

 

Just make sure that the school/program is accredited. I can't remember which type of accreditation CASPA requires (they accept multiple and list it on their FAQ somewhere) but I'll send you my community college's accreditation page as an example: http://www.ccbcmd.edu/accreditation/index.html. I believe though that almost all schools would fit CASPA's requirements.

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Guest MedLib42

Medical terminology will be helpful in certain classes like pathophysiology as well as anatomy and physiology, and future medical or PA studies. And, even if it's not a prerequisite, many PA schools still require you to be somewhat proficient in med term before you start. My school had us take a medical terminology test the first week of school, even though it wasn't a required prereq.

 

That said, however: I never took medical terminology as a college course. It wasn't a prerequisite for many PA schools (not any I was applying to), and typically isn't a medical school prerequisite either. Is it going to help you out in your studies? Probably. But you can easily study anatomy, physiology, and classes that contain medical concepts without it, especially at the undergrad level. Also, medical terminology is something that can easily be learned on the side - some people will argue it doesn't need its own stand alone college course. A free course is offered through DesMoines University online, and if you want a cert you can register and do the class formally for around $75. I did that for U of Florida's PA program. You can find plenty more med term classes through iTunes U, and I've found the content in these classes is more than adequate.

 

So if you want to avoid potentially spending money and time on a class that you don't absolutely need, I would advise avoiding med term until you know for sure you'll need it for a particular school. Start with anatomy. That's a prerequisite for almost 100% of programs, so you know you'll be knocking out a necessary prerequisite. 

 

However, anatomy will be WAY more time consuming than med term. So if you're really busy with work, you might also want to take that into consideration.

 

Just my two cents ;)

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I truly don't think taking those classes online are a disadvantage. Most PA schools require a hands-on lab portion, and that's when you can ask any in-depth questions that you had while doing the readings. For my class, I was able to email the prof and get an answer back within the day.

 

I chose a CC online course because it was thousands cheaper and there were so many lab sections I was able to pick one to fit my constantly changing work schedule. My coworker did her course at the local university (JHU) and had to take out a loan just to pay for it (I think she ended up paying $3k more than I did). She also had to rearrange her schedule so that she could go in person to class for a few hours every day after work.

 

Yes there's the image that the courses are easier at a CC but for something like anatomy where you have to read the book cover to cover anyways, I felt like I was learning all the needed material. Taking the majority of my pre-recs at a CC online also didn't seem to hurt my interviews either.

 

In the end it's up to you. I like the flexibility and lesser costs associated w/ CC but there's also advantages to taking a class at a university.

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Guest MedLib42

Interesting stuff. So would the DMU Med Terminology class be accepted as credit at a variety of PA programs? Or is it just a way to learn a few things before starting PA school? I'm guessing it's the latter but I just want to make sure.

 

It doesn't give you college credit, but it gives you a certification. I applied to several programs that required a knowledge of, or certification in, med term, but didn't actually require college credit in it. My current school tested us on med term the first week, even though it wasn't a required pre-req, and I hear a lot of other schools do that. So it was a quicker and cheaper way to learn med term, especially since none of the 10+ schools I applied to required it as a pre-req.

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