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Organic Chemistry Fears


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So, I think the title is pretty self-explanatory. I am hesitant to take orgo and biochem after hearing the horror stories of them. Not to mention how it will affect my already subpar GPA. I feel I may already know the answer to this but is it foolish for me to completely skip those courses, as some programs don't require them? Thanks

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1 hour ago, Cadapter said:

(professor was hellbent on failing all the premeds)

Definitely a reason to go to a community college rather than a university!

I recommend Ochem in small doses.  I took a combined intro to organic and biochem course (Ochem for nurses, basically) that did NOT meet prerequisites, but it did both help my GPAs (cGPA, sGPA, Ochem, AND BCP CASPA GPAs) as well as giving me a running start at "real" Ochem when I took it the following term.  I do not think I could have pulled off an A- in real Ochem 1 without that running start.

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If my dumbass can do it anyone can.

It's one of those classes that made me realize it is doable as long as you put the time into it, which is what PA school is all about- putting that time in, but a lot more of it.

I ended up with a B+ and B in lecture at the university, and did the lab portions at the local CC and got A's even 2-3yrs after taking the lecture components.

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Guest HopeToBePAC

Haven't taken Biochem yet, but Orgo is a weeder for sure. I got a B- in lecture and A in lab. Adcoms know it's a hard class, and I know some schools specifically look at your Orgo grade and if you did/do well in it it really shows you can handle tough coursework. I'd recommend taking it at a community college, as others have mentioned, and when you do take it, don't take any other hard science classes with it. And my last piece of advice would be to utilize "Organic Chemistry As a Second Language" by David Klein -- it's super helpful.  

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Organic chemistry is all mechanisms.  If you can recall reagents and products you are half way there.  The rest is reasoning the electron flow.

Biochemistry I felt was much harder, but I did have a professor who said "I will teach you as graduates, because that is what is how be taught."  More memorizing, the various amino acid structures and citric acid cycle are the worst things to memorize.

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11 minutes ago, JD2012 said:

If my dumbass can do it anyone can.

This gave me a good laugh. I have nothing to add except that I thought Ochem was going to be hell but it turned out to be smooth enough. Biochem is what really kicked my butt. Don't know until you try I guess. I assume both of them will be good prep for a PA program if you can manage to fit them in to your schedule. 

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I used to have the same fears before I took ochem but it turned out to be one of my favorite classes. I heard from plenty of people that those who had a difficult time in gen chem had an easy time for ochem and that was true for me. You just gotta study your butt off. Studying in groups really helped me! Biochem on the other was a whole different story, maybe because my professor was no good..

Edited by Caligal
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  • 2 weeks later...

I took OCHEM 1 and 2 back to back during the summer, so I can relate to your fear. I agree with the other posters' suggestion on not taking any other tough/demanding classes at the same time. If you liked Gen Chem, you may hate OCHEM. I enjoyed Gen Chem and Biochem more than Ochem. Keep in mind that even though it may not be a requirement, some schools will have you take biochem in their program. So taking an extra class beyond the prerequisite (like Biochem and Genetics) and doing well in it will make you look better in your application and more prepared for a PA program

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