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brf09

Everyday Uses of Math and Chemistry in the PA Profession

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I'd like to hear some examples of common uses of math and chemistry related skills in a PAs work tasks. The programs I am applying to only require chemistry I & II (no organic chem or biochem), and one math course as prereqs. I wanted to ask the opinion of practicing PAs on these requirements. I know I will learn biochem and organic in PA school, but I thought the programs would want to know a student's proficiency in these subjects before accepting them.

 

Thanks!

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The program I am applying only requires chem I & II, and one math course...no biochem or organic. I know I will learn more about these subjects in PA school, & I assume the math skills learned will be specific to the types of calculations needed for a health care career..but I would assume the program would need to know a student's proficiency in the areas of biochem, organic, and more advanced math courses. Opinions?

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those are the minimums... many competetive applicants will have taken chemistry up through biochem. whether or not you apply the skills you glean from those courses, you wont want to avoid them.

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I think that if I had been let into PA school without having had Biochem and Organic I first, I would have been in a program that wasn't as good as mine. Biochem is absolutely essential to understanding how cellular mechanisms work, in my opinion. I can't remember most of the nit-picky details anymore, but I developed an awareness and a sensibility about, say, cellular respiration that is important to understanding anaesthesia, or carbon monoxide poisoning.

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What program only requires chem 1 and 2? I imagine it is a program that requires 4k+ HCE. I never took orgo, but I have been using biochem in patho daily. The only math I encounter is stats, and it is abundant.

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I'm sorry for double posting, but I wanted to get the opinions of both practicing PAs and PA students. I did not think PA-Cs would be visiting the PA-S section. So what are suggestions for finding answers from both students and practitioners?

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Febrifuge -

 

Do you think it is because in practice you only need this "awareness and a sensibility" (rather than all the details) that some programs do not require biochem as a prereq?

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I am applying to The University of Oklahoma, Wichita State, and Texas Tech & all programs only require up through chem II. Also, while all programs "strongly recommend" HCE, they don't require it.

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"strongly recommend" means "you need it" if there is a large applicant pool.....one of the new programs in nc had 1200 applicants for 20 spots this yr....anything that sets you apart from the herd can make a difference....

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I wouldn't speculate about why some programs require it and some don't; all I can say is that my Clinical Lab class didn't need to waste time explaining enzyme action or acid-base chemistry, and that made for a better and more detailed Clinical Lab class. Same with Hepatic or Nephro systems in the A&P courses. I understand that this can be folded in to the core medical courses, but it seems like that would take up time that could be spent on the specifics.

 

I'm not saying you can't understand ABG results or correct an acid-base problem without having had the courses; it's just that I'm more confident in the medicine because I had the science first, before I got to PA school.

 

And finally, one of the things I like about this board is the way the pro PAs take time to check out the student boards too. Often that's a better road for certain questions, because other students usually have the same ones.

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I cant recall using any of my Orgo in PA school, and really just a little bio-chem during A&P. Math... again, not so much. As EMEDPA stated, there isnt any of this on the PANCE/PANRE. well maybe 1 or 2 questions in relation to pharm, but thats it max. If youre dying to apply yourself in these topics, go to Med school and take step1.

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