Is there a reason Chemistry is mandatory for Medicine/Dentistry.... Watch

bertstare
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....when there is next to no Chemistry in these courses? The hardest chem we seem to have is the concept of buffers/pH, and I'm pretty sure anyone with GCSE/AS level knowledge could get to grips with this very easily. I'd think it'd make far more sense making Biology mandatory, since a lot of the topics at A Level (neurotransmission, heart/kidney/lung physiology, energy metabolism, immune response etc) obviously come up in a lot more detail at university. Thoughts?
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seaholme
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Agreed, but as they say, it's easier to get an A in Biology than in Chemistry so it helps them select out a lot of candidates if they ask for Chemistry. It's the same as how they used to ask for Latin, it's more or just a 'challenging subject' tick box. Chemistry is a major hurdle for the less mathematical of us, considering that when you actually get into medical school it turns out that you require none of the skills you had to have in Chemistry. Shame you can't do either Chemistry OR Latin!
Anyway, to my knowledge that's why they ask for Chemistry. Not for the actual course content but just because it's hard.

Some medical schools are now actually asking for Biology as a compulsory subject as well, which I think is good because it's such a helpful thing to have studied.
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Medicine2014
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(Original post by bertstare)
....when there is next to no Chemistry in these courses? The hardest chem we seem to have is the concept of buffers/pH, and I'm pretty sure anyone with GCSE/AS level knowledge could get to grips with this very easily. I'd think it'd make far more sense making Biology mandatory, since a lot of the topics at A Level (neurotransmission, heart/kidney/lung physiology, energy metabolism, immune response etc) obviously come up in a lot more detail at university. Thoughts?
It is because in the 1st or 2nd Year of medicine, you get to study a lot of Organic Chemistry, which is really important for delivering the right dose of medication for example.
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bertstare
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(Original post by Medicine2014)
It is because in 1st or 2nd Year, you get to study a lot of Organic Chemistry, which is really important for delivering the right dose of medication for example.
What? There's literally zero organic chemistry, biochem/pharmacology is basically just biology
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LekiPrzeciwzak
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I have been told by several universities it is only a gauge of intelligence due to being a hard A-level.

I suppose it might be different for Oxbridge.
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seaholme
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(Original post by Medicine2014)
It is because in 1st or 2nd Year, you get to study a lot of Organic Chemistry, which is really important for delivering the right dose of medication for example.
?? Where are you at medical school? I haven't touched Chemistry, let alone organic chemistry, with a barge pole since I finished 6th form.
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Medicine2014
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(Original post by bertstare)
What? There's literally zero organic chemistry, biochem/pharmacology is basically just biology
(Original post by seaholme)
?? Where are you at medical school? I haven't touched Chemistry, let alone organic chemistry, with a barge pole since I finished 6th form.
(I'm in Year 13)

Oops, I forgot to say ''in my country''. I genuinely don't know why it's that important in the UK, but I guess it's pretty much for the same reasons? :erm:
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Chief Wiggum
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Yeah, I think Biology is a lot more relevant than Chemistry. I wouldn't say Chemistry is any more difficult than other subjects either.
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username1277215
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(Original post by bertstare)
....when there is next to no Chemistry in these courses? The hardest chem we seem to have is the concept of buffers/pH, and I'm pretty sure anyone with GCSE/AS level knowledge could get to grips with this very easily. I'd think it'd make far more sense making Biology mandatory, since a lot of the topics at A Level (neurotransmission, heart/kidney/lung physiology, energy metabolism, immune response etc) obviously come up in a lot more detail at university. Thoughts?
Same thing with Pharmacy I would say. We do far more biology than organic chem.
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bertstare
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(Original post by Chukkeigh)
Same thing with Pharmacy I would say. We do far more biology than organic chem.
True to an extent but at least you guys need to learn reaction mechanisms and things which are Chemistry heavy. In medicine/dentistry there isn't even that
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345rty
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I've been pondering this a lot, and as medical school draws to a close I reckon its probably that when I did A level chemistry it was the most pattern recognition and volume heavy A level that I did, and in terms of leaning style and use of knowledge probably the most similar to medicine of the courses I did.

Its only now looking back over a good few years that I see that, so it might just be wishful thinking.
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nexttime
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Its to test intelligence. Biology is most similar, but it doesn't push your broad problem solving ability like chemistry. And whilst medical schools can teach you all the content in the world, its hard to also give someone the ability to problem solve if they haven't picked it up in the first 17 years of their life already.

(Original post by Medicine2014)
Organic Chemistry, which is really important for delivering the right dose of medication for example.
I didn't know you were taught how to pick up a BNF in organic chemistry these days.

(Original post by LekiPrzeciwzak)
I suppose it might be different for Oxbridge.
Different for the more sciencey courses? Why?

They both pretty much require chemistry.
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username1277215
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(Original post by nexttime)
Its to test intelligence. Biology is most similar, but it doesn't push your broad problem solving ability like chemistry. And whilst medical schools can teach you all the content in the world, its hard to also give someone the ability to problem solve if they haven't picked it up in the first 17 years of their life already.



I didn't know you were taught how to pick up a BNF in organic chemistry these days.
Haha I totally agree.
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username1277215
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(Original post by bertstare)
True to an extent but at least you guys need to learn reaction mechanisms and things which are Chemistry heavy. In medicine/dentistry there isn't even that
We really do not...
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bertstare
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(Original post by Chukkeigh)
We really do not...
Really? I know some pharmacy students and I thought there was a fair bit of chem. either way it's more than we have
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LekiPrzeciwzak
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(Original post by nexttime)

Different for the more sciencey courses? Why?

They both pretty much require chemistry.
I am saying that it is different for Oxbridge as in it is not simply a gauge of intelligence, but a requirement if you are to keep up with the chemistry content of the course. I was not saying they did not require it, but simply that it is more important you know the chemistry content than it is at other universities.
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nexttime
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(Original post by LekiPrzeciwzak)
I am saying that it is different for Oxbridge as in it is not simply a gauge of intelligence, but a requirement if you are to keep up with the chemistry content of the course. I was not saying they did not require it, but simply that it is more important you know the chemistry content than it is at other universities.
Oh i see.

Well technically Cambridge only requires chemistry AS so no, not really. There's still not that much pure chemistry at all.
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Helenia
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There is very little pure chemistry, but I think it is useful to have studied chemistry beyond GCSE level in order to have a decent grasp of basic concepts which crop up all over the place - not just pH and buffers, but bonding, how reactions work, energy changes, basic biochemistry (which is only covered in some A-level biology syllabuses, IIRC). I'm biased because it's definitely useful in anaesthetics, but I think there's more chemistry underpinning things than you might realise at first glance.

I don't really buy the "it's the hardest A-level" guff - I didn't find it any harder than my others.
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Medicine2014
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(Original post by nexttime)
I didn't know you were taught how to pick up a BNF in organic chemistry these days.



Different for the more sciencey courses? Why?

They both pretty much require chemistry.
Well, it may not be exactly for that (don't remember exactly what they told me. They just explained it briefly), but medical students study organic chemistry in my country. That's for sure.
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Ronove
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(Original post by Medicine2014)
Well, it may not be exactly for that (don't remember exactly what they told me. They just explained it briefly), but medical students study organic chemistry in my country. That's for sure.
Which country?
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