IB Subjects Watch
I’m currently going into my first year of IBDP, but I’m unsure of what to take for medicine / medical careers. I’m taking Bio HL and Chemistry SL, is this okay? btw I’m applying to universities in the U.S. I really need help with this.
In the US medicine is a graduate degree only, so you can't apply to it as a school leaver (there are a couple of integrated programmes which you can apply to as a school leaver, but these are more often "guaranteed interview" type schemes). You will take the premedical subjects in university in the US, and most US medical schools actually require they are taken in a US university specifically. So for that case, it doesn't matter.
You'll do a lot more chemistry than UK medical school applicants (normally taking A-level/IB HL Chemistry) will take, since you need to take two semesters general chemistry (roughly IB HL/A-level material, although likely to go into more depth and possibly breadth) and two semesters organic chemistry (which is university level, roughly similar to the first/second year organic chemistry content studied by chemistry degree students here). Some medical schools accept just one semester of organic chemistry with one semester of biochemistry as well; others require you take biochemistry on top of the two semesters of organic chem, and a few don't specifically require it (although it's covered on the MCAT).
Pre-meds in the US also take two semesters introductory biology (similarly to gen chem, roughly similar material to A-level/IB HL, but probably more breadth and possibly more depth), and two semesters of physics (again, similar to A-level/IB HL, although this will almost always be in more depth than it is taught in schools here, as it will be calculus based and cover fewer "bitty" topics and more fundamental material). They also normally are required to take calculus, usually two semesters or one semester plus one semester of probability/statistics (first semester is similar to A-level maths, second semester might be similar to that or it might multivariable calculus in full, which is university level; it's also usually taught from a slightly deeper perspective focusing on development from notions of limits etc than it is in school here).