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thesuperguy

Do universities acknowledge the difficulty, and potential impossibility of taking all 3 core sciences?

I have just started IB this year and I am currently taking bio hl and chem hl to hopefully pursue the medical field. Unfortunately, it has been brought to my attention that many universities will actually strongly value those with physics experience on their transcript. As we all know, IB does not conventionally allow someone to take all 3 sciences except under certain circumstances, and I'm starting to rethink my science choices because of this... I understand that medical school does require physics, but that can be learnt in university if so needed. The only thing that concerns me is that I'll be out competed by those who have done physics when applying to university.

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Why would you need Physics for medical school? Please cite a university which lists it as a requirement.

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Swedish universities do, for example :) But in the UK, they usually don't require physics.. Where do you want to study?

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Think of what is acknowledged in this context (bare with me it's a long story):

 

This summer I went to about 17-21 interviews (some phone, some live) for various stages of quantitative graduate jobs I was applying to. During some of these interviews I had the advantage of seeing people's reactions to my CV/cover letters (believe it or not, people don't actually read this stuff before coming into an interview! Shocked me...)

 

Now I had a great deal of education on there, and some modules from uni much tougher than others. Did these people know what the modules entailed? Probably not, were they impressed I had done them, YES! Why I know this is because they went on commenting how impressive it was that I did said module, and when I started elaborating about it they looked at me puzzled...

 

The moral of the story is, doing a tough subject is always to your advantage. It will show you're intelligent, but most importantly hard working and dedicated :)

 

Do it if you want to stand out (More stories on the crazy things I had to do to stand out of the crowd for the jobs I applied to! But that's for another time/day).

 

All the best IBers!!

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Why would you need Physics for medical school? Please cite a university which lists it as a requirement.

 

It's less about the med school itself (though many of the good med schools do require a bit of physics education) and more about the fact that there is a whole section on the MCAT that is all about physics. Putting med school aside completely, I also worry that just studying at one of the more prestigious universities before pursuing med school will be difficult when I may be competing with others who have done physics.

For that matter, even my teachers and IB coordinators have suggested against taking all 3 sciences because they have seen many students who have dropped from something like a predicted 40+ to 33 because of the stress. Taking all 3 sciences will mean another whole class worth of work each night, as well as the fact that my spare block which is basically a block for catching up on work and relaxing, will be taken away.

 

Ultimately, all the signs say that taking physics might very well work against me, but I just have that gut feeling that it will still be worth it. I honestly do not know at this point. The thing is, regardless of whether or not I want to take physics, the class is currently completely full and overflowing for that matter, and no one can switch into physics until people start dropping it.

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Why would you need Physics for medical school? Please cite a university which lists it as a requirement.

 

It's less about the med school itself (though many of the good med schools do require a bit of physics education) and more about the fact that there is a whole section on the MCAT that is all about physics. Putting med school aside completely, I also worry that just studying at one of the more prestigious universities before pursuing med school will be difficult when I may be competing with others who have done physics.

For that matter, even my teachers and IB coordinators have suggested against taking all 3 sciences because they have seen many students who have dropped from something like a predicted 40+ to 33 because of the stress. Taking all 3 sciences will mean another whole class worth of work each night, as well as the fact that my spare block which is basically a block for catching up on work and relaxing, will be taken away.

 

Ultimately, all the signs say that taking physics might very well work against me, but I just have that gut feeling that it will still be worth it. I honestly do not know at this point. The thing is, regardless of whether or not I want to take physics, the class is currently completely full and overflowing for that matter, and no one can switch into physics until people start dropping it.

 

 

 

Great, you're good to go then.

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Unless you know for a fact the University will prefer Physics and requires it, don't bother with Physics. It's not really relevant to Medicine (then again, neither is Chemistry...) so it'll only help you if the medical school want it specifically. I did the BMAT (an entrance exam for Medicine) without having done IB Physics and that has a science section. I just re-read all my old Physics notes from before - but then I knew the BMAT would be GCSE level Physics only which is what I'd already done, albeit not for 2 years. You need to find out what kind of Physics will come up on the paper - whether they expect something advanced or just basics that everybody would have covered up to the age of 16.

 

Considering Medicine in Canada is post-graduate (to my understanding), it's the modules you take at University which will count, not your IB subjects. Just take a module or two in Physics when you're at Uni if you feel it's really important. I expect you'll find it's not actually required. There's no real reason why medical schools would have an obsession with Physics any more than Maths, English Lit, Economics etc.! Arguably communication skills are more important than your ability to smash out equations - there are some Universities in the UK which have a preference for candidates who've done the two core sciences (Biology, Chemistry) and either a language or a social science (i.e. not Maths or Physics which are the traditional 3rd subject) precisely because of this. You'll be using one all the time and the other none of the time, unless you go into medical physics.

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Not taking physics in high school won't negatively impact your application seeing as admission officers at medical schools will only review your university transcript. There is no need to take physics now, you can take it at university. Sure, it'll be difficult to pick it up then but I know of people that have done just that and have managed to do well. Plus, the physics that is covered in the MCAT is more advanced then what you'll be taught in IB so the only thing you'll gain from doing physics now is that you'll have a solid base in physics - useful but not necessary to do well in university physics/the MCAT.

 

In case you were under the impression that doing IB physics would get you credit that will exempt you from the physics pre med requirement then your mistaken as medical school don't accept credit from AP/IB courses.

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