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Veterinarians: As a pre-vet student, am I doomed if I hate cell biology?

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  • Veterinarians: As a pre-vet student, am I doomed if I hate cell biology?

    As the title blatantly says, I'm curious as to whether or not I should take the fact that I do not enjoy cell biology - at all - as a bit of foreshadowing, haha. Obviously there is more to being a vet or a doctor than work at the cellular level, but it seems like I ought to maybe like it... a little.

    So to all you vets or aspiring vets: did you come across any "problems" such as this? Or should I really truly enjoy discussing the endoplasmic reticulum and the citric acid cycle?

    (This is partially tongue in cheek and partially... oh shit, maybe I *should* be enjoying this more, haha)

  • #2
    If nothing else, you're doomed to hate the first year of vet school....

    Comment


    • #3
      No. Your interest is (large) whole animal work. Cell biology is literally at the opposite end of the spectrum.

      And I have my PhD in biochemistry, and while I am grateful the citric acid cycle exists, as well as the ER, I find that stuff insanely boring. When I tutor my undergrads the difference when I talk neuro versus Krebs is the difference between me on caffeine and me on sudafed.

      You need to know this stuff because you need to understand the basics of metabolism, and eventually, drug interactions and pharmacokinetics.

      But I will assure you that knowing FAD and how many ATPs..I say, shoot me now.
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      • Original Poster

        #4
        My biology professor told me the other day that I was going to love biochemistry because of the questions I was asking him. Let's just say that I don't like the "just because" explanation... hearing, "we're just going to say that this happens, and no, I'm not going to tell you where the parts that magically disappear go, or why... it just happens. And now let's move on" does not appease me at all. I almost want to stamp my feet and yell at someone to feed me knowledge, haha.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by over the moon View Post
          My biology professor told me the other day that I was going to love biochemistry because of the questions I was asking him. Let's just say that I don't like the "just because" explanation... hearing, "we're just going to say that this happens, and no, I'm not going to tell you where the parts that magically disappear go, or why... it just happens. And now let's move on" does not appease me at all. I almost want to stamp my feet and yell at someone to feed me knowledge, haha.
          It is good that you want to know more so badly.
          I remember going to the library after classes to find out more about this or that.

          As for liking or not any one class, liking any of it is not relevant, it is all part of a whole you like.

          Comment


          • #6
            Nope!

            You're only doomed if you can't work through the dislike and succeed in your classes regardless. Only worry about whether you like working a veterinary office, the rest are just the steps to get there.

            Comment


            • #7
              I know *nothing* about what it takes to become a vet, but if you and I were meeting about career counseling...

              I'd worry more about your future as a vet if you didn't like: standing for long hours, puzzle solving (both in what the owners tell you as well as what the animals tell you), problem-solving, doing hands-on activities, science in general, or reading (so you can stay current in the field).

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              • #8
                Certainly not doomed, I strongly disliked the majority of the vet school prereqs with the exception of classes like anatomy and physio. At my vet school we're taking cell bio AGAIN this block and we're all finding it just as boring now as it was in high school and undergrad. The only difference is that this cell bio class is going at warped speed compared to the undergrad version. It's insanely boring and yes, we're talking about the TCA Cycle, electron transport chain, etc, etc.
                It's a good GPA booster (class averages are around a 90 on each exam)...just wish I wasn't paying quite so much to take a class I already aced in undergrad again. They make all of us take it regardless of background to make sure we're all working off the same foundation for other classes we're currently or will be taking in the future. For most of us it's painful review but for some it's new so I suppose it's not worthless to those folks.

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                • #9
                  Shouldn't matter. Now, if you hate CVA you might have a problem
                  I wasn't always a Smurf
                  Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
                  "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                  The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

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                  • #10
                    I would think you'd be in much more trouble if you hated biochemistry or anatomy and physiology.
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                    • #11
                      What about Organic Chemistry?...I have never been more confused in my life.
                      ~*If I had a dime for everytime I thought of a horse's beauty, I'd have enough to buy one*~

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BuckskinLover View Post
                        What about Organic Chemistry?...I have never been more confused in my life.
                        Hated organic. A lot. Also hated biochem although that had more to do with the professor/class structure than the material. Honestly, I've never had to use organic outside of that class. I thought I would need it in pharmacology or other such classes and I really didn't. That was the undergrad version so we'll see what happens in vet school but you're fine if you dislike organic...I only know one person in our class who liked it and she's an ex organic professor non trad student. That being said you have to be able to work through it and succeed in the class but I got a C in o chem 1 and still got into vet school so it's okay if you aren't an o chem rockstar.

                        The one thing I learned from O Chem that IS extremely useful is how to ask for help though. A lot of pre vet/med type kids are used to sailing through classes and o chem was the first one I had no clue what was going on in. It was good practice for trying out new study techniques and working with professors that's coming in handy in vet school where you need multiple study techniques for different classes. You can't really study anatomy the same way you would study physio for example.

                        Like others have said you don't have to love the process to want to be a vet. I don't necessarily like vet school to be honest. I enjoy learning some of the material but a lot of it feels like more stressful hoops to jump through much like the prereqs for vet school. I'm learning a lot and absolutely know I'm in the right place but it's hard for me to get excited about cell bio and histo even as a first year vet student. Will Histo be useful in practice? Absolutely. I'm pulling A's on all the exams and I understand the material but that doesn't make it any more interesting...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As long as you do well in it how you feel about it probably doesn't matter. If it is the rigour of the course that you don't like, then you could be in trouble.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by over the moon View Post
                            My biology professor told me the other day that I was going to love biochemistry because of the questions I was asking him. Let's just say that I don't like the "just because" explanation... hearing, "we're just going to say that this happens, and no, I'm not going to tell you where the parts that magically disappear go, or why... it just happens. And now let's move on" does not appease me at all. I almost want to stamp my feet and yell at someone to feed me knowledge, haha.
                            It sounds as if it is the teaching mrthodology you do not like- rather than the subject matter.
                            Janet

                            chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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                            • #15
                              Ironically enough, my hatred of cellular biology sparked my search for a new major.....after two years (and my second time taking the class....yikes!) I realized that I just didn't want to be a vet anymore (for various other reasons too, of course, not just cell bio )

                              I think as long as you're willing to work through it, you'll be perfectly fine!
                              To be loved by a horse should fill us with awe, for we hath not deserved it.

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                              • #16
                                I'm a 3rd year medical student. Pre-med and pre-vet students (heck, med and vet students too) have this tendency to think that any one thing that they don't like or aren't good at is some cosmic sign that OMG, I will be a REALLY BAD, HORRIBLE, NO-GOOD, AWFUL doctor. It's not true. Really, it's not, but the system (advisors, other students, the application process) seems geared to making everyone think this way.

                                When I was an undergrad, I was working at a local children's hospital in a research lab through a program for high school/college students. I loved the lab. Then the director of the summer program tried to get all the kids to come volunteer one Saturday morning at some event for mentally retarded (or whatever the current PC term is) children. I was not interested and this lady kept pushing for a reason beyond "I'm already busy that Saturday." When I (stupidly) finally revealed that I was uncomfortable dealing with the retarded, I got this lecture that if I didn't enjoy non-verbal retarded children, then I had no business going to med school. Being the perfectionist I am, I remember being in crisis, thinking I was a horrible person who wouldn't EVER get into med school.

                                Lucky for me, my dad is a dentist and he gave me my reality check. He told me that he doesn't like pediatric dentistry or root canals or extractions. He likes restorative work (partials and bridges). Of course he had to learn all of the above in school, but his practice is geared towards what he likes. So, here is Dad's advice to me, repeated for the OP:

                                "You can get through anything for a month or a quarter or a semester, so long as you keep your eye on the bigger picture."

                                The dirty little secret is surprisingly few of the pre-professional required classes have any relevance to the first two years pre-clinical curriculum, and even less relevance to the clinical years. Of all the undergrad bio classes I took, physiology is probably the only one I really used on a regular basis in med1 and med2. Cell bio was useful for mol cell bio/biochem (1 combined class at my school) in that it made a lot of the class a review. Don't underestimate the importance of having one class you can sorta coast through because you've seen most of it before.

                                FWIW, I did not like metabolism or cytoskeleton or ER/golgi/protein trafficking in cell biology. It did not keep me from completing my PhD in immunology 3 weeks ago.
                                Good luck,
                                BES
                                Proudly owned by 2 chestnut mares
                                Crayola Posse: sea green
                                Mighty Rehabbers Clique

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by BuckskinLover View Post
                                  What about Organic Chemistry?...I have never been more confused in my life.
                                  My take: Everyone always thinks that the way to succeed in ochem is to brute force memorize all the reactions. It can be done, but it's painful and not really good at teaching you anything.

                                  If you approach it right, ochem is good for teaching non-linear thinking and how to systemize a lot of seemingly random but inter-related information. There isn't just one way to synthesize a compound or one way the little electrons can move around the frakkin' benzene ring. Similar to how there isn't just one thing that can make your blood pressure drop...and you can have multiple abnormal things going on in the body simultaneously that counter-act each other.

                                  The body is complicated....
                                  BES
                                  Proudly owned by 2 chestnut mares
                                  Crayola Posse: sea green
                                  Mighty Rehabbers Clique

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                                  • #18
                                    I called cell biology "Cell Hell." But I'm now in a PhD program for pathobiology. I hated cell but still love biology. It can be done!

                                    Side note: if you get the right professor, organic chemistry can be fun!
                                    Forward momentum!

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