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Advice from a Medical Student  [ENDORSED]

Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:53 pm
by Chem_Mod
Hey Chem 14A and 14B Students!

I'm Ashley and I am a UCLA graduate and current NY medical student. Before medical school, I was Dr. Lavelle's UA for 10 quarters, which means I know how to do well and effectively study for this class. I wanted to give you some advice and things I wish I knew when I was in your shoes. If there is only one thing that you should keep from UCLA, save your notes from this course. As many of you premeds already know, the MCAT has a chemistry section. To study for that portion of the MCAT, I read over all of Dr. Lavelle's notes from Chem 14A and Chem 14B. I was not a chemistry major, but I scored in the top 5% for that section just by reviewing his notes. What Dr. Lavelle teaches you in this class will prepare you not only for the MCAT but also for medical school. Many of the topics taught in these next two quarters will reappear again and again, and having heard it all before from Dr. Lavelle makes learning it again that much easier. I cannot stress enough how important it is to study those notes and save them after the course is over. I go to school across the country, but I made sure to take his notes with me to med school. His lectures are so well prepared and cut through all the distracting detail to help everyone focus on clear concepts that assist so much with problem solving.

While this course may seem a little overwhelming at times as this is one of your first university courses, just know that Dr. Lavelle provides you with so many resources. He has Chemistry Community which is 24/7 virtual office hours! Plus, he organizes a huge number of weekly Office Hours and Peer Learning Sessions, in addition to even more Review Sessions before exams. He wants to help you succeed so if you get stuck on a concept or a homework problem, go to one of these sessions and talk to Dr. Lavelle, the TAs, and UAs about it. There are so many opportunities for success. Use them. Ask questions on Chemistry Community 24/7, and in discussion sections, office hours, peer learning sessions, and review sessions. Be proactive. These study skills will help you not just in this class but in the rest of your schooling.

To do well in this class, attend all your lectures and discussion sections and go to as many office hours, peer learning sessions, and review sessions as you can. Even if you don't think you have questions, learn from other students. They might have a question you never thought of. Especially on Chemistry Community. Dr. Lavelle's Chem 14A and 14B are going to be two of the most rewarding classes you will take at UCLA. It might seem tough at times, but by the end of the quarter you will have learned so much and have set a solid foundation for your future courses. You will not have another class whose core topics repeat over and over again. Take advantage of all the resources Dr. Lavelle has put a huge effort into developing for you, including the online Focus Topics which are really helpful. He wants you to do well. No other professor creates, maintains, and provides as many additional resources as he does.

Good luck this quarter! If you guys have any questions, feel free to email me at smileysarquiz@ucla.edu. I was Dr. Lavelle's student in 2012 and his UA from 2013 (when Dr. Lavelle created the UA program for lecture courses at UCLA) to 2017. I know how to help you do well. Even though I'm not a UA anymore, I'm happy to guide you guys.

Ashley Sarquiz
UCLA Class of 2015

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 11:48 pm
by Angelica Garcia 1-H
This is very helpful thank you for posting

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:54 am
by Phil Timoteo 1K
Thank you for this advice (:

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:10 pm
by Sam Kelly 1K
Thanks for the advice! Would you say the same thing applies for students planning on going to graduate/professional school in a STEM field, but not necessarily med school?

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:10 pm
by janeane Kim4G
This is so helpful thank you :-,,)

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:38 pm
by Alejandra 1B
Thank You very much (: As someone interested in the genetics curriculum I have many questions... Would you recommend I take Lavelle's courses?

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:03 pm
by Kaylee Kang 1G
Ah thank you so much! This makes me feel much more at ease!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:10 pm
by Simran Rai 4E
Thank you so much for this! I'm going into medicine too and hearing your insight made me feel so much better. :)

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:32 pm
by Yiwen Chen-3G
Thank you so much for your useful advice! I think I would try my best to master this course!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:30 am
by Ashley Kim
Hello Ashley!
Thank you so much for your tips to study chemistry. I will definitely take advantage of them as I go through college at UCLA!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:21 pm
by Riya Shah 4H
Thank you so much Ashley! I will definitely be taking your advice.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:29 pm
by Esha Harwalkar 3F
what science path would you recommend taking for a student trying to go to med school? For example, what courses would you suggest for after chem 14A and B?

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:34 pm
by Karishma_1G
Hi Ashley!

Thank you so much for posting this! I will definitely take your advice.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:46 pm
by 904914909
Such useful advice to keep in mind! Thanks!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:37 pm
by Lucy Agnew 3E
Thank you so much for this! Very in-depth explanations of what we need to do to succeed!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:29 pm
by Mona Lee 4L
Thank you so much for your advice! It's really reassuring to hear from a successful past student that what might seem to be a challenging class will be rewarding in the long run!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:26 pm
by Ashley P 4I
Thank you so much for your advice, as a pre-med student who is starting to feel the toll of school this is much appreciated. Good luck on your future studies and success!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:34 pm
by michellebui_3L
Hi Ashley,

Although I'm not pre-med/pre-dental, etc. your words of advice are still very helpful! Thanks for continuing to give back to the UCLA community and the students here as you were once in our shoes. Best of luck in med school

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:00 pm
by Ashley McClearnen 1B
Thank you so much for the advice! As a pre-med student, it is very nice to hear that this course will be helpful for the MCAT and medical school. I will make sure to go to as many office hours and review sessions as I can in order to succeed in this course. Thank you again for your advice!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:35 pm
by aaronharouni
This was very helpful. Thank you so much for the advice!!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:44 pm
by Zack Barta 3I
Thank you!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:01 am
by Karina Jiayu Xu 4E
Asheley thank you so much!
I was wondering when pre-med students should start studying for the MCAT? Also, what kind of chemistry is on the test?

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:13 am
by abbydouglas1K
This definitely encourages me to attend more step up/peer learning sessions.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:51 am
by Sydni Stewart
Thank you this is very reassuring and encouraging! Can you make a post about your process in applying for Med School sometime in the future?

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:36 am
by Xingzheng Sun 2K
This post is very useful for a biology student like me. Thank you very much!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:04 am
by Hannah Padilla 1H
Thank you this was so helpful!!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:23 pm
by Adriana_4H
I was just wondering how did you prepare/study for the MCAT and get into medical school in general? I'm very interested in hearing your journey! But overall thank you so much for the, it was extremely helpful :)

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:26 pm
by Emmanuel Ogunrinde 3L
Thanks so much for the advice!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:27 pm
by Soyoung Park 1H
Thank you so much! After reading your post, I am not as worried as before about the class!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:45 pm
by ArielKim3C
Thanks so much for the advice!! It's so reassuring :,)

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:50 pm
by Manas Jinka
Thank you so much for this advice! Very helpful for first years taking this course

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:27 pm
by Isabelle_Maletz_3E
So nice of you to come back on here to share some advice. I really appreciate it, thanks Ashley!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:38 pm
by Pipiena Malafu 3J
Thank you!!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:17 pm
by 904973729
This was so helpful. Just what I needed before going into test #1. Thank you.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:01 pm
by Lauren Ho 2E
Thank you for this advice; I switched into this class and was having doubts about which chemistry series would be best for me to take part in, and this makes me feel much more confident!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:59 am
by Brian Kwak 1D
Thank you for the advice its very helpful since I will be taking the mcat sometime next year.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:16 pm
by Tony Chung 2I
Thank you for giving me the advice that I needed!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:09 pm
by Yiting_Gong_4L
Thank you for the advice!!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:12 pm
by 1K Kevin
This is some reassuring stuff, Thanks!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:31 pm
by 404905747
Thank you very much for the advice! Your words make me enjoy chemistry more, knowing that this course will help me throughout med school.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:40 pm
by paytonm1H
Thank you so much! It's always encouraging to hear that our hard work will be applicable for many years to come!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:00 am
by Anna O 2C
Thank you for this advice! I want to become a physician's assistant, so while I don't have to take the MCAT, PA school requires chemistry knowledge and math. Which math series did you take since I know that students going to medical school are required to take a full year of math? Thanks!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:30 pm
by Chem_Mod
Sam Kelly 1K wrote:Thanks for the advice! Would you say the same thing applies for students planning on going to graduate/professional school in a STEM field, but not necessarily med school?

Absolutely! Dr. Lavelle's Chem14A and 14B courses are imperative for laying down the foundation for any science classes you take in the future. Even though he teaches Chemistry, I have seen in my future sciences courses (physics, biology, and even medical school courses), topics that were covered in these two chem courses. I cannot stress how well Dr. Lavelle integrates multi-disciplinary science topics in his lectures. When Dr. Lavelle mentions hemoglobin and its heme structure or the bicarbonate buffer, pay close attention because these are two of the most high yield topics that will show up in almost every other science class you take. No matter what path you take, even if you aren't pre-med or pre-dental, his courses and resources will benefit you in the long run. It will be challenging but ask questions and take advantage of all the office hours and Chemistry Community!

Good luck this quarter,
Ashley Sarquiz

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:36 pm
by Chem_Mod
Alejandra 1B wrote:Thank You very much (: As someone interested in the genetics curriculum I have many questions... Would you recommend I take Lavelle's courses?

Of course! Dr. Lavelle's courses go in depth in not just chemistry but multiple science fields as well. You will see a lot of integration in future quarters when you start taking your Life Science courses which include genetics. While genetics and chemistry aren't the most two related science topics, I think you will benefit greatly from his courses and learn a lot that you will be able to adapt towards your studies of genetics. I remember in the following years, I was constantly going back to my Chem14A/14B notes to help refresh myself with certain topics covered in my other courses. Hope this helps! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me :)

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:45 pm
by Chem_Mod
905166217 wrote:what science path would you recommend taking for a student trying to go to med school? For example, what courses would you suggest for after chem 14A and B?

Please check with your counselors as the names of these courses have changed since I have been there. But you can always reference my old courses with your counselors and they can tell you what the new equivalent course is called.
Chem: 14A, 14B (both with Dr. Lavelle), 14BL, 14C, 14CL, 14D, 153A, 153L (optional course that I took because I love chem/biochem)
Life Science: 7A-C and 23L (I think that's what it's called. When I was there it was called LS1-4)
Physics: 5A, 5B, 5C (I think this is the new course. It used to be called Physics 6A-C).

After you take these specific courses, it's really up to you and your major. Pick courses that you need for your upper division credits and also find courses that interest you. Hope this helps! :)

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:48 pm
by Chem_Mod
Mona Lee 1I wrote:Thank you so much for your advice! It's really reassuring to hear from a successful past student that what might seem to be a challenging class will be rewarding in the long run!

100% it's rewarding. It will be tough while you are actually going through it all, but I promise if you keep working hard it will pay off. When things start getting overwhelming, don't look at the things you don't know. Focus on all the concepts you understand. You know a lot more than you think. Also, don't worry so much about the grades but what you actually take away from the courses. Just because you didn't get an A doesn't mean you don't know the material. You still know a whole lot. Trust me.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:55 pm
by Chem_Mod
Karina Jiayu Xu 4E wrote:Asheley thank you so much!
I was wondering when pre-med students should start studying for the MCAT? Also, what kind of chemistry is on the test?


It depends on the person. I graduated from UCLA in 3 years so I waited until after I graduated to start studying for the MCAT, and then I took it a year later and filled out my med school applications. In total, I took two gap years after graduating. As part of my medical school's own admissions committee, I can tell you that many applicants take at least one gap year. If you don't want to take a gap year and go straight from college, you'll have to start studying for the MCAT probably in your 3rd year and take it by the end of your third year so you can have your score back and apply the summer of your 4th year. It's tough that way which is why so many students take gap years, but it's up to you.

As for the MCAT, it covers both general chemistry and organic chemistry. As I have previously stated, reviewing the notes from Dr. Lavelle's Chem14A and 14B courses were sufficient for me for score in the top 5% in the chemistry section. You can definitely add supplemental review, but his courses are great preparation especially for the general chemistry sections. Hope this helps! Good luck and feel free to reach out if you have any other questions!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:58 pm
by Chem_Mod
Sydni Stewart wrote:Thank you this is very reassuring and encouraging! Can you make a post about your process in applying for Med School sometime in the future?

I will try my best to create another post for you guys in the future. When I get such positive feedback like this from you and all the other students, it tells me what questions you have and what you still want to know. Keep posting and hopefully I'll be able to answer all your questions.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:00 pm
by Chem_Mod
laurenho-4c wrote:Thank you for this advice; I switched into this class and was having doubts about which chemistry series would be best for me to take part in, and this makes me feel much more confident!

You definitely made the right choice switching into this class! Good luck to you! :)

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:05 pm
by Chem_Mod
Adriana_4H wrote:I was just wondering how did you prepare/study for the MCAT and get into medical school in general? I'm very interested in hearing your journey! But overall thank you so much for the, it was extremely helpful :)


As this is a really long journey to cover, I think I will create another post in the near future explaining it all (once I check with Dr. Lavelle). In short, I took a gap year to study for the MCAT. I took a supplemental MCAT prep course that helped review material for me. But if you can maintain a good grasp of what you learn in Dr. Lavelle's Chem 14A and 14B, you will be more than prepared for the general chem section on the MCAT. It's really up to you how you study, when you start studying, and if you take a gap year(s). Right now though, just focus on your courses. Applying for medical school is still so far away. Don't stress about it now. Enjoy the classes you are currently taking and learn the material well. Hope this helps!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:09 pm
by Chem_Mod
Anna O 1A wrote:Thank you for this advice! I want to become a physician's assistant, so while I don't have to take the MCAT, PA school requires chemistry knowledge and math. Which math series did you take since I know that students going to medical school are required to take a full year of math? Thanks!

I took a bunch of different math courses. I fulfilled Math 3A and 3B with my BC calculus AP test, so I took Math3C at UCLA (I think this is still the name of the course, but it might have changed). I took LS30A which is an interesting coding-type math class. And I took Biostats100. I'm not the best person to ask for math courses because I was all over the place. My suggestion would be just take the Math 3 series (3A, 3B, 3C). Hope this helps. Feel free to ask me more questions if anything else comes up! :)

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:40 pm
by Lisa Werner 2F
Thank you so much for this insight!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:13 pm
by Jchellis 1I
Thank you! It is so great to know that these notes will be helpful later.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:10 pm
by Veronica Soliman 4H
Thank you so much! I hope all is well in med school!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:51 pm
by Celine Hoh 2L
Thank you for the advice!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:38 pm
by Sam Kelly 1K
Chem_Mod wrote:
Sam Kelly 1K wrote:Thanks for the advice! Would you say the same thing applies for students planning on going to graduate/professional school in a STEM field, but not necessarily med school?

Absolutely! Dr. Lavelle's Chem14A and 14B courses are imperative for laying down the foundation for any science classes you take in the future. Even though he teaches Chemistry, I have seen in my future sciences courses (physics, biology, and even medical school courses), topics that were covered in these two chem courses. I cannot stress how well Dr. Lavelle integrates multi-disciplinary science topics in his lectures. When Dr. Lavelle mentions hemoglobin and its heme structure or the bicarbonate buffer, pay close attention because these are two of the most high yield topics that will show up in almost every other science class you take. No matter what path you take, even if you aren't pre-med or pre-dental, his courses and resources will benefit you in the long run. It will be challenging but ask questions and take advantage of all the office hours and Chemistry Community!

Good luck this quarter,
Ashley Sarquiz


Thank you for the advice, this is reassuring!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:28 pm
by Eruchi Okpara 2E
Thank you for the advice!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:31 pm
by Edward Suarez 1I
thank you for the advice! i will def be taking this into consideration in my upcoming test.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:44 pm
by Angela Cong 3C
Thank you so much for all your advice! This will definitely help us all out years from now :)

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:55 pm
by 404817859
wow thank you now I know to make sure to take excellent notes and to keep them on hand

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:00 pm
by MichaelMoreno2G
Although this is over a year old, I really appreciate seeing posts like this. You're right, this class can be overwhelming and it's barely about to be week 4. Although you may never see this, thank you for posting this. I needed this inspiration for the upcoming test.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:26 pm
by Natalie Liu 4I
Thanks for the advice, I feel more motivated to study hard in this class now!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:38 pm
by Dana Wilks 3I
Thank you for the advice!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:37 pm
by Chem_Mod
MMoreno3K wrote:Although this is over a year old, I really appreciate seeing posts like this. You're right, this class can be overwhelming and it's barely about to be week 4. Although you may never see this, thank you for posting this. I needed this inspiration for the upcoming test.


This initial post was over a year old, but I can promise you that I check this thread every week while Dr. Lavelle is teaching and will respond to any questions that anyone directs towards me. I read through every single post that each of you guys write. I do my best to keep up to date with this course. It has a special importance to me because I was there since day one when Dr. Lavelle's UA program started.

I know there's a lot covered in this class but take it one day at a time and while you should study your weaknesses, remember all your strengths. I guarantee that you know so much more than you think you do. Many of us focus on the things we don't know rather than the things we do know. So when you take your test, just remember you understand a majority of the material that was taught. Just think of how to apply it to the question being asked. Good luck. Happy studying. And don't worry, everything you write I make sure to read. I'm here for all you guys :)

Ashley Sarquiz

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:02 pm
by Ethan Nishikawa 4D
This is very insightful! Thanks! In cases where you missed class, what would you do to make sure you did not fall behind?

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:42 pm
by Nina Do 4L
This is what I needed to read! Thanks so much for sharing. During the gap year, aside from studying for the MCAT what do you recommend we do in that free time?

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:13 am
by Sabrina Ryu 3L
Hi! I wanted to know which of the review/Q&A sessions helped the most? Was it office hours? step up sessions? I wanted to go to multiple but it was overwhelming to even decide which to go to.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:57 am
by Minsub Lee 3E
Thank you so much! Transitioning into college has been tough, but this was very encouraging!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:18 pm
by Chem_Mod
Ethan Nishikawa 4D wrote:This is very insightful! Thanks! In cases where you missed class, what would you do to make sure you did not fall behind?


If you miss class, try to watch/listen to the Bruincast. That is the best thing you could do. Reading over the notes is good, but having Dr. Lavelle explain it takes it to a whole new level. Always make sure that you are adding to the notes during lecture. Try the questions in the book and if you are having issues, go to office hours, talk to your TA, work with other classmates. The best way to know if you truly understand the material is if you can explain it back to someone else. Hope this helps!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:25 pm
by Chem_Mod
Nina Do 4 wrote:This is what I needed to read! Thanks so much for sharing. During the gap year, aside from studying for the MCAT what do you recommend we do in that free time?


Do something that you can talk about in an interview. Many students volunteer, do research, scribe, work in a medical clinic. They do something. However, that's not the only path. You can do something completely medically unrelated. You can travel and have all these great experiences and then use those experiences as the influence for your medically school application. When you interview, we ask what you did over your gap year. Just do something that you can talk about and something you are passionate about. As long as you show you did something you loved, we'll accept you. You're going to have plenty of clinical experience during medical school, so if you don't absolutely love it do something in your very last summer/year off that you won't regret.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:30 pm
by Chem_Mod
Sabrina Ryu 3L wrote:Hi! I wanted to know which of the review/Q&A sessions helped the most? Was it office hours? step up sessions? I wanted to go to multiple but it was overwhelming to even decide which to go to.


It depends on the type of person you are. If you have questions, then go to office hours. Many of the are basically one-on-one tutoring. I can't stress enough how few people take advantage of this resource. It's free tutoring for you to ask all the questions you want. If you are someone who doesn't think they have questions but still want to learn, go to Dr. Lavelle's office hours. He always has students and just by sitting and listening to other student questions, you can still learn a lot. It all depends on the type of person you are. I am someone who asks a ton of questions, just ask Dr. Lavelle. So for me, the small group office hours that were like one-on-one tutoring sessions was where you'd find me. Maybe try out a couple of them in just one week and see what works for you. Remember you will have all these resources again in Chem14B so see what works for you now so you are a master of your study style next quarter. Good luck! Feel free to reach out if you have anymore questions.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:26 pm
by Ahmed Mahmood 4D
From a premed who has been adjusting to UCLA's curriculum--thank you sm for this post and the advice!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:52 pm
by 105085381
I am a pre-med, first year student who needed this advice, especially regarding the chemistry series. Thanks so much!!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:41 pm
by 904983525
Thank you so much for sharing this. Reading this made me feel a little better, since I do not really excel in chemistry. Again thank you for sharing.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:25 pm
by Ethan Nishikawa 4D
Chem_Mod wrote:
Ethan Nishikawa 4D wrote:This is very insightful! Thanks! In cases where you missed class, what would you do to make sure you did not fall behind?


If you miss class, try to watch/listen to the Bruincast. That is the best thing you could do. Reading over the notes is good, but having Dr. Lavelle explain it takes it to a whole new level. Always make sure that you are adding to the notes during lecture. Try the questions in the book and if you are having issues, go to office hours, talk to your TA, work with other classmates. The best way to know if you truly understand the material is if you can explain it back to someone else. Hope this helps!


Awesome! Thanks so much! I like that tip. Understanding something enough to explain it. Will do.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:54 pm
by Kunseo Yook 2E
Thank you for the advice

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:25 am
by 904837647
Thank you Ashley! I agree, Lavelle is a great professor and he's extremely helpful!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:56 am
by RandallNeeDis3K
Thank you so much for your advice!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:01 pm
by Vana Mirzakhani 3I
Hi Ashley! Thank you so much for your thorough advice!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:24 pm
by Danielle Hoekstra 1C
Thank you Ashley!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:03 pm
by allisoncarr1i
Thank you so much this was very helpful!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:42 pm
by Anand Narayan 1G
Thanks for the advice

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:21 pm
by Karina Jiayu Xu 4E
thank you so much!! that was actually very helpful considering how stressful the process is.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:01 pm
by MackenziePerillo-1L
Thank you so much for this advice, it is super helpful to hear from someone who is actually going through the process.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:33 am
by Phil Timoteo 1K
Thank you for this!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:44 pm
by JacobHershenhouse3G
As a pre med student, this makes me feel much more confident in this course and in the pre med process. Thank you for sharing your experience and I will definitely learn from it!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:34 pm
by gabbym
Awesome advice! Thank you so much :)

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:47 am
by Elle_Mendelson_2K
Thank you so much! Would you say that any other chem classes were as helpful for the MCAT or did the MCAT only cover 14a and b material?

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:50 pm
by Mya Majewski 1L
MCAT covers 14A-->D as well as biochemistry

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:08 pm
by Chem_Mod
Elle_Mendelson_2K wrote:Thank you so much! Would you say that any other chem classes were as helpful for the MCAT or did the MCAT only cover 14a and b material?


Great question. While the MCAT does cover both general chem (Chem 14A/B) and organic chem (Chem 14C/D), I would say that the majority of the chem questions come from 14A/B. You will have a few general organic chemistry questions but if you know and understand Chemistry 14A and 14B, you should be able to answer about 2/3 to 3/4 of the chem questions that are asked. It's super important to make sure you keep your notes from Dr. Lavelle's class. I can't emphasize enough how important these are for future MCAT studying.

Hope this helps! Good luck with the rest of the semester :)

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:14 pm
by Chem_Mod
Mya Majewski 1L wrote:MCAT covers 14A-->D as well as biochemistry


While this is a true statement, I would be careful about thinking that all courses are tested the same on the MCAT. There is a high importance placed on Chemistry 14A and 14B on the MCAT. There is s some 14C and 14D material, but more on 153A which is biochem. I will say however, that in medical school only 14A/B and 153A topics come up. So while it is important to know organic chem for a few questions on the MCAT, topics covered in 14A/B and 153A come up time and time again in both your LS courses at UCLA and future medical courses for those pursuing this path.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:44 pm
by riddhiduggal
Thank you so much!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:10 am
by Anjali_Kumar1F
Thank you!!!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:07 pm
by 904837647
What made you want to go to med school?

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:10 pm
by Jaqueline Monreal 2L
Thank you for the advice ! I'll be sure to save my notes for later

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:21 pm
by Gisela F Ramirez 2H
Thank you so much, this is so helpful. I am also planning on going to medical school and your advice is very much appreciated!

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:47 pm
by Chem_Mod
904837647 wrote:What made you want to go to med school?


I always had an interest in medicine. I was always fascinated by the rapidly progressing fields of research. Something that you learn today may be old news in 5 years. It amazes me how fast technology is changing and how it is changing the way we do medicine. You need to be someone who loves learning. Every patient that you meet has their own back story and it's up to you to listen. As a medical student, patients with these chronic health conditions are actually your teachers. In the classroom, you are taught how to interview patients. But it is in the hospital where the real teachers are. Your patients know so much about the conditions that they live with 24/7. They are the ones that you need to be listening to because they know so much more about their medical conditions. They teach you what the books can't. No patient comes in having read the textbook, having all the main symptoms that are diagnostic of the disease. So as much as you take away from the books, it is the patient interaction where you learn the most. In this last year and a half, the knowledge I have obtained is incredible. I didn't know I was able to retain so much information. Coming to class each day learning how our bodies work down to the cellular level is just amazing to me. Medical school is tough, so you need to be ready to put in the work and learn...and constantly relearn material over and over because this field is constantly changing.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:11 am
by Megan_1F
Thanks so much for your advice! I will definitely keep my notes handy as I go through my UCLA journey. Can you tell us a little bit more about your gap year? What types of clubs/ internships/ research opportunities/ etc. you were involved in that helped strengthen your medical school application?

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:06 pm
by Chem_Mod
Megan_1F wrote:Thanks so much for your advice! I will definitely keep my notes handy as I go through my UCLA journey. Can you tell us a little bit more about your gap year? What types of clubs/ internships/ research opportunities/ etc. you were involved in that helped strengthen your medical school application?


My gap year was spent volunteering in an autism clinic in the mornings and assisting in some research in the field of autism during the afternoons. It was just a couple days a week because I needed time to study for the MCAT and then get my application for medical school ready. I also continued to UA for Dr. Lavelle for his Chem 14A and 14B courses. I wouldn't say that research is a must. Many applicants don't have research on their application. The reason I was involved in some research was because it went hand in hand with the volunteer work I was doing in the clinic. Everyone is always very interested in what is needed to strengthen one's application, but it's important to know that your GPA is probably the most heavily weighted item, so I would focus on that first and then worry about extracurriculars.

Re: Advice from a Medical Student

Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:09 am
by Yiyang Jen Wang 4I
Thank you so much for sharing these. I am a 2nd year right now and was so stressed about being a premed student. I felt like I have so much to do, to get prepared but don’t even know how to start. Your advices are so helpful! I should really make a plan for myself.