Lots of students aspire to medical careers. Being a physician seems like a noble calling, you can always find a job, and it will make your parents proud. Over the years, interest in obtaining the coveted MD often exceeded the openings in medical colleges. Pre-med courses often served not only to provide essential knowledge for a medical career, but also to "weed-out" marginal students.
Earlier this week, I saw something that suggested organic chemistry was one of these weed-out classes. What could future doctors learn from the dreaded O-chem? Persistence and fortitude?
How about organic chemistry itself?
I am a graduate of a 6-year BA/MD program. Yes, I entered college and medical school simultaneously from high school. I never took the MCATs. I never took calculus or college physics either. I have managed to succeed as both a clinician and a scientist despite these "gaps" in my education.
I cannot imagine skipping organic chemistry.
All life on this planet is based on carbon compounds, and those building blocks are the focus of organic chemistry. From understanding the interactions of these molecules, we can then move on to biochemistry and pharmacology and physiology and other more medically-focused disciplines. Do I use the "raw data" from O-chem on a daily basis? No, but without that background I do not think I could be a good physician.
Over the years, we all learn a lot of stuff that we will never use again. Sometimes this material provides the base to understand the next rung on the ladder of knowledge; other times, this stuff is just crap someone assigned.
O-chem is not crap (although crap is made of organic materials).