Molecular and Cellular Basis of Medicine Review

General Overview

This was our last main block of the first semester. This course included topics such as molecular biology, biochemistry, metabolism, genetics, cell physiology, histology, etc. This course was very different from the anatomy course in that instead of having half of class days spent in the lab, lectures would comprise the entire day. A typical day during MCBM would be lecture from 8am to 12pm, lunch from 12pm-1pm which is usually spent in some type of meeting or talk given by a health professional visiting the campus, and then class would resume from 1pm-5pm. After class I would go home, try to get a workout in, eat, study the day's lectures, go to bed, and repeat. I struggled on the first exam since I was adjusting to the large number of hours that were tested on just one exam. Fortunately I had learned some of the material for this course during MCBL (the course that somewhat mirrored MCBM during my masters program last year). My grades did steadily improve over time so overall I am satisfied with how I did in the course. I was very fearful at the start since, but with a little of adjustment I was able to make it through. During this course we did have two guest lectures come to campus which I thoroughly enjoyed. One lecture was on genetic testing, DNA fingerprinting, and the related ethical issues by a prominent doctor over at UCLA. The other was on developmental dysmorphology given by an OBGYN. These were both incredible lecture, and definitely the highlight of the course for me.


This course covered a wide swath of topics so the resources that can be used are endless. This resources I used were:

  • Lecture PowerPoints
  • Notes from the 2019 class
  • First Aid
  • Lippincott's Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology of the Cell by Alberts et al

Study Techniques

For this course I continued to download the lecture PowerPoints into the Goodnotes. I would attend the majority of lectures and take notes on the PowerPoints during lecture. Fortunately there were a few students who took really well-organized notes for each of the lectures last year. In an effort to save time I would download those notes as well, read them over, and added anything I felt was missing. For most of my review I would read over those notes as well as flip through Anki decks created by our class. I used Anki quite heavily for this course, and I think it was quite helpful. One of our professors who had large number of lecture hours would send out a study guide, and I would usually fill that out on my own to test my learning and check it against a copy other students would share with the class.  

That is the gist of this course! I was excited to make it through and enjoy the much needed holiday break!