General Chemistry is an essential portion of almost each and every science course you will take during your health or science college program.

One time, a student asked me, “Wes, why do you push so hard for students to remember General Chemistry? Why do I have to understand it when the majority of my courses are in Biology?”

I like questions like this! Yes, every single one of these Health Programs are basically different types of Biology Degrees. Even so, check out this list of chapter titles from a common General Biology textbook: Chemistry of Life, Properties of Carbon, Acids, Bases, and Water, Enzymes and Energy, Fundamental Macromolecules, Molecular Biology, Fermentation and Respiration

Did you notice anything? Each and every single one of these textbook chapters is a direct extension of General Chemistry.

This is often because the information is applied or used in a different fashion. For instance, in General Chemistry, you study dimensional analysis. This is a calculation procedure utilized for solving problems and many forms of word problems. This is the exact technique used in Physics. It also really helps reduce the amount of memorizing for formulas in several biology courses. When you have to calculate drug dosing in Human Physiology, you really don’t need to have the formula anymore if you paid attention and learned dimensional analysis.

In cell biology, the Gibbs free energy equations are the very same as in General Chemistry. When studying transport across cell membranes, you could use your understanding of molecule polarity and ions from General Chemistry. There are countless examples of this all across the science courses needed for Health Majors. This is the reason that General Chemistry classes are required very early in your college programs and are frequently considered “weed-out” courses.

If you are a Health Major, you need to understand General Chemistry incredibly well. If you do, you will have much more success with much less effort. There is more in-depth information in my write-up regarding How to Succeed in Pre-Med. Much of the information there relates to undergrad Health Majors as well and goes into detail about other areas to concentrate on aside from just General Chemistry.

If you are an undergrad health major, no matter your specialization, knowing General Chemistry will drastically raise your opportunities for success.