Immunology, Biochemistry, Physiology
Michie Manlusoc took HMX Immunology while completing her final year of undergraduate studies as a biological science major at Southern California University of Health Sciences. After earning her degree – and a Certificate of Achievement – she’s returned to take HMX Physiology and Biochemistry as she prepares to re-take the MCAT and strengthen her medical school application.
What exposure did you have to the course topics prior to studying with HMX?
I didn’t know anything about immunology [before taking HMX Immunology]…I was a little intimidated at first. But [course professors] Dr. Lichtman and Dr. Pillai are just very good at what they do. I enjoyed learning from them – the way that they explained things was very easy, they took concepts that to me were very challenging and they made them very easy and tangible to learn.
[HMX] Biochemistry is really hard. I’ve taken biochemistry before, as an undergrad. But this course is more in depth and I feel much more confident about what’s going on. The level of what’s being taught is much higher, but at the same time the way that it’s being taught makes it easy to understand complex concepts.
Are there any parts of the courses that you’ve found particularly helpful?
In immunology, I really liked the drawings and how they go from step one to step two. When I actually see it I can understand, whereas if someone’s just explaining it to me it’s a little bit vague. The hardest concept for me was understanding immunoglobulin; the lesson on that opened my eyes. When I actually saw [the molecules] and it was explained to me what the different regions were, I was like, now I understand it.
I also liked the clinical aspect of it. I felt that actually tied together the lessons of what I learned and the application. Why am I learning this thing? Oh, there’s this patient who has psoriasis, and psoriasis is from inflammation, and it’s pushing up under skin and that’s how you get plaque. You learn the lesson, and then you apply it – and we actually need to know this, because how are we going to be able to help patients if we don’t know these things?
How do you think HMX courses have helped you in preparing for the MCAT?
I took the MCAT in May, and I will take it again in January, after taking HMX Biochemistry. I know I will do a lot better in the biochemistry section on the MCAT just from taking the course. It’s the way that they explain things; it’s not just memorizing things, it actually makes you understand the concepts and apply them. When you’re a physician, you’re not just memorizing a bunch of symptoms and then just prescribing something – you actually have to integrate what you learned.
That’s what I liked about HMX courses – it didn’t just want you to memorize things. Even the quizzes after the videos, they weren’t that easy. If you actually read them and you think it out, it’s like “ok, this is what I was taught and now they’re giving me this situation. Based on what I’ve learned, what do I think the answer is?” So I actually have to think…the answers are not straightforward. You have to use your brain and figure it out.
How do you think HMX courses have prepared you for medical school?
I believe the four courses in HMX Fundamentals are the courses that are the hardest in the first year of medical school…I’m happy taking the courses because if I know a lot now, when I see it again when I’m in school, I can focus my attention on something else rather than struggling with everything. That was part of my strategy of why I’m taking these courses now. I want to be a little ahead of the game once I’m in school, because I know there’s going to be even more.
Anything else you’d like to share?
For me, it’s an honor to take these courses. I see why so many people want to go to [Harvard Medical School] – just the way that they teach is honestly the best. The way that all the classes are taught is very engaging – I enjoy it, and I could talk forever about it.