How to study Biochemistry in a Medical College: A complete guide

How to study Biochemistry in a Medical College: A Complete guide

In this article I am going to tell about how to study Biochemistry in a medical college. This subject is the remnant of your school subjects. Most of the things you study here is already covered in school and details of it is studied by students who pursue career in Biology.

Biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology
Epigeneticist, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What is Clinical Biochemistry?

Whenever you go to clinics, the most common laboratory tests you will order are going to be Serum analysis, Urine analysis, ABG Analysis and Hematology.

Can you tell me Which of the above mentioned tests come under Clinical Biochemistry?

Scientists are working in the lab.21
Yakuzakorat, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Let me take you to Clinics.

A patient comes to you with Jaundice. What do you think he has?

Depiction of a jaundice patient 01, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It can be Hemolytic anemia or a Pancreatic tumor or many other things. How can you narrow down?

Here you can do a serum analysis and a urine analysis.

In Serum analysis you observe that Direct bilirubin is raised and on Urine analysis you found that bilirubin is raised in urine too.

So Now can you tell to what class this jaundice belongs?(Pre – hepatic, Hepatic or Post-Hepatic)

Mallory body high mag cropped annotated
Nephron, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The answer is – Hepatic (The Slide here is showing Mallory body. Classically seen in Alcoholic Fatty liver Disease.) 

Now can you some more findings you can expect in the serum analysis reports.

There are many more examples

Time for an MCQ – Try to answer this in the comment section.

Caution : If you haven’t studied these systems then skip to the next section.

A 3-month-old child is brought to his pediatrician’s office for a check-up. On examination, the physician notices that he has a social smile, but does not hold his head up on his own or make noises. The infant also has pale skin, eczema, odd odor, and hyperreflexia. What is the most appropriate treatment for the condition the infant most likely has?

(A) A diet low in isoleucine and leucine

(B) A diet low in phenylalanine

(C) A diet low in tyrosine

(D) A high-protein diet 

I have taken this From the book mentioned below.


There is one more thing I want to mention – most of the diagnosis you will see while going through books of biochemistry, you will see them in pediatrics again

How to study Biochemistry?

In Biochemistry we have theory as well as practical portion

Let’s start with Practical –

So there are majorly two practicals – serum analysis(quantitative) and urine analysis(qualitative).

Basically you will see all the laboratory tests you will order to patients in future.

They cover – Arterial Blood gas analysis, Liver Function tests, Kidney function tests and many more.

These are practical or Clinical Biochemistry, so the best way of studying practicals is by doing them i.e. by actually reading lab reports make a diagnosis from the report and then check it(take the reports of already diagnosed cases)

For theory start with your lecture and lecture notes.

In biochemistry there is a lot of material that can be covered but It is important that you know what is high yield and what is not. So for that you need to listen to the lectures and it is better if you make notes.

If you didn’t understand your classroom lecture then surf Youtube, you can find good lectures on internet.

I recommend Ninja Nerd Science – Here is a sample of their video

Now for books I have made a separate section for books where you can see all the books and read reviews of seniors for each and every book.

For Biochemistry book – always choose the book that has more high yield and clinically relevant stuff.

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