Which path do I take when we have a branched chiral center? None of the textbooks I've consulted adequately covers this or even provides an example problem in which there was branching.
Consider the above:
1) Chiral carbon with the following attachments H, an carboxylic acid group, a methyl group, and then the ring.
2) H gets the lowest priority.
3) The methyl group gets the second lowest priority since it has just one carbon and then hydrogens; the other paths have either more carbons or oxygens!
4) Between the carboxylic acid group and the path along the ring, we have an oxygen and a hydrogen going for the carboxylic acid group. But which path do I take? After comparing the carbon in the carboxylic acid group to the carbon on the ring, do I compare the double-bonded oxygen to the next carbon on the ring or the single-bonded oxygen? How does one choose in cases of branching such as these?