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Do you have free time in Medical School?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by doctorgirl97, 03.21.12.

  1. doctorgirl97

    doctorgirl97

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    I was wondering how much free time you REALLY have in medical school. Do med students party? Please answer<3 Thanks so much! :)
  2. jevo

    jevo

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  3. EBTrailRunner

    EBTrailRunner

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    Search function.
  4. SellerAl

    SellerAl

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    Are repeat threads THAT bad though?
  5. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout barefoot jackrabbit Moderator

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    Are repeat posts THAT bad though?





    :smuggrin:
  6. EBTrailRunner

    EBTrailRunner

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    When a question's been answered in detail several times within the last few weeks, yes.
  7. SellerAl

    SellerAl

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    Okay okay
  8. Evergrey

    Evergrey

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    Average week: I study ~40-50 hours (classtime included).
    Exam week/week before: 60-70+ hours. For example, I have exam tomorrow. I started working at 8 AM, and I just got home (11:30 PM).

    It sucks around exam time (which is once every 4-5 weeks on average) but otherwise life is pretty good in medical school :thumbup: I have Friday night and all Saturday off, almost every week. That's enough to make me happy :)
  9. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis SGU MS-4

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    It's the opposite for me.

    Pre-exam week: 40-60 hours of school time (including lectures, recorded lectures, group study, tutoring, clinic, reading, doing questions)

    Exam week: 70% procrastination (video games), 20% furious cramming, 10% sleep.

    I find that the more I cram the higher my grades and the greater the sense of satisfaction, but post-exam material retention is poor. That's why I tutor the subject after passing it.
  10. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    I think this is a key difference between med school and undergrad. In undergrad, the exam is the end point, and so you cram and then forget the material. In med school its more important to know the material later (Especially for Steps and rotations), and the med school test itself is of very limited importance. Thus you need to study every day and do multiple repetitions of the material, which takes time.
  11. doctorgirl97

    doctorgirl97

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    How much free time do med students have? Do they even have a life? How much do they party? Thanks! :)
  12. SunsFun

    SunsFun VICE president

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    I don't think so. They're all nerds anyway and that's what they wanted.
  13. auburnO5

    auburnO5

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    I'm a second year in the middle of studying for Step 1, so I literally have zero free time right now. But for me, the first two years of med school were basically just like a little bit more difficult undergrad.

    I had plenty of free time, and plenty of time to party. I'm slight above average in our class, not a genius by any stretch. Test weeks suck, but everything else is fine. There are ALOT of nerds in med school though.
  14. ppfizenm

    ppfizenm

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    gatherings of people are only good if you all bring your text books and everyone studies quietly. Gosh
  15. SU1989

    SU1989 bro doctor

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    I was shadowing a med student yesterday and that's exactly what he told me too.
  16. aSagacious

    aSagacious Send in the clowns Moderator Emeritus

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    Merging related threads.
  17. doctorgirl97

    doctorgirl97

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    I'm sorry for the multiple threads. I didn't know. Sorry guys!
  18. QuizzicalApe

    QuizzicalApe

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    what is this Part... E you speak of? Medicare stuff?
  19. duress

    duress

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    First year has given me significant amount of free time to do a lot outside of school, it's just usually spread out in bursts, not always at the best time for everyone, and you can't really give up a whole day that often. But everyone I know (self included) seems to find time for hobbies, sports, skiing, music, hang outs, video games, parties, significant others, and so on.
  20. doctorgirl97

    doctorgirl97

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    Kind of nervous to become a doctor...medical school and everything..how did you guys do it?
  21. SunsFun

    SunsFun VICE president

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    Speak with your premed adviser for more information. Also, go volunteer at a hospital and shadow some doctors. See if you like it first before committing yourself.
  22. ronaldo23

    ronaldo23 The Truth

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    Lots of free time. I find that 3 is the magic number for long-term retention of lectures. Review each lecture once for about an hour before listening to the audio, without nitpicking on details but just trying to understand the whole picture. Then listen to the lecture on tegrity, and then review all the weeks lectures that weekend. This is easily all you need to do in a non-test week, and if you don't go to class, I rarely exceed 35-40 hours a week of work. Even on a test week, if you actually managed to do this, you will barely have to cram and step it up. Some people have even more free time as they only listen to each lecture once and then cram test week, but I don't think this is the best idea for long term memory.

    IMO first two years of medical school are a joke compared to most real jobs, and you can have tons of free time. Most of my friends and I go out 2-3 nights a week, hit up happy hours another 2 nights, play intramural sports, movies etc. You have plenty of time to do whatever you want in med school once you learn to be efficient. To be clear, there are times in medical school where you have zero free time: this includes studying for the boards, some test weeks depending on a schools curriculum, and MOST of 3rd year. 4th year (after interviews) becomes like senior year of college again from what I'm told.
  23. doctorgirl97

    doctorgirl97

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    so the first 2 years of medical school have more free time than the last 2 years? Did you still manage to keep up your grades and studying? Thanks
  24. Evergrey

    Evergrey

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    There are so many nerds in med school! It is great. People actually know what I am talking about when I make Star Wars references. This is a good thing, people.
  25. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout barefoot jackrabbit Moderator

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    So will they understand when I make Spongebob references?
  26. auburnO5

    auburnO5

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    Yeah, if you're a nerd....
  27. auburnO5

    auburnO5

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  28. kasho11

    kasho11

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  29. crazyasian

    crazyasian

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    Do we ever truly have free time :laugh:? From the students I met its class then study 4+ hours a day (unless they can get by on less). Depending on how much class, you may have alot of free time or not very much. Students I talked to at my state school said they are out at 1pm and are done studying by 5-6 pm. Some schools don't even get out of class until 4pm...so there is alot of variability in free time that is dependent on the school and the students intelligence.
  30. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    Every person is different, and med school comes much easier to some than others, but the majority of med students will put in even more time than this poster, whether they admit to it or not. Plan on a lot more work than described here. If you are able to cut back after the first few tests, great. Most people won't be able to go out 5 nights a week. If you treat it like a 60 hour a week (lecture time plus studying) job you will generally do great. Anything shorter than that depends on innate abilities (photographic memory and the like) that the majority of med students won't have -- although many won't realize it initially.

    In my experience, in med school you will find that about 15% can do well with less than 40 hours a week of lecture plus studying, another 30% are fooling themselves by trying to do so and shortchange themselves, 20% do fine in the 40-50 hour range, 30% find their wheelhouse in the 55-65 hour a week range, and the last 5% have to put in 80+ hours just to stay on track. Some of it is a function of efficiency, sone of it is a function of innate ability. So basically you want to treat it as a long houred, 60 hour per week job, at least initially. For many, the big eye opener in med school is that pretty much all the matriculants had their share of top grades in college, but half will now be "below average" in med school. The folks who coasted on their brains in college will suddenly find themselves having to work. There will be folks with lofty goals of derm and ortho who will try to do overkill on everything, pushing the class averages and expectations up and up. There will be folks who got As in college by putting in crazy numbers of hours finding that they have no room to ramp it up for the additional med school volume. Until step 1, at the end of second year, everybody is still working to keep as many doors open as possible. In 3rd year all bets are off -- in some rotations you will be working 80 hours per week and expected to study for the shelf exam in your "spare" time.
    Last edited: 03.23.12
  31. LordATPSynthase

    LordATPSynthase PGY1

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    It depends on intelligence, efficiency, etc. which all varies from person to person. You must learn to adapt. But disregarding all that, med school first two years was like having periods (I'm a guy but just making an analogy-- it is cyclical). You have a ****ty time exam week where you have much less free time. The couple of weeks right after the exam are nice depending on if you are year 1 or 2. Year 1 was the best time of my life (I never went
    "out" in undergrad but I started during block parties MS1==fun). As in most things you need to prioritize. IF you have to study all the time, then you gotta do what you gotta do...

    Year 3 is currently in process but there is less "material" to study but you are actually doing "medically" stuff more hours of the day -- less free time and less control of your schedule.
  32. ronaldo23

    ronaldo23 The Truth

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    Sure, but get rid of the lecture and you can really cut out around 15 hours a week and be down to 40. I'd say 90% of people who go to lecture are on facebook, g-chat, or are too tired to function and they operating at a level of <50% efficiency. Most people who pull 55-60 hour weeks aren't really doing work the whole time, and could get away with less if they learned better study habits

    If you cut out lecture, and do focused studying sessions without any distractions, it's more than reasonable to go through 3 run throughs of each lecture in a week in ~40 hours. Keep in mind most people will ramp this up a little bit during a test week, and of course studying for the boards will be 12 hours a day for 4-6 weeks. But if you treat the first two years as a glorified Kaplan course (which you should), then you will be even more focused on the high-yield topics emphasized by BRS that gets tested on the boards, and you aren't going to bother wasting time memorizing a professors obscure research. A 40 hour work week first two years probably won't get you AOA, but it can certainly get you a 240+ step if you're doing it right. A 55-60 hour week during preclinical years will likely burn out many people and not be as useful as a targeted 40 hour week.
  33. 45408

    45408 aw buddy

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    A lot more than I do now as a surgery resident, so yes.
  34. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    Disagree. You can "get rid of lecture", but you need to replace it with some other form of going through the material. Med school learning involves repetition. Lecture counts as once through the material. If you find you are more efficient getting through the material in a means other than lecture, and your program allows it, by all means replace it with the other means, however if you are not going to lecture and calling it free time, you are probably fooling yourself. When I was in med school a large number of people stopped coming to lecture. About half were good self motivators and were able to achieve a comparable or better knowledge base and free up a few extra hours per week (nowhere near 15). the remainder saw their grades plummet because they were sleeping in, procrastinating and really needed the motivation of needing to show up to class to get them out of bed. Yes some people don't get a great deal out if lecture (although the percentage is far far less than 90%, unless you are trying to justify to yourself not to be there). But it does get you out of bed and at least passively hearing the material. Even if you only get value out of about 20% of each lecture, that's still 20% more than those people who sleep in are getting. Again, it's about how self motivated you are. Most people are less self motivated and procrastinate more than they'd like to admit.


    As far as "burning out" by working 55+ hours per week, I call BS. This is a career where you may be working 80+ hours per week for many years, even decades ( when you factor in time at work and time preparing for things at home). If you think 55 hours is going to cause burn out, you are just creating excuses for yourself not to study. I also disagree that a 49 hour week will get you a 240 on Step 1. The average is around 220. To get in the 240 range you are going to have to exceed the average significantly. You either do this by more innate ability, or you put in more hours. Most people can't/shouldn't count on innate ability.
  35. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Daisy the Dog

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    I largely agree with this, but lecture isn't always useful (as you point out). For example, when I go to lecture I zone out, don't pay attention, and get very little, if anything, from a lecture. To me, that time is inherently wasted. Instead, I use that time to go to the gym, get some internet time, and do other more enjoyable things. I still do the same amount of studying, but instead simply reallocate how that time is used (my mornings and early afternoons are generally my free time, for example, while my afternoons and evenings are study time).

    The whole mantra of med school is to figure out what works for you, what makes you happy, and just do it. If you're doing well, ignore pretty much everything school-related your classmates might say. It will likely only stress you out and question your methods and ability.
  36. CarlATHF

    CarlATHF o hai Lifetime Donor

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    Agreed. I can only speak to the first two years of school. But in my opinion, lecture is a massive waste of a time, giving me more time to read review books or textbooks at my own pace, and to do other things like maintain my 1,200 mile long distance relationship with my fiancee. Priorities, man.

    If you want to score a 270+ on Step 1, yeah you probably won't have a whole lot of free time. But with that being said, if you actually STUDY during the time you're given (and not just dick around on facebook), you'll have more free time than you might think.
  37. kpcrew

    kpcrew Removed

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    are you actually 15
  38. willen101383

    willen101383

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    :thumbup:

    Only went to about 15 lectures total over the course of the 2 years. Its hilarious to sit in back and see people on facebook/amazon/cnn/etc the entire time. I dont really see the point. Going to school is more of a social thing for most of the class goers.

    Its step 1 time...i personally dont get why anyone would want to be around another med student right now.
  39. ronaldo23

    ronaldo23 The Truth

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    I contend that for most people, going to lecture doesn't even count as a real "once through" of the material because of all the facebooking, gchatting and tiredness that leads to passive learning. Nothing is really getting absorbed other than perezhilton.com

    On the other hand, the person who tegritys the lecture can pause, rewatch and fastforward, so really they are getting much more out of a "once through" than the person who goes to lecture. It's not reasonable to call 15 hours of sitting passively learning in lecture as the same as 15 hours of tegrity. So, it's arbitrary to throw out numbers like treating medical school as a 55-60 hour work week, because you are not accounting at all for efficiency. For many people who attend lecture and then stop going, they find that a 40 hour week of tegrity based lectures and self-learning is more productive than a 60+ hour week of someone who attends class.
  40. BurntFlower

    BurntFlower

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    It's a relief to know that most of the medical students who posted said that they do have free time for hobbies, although less than undergrad (as expected).
  41. willen101383

    willen101383

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    I beg to differ....over m1/m2 I had MORE time to do things than undergrad....by a longshot. If you go to class you will have less however.
  42. LordATPSynthase

    LordATPSynthase PGY1

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    I had more free time in undergrad but I did less during that free time hahaha (wasted it on activities with a low pleasure-fun to time ratio). MS1 was great.
  43. protonate

    protonate

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    I haven't started med school yet but feel like I might fall into the category of those who don't go to lecture. I probably absorb 5-10% of what the lecturer says if I'm lucky, and just feel like my time would be best spent studying in the library. My initial study method (maybe I'm getting ahead of myself) would be to review the previous day's lectures in the morning and go over board review books and then in the afternoon go over that day's lecture. For example on Tuesday morning, I go over Monday's lecture and then Tuesday afternoon I go over Tuesday morning's lecture since the video recordings should be up at that time. On weekends I review everything which means I would have 3 passes through the material. There's a 66% chance that I'm going to a pass/fail unranked school for what its worth, so I'd focus on what is important for the boards.What do you guys think about this plan?
  44. LawlasaurusRex

    LawlasaurusRex

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    Mileage varies depending on your innate talents and on your own personal goals. My school is Honors/Pass/Fail. Those who gun for honors have less free time than those who just aim to pass with 70%. If I wanted to just pass, I would have plenty of time to work out, go out, maintain my relationships to friends and family and so forth. This wouldn't happen if I wanted honors. I would have to memorize basically every nitty gritty detail. It also becomes much more apparent in med school who has innate talent versus those who study their asses off to achieve the same grades. Looking at my class, I would say those who tend to be at the top of the class memorize and retain information at a faster pace. Those who did well mostly from hard work in undergrad are now the mid-pack students. Everyone is smart (you have to be if you got into med school), it's just a difference of how fast you can eat those pancakes. If you can do it fast and efficiently, you'll have more free time. The only real way you will know if you will have free time in med school is to be in med school going through it.

    There are ways to free up time though. At my school, all lectures are recorded. I don't go to lecture, but instead wait for them to be uploaded where I play them back at 2x speed, with the ability to pause the video whenever I need to jot down notes or to take a break. It's a great way to cut 5 hours of lecture down to 3.
  45. LawlasaurusRex

    LawlasaurusRex

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    Board review books aren't very helpful until you at least hit systems, which start at the end of M1. It also depends on your professors and their testing style. I've found some professors teach material that is not very high yield towards the boards. Ask upperclassmen for their advice on each professor or course and cater accordingly. It's also best not to have too rigid of a plan on how to approach med school. Many students at my school have to switch up their approach for each new block. Learn to adapt quickly and find what works for you at that present time. Though I do agree in the 3 pass approach since I tend to do far better if I've gone through the material at least 3 times (with the last pass the day before or morning of the exam).

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