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Taking notes in medical school

Discussion in 'Allopathic' started by witzelsucht, Jun 20, 2012.

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  1. witzelsucht

    witzelsucht

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    As a soon to be M1, I've been searching for the best black ballpoint pen to use during my studies. I need to be assured that I have the most reliable, comfortable, smooth-writing instrument to give me the best shot at preclinical honors and and a high Step 1 score. Now, I understand many students typically use laptops as their main notetaking tool, but for annotations and drawing diagrams, flowcharts, and other such figures, I will not settle for any but the best. I've assembled six of the top competitors to participate in an extended study this summer prior to the start of classes, and will be conducting experiments to determine their suitability.

    I have, from right to left:
    [​IMG]

    Pentel WOW!
    Papermate ComfortMate
    Zebra Z-Grip
    Pilot EasyTouch
    Penac SleekTouch
    Papermate Profile

    These are basically the pens I've been able to pilfer from work, women's purses on the subway, and the like. I know to be a serious student that I might need an even more premium pen such as the Zebra F-701, which is nice as it has an all-steel exterior (obviously I would do the standard 701/402 mod)

    [​IMG]

    Or just stick with the regular F-402
    [​IMG]

    The Pilot G2 Limited also looks promising, though it is pricey at $15 a pop.
    [​IMG]

    The upper limit with what I'm comfortable spending is about $20, which could get me something like a Pilot Axiom
    [​IMG]

    So what have everyone's experiences been? I mean, the Z-Grips or the Pilot EasyTouches are available in bulk, which is nice, but I would really hate to miss a few points on a test and always be stuck wondering "what if" I had gotten an F-701 or one of the higher end Pilots.

    Thanks in advance for responses. I'm getting increasingly anxious about this as the weeks go by.
  2. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion Gold Donor

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    First, use blue ink, not black. Color exercises a more memorable neural pathway (sorry can't cite it, but the neuro profs state it at my school).

    Second, if you spend a little more on a pen, and nobody else has that pen, it's harder to steal or lose.

    Third: Pilot Dr. Grip, buy the finer refills, match barrel color to ink color (if you use multiple colors). Boom.

    Best of luck to you.
  3. VisionaryTics

    VisionaryTics SeƱor Member

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    Pilot Precise V5

    Wonderful pens. All I use.

    Agree with the above. Use colors for notes.
  4. mimelim

    mimelim Vascular Surgery

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    I think if you compiled every scrap of paper that I wrote on in the first two years of medical school and made it into a book it would be about 5 pages long and it would be 80%+ diagrams/flowcharts. I'm not trying to argue about taking notes or not (pure personal preference, although in medical school I saw an inverse correlation, the people with excessive note taking tended to do worse by virtue of focusing on minutia instead of critical analysis).

    But I am genuinely curious what big of a difference you think this could make? A statement like this is perplexing:
    How do you 'know' that? Not seeing the logic connecting pens and seriousness of a student.

    And then I start to get worried...
    Let me save you the headache, the pen you use will not change your grades or make even the smallest bit of difference in how you perform in medical school. If you find yourself pondering if things like your pen are dragging you down, I'm not sure how you function. The list of possible variables affecting medical student performance up to and including the pen that they use to study with is several pages long.

    That list actually sounds like fun to try to create actually...
  5. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion Gold Donor

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  6. mimelim

    mimelim Vascular Surgery

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    I'm not going to lie, reading the OP again and your post, it sounds like an anxiety disorder and not what your link is talking about (a spiritual uplifting aspect of using a quality pen). People have all sorts of weird quirks, medical students probably have more than average, but performing considerably worse because of a pen sounds like a bigger deal than some people are this way some people aren't.
  7. witzelsucht

    witzelsucht

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    Thanks for the information. I will certainly keep in mind the tip about blue ink. The blog link from Dr. Midlife had some good information too. He has a somewhat lukewarm review of the Bic Velocity, which is available in bulk with blue ink, and is very reasonably priced; however, he does seem to favor the G2.

    It seems like a prudent thing to do would be carrying one of the upper end Zebras or a G2 (?ltd) as a primary, with a Bic Velocity or Z-grip or something in that class as a backup. Also a good tip about keeping cheaper utensils around for those pesky gunners who will undoubtedly try to steal my fine writing instruments under the guise of borrowing a pen for a quick note. Enjoy a complementary TD Bank translucent green, tapered barrel, paper-ripper you gunner scum! What's that? It tore a gaping hole in your carefully annotated renal physiology diagram? Ah hah hah ha!
  8. CaptainSSO

    CaptainSSO

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    You do realize this a troll thread, right?
  9. DISCOSTEW

    DISCOSTEW

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    lol this guy has 2 posts and his avatar is a pen...
  10. mimelim

    mimelim Vascular Surgery

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    Sorry, didn't realize people spent that much time looking up crap to make troll threads *shrug*
  11. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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    I highlight the crap out of my notes with a color coded system. I really doubt everything in one color has any effect over everything in black (arguably also a color)
  12. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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    It's hard to tell when browsing from a phone :(
  13. FunnyCurrent

    FunnyCurrent Ripe Prince of Westwood

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    This one girl writes with a fountain pen (on charts). She thinks she's so special... lol :laugh:
  14. tco

    tco

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    Troll lololololololololololol
  15. expendible

    expendible

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    We got a highlighter whore at are school... has like 32 assorted highlighters with every color under the sun... every time i see it I just :laugh: cause in reality all you need is one imo

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