Handy388

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2008
1,053
1
Status
Medical Student
Hello Everybody

I am recently accepted into a med school for fall 2009, that means I have around 6 month of free time. I am working part time and have no desire to travel. I would like to spend around 2-5 hours a day refresh my study skills (haven't done so since May 2008) and hopefully gain a leg up on materials.
I plan to study the first semester/quarter/whatever's basic science material. Can anyone give me an advice of what to study? I can think of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry
BTW, my undergrad degree is molecular cell biology.

my questions are:
what are good texts/websites to study anatomy, physiology and biochem?
 

146233

Phthirius pubis
10+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2007
6,531
2
Status
Medical Student
Congratulations. Your time would be better spent relaxing. Good luck!
 

mmmcdowe

Duke of minimal vowels
Staff member
Administrator
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2008
9,808
1,630
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Hello Everybody

I am recently accepted into a med school for fall 2009, that means I have around 6 month of free time. I am working part time and have no desire to travel. I would like to spend around 2-5 hours a day refresh my study skills (haven't done so since May 2008) and hopefully gain a leg up on materials.
I plan to study the first semester/quarter/whatever's basic science material. Can anyone give me an advice of what to study? I can think of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry
BTW, my undergrad degree is molecular cell biology.

my questions are:
what are good texts/websites to study anatomy, physiology and biochem?
You aren't a gunner, but I think your time would be better used getting into research or something at your future school. I think its pretty hard to just learn things free style like that, because you can't really predict the focus. If anything, I would just pick up a Step 1 review book and go over the materials that they discuss. Kinda like an overview, but at least you won't be wasting 6 months on memorizing things you won't need. Before you set off on this path though, think about if you had tried to do this (or if you in fact DID do this) on the equivalent scale the summer before you went to college. Probably you didn't or wouldn't get much out of it. Shadowing, working, or doing research would be much more useful. Or if you had a particular topic you wanted to research, you could spend your time reading journals about it.
 
About the Ads

Handy388

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2008
1,053
1
Status
Medical Student
hmm, excellent advice, the research route sounds much better, really! I think I am going to go ahead and pick up a step 1 book and familarize myself with the materials, I suppose.

As for college, I didn't do anything like this (wasted the entire summer playing video game). But if I knew I have to take a big ole tests in 2 years you bet I would.
 

mmmcdowe

Duke of minimal vowels
Staff member
Administrator
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2008
9,808
1,630
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Just make sure you play a few video games between now and med school ;)
 

LadyWolverine

10+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2004
1,682
35
Hiding in your closet
Status
Attending Physician
Work more than part time so you don't have to take out so much in loans 1st year.
 

braluk

SDN Surgerynator
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2006
11,826
59
The Big Easy
Status
Medical Student
Travel. If not, find a job that pays the most (doesn't matter as long as it isn't illegal or dangerous), and use that money for yourself. One thing many schools dont tell you is that sometimes for first year students, you won't get your loan money in for the first month so that money that you will need to spend for rent, books, food, etc... will be out of pocket.
 

sirus_virus

nonsense poster
10+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2006
1,254
1
Status
Non-Student
hmm, excellent advice, the research route sounds much better, really! I think I am going to go ahead and pick up a step 1 book and familarize myself with the materials, I suppose.

As for college, I didn't do anything like this (wasted the entire summer playing video game). But if I knew I have to take a big ole tests in 2 years you bet I would.
Reviewing for step 1 before actually starting medschool is like preparing for sex by jerking off. It is what happens during the actual act that counts, so dont waste your time. Goodluck.
 

Jwax

Just a minor variation
10+ Year Member
Nov 9, 2005
1,710
9
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Reviewing for step 1 before actually starting medschool is like preparing for sex by jerking off. It is what happens during the actual act that counts, so dont waste your time. Goodluck.
:lol: :lol: nice
 

Isoprop

Fascinating, tell me more
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2007
4,197
34
Status
Medical Student
you're not a gunner, you're normal. everyone's been studying step I since summer. i've been reading first aid since my senior year of high school. you better pick up the pace.
 

scotties123

GrandMacDaddy
10+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2007
563
1
Status
Medical Student
please please please do not study before med school starts. when it starts ur going to regret not using the free time you had to do something fun. travel, go out with friends, relax. the summer before med school started i studied for about a week until a buncha med school buddies told me to stop. and i thank them for it now. enjoy your last free summer.
 

WellWornLad

10+ Year Member
Feb 5, 2008
1,088
32
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Dude, you're way behind already. Go take a practice test, and if you can't chalk up at least a 200 maybe it's time to think about a factory job.
 
About the Ads

Flaxmoore

StealthDoc
10+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2007
258
1
Trapped in a Skinner box. Help.
Status
Attending Physician
Dude, you're way behind already. Go take a practice test, and if you can't chalk up at least a 200 maybe it's time to think about a factory job.
Weakling. ;) I popped a 225 in high school.

Now being serious...

Studying is going to do you basically no good. I lost count of the number of undergrad and grad school courses med school covered in a matter of weeks. Minor studying could keep you in the groove if you're one of those people who might need some time to get studying again after a break, but if not, go relax!
 

midn

10+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2005
1,056
3
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Go get research at the school you'll be going to. That way you'll have a lab to join once your first MS1-2 summer rolls around.

Studying before med school is pointless. One essential skill you have to pick up is to learn new material quickly since the workload keeps increasing all the way till fourth year. If you keep preparing ahead, you'll likely feel overwhelmed eventually when you hit a completely unfamiliar subject (and you will inevitably, especially in second year). I know that sounds stupid, but I think you should get used to having to learn new things without prior exposure.
 

Perrotfish

Has an MD in Horribleness
10+ Year Member
May 26, 2007
8,229
4,369
Status
Attending Physician
You can't study in advance for medical school classes. Trust me on this. Also study skills aren't something you forget in six months.

Things you can do:

1) If you have any interest a dual degree (such as an MD/MPH) you can probably convince your school to let you start taking classes next semester. You probably won't be officially be accepted into the dual degree program, but they'll probably let you take classes as a non-degree seeking student.

2) You can make money. You ideally don't want to work in medical school, so if you see that as something you might need to do for financial reasons work and save money now.

3) You can do research and try and get a publication. If you do it at your new medical school this could also be a good way to make some friends with the faculty.

4) Some medical schools offer the opportunity for first year students to take one of their first year classes over the Summer for credit (so you'll have a lighter load for the first semester). If your school offers this opportunity it might be worth while. But, again, you can't study for these courses in advance. Only take the course if it means you don't need to take it again in medical school.

5) You could learn a medical language (Vietnamese and Spanish are probably the most useful in the US). If you spend 6 hours a day on it in 6 months you could be pretty fluent by the time you hit medical school. Most people combine this sort of thing with travel (this is how I killed my six months, language school in South America: www.ecela.com) but they have executive language immersion courses in the US as well. Berlitz is one example that I know of.

But, one last time, you can't study for medical school in advance. Many people have tried, all of them have confirmed it is a total waste of time.
 
Last edited:

Handy388

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2008
1,053
1
Status
Medical Student
I posted this without reading the advice thread and now I feel silly. A gunner must gun properly and have a code of honor.

On a serious note, I think I am going to do some research + skiming through the first aid for step 1, just learning the terms for them, no science.

- a gunner must be silent: everyone will know you gun if you tell them you gun

- a gunner must be productive: gotta do things that are high yield

- a gunner must be reproductive while productive: gotta have the time for fun stuff like sex, etc.

 

WellWornLad

10+ Year Member
Feb 5, 2008
1,088
32
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I posted this without reading the advice thread and now I feel silly. A gunner must gun properly and have a code of honor.

On a serious note, I think I am going to do some research + skiming through the first aid for step 1, just learning the terms for them, no science.
- a gunner must be silent: everyone will know you gun if you tell them you gun
- a gunner must be productive: gotta do things that are high yield
- a gunner must be reproductive while productive: gotta have the time for fun stuff like sex, etc.
Careful, you sound like your cruising for "Gunner Wannabe" status:

http://www.medschoolhell.com/2006/03/20/gunners/

They say that achievement is its own reward. Likewise, studying for Step 1 before you've started med school is its own punishment. Best of luck, skippy.
 

themudphud

10+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2008
133
1
Status
MD/PhD Student
Research is a good idea. If there is an area of medicine you are interested, try doing a clinical project--you have more than enough time to get a substantial amount of work done to write up a publication.
If you really want to study, don't worry about the first year med school stuff. Pick up a copy of "first aid for Step 1 of the USMLE" and just memorize all of the material on actual medical school stuff. You will probably forget a bunch of bit, but the next time you try to go over it again, it won't take you nearly as long to memorize it all, since you will more be remembering than memorizing. That's how I would go.
 

Diablo2fan

10+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2008
12
0
Status
If you can get ahold of this years reading syllabus then yea, go ahead and start reading and take general-broad notes. But if you can't, don't even bother - all my instructos jump chapters and then jump back to the missed chapters, then jump to the middle of the book
 

jilliumm

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2007
25
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Trust me, studying before med school is ridiculous. Professors go out of order and cover niche topics that you can't be prepared for.

Haven't studied since May 2008? I took a couple of YEARS off and I'm doing just fine.

I agree with the other posters - make a little money if you insist that you don't want to travel. And have some fun too because if you're thinking about studying before med school, then med school might be a little stressful for you... :cool:
 
About the Ads

KidDr

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 16, 2004
320
1
someplace warm
Status
Attending Physician
Unless you are absolutely fluent in medical spanish and general spanish, you need a translator anyway.
For some things, yes.
But when you are pre-rounding or rounding with your surgery/OB/etc team, going room to room spending 2-3 minutes with each patient, there is rarely an interpreter available. I realize it's not necessarily right, but it's reality. And the more Spanish (or whatever language) you know, the better. Believe me, your team will love you for it. Same goes for the ER. Interpreters should be available, and you will use them, but in the average ER visit you might go to the patient's room 5-6 times overall---the initial H&P, update them on labs, update them on imaging results, see how they're doing in response to pain meds, moving them to another room to do a pelvic, etc, etc. You don't need to speak fluent Spanish to navigate these interactions. Yes, if you are not fluent, you absolutely need to use an interpreter for the initial H&P and anything else that is complex/etc. But for all those in-between interactions that happen all day long in the ER and on the wards---if you are proficient enough to do it w/o an interpreter (and you should be realistic about your own abilities), you will be a huge asset to your team.
 

badasshairday

Vascular and Interventional Radiology
10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2007
3,923
350
Status
Resident [Any Field]
learn Spanish. your teams during 3rd and 4th year will love you for it.
You knkow what? That is a really good idea. If I had free time like I did before I started med school, I would definitely take some spanish courses.
 

45408

aw buddy
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2004
16,958
50
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Unless you are absolutely fluent in medical spanish and general spanish, you should get a translator but you won't anyways.
Fixed. ;) When I was on trauma surgery, we used one of the interns as our translator. I'm in a cardiology clinic now, and we've got two dedicated Spanish interpreters who are great. Their English is perfect, and even I can understand their Spanish because it's so precise (and because I know what they're saying when they translate my words).

But it's often easier if you can just ask a few things in the morning. Most of my surgery questions can be conveyed with hand signals, haha. Tienes dolor? Nauseas? Tienes hambre? Muy bien, adios!
 

Suaveness

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2006
249
0
Status
Medical Student
I gotta ask: I too am going to med school next year, but I haven't had any anatomy whatsoever (like a specific class). Should I bother reading some or auditing a class, or should I just wait?
 

xx216xx

Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2006
289
1
Status
Medical Student
I gotta ask: I too am going to med school next year, but I haven't had any anatomy whatsoever (like a specific class). Should I bother reading some or auditing a class, or should I just wait?
No, I had that concern when I first started, there's no need; it's nowhere near as hard as you might be thinking.
 

ChiDO

10+ Year Member
Apr 16, 2008
1,307
372
Status
Attending Physician
I gotta ask: I too am going to med school next year, but I haven't had any anatomy whatsoever (like a specific class). Should I bother reading some or auditing a class, or should I just wait?
wait till school. you get anatomy shoved down your throat for 3 months, enjoy the time off while you can.
 

coldweatherblue

10+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2007
1,085
8
Status
Medical Student
I gotta ask: I too am going to med school next year, but I haven't had any anatomy whatsoever (like a specific class). Should I bother reading some or auditing a class, or should I just wait?
it's hard to say.. if anatomy is something you think will be difficult for you it might be good to look over some stuff before-hand. by look stuff over I mean, take a class. Most likely it won't help too much though and you'll be spending precious pre-med time doing excess school stuff. I know some people in my class who took human anatomy (as well as histo, physio, and immuno) in undergrad and they say it helped a lot. I was a humanities major and took none of those classes, so I'm wondering what they're doing with all their free time these days, lol. I never took anatomy but I really like the subject so I haven't had trouble with the class.
 

45408

aw buddy
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2004
16,958
50
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I gotta ask: I too am going to med school next year, but I haven't had any anatomy whatsoever (like a specific class). Should I bother reading some or auditing a class, or should I just wait?
Just wait.


And change your status back to pre-med until you've actually sat with your med school class on the first day. Geez, you guys.
 

Trail Boss

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2006
220
2
40
Status
Read and do as little medical related stuff as you can once you get accepted. It will all come much too hard and fast much too soon. Make some memories, enjoy your friends, fix any problems with relationships, anxiety/depression/weight issues, visit your folks. Soon you will not have time to do those things. Get your life as squared away as you can, because soon you will be sacrificing more of it than you could have ever anticipated, expected or imagined. It is a good feeling to give yourself wholly over, but do not think for a moment that you will not be leaving some things behind. Your life will change, so make your peace and shore up the things that you can.
 

Jwax

Just a minor variation
10+ Year Member
Nov 9, 2005
1,710
9
Status
Resident [Any Field]
learn Spanish. your teams during 3rd and 4th year will love you for it.
That is a great idea! Not everyone can afford 6 months of travel, but most people could afford Rosetta Stone. Then buy a medical spanish-to-english book and add that in. I regret that despite taking ~7 years of Spanish classes, the fact that I haven't had to speak it in ~4 years means I speak almost none. Plus they didn't really teach us medical terms other than "to hurt". If lounging in the sun by the pool sipping pina coladas is too much for you to handle and you just have to learn something... Spanish is fantastic idea.

I gotta ask: I too am going to med school next year, but I haven't had any anatomy whatsoever (like a specific class). Should I bother reading some or auditing a class, or should I just wait?
Having anatomy before med school helped immensely during my first semester, but I wouldn't bother unless you are actually taking the course. I don't particularly think auditing works well. I certainly wouldn't do it over the summer, but if you need another class to take in the spring before med school kicks off, anatomy would be a good one. You will be expected to know it in much greater depth in med school, but the basic anatomy doesn't change. Anatomy is such a "learn all these bazillion made up names for things" class that having heard the made up names and having had to already associate them with a meaty piece of flesh made first year that much more tolerable.
 

deuce924

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2007
713
4
Status
Medical Student
Knowing what I know now (just finishing my 1st semester), you couldn't pay me to pre-study for medical school. Like someone already said, you get it shoved down your throat for 4 months at such a high volume that broad studying beforehand isn't going to do much help.
 

majik1213

10+ Year Member
Jun 6, 2007
698
10
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Hello Everybody

I am recently accepted into a med school for fall 2009, that means I have around 6 month of free time. I am working part time and have no desire to travel. I would like to spend around 2-5 hours a day refresh my study skills (haven't done so since May 2008) and hopefully gain a leg up on materials.
I plan to study the first semester/quarter/whatever's basic science material. Can anyone give me an advice of what to study? I can think of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry
BTW, my undergrad degree is molecular cell biology.

my questions are:
what are good texts/websites to study anatomy, physiology and biochem?
Hi. No one cares what your major is. Get a BRS review book to become familiar with basic material you will need to know to get a leg up. Keep in mind that the better you do academically, the worse you do athletically and socially. In other words, if you're number 1 academically, you cannot be number 1 overall, because someone has more balance than you do. That in mind, pre-study effectively.
 

singularity2012

10+ Year Member
Nov 14, 2008
81
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello Everybody

I am recently accepted into a med school for fall 2009, that means I have around 6 month of free time. I am working part time and have no desire to travel. I would like to spend around 2-5 hours a day refresh my study skills (haven't done so since May 2008) and hopefully gain a leg up on materials.
I plan to study the first semester/quarter/whatever's basic science material. Can anyone give me an advice of what to study? I can think of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry
BTW, my undergrad degree is molecular cell biology.

my questions are:
what are good texts/websites to study anatomy, physiology and biochem?
No don't do it. Resist the temptation! You wouldn't want to risk getting burned out at this stage, and there are plenty of things to do besides traveling....reading (for pleasure), sleeping, boozing, etc.
 

Trail Boss

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2006
220
2
40
Status
Hello Everybody

I am recently accepted into a med school for fall 2009, that means I have around 6 month of free time. I am working part time and have no desire to travel. I would like to spend around 2-5 hours a day refresh my study skills (haven't done so since May 2008) and hopefully gain a leg up on materials.
I plan to study the first semester/quarter/whatever's basic science material. Can anyone give me an advice of what to study? I can think of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry
BTW, my undergrad degree is molecular cell biology.

my questions are:
what are good texts/websites to study anatomy, physiology and biochem?
You might be a gunner if...
you stole the other kids crayons in kindergarden and ate them just so they couldn't have them back.
 
About the Ads