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Am I just dumb or is my med school extra hard?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by latissimusdorsi, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. latissimusdorsi

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    I have been studying 6 hours a night and its only been 3 weeks since we started. We started off with anatomy, and a couple of bull**** classes in between. We started off doing one topic in anatomy, but then last week we started doing two topics a night. Nightly we have about 100 + slides to memorize + lecture notes to learn. Anyone else having a really hard time?
    I forget what i studied 2 hours later...our first exam is on tuesday and i am afraid to fail :(
     
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  3. isoquin

    isoquin Allopathetic
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    Med school is a large transition from college, in both the type of studying and the testing expectations. For example, getting the highest grade in med school usually does not require getting every question correct on exams. While it may seem like everyone is studying to an extreme degree during the first few exams or even classes, most students realize such study standards cannot be reasonably maintained, and things tend to calm down as the first year progresses, with noticeable step-off in gunnerism after the first exam, and again after the first class grades are out. That's not to say that the content will get easier, but the pressures surrounding it will decrease. Furthermore, you will adapt to the teaching and learning skills needed for med school.

    If your study technique isn't working for you, switch things up. It does seem overwhelming for many first year med students at this time, but hang in there.
     
  4. ShinyDome19

    ShinyDome19 Evil in the making...
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    What did you expect it to be like? It gets a lot worse than 100+ slides a night...they're easing you into it.

    Some things you will learn through out your first year are:
    1) Don't try to memorize everything in one night. It takes several passes through the material
    2) You will always be behind...
    3) There are much more efficient ways of covering the material
    4) You retain a ton more than you realize

    And most importantly...Getting a B or heaven forbid a C on an exam that you studied for non-stop, ain't the end of the world, despite what you might hear on SDN or by your classmates.. you still passed and thats what matters most !

    Once you realize this...its not so bad...just another day in paradise
     
  5. celkon

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    You only have 100 slides a night to learn? Consider yourself lucky.

    Currently doing 4 lectures a day about 60-70 slides a lecture, try 240 slides a night + 12-30 page word documents w/ lecture notes per lecture.

    Its get worse... much worse
     
  6. 2012mdc

    2012mdc Enjoying the Dark Side
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    Once you come to the understanding that you don't need to know everything to do well you will be fine. It takes a few tests to figure out what's most important though.
     
  7. moto_za

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    Hang in there. You will adapt and get used to the volume of information you have to know. Almost everyone feels the same way as you when they start. :)
     
    #6 moto_za, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  8. Alvarez13

    Alvarez13 PGEEE2 mediates FEEEVER
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    Agreed. I almost dropped out after 2 weeks after coming from the working world for 3 years. It was hard to get back into school mode let alone med school. The volume is overwhelming.

    I did better when I cut back from 4-5 different anatomy books to just Netter and my lab manual and stopped reading my histo textbook. You have to find about 2 resources that work for you (ignore what others are doing) and focus on just those.

    Hang in past the first exam or two. I felt so much better after the first test was done. Looking back on 1st year, I'm really proud of how far I've come.

    Nothing worth having is easy :D
     
  9. painmd87

    painmd87 Not a pain doctor
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    I felt similarly to the OP here. It takes a little bit to determine your optimal study habits.

    Almost everyone in my class brings their computer to lecture and types notes into the PowerPoints. I tried that once and couldn't remember a thing. I found it much more helpful to print out the slides (3 to a page) and be able to draw on them and write things down. If the professor is going slow, I can write the things he's saying. If he goes quickly, I just circle/underline what's on the slide that's important, so I can differentiate when I review.

    Prior to each lecture, I review the slides and/or the chapters in the book associated with that lecture. I at least have a base of knowledge to go into the lecture, and can fill in some gaps. The remaining gaps are filled when I review the lecture notes later or review an outside source (ex: BRS anatomy).

    Some people absorb the material on the first pass. Some need 5 different passes. I've found (in these 4 weeks that have felt like 3 years) that 3 passes from different sources is what I need to retain and process the details. Pre-read, lecture, review. Within 2-3 days of the exam, I begin reviewing summaries and focusing on details that are fuzzy.

    You'll get the hang of it. Just figure out what works for you and focus on it.
     
  10. Longshanks

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    Wah wah wah! My power point is bigger than yours!

    What a bunch of babies. Most slides are just filler. Study better and learn what you need to know, don't memorize every slide. There's so much repetition involved it's misleading to say you "need to memorize 200 slides". A significant portion repeat the same concepts (albeit in a new context).

    "Don't focus on the finger - or you'll miss all of that heavenly glory."
     
  11. shadowfox87

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    Only 6 hours? Regardless, your med school is not any harder than others, it's the same stuff. It's only thrown differently at a different order.
     
  12. projectlogic

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    I know it may seem a bit overwhelming at first but you'll get used to it and you'll become more efficient with time.
     
  13. thepoopologist

    thepoopologist Ph.D in Clinical Meconium
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    No, you're not dumb but you need to be extra cognizant of your study habits and the results they bring and be willing to adjust them on the fly.
     
  14. 2012mdc

    2012mdc Enjoying the Dark Side
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    If not said sarcastically, the "only 6 hours?" statement implies that you are studying a significantly greater amount and working much harder than OP.

    Not exactly grandiose though
     
  15. hot sauce

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    Medical school is a lot information. Your school is probably about as hard as other medical schools. As others have said it is important to figure out how best to study for yourself. I was never a huge fan of reviewing slides as they are usually not that great for studying (but they work for some people). Some of our classes had great handouts and others they were crap. For some people extra time in the anatomy lab is helpful and for others it does nothing.

    Also know when you are past the point of diminishing returns. I think that at times people get so worried or frustrated that they actually study too much with the thought if I study X hours per day I can't fail or if I do fail it isn't my fault. Sometimes you just need a 5 or 10 minute break and sometimes you should go to bed. Getting enough sleep is important to learning as well as performing well on exams.

    Try to keep in mind what is important (ie what is likely to be on the test - maybe even a couple times in different forms) and what is less important.

    You are just starting medical school and most likely you'll adapt. Just be flexible and figure out what works for you.
     
  16. UVAbme2009

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    Outside of anatomy, you're wasting your time studying class notes. You'll figure it out soon enough.
     
  17. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis I wish I were a dentist
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    Your med school is hard? I have to put in surfing, cliff-diving, club-going, and mud-hiking in my weekly schedule on top of med school! :cool:
     
  18. Shadowmoses

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    I know I'm going to sound cliche here but focus on the big picture first, and use whatever resources to help you accomplish that. Once you get that down well half the battle is over. Afterwards memorize the **** out of the details given in your lectures.
     
  19. StrongWork

    StrongWork sauntimeters
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    [​IMG]


    to OP: just put your head down and hammer through it. Learn to dedicate less time to social commitments, family, friends, significant others, kids. It sucks. But hammer through and have a good support system and you'll make it through.
     
  20. Alvarez13

    Alvarez13 PGEEE2 mediates FEEEVER
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    God I love your user name :thumbup:
     
  21. mvenus929

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    I started second year two weeks ago, and they hit us hard and fast these past two weeks. I still haven't reviewed all the lectures, and that's after either being in class or studying 10 hours a day (almost every day. I took last Saturday off).

    It's something you'll get used to. It's rough. It's a lot of information. You'll feel like you're drowning. But you'll adapt and find your niche, and you'll be fine.
     
  22. werd

    werd Senior Member
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    yeah man, med school kinda kicks your butt... that's part of the reason the admission standards are what they are.

    implied in your acceptance to your med school is that the admissions folks looked at your history and your work and felt confident you could handle the studying and ridiculousness of it all. you'll be okay, you just have to come up with a way to study and cope that works for you.
     
  23. FIREitUP

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    So what are you supposed to study from?
     
  24. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis I wish I were a dentist
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    Well, I completely disagree with this. The professors explicit said the exam q's would be from class notes and objectives. If you're studying for the Steps, class notes might not be all that relevant, but that's not what matters for your grades right now.
     
  25. achamess

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    To the OP:

    It's about finding the study methods that work for you and studying only what's important. Those are no trivial tasks.

    I wrote a blog post for the incoming students at my med school on what worked for me. Hope that helps.
     
  26. The Angriest Bird

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    The #1 secret of excelling in medical school

    DO NOT GO TO LECTURES

    The materials in medical school are so much that you are much better learning by yourself, unless you are the type of learner who must listen to other people (IMO the least efficient way of learning which would probably prevent you from getting into medical school anyway).
     
  27. achamess

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    +1
     
  28. duress

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    I'm thinking i might join in on this secret, and it's only been a few weeks. But to the OP, 6 hours seems like a very long time to be studying after class, and I feel like unless you're doing that thing where you count everything as study time (eating, youtube break, reddit for 1 hour,SDN, etc), you're going to burn out rapidly.
     
  29. kouji

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    im in my semester2 year one medic now. same problem as you, i'll tend to forget after a few hours i've studied .
    in my 1st sem what we learnt was only very superficial anatomy and in this semester they cramp everything up and makes life hard for us..
    imo there's problem in our syllabus.
     
    #28 kouji, Aug 26, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  30. mrwesticles

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    A big issue can be the transition from college, for sure, and it also depends on the school. How often do you have exams?

    You'd be surprised how quickly you can get used to an insane pace. It levels out soon enough, as long as you work hard to get to the right pace at the beginning.
     
  31. g8orlife

    g8orlife chomp
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    [​IMG]
     
  32. MrAppleseed

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    I'm with you OP (even though you're banned). I'm two weeks in and am honestly drowning a bit.

    The problem is, I learn best by teaching myself through reading texts. I go through it slowly and go through it once. The problem is that there is a new reading every day...with lots of pages...and dense material. It took me a week to actually start working, and now I'm behind and it seems absolutely impossible to catch up at this pace. I'm spending my study time trying to catch up to where we are in on class, and haven't even touched the other class' material yet.

    I realize that something obviously needs to change with my methods, but the lecture notes kind of suck and lectures are posted as audio only, so I try to listen but have no clue what slide they're talking about, so I'm kind of at a loss.
     
  33. CaptainSSO

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    Interesting, I studied exactly the same way in undergrad (read textbooks only, usually never even bothered looking at class notes). However, that style was ruining me here. I'm reading lecture notes only now, and I'm still behind. I feel like it's a lot less efficient than reading a textbook, since I'm just memorizing ostensibly disparate bits of information, rather than understanding concepts, but we move at such a rapid pace I don't feel like I have a choice.

    But I would say go with the lecture notes, even if they suck.I don't feel like our lecture notes are the greatest, either, but they seem competent I guess.
     
  34. raineR

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    Your not stupid.,You just started ryt?so you haven't adjusted yet to the program.,It's a good started to read the books before the classes have even started.
     
  35. CaptainSSO

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    This post deserves an "Oh sweet irony..."
     
  36. MediCynical

    MediCynical Custom User Title
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    I agree with this. I was very much a textbook-only person in undergrad, but I've pretty much switched over to lecture notes completely (luckily my school has revised its curriculum in a way that teaches very much towards the boards... or so I've been told). Nevertheless, I still feel behind, but I've been told that's normal lol

    Also, fml for spending obscene amounts of money on textbooks. I didn't listen to the overwhelming number of posts saying "don't buy textbooks until after classes start, you moron"
     
  37. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis I wish I were a dentist
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    I don't think it's possible to study from the books. Lecture notes just contain so much high-yield material for the midterm/finals.

    I just use the books for pretty pictures and an alternative narrative (in case the lecturer sucks, ie the case for half my Anatomy lectures).
     
  38. littlealex

    littlealex little tiny alex
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    Honestly dude first 2 years are suppose to be super easy and relaxing. Study hard but if you are studying more than 8 hours a day outside of class (don't go to lecture, obviously), you're doing something wrong.
     
  39. MeatTornado

    MeatTornado On Sabbatical
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    this person is obviously either joking or trolling
     
  40. Flapjacks

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    pls go.
     
  41. RadOncDoc21

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    I stopped going to lectures after my 2nd exam. Although it was a very unpopular decision, it helped me use all 24 hrs in a day to maximize my study time.

    Matter of fact, 1st and 2nd year are great because you don't have to be somewhere, unlike 3rd year and residency. 4th year of medical school, however, will always be the best year overall!

    -R
     
  42. mjl1717

    mjl1717 Senior Member
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    Agree!! Unfortunately in this arena..Part of the initiation is one knucklehead bragging that its easy as hell..:rolleyes:
     
  43. Crow King

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    Having a poor memory doesn't make you dumb.
     
  44. Flapjacks

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    Making the same bad decisions does.
     

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