Mar 27, 2019
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Hey guys!

So I've been admitted to a few DO schools for the 2018-2019 cycle, and I'm already starting to get nervous. Obviously med school is going to be hard and stressful, BUT I figured all you studious DO students out there may have a few words of advice for a newbie like myself.

So here's my question: if you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice before entering medical school, what would it be and why?

Really eager to hear from you and thanks in advanced :)
 

fldoctorgirl

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Trust the process: you're going to feel pretty overwhelmed at first and some serious imposter syndrome may hit, but you'll make it through (assuming you put in the work) and it'll be okay. Most everyone feels the same, they just won't admit it.

Anki. Anki anki anki.

Don't listen to all the super annoying typical med student classmates who will walk around the room for 30 minutes before every lecture starts asking everyone how they're studying so they have an excuse to talk about how they were up till 2 am reading last night, "but the material isn't that hard it's just a lot!!!!"
 
Jun 16, 2017
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Be prepared to fail.

It's not a guarantee that you'll fail something in med school (test, standardized patient, class, etc.) but you very well might. If you've never failed anything before, like a lot of other high-achieving med students, it can come as a helluva shock. Get control of that emotion. It's okay to feel like crap for a day or so after bombing something, but you cannot dwell on it. There just isn't time. Learn from your mistakes and move forward.

One day you'll have a patient go sour on you, and it'll strike you to your core. But there will always be more waiting who need your help just as much as the first one did.
 
Aug 4, 2018
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Anki. Anki anki anki.
This. Specifically look into the Zanki decks for Step 1 on reddit

Also: Don't get caught up in trying to use too many resources. Stick with only a couple no matter what you are studying.

Look into Boards and Beyond at the beginning of 2nd year. I wish I hadn't waited until Board studying time.

What someone said above about clubs is mostly true. Fact of the matter is you need to have volunteering roles for residency. I would say keep involvement limited to things that actually interest you.

This is the absolute most important, most crucial, #1 rule for medical school: whenever something doesn't make sense or you are having trouble...
DO NOT WAIT TO ASK FOR HELP!!!!

Take time to take care of yourself. If you exercise now, keep at it. If you don't, start now. Fitness is very important in medical school and top performers take some time away from studying for fitness. Also eat well. And Sleep at least 7 hours no matter what.

See your family as much as time allows -- they provide much needed time away from focusing on studying all the time.

Say no to some parties, but not all the parties. Find a balance that works for you.

Read things besides medical books -- while Dr. Gawande is great, there is plenty more literature out there to consume yourself with.

Consider a roommate. Truly. It lowers debt and provides camaraderie when you may need it the most.
 
Aug 4, 2018
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@Philosopher Jagger @Sephirakra @Cheeni17 @TheRealCookieMonster @fldoctorgirl thank you so much :) Love these responses

Quick question: Are your takes on study groups? I've studied in groups intermittently but honestly I feel like every group I worked with would get off track way too much so I would usually opt out and study by myself.
Good in short bursts over tasks/material everyone has to do. I would say self-studying is the best approach for learning something, but reviewing or rehashing with a group can be useful. To each their own

EDIT: and yes, haha. Groups tend to get off task when the jokes start going. Or memes.
 

shadowlightfox

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All the advices above are good, but I think the most important advice that OP should prioritize on before listening to any other advice is to get time management skills down.

I guarantee you from firsthand experience that over half the common problems med students experience can all be instantly dissipated with proper time management. Apart from boards in second year, I have never really found first year of med school stressful while my peers have, and it's because I knew how to manage time effectively. I still had plenty of time to be caught up on my video games and TV shows while not sacrificing my grades or study time.

Of course this doesn't mean there's no such thing as sacrifice when in med school. Compared to college, you'll be busier and you won't have as much time to hang out, but I'm saying you don't have to sacrifice balanced life or good grades. It's possible to have both.
 
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OP
Doctor-In-Training99
Mar 27, 2019
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All the advices above are good, but I think the most important advice that OP should prioritize on before listening to any other advice is to get time management skills down.

I guarantee you that over half the common problems med students commonly experience while in school can all be instantly dissipated with proper time management. Apart from boards in second year, I have never really found first year of med school stressful while my peers have, and it's because I knew how to manage time effectively. I still had plenty of time to be caught up on my video games and TV shows while not sacrificing my grades or study time.
I won't lie my time management skills are actually pretty good. I was a collegiate soccer player with a double major and an unrelated minor so I definitely know how important it is to time manage. That said med school is a different monster so I'll definitely make sure I keep that in my mind because I know that can easily make or break a good med student!
 
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shadowlightfox

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I won't lie my time management skills are actually pretty good. I was a collegiate soccer player with a double major and an unrelated minor so I definitely know how important it is to time manage. That said med school is a different monster so I'll definitely make sure I keep that in my mind because I know that can easily make or break a good med student!
Then you're set. The beauty of knowing how to time manage is that no matter where you're thrown into, college, law school, business school, med school, being a parent, you'll be able to handle whatever is thrown your way because of it.

You'll realize that the biggest reason people have hard time adapting in med school is not the materials, but time. They underestimate how important time is on their first day.
 
OP
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Then you're set. The beauty of knowing how to time manage is that no matter where you're thrown into, college, law school, business school, med school, being a parent, you'll be able to handle whatever is thrown your way because of it.

You'll realize that the biggest reason people have hard time adapting in med school is not the materials, but time. They underestimate how important time is on their first day.
Did you tend to begin studying/going over the information the day you got it and then reviewing it each day to strengthen your understanding and such? Or did you prefer another method of studying?
 

shadowlightfox

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Did you tend to begin studying/going over the information the day you got it and then reviewing it each day to strengthen your understanding and such? Or did you prefer another method of studying?
Studying methods will differ from person to person, but in first year, I reviewed the materials the same day as the lecture. I didn't do my second pass until the weekend of. And I always made sure to have at least a third pass before the exams.
 

fldoctorgirl

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Quick question: Are your takes on study groups? I've studied in groups intermittently but honestly I feel like every group I worked with would get off track way too much so I would usually opt out and study by myself.
Depends. My school set us up with "small group tutoring" for anatomy lab; there were 5-6 of us assigned to a tutor who had done well the previous year. This was incredibly helpful because they would give us tips on how things were going to be tagged, had mock tagging sessions, etc. Other than that, I study alone with the exception of the day or two before an exam, I have one designated friend that I do practice questions with. It's helpful to do questions with another person because often times they will interpret something differently than you will, or if one of us gets something wrong the other gets a chance to explain it, and it helps solidify the concept.
 
OP
Doctor-In-Training99
Mar 27, 2019
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Studying methods will differ from person to person, but in first year, I reviewed the materials the same day as the lecture. I didn't do my second pass until the weekend of. And I always made sure to have at least a third pass before the exams.
Awesome! Now this may be a stupid questions but how many exams do you think you get per semester in 1 class? Is it usually just a midterm and a final or is there usually more than that?
 

fldoctorgirl

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All the advices above are good, but I think the most important advice that OP should prioritize on before listening to any other advice is to get time management skills down.

I guarantee you from firsthand experience that over half the common problems med students commonly experience while in school can all be instantly dissipated with proper time management. Apart from boards in second year, I have never really found first year of med school stressful while my peers have, and it's because I knew how to manage time effectively. I still had plenty of time to be caught up on my video games and TV shows while not sacrificing my grades or study time.

Of course this doesn't mean there's no such thing as sacrifice when in med school. Compared to college, you'll be busier and you won't have as much time to hang out, but I'm saying you don't have to sacrifice balanced life or good grades. It's possible to have both.
1000% agree with this. There were definitely days/weeks in first year where I felt completely overwhelmed, but most of the time I haven't found it to be that bad. I'm not miserable: I made multiple trips home (home for me is a 3 hour flight), I spent a lot of time with my SO and went on date nights, I explored the city, I watched multiple TV shows on Netflix. Time manage well and you won't lose yourself, and you'll be much happier than a lot of your classmates.
 
OP
Doctor-In-Training99
Mar 27, 2019
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Depends. My school set us up with "small group tutoring" for anatomy lab; there were 5-6 of us assigned to a tutor who had done well the previous year. This was incredibly helpful because they would give us tips on how things were going to be tagged, had mock tagging sessions, etc. Other than that, I study alone with the exception of the day or two before an exam, I have one designated friend that I do practice questions with. It's helpful to do questions with another person because often times they will interpret something differently than you will, or if one of us gets something wrong the other gets a chance to explain it, and it helps solidify the concept.
That's a really smart idea! I always wanted to have that 1 designated person in undergrad but honestly that's sort of impossible because everyone is taking different classes. It'll be nice to have everyone on the same page for a change. Also thank so much for your responses. You're definitely helping me get a feel for the med school life :) I really appreciate it
 
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IsWhat

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-Find a friend or two in medical school and stick with them. Keep each other grounded during the highs, and pick each other up during the lows.

-Nothing in medical school is hard enough that you can’t make it to the end of the day. Just keep making it to the end of the day.

-When clinical years come around - be a team player. Go out of your way to make other people look good, because they will go out of their way to make you look good.

-When you are on the 50th PowerPoint lecture and you still have 50 more to study - remember, there is a very sick patient waiting for you, the attending, to save their life in only a few years time...
 
Jun 26, 2018
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Awesome! Now this may be a stupid questions but how many exams do you think you get per semester in 1 class? Is it usually just a midterm and a final or is there usually more than that?
Like a million. I don't remember much from first year but we had atleast 3-4 major anatomy exams alone, a weekly quiz (written and practical for all of these). It's nothing like undergrad in terms of speed and expectations from an academic standpoint

Study harder than you need to starting from day 1 and adjust from there. Never get behind. Enjoy small victories, get out of your house/apartment on occasion. Work out as best you can
 

Cheeni17

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Hey guys!

So I've been admitted to a few DO schools for the 2018-2019 cycle, and I'm already starting to get nervous. Obviously med school is going to be hard and stressful, BUT I figured all you studious DO students out there may have a few words of advice for a newbie like myself.

So here's my question: if you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice before entering medical school, what would it be and why?

Really eager to hear from you and thanks in advanced :)
Essentially it’s just more material than UG but inherently nothing in med school comes close to the difficulty of most chem classes. Most people fail out due to stupid habits, mental illnesss, and laziness. Very few people that break 50Th percentile on mcat can’t get thru on brains alone.

Focus goodhabits and not following the popular crowd = success
 

AnatomyGrey12

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Step 1: download Zanki
Step 2: Do 40 new cards every single morning the first two years and all reviews. If you do this you will only have about 200 reviews a day and you could do 40 new + 200 reviews in 1-1.5 hours (only 1.5 at the beginning until you get faster). Just start from the very beginning of the deck and go through it as it's set up.
Step 3: spend the rest of the day pounding away at class material. Every day.
Step 4: Smash both boards AND class because you studied smarter and more efficient than everyone else.
Step 5: do research between first and second year
Step 6: match whatever specialty you want because you have a killer rank, killer board scores, and research.
Step 7: PROFIT
 

sumtimesuwonder

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Jun 28, 2013
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Step 1: download Zanki
Step 2: Do 40 new cards every single morning the first two years and all reviews. If you do this you will only have about 200 reviews a day and you could do 40 new + 200 reviews in 1-1.5 hours (only 1.5 at the beginning until you get faster). Just start from the very beginning of the deck and go through it as it's set up.
Step 3: spend the rest of the day pounding away at class material. Every day.
Step 4: Smash both boards AND class because you studied smarter and more efficient than everyone else.
Step 5: do research between first and second year
Step 6: match whatever specialty you want because you have a killer rank, killer board scores, and research.
Step 7: PROFIT

This is the best advice. I didnt really find anki until halfway through second year and am now paying the price.
 

fldoctorgirl

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Step 2: Do 40 new cards every single morning the first two years and all reviews. If you do this you will only have about 200 reviews a day and you could do 40 new + 200 reviews in 1-1.5 hours (only 1.5 at the beginning until you get faster). Just start from the very beginning of the deck and go through it as it's set up.
Can confirm, as this is exactly what I do except I do 50 new/day.
 

sumtimesuwonder

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This has everything you need. Look on the sidebar on the right and it has a variety of anki decks that are very useful. Would definitely recommend Zanki as a first year, then once you get going with boards during second year start looking at Pepper/Duke decks for Sketchy and Pathoma.

(Also very strongly recommend sketchy and pathoma, many people like Boards and Beyond too but I never really got into it)
 
OP
Doctor-In-Training99
Mar 27, 2019
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This has everything you need. Look on the sidebar on the right and it has a variety of anki decks that are very useful. Would definitely recommend Zanki as a first year, then once you get going with boards during second year start looking at Pepper/Duke decks for Sketchy and Pathoma.

(Also very strongly recommend sketchy and pathoma, many people like Boards and Beyond too but I never really got into it)
Oh shoot this is awesome! Thank you!!!
 
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Cheeni17

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Step 1: download Zanki
Step 2: Do 40 new cards every single morning the first two years and all reviews. If you do this you will only have about 200 reviews a day and you could do 40 new + 200 reviews in 1-1.5 hours (only 1.5 at the beginning until you get faster). Just start from the very beginning of the deck and go through it as it's set up.
Step 3: spend the rest of the day pounding away at class material. Every day.
Step 4: Smash both boards AND class because you studied smarter and more efficient than everyone else.
Step 5: do research between first and second year
Step 6: match whatever specialty you want because you have a killer rank, killer board scores, and research.
Step 7: PROFIT
End thread right here lol
 
Sep 25, 2017
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Step 1: download Zanki
Step 2: Do 40 new cards every single morning the first two years and all reviews. If you do this you will only have about 200 reviews a day and you could do 40 new + 200 reviews in 1-1.5 hours (only 1.5 at the beginning until you get faster). Just start from the very beginning of the deck and go through it as it's set up.
Step 3: spend the rest of the day pounding away at class material. Every day.
Step 4: Smash both boards AND class because you studied smarter and more efficient than everyone else.
Step 5: do research between first and second year
Step 6: match whatever specialty you want because you have a killer rank, killer board scores, and research.
Step 7: PROFIT
I second this. I found it difficult to keep up with Zanki since my class material rarely matches well, but I am making sure I stick with it starting second year.

Also, don't listen to the people in your class. Somehow everyone gets "straight A's" but the class average is much lower o_O
 

spartan25

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Maintain a life outside of school - continue (or find new) hobbies that make you happy and don’t neglect relationships with friends and family. Medical school can be a fishbowl and it can become easy to forget that there are other things in life that are important.

Don’t lost sight of the fact that you are training for a job. Medicine can and should be a very important part of your life, but it’s unhealthy to make it your sole endeavor
 
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Spectreman

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My biggest regret is not starting Zanki early and following along as we went through classes. I made all my own cards during first year and they’re completely worthless for boards. The earlier you start and keep Zanki as a routine, the easier it’ll be to retain this VAST amount of junk you have to know for Step 1. It has a HUGE learning curve. Look up the An-KING YouTube page and let that guy break it all down for you.
 
OP
Doctor-In-Training99
Mar 27, 2019
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My biggest regret is not starting Zanki early and following along as we went through classes. I made all my own cards during first year and they’re completely worthless for boards. The earlier you start and keep Zanki as a routine, the easier it’ll be to retain this VAST amount of junk you have to know for Step 1. It has a HUGE learning curve. Look up the An-KING YouTube page and let that guy break it all down for you.
Just took a look at the YouTube page and watched the first video and I wanted to clarify: is Zanki free? It says you just go to reddit and download the decks.
 
Oct 2, 2018
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Step 1: download Zanki
Step 2: Do 40 new cards every single morning the first two years and all reviews. If you do this you will only have about 200 reviews a day and you could do 40 new + 200 reviews in 1-1.5 hours (only 1.5 at the beginning until you get faster). Just start from the very beginning of the deck and go through it as it's set up.
Step 3: spend the rest of the day pounding away at class material. Every day.
Step 4: Smash both boards AND class because you studied smarter and more efficient than everyone else.
Step 5: do research between first and second year
Step 6: match whatever specialty you want because you have a killer rank, killer board scores, and research.
Step 7: PROFIT
But if you do that, aren’t the Zanki cards you’re reviewing not gonna coordinate with your class material?
 

AnatomyGrey12

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Just took a look at the YouTube page and watched the first video and I wanted to clarify: is Zanki free? It says you just go to reddit and download the decks.
Yes.
But if you do that, aren’t the Zanki cards you’re reviewing not gonna coordinate with your class material?
yes. Which is why you only do a little bit every day and then spend the rest of the day on class. The point of Zanki isn't to prepare for class, unless your school does NBME exams.
 

Goro

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Hey guys!

So I've been admitted to a few DO schools for the 2018-2019 cycle, and I'm already starting to get nervous. Obviously med school is going to be hard and stressful, BUT I figured all you studious DO students out there may have a few words of advice for a newbie like myself.

So here's my question: if you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice before entering medical school, what would it be and why?

Really eager to hear from you and thanks in advanced :)
Read this:
 
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sylvanthus

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Don't be one of those first years rolling around with First Aid and studying for boards already. Learn the first year material well first, and THEN review for boards 2nd year.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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I wish I had spent less energy on boards, more on doing actually interesting things, and more on networking. Medicine is a small table and having an in is worth more than your boards.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

Osteo Dullahan
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How do u get these "ins" you speak of?
Make friends with school faculty and established preceptors. They can write to program directors who they know, to faculty they know, or speak to existing residents who graduated from your program.
Interviews are quick and they don't often really communicate an applicant's true potential and talents as much as a faculty member putting their neck out their to talk about how good you are.

In the end this is the whole point of going to 'established' programs for medical school and residency. No one doubts that even the worst graduate from the most random low tier program is adequately prepared to treat patients. But they'll lack the connections that will place them into fellowships or positions because other people will possess due to either going to a larger program or one with academic ties.

And fundamentally as much as I hate to admit it geography and history of having graduates place into programs are important. If you're applying to a program with only MDs or DOs from more local programs, it is inherently a reach program. Safe programs by comparison are those you'll have multiple graduates from your program at.
 
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AnatomyGrey12

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And fundamentally as much as I hate to admit it geography and history of having graduates place into programs are important. If you're applying to a program with only MDs or DOs from more local programs, it is inherently a reach program. Safe programs by comparison are those you'll have multiple graduates from your program at.
Yep, and this is true everywhere. An example is in the DO ortho world there are programs that even the stellar ortho applicants from my school don't really apply to or audition at because they haven't had a grad from our school in a decade or so. It's simply a reach.
 
May 11, 2019
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How do u get these "ins" you speak of?
Somebody get out some pens and paper and write these down:

1) If you are fortunate enough to be trained at an academic center during your third year, work hard, be a team player, and develop relationships with the old attending physicians at your institution. Medicine believe it or not is a small world. Getting these people to make phone calls for you when things get tight will make a huge difference.

2) Audition at 3+ ACGME places, work hard, and continue to self-improve while building relationships with team members and the attending physicians at those site.

You will match if you do one of these two things well even with a mediocre application as a DO for your specialty of choice. If you continue to work hard, give a 110%, care for your patients, and have passion for the field, somebody will notice it whether you believe it or not.
 

anthony78001

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be happy with just passing an exam and move on to the next one. there isnt time to dwell. if you fail a test make up for it on the next one. be prepared to struggle and feel behind it never ends first semester you eventually get better at managing everything.

study for boards and do well on them. class grades do not matter but you need to pass to graduate and take your boards
 

shadowlightfox

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Awesome! Now this may be a stupid questions but how many exams do you think you get per semester in 1 class? Is it usually just a midterm and a final or is there usually more than that?
Depends on how big the block is, but generally every 3-4 weeks first year there were exams. Second year every 2 weeks though, so no chance for a thir pass, or even second pass at times.