Nov 18, 2013
19
1
Status
Medical Student
Hello SDN'ers,

I just finished my first term of Medical School and I decided to come on here and have an open forum. I used SDN for 99% of guidance, advice, and just motivation during the application process. I am at one of the "top tier" DO schools and I will answer any questions you guys have. I made a new screen name so I an be as honest and open as I can.
 
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darklabel

PGWhy
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Jan 11, 2012
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Could you tell us what school or not really? Was it your first choice?

Have you started studying for boards or is that insane?

Was it a difficult term or not really?
 
OP
U
Nov 18, 2013
19
1
Status
Medical Student
Could you tell us what school or not really? Was it your first choice?

Have you started studying for boards or is that insane?

Was it a difficult term or not really?

I would rather not disclose the school, but its one of the top DO schools that people talk about on here, even though I think that the rankings are erroneous. This was my top choice, I was lucky enough to get accepted here.

I had every intention to start studying for the boards, even bought a Step 1 book. However, when school hit the ground running, I had trouble keeping up with school and the rigorous of the curriculum. I had to focus on passing my classes, which left almost no time for boards. During the summer, I will definitely be studying for the boards since its the most important thing.

The difficulty cannot be put in words. Regardless of how much people make it seem like it's hard or how much stress there will be, you cannot fathom it until you are fully submerged in school. Everyone in med school and on these boards were at the top of the class, however I can say that everything I learned in undergrad, we covered within the first lecture. It was incredibly difficult, beyond my wildest dreams.

I am not sure how much details you want, so I will answer follow up questions.
 

listener23

Membership Revoked
Removed
Aug 10, 2013
794
362
East-Coast
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Pre-Medical
Hello SDN'ers,

I just finished my first term of Medical School and I decided to come on here and have an open forum. I used SDN for 99% of guidance, advice, and just motivation during the application process. I am at one of the "top tier" DO schools and I will answer any questions you guys have. I made a new screen name so I an be as honest and open as I can.

You say your a underdog? What was your gpa/mcat. Always which EC you feel gave you an edge?
 
OP
U
Nov 18, 2013
19
1
Status
Medical Student
26, 3.5 (non-URM).

I think work in developing countries and research gave me an edge. I don't mean research like "ooo i worked in a lab over the summer". I mean real research, numerous years, long projects, conferences, publications, ect.
 

listener23

Membership Revoked
Removed
Aug 10, 2013
794
362
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26, 3.5 (non-URM).

I think work in developing countries and research gave me an edge. I don't mean research like "ooo i worked in a lab over the summer". I mean real research, numerous years, long projects, conferences, publications, ect.
How many publications exactly?
 
OP
U
Nov 18, 2013
19
1
Status
Medical Student
I had 3, just luck of the draw. I started studying for my MCAT's in June, then took some time off due to unforeseen circumstances and traveled, then came back and started up again, then stopped a month later. I would say I put in 3 months on and off, and 5 solid months. I took princeton, that was a waste of time and money, after princeton my practice MCAT's were in their low 20's. After 5 solid months I received an awful score that barely broke 20's. Then I studied for 4 more months with EK and Princeton. For me, the key was practice exams. Studying content was very aggravating and exhausting, but practice exams were great. I also got 2 tutors for Physics and Orgo, and retook Gen Chem at a CC. MCAT was very difficult.
 

Ryomagoku

5+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2013
462
96
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Pre-Medical
I'm 3rd year at a UC, and I did not do well in biology class and Organic chemistry classes. My school goes by quarter system, and local CCs go by semesters. I'm planning to retake first 2 quarters of biology and organic chemistry courses. Would 1 biology semeter class replace 2 quarters? I haven't found a DO to shadow, how did you or what did you do to have a chance to shadow a DO?? If I have over 1000 hours at a hospital volunteer work, should I stop volunteering? Do you have any clues of getting into WesternU with about low GPA and MCAT?? sorry
 
Oct 21, 2013
3
3
Status
Pre-Medical
Could you go into more detail on how difficult your first term was? How did you adapt to the intense study schedule? Did you sleep much? (lol)
 

Dr.TurkandJD

One Dream
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Could you go into more detail on how difficult your first term was? How did you adapt to the intense study schedule? Did you sleep much? (lol)
Idk about OP, but for me, it was very hard. Imagine your hardest class on undergrad, and imagine cramming for it. Now, extrapolate that to 7--10 classes, with ten times more the quantity of material.
 

374018

Filet Mignon
Jan 26, 2011
1,919
18
Status
Pre-Medical
I am on my way to finishing first semester too. It isn't hard. Just use your time effectively. So far there has only been 2 nights I had to stay up past midnight for studying so I am definitely getting a ton of sleep. My program is considered one of the most rigorous as well. Just go into it with the mindset that your life is going to change and you will have to give up some things. The rest is determination.
 

Dr.TurkandJD

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I am on my way to finishing first semester too. It isn't hard. Just use your time effectively. So far there has only been 2 nights I had to stay up past midnight for studying so I am definitely getting a ton of sleep. My program is considered one of the most rigorous as well. Just go into it with the mindset that your life is going to change and you will have to give up some things. The rest is determination.
I disagree. I had a better GPA then OP and stay up past midnight more then I don't. I turned off my life, don't see friends or family and just focus on school. The amount of info, is mind blowing. I think it's BS when people say it's not hard. That said, some people are smarter then others. I have to study, some people don't or have photographic memory. I don't. I have to grind. Plus, some schools are harder then others. I'm at a school where my practicals are all fill in the blank and spelling counts.
 

Lost Vagus

5+ Year Member
May 10, 2013
353
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I disagree. I had a better GPA then OP and stay up past midnight more then I don't. I turned off my life, don't see friends or family and just focus on school. The amount of info, is mind blowing. I think it's BS when people say it's not hard. That said, some people are smarter then others. I have to study, some people don't or have photographic memory. I don't. I have to grind. Plus, some schools are harder then others. I'm at a school where my practicals are all fill in the blank and spelling counts.
Yikes... That sucks. My roommates are m1s and they have plenty of free time. Systems based curriculum is different though.. They cram every three weeks . We watch netflix almost every night and go out at least once a week. You don't have to be a hermit to do well in med school. I guess it depends on curriculum and personality.
 

Mehd School

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May 2, 2012
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I disagree. I had a better GPA then OP and stay up past midnight more then I don't. I turned off my life, don't see friends or family and just focus on school. The amount of info, is mind blowing. I think it's BS when people say it's not hard. That said, some people are smarter then others. I have to study, some people don't or have photographic memory. I don't. I have to grind. Plus, some schools are harder then others. I'm at a school where my practicals are all fill in the blank and spelling counts.
Who cares? Some people adapt to medical school better than others. I have two close friends that attend the same MD school nearby. One of them (had a 3.5) is flourishing and is doing so with relative ease. The other friend (4.0) is pulling similar grades to my first friend but is locked in his dungeon of a study room for 12-14 hours per day. I don't think it's as simple as you're making it out to be, and you're out of your mind if you don't think that med school comes easier for some people than they were expecting.
 

Dr.TurkandJD

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Who cares? Some people adapt to medical school better than others. I have two close friends that attend the same MD school nearby. One of them (had a 3.5) is flourishing and is doing so with relative ease. The other friend (4.0) is pulling similar grades to my first friend but is locked in his dungeon of a study room for 12-14 hours per day. I don't think it's as simple as you're making it out to be, and you're out of your mind if you don't think that med school comes easier for some people than they were expecting.
I agree with you completely. It's much easier for some then others. Some people study and remember everything. Others have to try and try to retain the info. I was just saying that for me, basic sciences are hard. Clinical stuff is a bit easier.

Also, my school has exams every week. Some weeks we have 5-8 exams a week. Others, we have 1-2 exams. We aren't on blocks.
 
OP
U
Nov 18, 2013
19
1
Status
Medical Student
I'm 3rd year at a UC, and I did not do well in biology class and Organic chemistry classes. My school goes by quarter system, and local CCs go by semesters. I'm planning to retake first 2 quarters of biology and organic chemistry courses. Would 1 biology semeter class replace 2 quarters? I haven't found a DO to shadow, how did you or what did you do to have a chance to shadow a DO?? If I have over 1000 hours at a hospital volunteer work, should I stop volunteering? Do you have any clues of getting into WesternU with about low GPA and MCAT?? sorry
I definitely recommend retaking as much as you can, it helped me. I am not going to comment on specific stats or LOR's because its a crap shoot and varies dramatically.

Best place to shadow a DO is to check out "imentor" just google it. It basically shows you DO's in your area that are willing to take on a mentee. With my stats, I received an ii at WesternU in Oregon, did not apply to the one in Cali.
 
OP
U
Nov 18, 2013
19
1
Status
Medical Student
Could you go into more detail on how difficult your first term was? How did you adapt to the intense study schedule? Did you sleep much? (lol)
As Dr. Doback and Dr.TurkJD said, it is much easier for some then others. I was in the middle, maybe lower middle. There are a lot of people for whom med school is easy, but for others it was awfully hard and just incredibly exhausting. I did not get much sleep some weeks, and other weeks I went to be by 11-12. It just depends on the school schedule. For me, the hardest thing was brut memorization of dry concepts (Histology) that has almost none clinical relevance.
 
OP
U
Nov 18, 2013
19
1
Status
Medical Student
What classes did you take your first term?
I took Biochem, Histo, Anatomy, OMM, Clinical Class, Problems in Healthcare. Keep in mind that all of those classes have a lecture and a lab component, even Biochem.
 

Major

MS-II
5+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2013
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In!
 

cliquesh

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Nov 2, 2007
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As Dr. Doback and Dr.TurkJD said, it is much easier for some then others. I was in the middle, maybe lower middle. There are a lot of people for whom med school is easy, but for others it was awfully hard and just incredibly exhausting. I did not get much sleep some weeks, and other weeks I went to be by 11-12. It just depends on the school schedule. For me, the hardest thing was brut memorization of dry concepts (Histology) that has almost none clinical relevance.
If you truely want to understand pathology then histology isn't worthless. Microscopic pathologic findings are often poorly taught in medical school, however. They'll just tell you can see rossetes and pseduorossetes in ependymomas, for example, but never explain what a rossete or pseduorosset is, so it becomes just another word to memorize.

Rossete is tumor cells surrounding an empty space.
Pseudorossetes are tumor cells surrounding a structure, like a blood vessel.
 

hallowmann

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Med school is "easy". There's nothing particularly difficult in the material. The real issue is the sheer volume of material. Its not like anything you can imagine. While some people are saying, its easy to adjust, that is not true for most. The majority of people at my school needed 3-4wks at least to get in the swing of things, and even then there are insane levels of stress around exams because of the sheer material needed to be reviewed.
 

jockdoc97

5+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2013
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What was your exam schedule like? Weekly- One day a week? Monday's or Friday's? Blocks? Monthly? Etc. I think that plays a lot into the difficulty.
I took Biochem, Histo, Anatomy, OMM, Clinical Class, Problems in Healthcare. Keep in mind that all of those classes have a lecture and a lab component, even Biochem.
 

Major

MS-II
5+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2013
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Does your school go by a "systems based approach?"

Ex. 6 weeks on just Biochem. Then go onto 6 weeks of just neurology, etc, etc...? Or multiple subjects at once throughout the whole semester?
 
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OP
U
Nov 18, 2013
19
1
Status
Medical Student
If you truely want to understand pathology then histology isn't worthless. Microscopic pathologic findings are often poorly taught in medical school, however. They'll just tell you can see rossetes and pseduorossetes in ependymomas, for example, but never explain what a rossete or pseduorosset is, so it becomes just another word to memorize.

Rossete is tumor cells surrounding an empty space.
Pseudorossetes are tumor cells surrounding a structure, like a blood vessel.
I agree, if it is put in clinical terms and if histology is taught parallel to path, it would be great. But when its taught as a subject of "here is random crap, go memorize it" I just lose all interest.
 
OP
U
Nov 18, 2013
19
1
Status
Medical Student
Med school is "easy". There's nothing particularly difficult in the material. The real issue is the sheer volume of material. Its not like anything you can imagine. While some people are saying, its easy to adjust, that is not true for most. The majority of people at my school needed 3-4wks at least to get in the swing of things, and even then there are insane levels of stress around exams because of the sheer material needed to be reviewed.
I agree 100%. Material is not bad, its not hard to memorize every artery of the Celiac Trunk. But its hard to memorize that when its presented in 30 seconds, have over 35 hours of class a week, and 8 classes.
 
OP
U
Nov 18, 2013
19
1
Status
Medical Student
What was your exam schedule like? Weekly- One day a week? Monday's or Friday's? Blocks? Monthly? Etc. I think that plays a lot into the difficulty.
My exam schedule varies, it is not block scheduling nor monthly exams. We have practicals one every 10 weeks, and 2-4 exams per class per term. That comes out to either having 5-8 exams a week or 1 exam a week. There are very few weeks with 0 exams. You are constantly cramming and studying, but I would rather have this then block.

Does your school go by a "systems based approach?"

Ex. 6 weeks on just Biochem. Then go onto 6 weeks of just neurology, etc, etc...? Or multiple subjects at once throughout the whole semester?
Multiple subjects, all at ones, for one quarter. Some subjects span more then one quarter (anatomy). There is some overlap, but minimal.
 
Jun 10, 2013
41
4
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I will be entering school next year after two years off working. What is the best way to study in med school, especially with memorizing. I was a big note-carder in undergrad. Will this strategy work in med school, or is too time consuming?
 
OP
U
Nov 18, 2013
19
1
Status
Medical Student
I will be entering school next year after two years off working. What is the best way to study in med school, especially with memorizing. I was a big note-carder in undergrad. Will this strategy work in med school, or is too time consuming?
I just want to start out saying that I absolutely hate your screen name and based on it, I do not want to answer your question. That said, out of professionalism, I will.

I was a big note-card person and someone who had to write my notes out. This will not work in med school. It can work for classes like OMM or maybe biochem if yours is easy, but never for big classes. There is SO much info that you will be writing more then learning. I am still trying to adapt, where I write things down, but not everything.
 
Jun 10, 2013
41
4
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Haha, you either love him or hate him, there's no in between with ronaldo. But I thank you for the answer!

Is it mainly just studying the powerpoints and books then, rather than rewriting?
 
OP
U
Nov 18, 2013
19
1
Status
Medical Student
Haha, you either love him or hate him, there's no in between with ronaldo. But I thank you for the answer!

Is it mainly just studying the powerpoints and books then, rather than rewriting?
Its studying power points, notes provided by the prof (if your school offers it0, and SOMETIMES books, depending on the subject.

I still re-write a lot, but i am trying got go away from that. Sometimes I will write legit notes and paraphrase in my own words, sometimes ill scribble something out, and sometimes ill spent 4 hours re-writing things over and over and over again such as the proper spelling of "Inferior Pancreaticoduodenal Artery" for the practicals.
 

mommy2three

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Dec 13, 2005
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Can I hijack in for anyone who has questions?
4th year major underdog


Applying family medicine. Happy to answer any questions.
 
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wjs010

7+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2012
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Some of these posts scare me... Like no matter how hard I try I may still have a really hard time .. And then some make me feel a little better about it. Either way, I know first and second year require a lot of memorization, so if regurgitation is what they want, regurgitation is what they'll get!
 
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OP
U
Nov 18, 2013
19
1
Status
Medical Student
Some of these posts scare me... Like no matter how hard I try I may still have a really hard time .. And then some make me feel a little better about it. Either way, I know first and second year require a lot of memorization, so if regurgitation is what they want, regurgitation is what they'll get!
Many people struggle, its ok. It makes you love it more.


Were you a science major?
Yup, as science of a major as you can get lol
 

mommy2three

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I swear I had some replies on here that have gone into the internet abyss :thinking:
 

Awesome Sauceome

SDN Gold Donor
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Oct 30, 2013
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I swear I had some replies on here that have gone into the internet abyss :thinking:
i noticed this too. it was like everything that I wrote yesterday like disappeared after SDN's "forum backup"

I thought the internet just didnt like me for a sec. Glad to find company heh
 
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Jan 18, 2011
186
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mommy2three, could you elaborate on your family life vs medschool aspect? I have 3 kids 5,3,1 right now, and a very supportive wife. What kind of balance issues did you face?
 

mommy2three

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mommy2three, could you elaborate on your family life vs medschool aspect? I have 3 kids 5,3,1 right now, and a very supportive wife. What kind of balance issues did you face?
my kids were a bit older when i started, my youngest was 4 when i was a first year so i do not know how far off it may be for you but school age is a whole different ball game.
we all made sacrifices - we only showed our faces at large family gatherings if it was a if you do not show your face you will be disowned gathering (my extended family lives within a 40 minute radius of us for the most part).
the 20 cubic foot stand up freezer was my best friend as was the crock pot. the other key for us was limiting the kids involvement into one thing per season so we did not get overwhelmed.
i think you as a guy may have it a bit easier than me as a woman - we women tend to have the supermom complexes and think we can do everything. my biggest adjustment was letting go and trusting that my husband would do things.
we still had dinner every night together as a family - not so much now that i am on rotations and schedules can be crazy but we do try.
we also kept our tradition of afternoon lunches as a family as much as possible.
i used every free bit of time - between classes and lunch - to study or to shore up topics so i could have free time at home.
we still get apples and go to the pumpkin patch and put up christmas trees and all the holiday traditions we have - it is just they take a bit more planning now.
it has not been easy - but it is completely doable
 

mommy2three

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At which point will you no longer consider yourself to be an underdog? :p
Maybe when I graduate.
Even now applying to residency programs i feel like an underdog - I am average compared to most of my classmates, average grades, average board scores and not as many ECs. I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of interviews I have gotten, where I have gotten them and the response I have gotten from them.
I do not know that I will every lose it though - years of people telling me I do not belong, that I will never make it and that I will never be at the point I am at now makes me so incredibly humbled to be here and so incredibly grateful to be here at the same time. It is a true blessing to be able to pursue what I was destined to do.
 
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Jan 18, 2011
186
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Where did/do you live (as in apartment/house)? What about other med students with families? I'm like to get in to my state school because we have a house here, but I realize that might not happen. Hoping not to have to live in a two bedroom apartment for 4 years!
 
Jun 30, 2013
634
254
West Lafayette, Indiana
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Hello SDN'ers,

I just finished my first term of Medical School and I decided to come on here and have an open forum. I used SDN for 99% of guidance, advice, and just motivation during the application process. I am at one of the "top tier" DO schools and I will answer any questions you guys have. I made a new screen name so I an be as honest and open as I can.
Very appreciative to see you here. I am a non traditional student and applied only of DO schools. I have an ok GPA and got enough in MCAT to apply to DO schools. Currently I have 2 DO interviews coming up next month and in January. I am hoping that I will get it. I have thought of doing what you are doing, thanks for doing it. My question is what did you do to prepare for the interview? What kinda questions should I expect? and any other tips you can give me. Thank you in advance.
 

mommy2three

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Where did/do you live (as in apartment/house)? What about other med students with families? I'm like to get in to my state school because we have a house here, but I realize that might not happen. Hoping not to have to live in a two bedroom apartment for 4 years!
I live in our house which we bought before I entered med school. I had a one hour commute each way with traffic during the first two years and sometimes more while on clinicals.
First year I ended up getting a dorm room on campus and splitting time between there and home. Second year I shared an apartment off campus with a fellow non trad and did much the same thing.
While it is not ideal it can be done. And if you are looking at a long commute then I recommend using that drive time by listening to lectures, making audio flash cards etc.
With a family it is about making smart use of the time you do have so you can spend more time with them when you can