dushash

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I'm on my 1st quarter (MS1). First 2 weeks were tough. It was stressful because we didn't know what to expect on exams. Now it's been a month and it appears as if things settled down a bit. We had anatomy exam and pretty much everyone knows what to expect in future at least to some degree (or maybe it seems like that to us naive MS1'ers).
So I've been noticing that I'm unintentionally trying to limit study time and spent some more time with my family. It's almost like I'm subconsciously studying just enough to get ok-ish grades. I feel a bit guilt, but also feel that this way my life is much more balanced since I can spent more time with my family/kids.
I'm studying roughly 4 hours besides attending lectures/labs and getting average results like 85-90% (B+) and I'm ok with that. Not a gunner. That leaves me with 3-4 hours everyday of free time, which I adore as it makes me feel like I have my life back. However, I was just wondering if I should maybe rethink and put more effort into study? I'm just not sure how much your grades matter really? AFAIK residencies don't look into your file more than Step scores. Besides I'm not aiming to any super-competitive residency. I feel like for me it's like 80/20 rule, to get last 20% I'll have to try a lot harder and basically spend all my time studying. I'm not sure if it's worth it. I may be wrong. That's why I'm asking you guys, what is a "normal" line I should stick to? Should I change anything?
 

Brorthopedic

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If you're not aiming for a super competitive specialty, don't stress it. Hit your Bs and you'll be fine. Hell, even if you are aiming for a competitive specialty, you don't really need to buckle down until the beginning of M2 year. Just focus on understanding and solidifying physiological concepts for now.
 
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wxman393

I'm a second year and we have many similarities. I spend a majority of my free time with my wife and kids. I don't do much studying at home or outside of class. Maybe 1-2 hours during the work week and usually only 3-4 hours on the weekends. Started board prep last month with Kaplan, Osmosis and UWorld. I value my family time and I am not aiming for anything super competitive.

In my opinion, residency only lasts a few years but your family is with you for life. They got me where I am today (through many deployments) and they continue to enable me to get good grades because of the school/life balance.

You will most likely hear from some that your primary focus should be on getting good grades and crushing boards in order to provide for your family in the future. However, if I alienate my family in the process, it wouldn't be worth it.

Edit: spelling




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Mosonik

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You will sacrifice a lot on this pathway to becoming the physician you dreamed about... you know this coming in but family and loved ones shouldn't be one of those sacrifices. Don't let professors and insecure classmates pressure your priorities, relationships are pivotal to your health and to the quality of care you will provide to your future patients. The specifics of your multiple choice exam grades in didactics won't. Keep in mind there is a reason why some of the most "prestigious" medical schools are P/F. There is a growing recognition that the letter grade system is obsolete for graduate/professional levels... but that's a discussion for another day. I think you are on the right track. Work as hard as you can with the most time you have but don't neglect those around you. Figuring out that balance is a process, give yourself grace in doing so.
 

AlbinoHawk DO

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If you're passing your classes, that's all that matters. You might want to adjust 2nd year around October when you should start introducing board-prep into your study schedule. Until then, do enough to do well academically and family-wise.
 
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Mr Roboto

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Keep in mind that late next fall you're going to be studying for boards on top of studying for classes. If you're doing just enough to pass now, you'll either need to become more productive in your studying or increase your total time spent studying next year to avoid dropping below the just passing level.
 
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Drrrrrr. Celty

Osteo Dullahan
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I'm a second year and we have many similarities. I spend a majority of my free time with my wife and kids. I don't do much studying at home or outside of class. Maybe 1-2 hours during the work week and usually only 3-4 hours on the weekends. Started board prep last month with Kaplan, Osmosis and UWorld. I value my family time and I am not aiming for anything super competitive.

In my opinion, residency only lasts a few years but your family is with you for life. They got me where I am today (through many deployments) and they continue to enable me to get good grades because of the school/life balance.

You will most likely hear from some that your primary focus should be on getting good grades and crushing boards in order to provide for your family in the future. However, if I alienate my family in the process, it wouldn't be worth it.

Edit: spelling




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If I studied two hours over the work week and 3-4 on the weekend I'd probably have failed out.
 
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Giovanotto

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What's the deal with extra-curriculars, are they important for residency placement? (I'm excluding research here). Should I be joining clubs and all?
 

IslandStyle808

Akuma residency or bust!
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What's the deal with extra-curriculars, are they important for residency placement? (I'm excluding research here). Should I be joining clubs and all?
Mostly no. It is only good if you are able to network with faculty of residency programs.
 
W

wxman393

If I studied two hours over the work week and 3-4 on the weekend I'd probably have failed out.
Everyone has a different study style. Just trying to show the OP that there are medical students out there that can be successful without studying all day and all night. It's the "old" adage of quality over quantity. I found a method that works for me and I've stuck with it since my first medical school exam. I am not saying the OP should adopt my techniques nor am I saying that everyone can get through medical school with minimal work. It's tough but you find what works best for you.
 

kenjixshadow

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If I studied two hours over the work week and 3-4 on the weekend I'd probably have failed out.
If I studied 2 hrs on days and 3-4 hrs on weekend, I'd have been a straight A student albeit I don't count watching lecture on double speed as studying.
Mostly no. It is only good if you are able to network with faculty of residency programs.
Which would make every club out there useless. Lots of DO clubs don't have any connection to outside of AOA programs, if even any.
What's the deal with extra-curriculars, are they important for residency placement? (I'm excluding research here). Should I be joining clubs and all?
Up to you, but like IS said, PDs don't care. If you're looking at a highly competitive specialty, you should not just do clinical research, but also try to get publications of the interest field. That is a much better use of your time instead of spending hours doing budget and go to useless meetings.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

Osteo Dullahan
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I think he said 2 hours a week. I.e in total, not 2 hours a day.

Honestly I do about 2 hours a day and maybe close to 4-6 a weekend. I'm not anywhere near an A student. But then again at KCU to be an A student you generally need to invest double the time I do.
 
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Drrrrrr. Celty

Osteo Dullahan
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Everyone has a different study style. Just trying to show the OP that there are medical students out there that can be successful without studying all day and all night. It's the "old" adage of quality over quantity. I found a method that works for me and I've stuck with it since my first medical school exam. I am not saying the OP should adopt my techniques nor am I saying that everyone can get through medical school with minimal work. It's tough but you find what works best for you.
I totally agree.
 
W

wxman393

I totally agree.
My bad...I re-read my post. I meant to say 1-2 hours per day outside of class (as we have mandatory attendance). Didn't mean to come off as saying I only put 1-2 hours of studying over the course of five days.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

Osteo Dullahan
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My bad...I re-read my post. I meant to say 1-2 hours per day outside of class (as we have mandatory attendance). Didn't mean to come off as saying I only put 1-2 hours of studying over the course of five days.
Oh, that's fine lol. That's about what probably most ppl do.

Mandatory attendance sounds awful tbh. When ever I attend class it has clear negative outcomes to my grade.
 

Goro

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Those are really good results and bode very well for the future. It's only for two years, but then comes a very different form of busy. It gets worse in residency. C'mon, you knew what you were getting into?



I'm studying roughly 4 hours besides attending lectures/labs and getting average results like 85-90% (B+) and I'm ok with that. Not a gunner. That leaves me with 3-4 hours everyday of free time, which I adore as it makes me feel like I have my life back. However, I was just wondering if I should maybe rethink and put more effort into study? I'm just not sure how much your grades matter really? AFAIK residencies don't look into your file more than Step scores. Besides I'm not aiming to any super-competitive residency. I feel like for me it's like 80/20 rule, to get last 20% I'll have to try a lot harder and basically spend all my time studying. I'm not sure if it's worth it. I may be wrong. That's why I'm asking you guys, what is a "normal" line I should stick to? Should I change anything?
 
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OP
dushash

dushash

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Those are really good results and bode very well for the future. It's only for two years, but then comes a very different form of busy. It gets worse in residency. C'mon, you knew what you were getting into?
I understand and agree. On the positive note residency at least will be paid and I'll be feeling like an "almost" doctor, and in addition I hope it will be more interesting (hands on) than sitting all day on a chair studying. So what I mean is there is some light in the tunnel when you are in residency (I can already feel how current residents are choking in laughter on how naive I am)
 

IslandStyle808

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If I studied 2 hours a day and 3-4 on weekends, I'd fail out (I have mandatory attendance also). Normal is more like 3-4 hours a day (my friends and I haven't quite reached that point yet).
 
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Azete

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Normal for me (M2), is 4 hours of study and 1 hour of board review -- this doesn't include lectures, but I do study Friday nights. On the weekend, I usually do a 12 hour Saturday and a very light Sunday (maybe 2-3 hours max).

It should be noted that I have high aspirations, and if I was merely looking to pass I think 2-3 hours a day with most of the weekend off would be sufficient. Despite being more material, you really do get better at it as time goes on.
 
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68PGunner

Everyone should study at least 10-12 hrs a day outside of lecture six days a week or gtfo. You need to be used to that grinding pace in order to be successful in life.
 
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OP
dushash

dushash

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Everyone should study at least 10-12 hrs a day outside of lecture six days a week or gtfo. You need to be used to that grinding pace in order to be successful in life.
haha, well at least you are probantes nomen tuum
 

Bea5T

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Everyone should study at least 10-12 hrs a day outside of lecture six days a week or gtfo. You need to be used to that grinding pace in order to be successful in life.
do u even gun bro?
 

JustPlainBill

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OP -- as I've posted elsewhere -- depends on what you really want -- you mentioned a family so I thought I'd comment ---- As I've posted elsewhere, for me, family is very important. I'd had a previous career and watched others work through holidays, anniversaries, etc. and it did nothing to spare them from the layoff axe when the hard times came. There were stories of colleagues who lost wives, homes, and then got hit with the layoff and wound up taking their own lives. At my last engineering position, we had a super-aggressive boss who pulled a schedule in tight and we hit some bumps in the road. He had no problem ordering us to keep the deadline of 2Jan by working through Christmas (usually the company closed up from 12/23 through the first Monday of the New Year unless it was NYD) -- being the nice guy that he was, he actually gave us Christmas Day off and let us come in during the afternoon on New Years Day rather than at 8AM -- As I walked out the door on 12/26, my then 4 year old son held onto me, crying "Daddy, please don't go to work again, please stay home with us"..... I cried all the way to work but it had to be done, times were hard for engineers at that point --- we delivered the product on Jan 2 but the test department didn't come get it for a week but our boss got to check off that it was done on time, so he looked good. 6 months later I was laid off, handed a 6 week severance check and given a box to pack up my office. Done.

I learned from those experiences that God and family are all you have. I was raised in a military family so the whole "unit" mentality was drilled into me. As long as I've got my family and we're together, we're good --- and I'm not willing to sacrifice that for anyone, especially for medicine. I have no delusions that I'm going to be the next DeBakey, Lister or whoever. Nor is getting into such a competitive specialty for a lot of $$$ important to me. For some of the younger studs, that may be their deal. For me, it's coming home to a wife and family that I love. Sure, we have our share of problems and we go through rough spots --- but I will walk away from medicine in a heartbeat and never look back.

Now, you need to consider how you want your life to look at the end of it all. Do you want to be surrounded by awards, certificates, recognition trophies from medical achievements, textbooks written, articles published and all of the accoutrements of fame in medicine or do you want to be surrounded by children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who love you and know you? Totally up to you and you should adjust your studying accordingly. In the end, how you interact with people is going to get you a lot farther down the road than anything else. Yes, you need to be competent. But I just had a really interesting clinic visit -- I'm suspecting a herniated disc but I just got to do the "Hokey-Pokey" with my patient in the exam room and we both laughed our heads off -- and I did it in FM with mediocre grades/board scores -- and I'm going home at a reasonable hour. Yes, I actually did the "Hokey-Pokey" as part of the exam to check mobility status and leg control. Not necessarily the most scientific method but it worked.

So, I've rambled enough -- take it from me --- nothing is worth your family -- they'll get you through the hard times and be in your corner long after everyone else has abandoned you......
 

IslandStyle808

Akuma residency or bust!
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Just make sure you all don't burn out by doing the whole 8+ hours and 14+ hours of studying thing. I have classmates doing this, but they are starting to mentally breakdown as a result. If you are disciplined, you don't need to be pulling those hours to at least be in the B range.
 
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