sholly

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Do you recommend reading upon any subject before entering the first year?...should i start memorizing anything now?
 

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no. it wouldn't be good use of your time & won't benefit you much, if any, once school gets going. use the time between now & school starting to enjoy yourself. :)
 

STAC

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Originally posted by DrMom
no. it wouldn't be good use of your time & won't benefit you much, if any, once school gets going. use the time between now & school starting to enjoy yourself. :)

Seriously! Why does everyone say that same thing?!
 
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Originally posted by DrMom
no. it wouldn't be good use of your time & won't benefit you much, if any, once school gets going. use the time between now & school starting to enjoy yourself. :)

Agreed.

I didn't study anything before I started school, and I ended up doing just fine (as a matter of fact, my first semester was my best one of my first two years). Once school starts you have very little free time, so enjoy the free time you have now!
 

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Originally posted by DOtobe
Agreed.

I didn't study anything before I started school, and I ended up doing just fine (as a matter of fact, my first semester was my best one of my first two years). Once school starts you have very little free time, so enjoy the free time you have now!

But what if you don't want to do "just fine". I'm not concerned with "just fine" nor do I think are most of the people that ask this question. Not to be rude, but "just fine" sounds like the middle of the class. (I know...here come the flames!!! And I know I don't know anything to be upfront.)

What if you are considering the long term goals of a competitive specialty? Is there anything one can do with those goals in mind during the six months before school starts?
 

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Originally posted by STAC
But what if you don't want to do "just fine". I'm not concerned with "just fine" nor do I think are most of the people that ask this question. Not to be rude, but "just fine" sounds like the middle of the class. (I know...here come the flames!!! And I know I don't know anything to be upfront.)


Studying in advance will not help you perform better. That is why I don't recommend spending time doing it. You will be spending the rest of your life studying (and intensely doing so for the next 7+ years). Go have fun instead. :)
 

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Originally posted by DrMom
Studying in advance will not help you perform better. That is why I don't recommend spending time doing it. You will be spending the rest of your life studying (and intensely doing so for the next 7+ years). Go have fun instead. :)

I guess that it sounds so counter intuitive and it makes that mantra difficult to accept.

Thanks though!
 

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If you want to do something, do some shadowing or hospital volunteering. Get a feel for some different specialities that you may be interested in.

Check with your school & see if there are any research opportunities.

Just don't try to study. :)
 

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Originally posted by DrMom
If you want to do something, do some shadowing or hospital volunteering. Get a feel for some different specialities that you may be interested in.

Check with your school & see if there are any research opportunities.

Just don't try to study. :)

Good idea...I did think of shadowing an opthamologist this summer....hmm!!! Thanks for the help Mom!
 

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Or, If you are really a gunner -

If you want to set the world on fire, and are ready to ace your classes, then get started. I've posted before saying that people should study the arts or literature in their last year of school, instead of taking advanced science courses. I still believe this, because you will not have the chance to study non-medical subjects for many years to come, and what you need to know is taught in class. That said, if you are bored, and what a jump start on school - do it.

Contact your school. Find out what books they use. Anatomy and Biochem are filled to capacity with material that is simply memorized facts. Master the basics, and be ahead of the curve in the classes, instead of trying to cram them in the day before the test. If you don't you'll do "just fine" - meaning you just might be the best in the class. If you do, then life just might be a bit easier once it starts, and you might learn a little bit more if you are not having to stumble over the details. Doing volunteer work is part of most people's resume, but if it is anything like my volunteer experience, you will not be any more prepared for the first day of school having done it. I spent time in a busy ER. Pushed people to radiology, changed linnens, watched a number of procedures, and tried to stay out of the way. Looking back, I probably should have spent some time learning the brachial plexus - little thing that causes anxiety in many people, but is really quite fun and simple if you can master it.
 

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I don't think studying before school will do anything for you.

The material in med school is going to fly at you so fast that what you spent a month on before school started will probably be covered in a few hours' worth of lecturing. Not to mention you will have forgotten most of it.

It's just not efficient.
 
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STAC,

If you are truly busting a gut to do some studying, let me know and I will e-mail you some lecture powerpoints. Do NOT read--you will get caught up in non-testable details and will likely end up focusing on things that are not stressed in lectures. I do my reading now but it is mostly after lecture, and just to reinforce and clarify what's in the powerpoints (you remember my little exchange with PACtoDOC? :) ) Plus--how much of the reading you do now do you think you will actually retain? If you have a photographic memory, go for it--otherwise, don't bother.

I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but you must rest your poor brain now because it is going to be smoking for the next 7-10 years, and then on into your career. This truly is a marathon--not a sprint--and you need to conserve your mental energy.

There are books out there on effective studying, increasing your memory, etc. Some of those might be worthwhile.
 

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You know, everyone keeps going on and on about not studying before med school, and I have to say that I totally disagree with this train of thought.
I am a MSII and I know that there are a few areas that I wished I would have had the time to look over before starting school. Not to make me the A student, but to introduce me to the concepts. When you start school you will be in a class with varying backgrounds including but not limited to Nursing, EMT's, Pharmacists, and other health care professions. There were many times where I felt behind simply because "I didn't know what that lab value stood for or what it measured", or "introducing myself to the language of EKG's", understanding basic medical terminology, or even basic anatomy. I had a heavy science background so I felt where I lacked in medicine I made up for it in biochem, genetics, etc., but looking back I really wished someone would have told me to pick up a basic anatomy book, or basic lab value book, or immunology (my weakest subject). Luckily I had a great undergrad physiology class, but several of my classmates had to struggle with basic physiology concepts for the first time. So no, I do not think you should totally slack off before med school. There is no reason to be a gunner about it, but at least introduce yourself to the concepts a month or two in advance. You are already investing 7-10 years, why not invest a couple more months of basic review.
 

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OK, first let me say that whatever you do, just make it with some purpose. Don't just sit around watching TV. That will only prepare you to be lazy in med school. Some habits are hard to break. If you choose the "go have fun" route, then go to Mardi Gras, go to South Padre (I see you are in San Antonio), i.e. have as much fun as humanly possible. If you decide the study liberal arts path, begin enriching your life now. Build a solid spiritual/emotional base, broaden your perspective on life. One of the things I miss most about being in med school is time of reflection/prayer that often gets lost in the hectic pace. If you choose the study ahead route (I think this is a perfectly good idea), I would study things from the first year that will interest you. For example, learn how to read EKGs and learn the leads, or learn what happens to your body when you are having an MI, or learn all the physiological issues associated with diabetes. These are the kinds of things you will actually retain when you start your first year. In my opinion, learning all the origins and insertions will only be an exercise in futility, because one month later you will forget them. That sort of studying ahead you can do maybe after cell science is over, the weekend before we start musculoskeletal. But, learning interesting things about the actual practice of medicine (which I assume you have some passion for) will benefit you during first year because it will give you some context in which to understand all the physiology, besides you will pick up alot of the physio if you learn the clinically relevant info. Good luck, are you going to TCOM?
 

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PS- if (and only if) you are interested in manip you may want to start learning some of the stuff for 1st year. It is readily accessible on the website (if you are going to TCOM) and it is the kinda stuff you won't forget. Manip is not hard, however, I can't tell you how many times before we had an anatomy practical, with an OMM, clin med, physio written test I have thought how much better my life would be without manip. However, if you are not interested in manip, just wait till first year, you'll get more than you ever wanted then.
 

STAC

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I don't know where to start...

OMM practicals should be OK for me, I think. I am a massage therapist and this is how I paid for school when I was getting my second degree. I am very comfortable in that area.

As far as liberal arts education I feel very comfortable in that area also. But, I will try to see the museums in FortWorth BEFORE school starts! And we are watching as many movies as humanly possible before we move!

My wife and I are church goers and we are planning on going on a couple of retreats together in the next few months. We'll continue going on medical mission trips to the border towns, and then we are planning a trip to Big Bend, New Mexico and Colorado in May. Through bible study groups and reading material I feel that I continue to grow in my foundation of faith. However, since we are involved with the CMDA here in SA we are a little concerned about finding a like minded group of students in FW which I'm sure that we eventually will.

I was hoping that SJ could pass on the material from 1st year. I know that this would help me tremendously as I have been out of the classroom going on two years. Maybe that is why I am crunching at the bit. Plus, it is important to ME to push myself to the level of the top students in the class. Not that I am trying to beat anyone down but because I love challenging myself to find out what I am capable of doing. If I find that there is nothing I can do to compete with the "freaks" in the class, then I will accept that and do the best that I can possibly do.

I have a friend that is a MS4 here in SA that is waiting for the Match next month. He has commented that looking back over his time in school, at this point he is now kicking himself for not pushing himself harder in his studies. Which is affecting him and his family and where he'll live and what type of physician he will become. I can't imagine the pain someone would feel after going through med school for four years to realize that you will not be able to go into the area of medicine that you love. I know that it is more than that when getting selected to a residency but, I would imagine that everyone wants to have the options to be able to control ones destiny in a sense.

So, if there is a way to help all of this come together in the end then I think those avenues are worth exploring.

Thanks for all of the feedback from y'all!!! It does help tremendously!!! Really. Thank you.
 

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I can definitely understand about being kind of on edge because you haven't been in class for two years. I had a year off between med school and when I graduated from college, and I thought I would never get myself motivated enough. But the motivation comes right away when you start school! You seem really motivated already, so I'm sure you'll do great.

And if you really want to study (something other than sophiejane's stuff), I wish I had known more anatomy before school started (I didn't have anatomy in college). So maybe you could get a board review type book, like BRS or High Yield, for anatomy (or any other subject you feel you may be weak in).

Good luck! :)
 

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STAC - sophiejane almost hit the nail on the head but was off by a little...

What LECOM has taught me is that the winner of the spoils goes to those who can figure out which 3 slides out of 100 slides are going to be on the exam and NOT about how much you learn overall or even come away with. Right now I'm extremely bitter and cynical with the examination systems in medical school. If by good chance you miss a small small point on slide 67 but managed the other 2 questions per that lecture hour, even though you know 80 or 90% of the material really well, your knowledge is corresponded to 66% just by missing that one fact. THEREFORE, if you have no way of knowing exactly what professors want, don't waste your time and your summer trying to get ahead.

If you REALLY want to do yourself a favor, do the following:

1.) make sure your spouse TOTALLY understands what you are doing- that she understands your time with her will be EXTREMELY limited and while she is still your top priority that the well-being of you both is dependent on study time and typically this translates into time away from her. I know many students here who did not do this and their relationship was stressed to the max because of unreasonable time expectations by the non-medical student spouse.

2.) READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ, books, for fun, for learning, for anything. Just read. The best students I know and have ever known are EXCELLENT readers and believe me you will be doing a lot of it.

3.) Learn EXACTLY what it takes to unwind. There's a good chance you will be under a lot of stresses over the change in lifestyle and without an "out" or way to relax/unwind/understanding of yourself you will crumble as most do under the intensity and inability to unload that stress

4.) Smile, you're the best of the best- practice humility, kindness and generosity as much as possible. 50% of being a great physician is being a great person.

GOOD LUCK
 

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Thanks for the ideas.

There is a ER doc that I am around quite a bit and he has followed my progress through the application process and the TX Match. He said a funny thing that has stuck with me.

"Getting in is the toughest part...you are so GEEKED UP because you are in that you just keep going when you are in school and it all works out fine."

I have been using the phrase "GEEKED UP" ever since!!!

Because of my RMT background ect. I feel anatomy will be fine.

hopefully...
 

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Originally posted by H0mersimps0n
STAC - sophiejane almost hit the nail on the head but was off by a little...

What LECOM has taught me is that the winner of the spoils goes to those who can figure out which 3 slides out of 100 slides are going to be on the exam and NOT about how much you learn overall or even come away with. Right now I'm extremely bitter and cynical with the examination systems in medical school. If by good chance you miss a small small point on slide 67 but managed the other 2 questions per that lecture hour, even though you know 80 or 90% of the material really well, your knowledge is corresponded to 66% just by missing that one fact.

If you REALLY want to do yourself a favor, do the following:

1.) make sure your spouse TOTALLY understands what you are doing- that she understands your time with her will be EXTREMELY limited and while she is still your top priority that the well-being of you both is dependent on study time and typically this translates into time away from her. I know many students here who did not do this and their relationship was stressed to the max because of unreasonable time expectations by the non-medical student spouse.

2.) READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ, books, for fun, for learning, for anything. Just read. The best students I know and have ever known are EXCELLENT readers and believe me you will be doing a lot of it.

3.) Learn EXACTLY what it takes to unwind. There's a good chance you will be under a lot of stresses over the change in lifestyle and without an "out" or way to relax/unwind/understanding of yourself you will crumble as most do under the intensity and inability to unload that stress

4.) Smile, you're the best of the best- practice humility, kindness and generosity as much as possible. 50% of being a great physician is being a great person.

GOOD LUCK

These are great suggestions! My father in law is a doc, but I still wonder at times if she really understands the time constraints I'll have. We have been married for just over a year and have known each other about two years now, so we haven't had the luxury of tons of time together. So yes... this is a concern.

Reading is something I have been trying to get a better handle on and I have tried to get info from MStudents as to whether or not hey thought that there are quality speed reading programs out there and how to develop this skill.

Unwinding is something I need to work on...
We bought an older cool house six months after getting married (not a good idea for newlyweds!) Now all of our free time is spent on the house and getting it ready to lease while we are gone for four years. Getting it just right the way we like it so someone else can move in...

Knowing myself better is one of the reasons I am wanting advice from y'all. I am trying to move in the direction of medicine that will best match my personality and so that I can be a happy person/physician when working with people.

Thanks again!!!
 

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Wow, thanks for all of the advice and info everyone! I do have a couple of questions for the med students already attending TCOM .. I am interested in specializing in orthopedic surgery, so would it be wise to shadow a surgeon or two now while I still have the spare time? Already thinking ahead to the rec letters I will be needing for residency... couldn't hurt, right? Also, would anyone happen to know some ortho surgeons that would be willing to let me shadow them?? I work on campus already, and I don't have a problem with approaching anybody regarding this -- I just need a little direction, that's all!!

Thanks!
 
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Your letters of recommendation will come largely from the physicians you rotate with in years 3 and 4. I am not aware of anyone who has requested a LOR from a doctor they shadowed before starting medical school.

Very true about divining what is going to be on a test. I started off being really bad at that, but because I studied hard, I did okay. Now I am finding that I more easily know what to focus on (actually our profs are getting quite good about that--many times they will just say "You need to know this slide" but sometimes they'll just repeat a sentence, or raise their voice a little). You learn to pick up on cues. Now the challenge for me is to not freak out on tests, and learn how to categorize what I know for easy recall--for me that means lots of little diagrams and mnemonics. Luck has a fair amount to do with it, as does your aptitude at choosing the MOST correct answer out of two that could both be quite feasably correct (most people get pretty good at eliminating the one or two obviously wrong answers).

STAC, I will try to e-mail you a few powerpoints from Cell Science---your first course. They may be really big files and might not transfer well but I'll give it a shot. Some of them may not make a lot of sense without having gone to lecture or reading, but it might make you feel a little more calm once you see that this stuff is not rocket science, it's just massive amounts of information.
 

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There are a few RMTs in our class. They are good at soft tissue, but OMT is much more than soft tissue and is a different beast altogether. Other than soft tissue, they seem to have the same difficulties as the rest of us.
 

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Originally posted by STAC
OMM practicals should be OK for me, I think. I am a massage therapist and this is how I paid for school when I was getting my second degree. I am very comfortable in that area.

not to burst your bubble or anything, but unless i am way off base i don't think massage school teaches anything like OMM. you aren't going to be just massaging people-- you'll be diagnosing somatic dysfuntions. treatment, at least for me, was the easy part.
 

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If you absolutly need to study something before your first semester my advice is to only concentrate on two areas:

1. the names of cranial nerves I-XII. yes it's very simplistic but you'll use the info over & over. there are some good mnemonics out there also

2. the concepts of GSE, GVE, GSA, GVA, GVE, GVEp etc..... The autonimics got a lot of people bogged down during gross.

when you're done with those two reading assignments relax and wait for the real fun. Good luck
 

STAC

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Originally posted by Homunculus
not to burst your bubble or anything, but unless i am way off base i don't think massage school teaches anything like OMM. you aren't going to be just massaging people-- you'll be diagnosing somatic dysfuntions. treatment, at least for me, was the easy part.

Not busted...I know I am ready for this. Massage isn't just about soft tissue manipulation, but I'm also not talking about what someone learns in MT school. I have years of experience and have worked with professional athletes and those dying of AIDS. Sorry, but I don't think anyone other than chiro's. pt's and ot's will have more experience. Yeah maybe I gotta big head about this but I think it is one of those gifts/talents I have worked hard to develop. I see OMM as refining what is already there.
 

Homunculus

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Originally posted by STAC
Not busted...I know I am ready for this. Massage isn't just about soft tissue manipulation, but I'm also not talking about what someone learns in MT school. I have years of experience and have worked with professional athletes and those dying of AIDS. Sorry, but I don't think anyone other than chiro's. pt's and ot's will have more experience. Yeah maybe I gotta big head about this but I think it is one of those gifts/talents I have worked hard to develop. I see OMM as refining what is already there.

like i said, unless you were *diagnosing* dysfunctions your gifts/talents aren't going to be that much of a help. it's like saying you'd be a great golfer because you can hit the driver well on the range. until you get on the course and learn the rules of the game, club selection and course management, yeah, you'll start off better than a novice but it's not going to be as easy transition. i'm not trying to convince you of anything, jsut giving you a heads up. you'll find out soon enough when you get there.
 

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Okay...whatever. I still disagree with you and its a no brainer that I will see for myself. Wonderful insight!
I am glad you know me so well.
 

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That's cool. I knew I shouldn't have mentioned it in the first place...

I know you are trying to help and giving a heads up about what to expect as a DO student. I appreciate that very much. Sorry for sounding like an a**.
 

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STAC,

Your palpation skills may well be better developed through your work with massage, as well as your confidence in simply putting your hands on people.

What I think Homonculus was getting at was that the way an osteopath diagnoses somatic dysfunction has a lot to do with specific osteopathic theoretical teachings like...neutral/non-neutral mechanics and what happens to the spinal vertebrae in three planes of motion when you are forward bending or backward bending, oblique angles of the sacrum, the walking cycle, etc....You are going to be thinking about body mechanics in a very specific way that as far as I know is pretty unique. Palpatory skills are very important--you are just going to be applying them to diagnose in a very specific way.

I'm sure you'll catch on quickly if you have the desire--seems like the people who don't do so well in OMM are those who don't really care about it in the first place and don't bother to understand it.
 

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STAC,
Im with you....Homunculus is wrong....Im sure youll have a leg up on most...and OMM is not really that difficult anyway. Pretty easy for those of us with experience in manual therapy....and I only had my ATC. I wouldnt worry too much about it. Most of it is the same thing as stuff you have done or heard of....just different names. Similar aspect I ran into as an athletic trainer. You will also be better prepared for COMLEX I....OMM/Anatomy comprises at least 30% of the test. With your background, youll easily pass the test.
I personally believe that people should not study anything of medicine after theyve been accepted/before they start school. Im glad I did some travelling. I would recommend it. Learn something else....art, learn a musical instrument (I tried to learn the harmonica....something I could take with me and play while bored on rotations:) ) Learn a foreign language....anything. Stay away from the other stuff. There is plenty of time to learn medical crap....youll be stuffing your head full of it for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!!!!!!
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