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boards-studying WAY in advance...

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suds945

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Hey guys:

I'm an incoming D.O. student, and I've been considering some possible specializations into which I might go. As of right now, my goal is to pursue a residency in radiology (stemming from undergraduate imaging background and/or scientific interest) and probably an academic fellowship in interventional radiology, assuming I'm not too burned-out. I know that, as a D.O. student, I will need, among other things, out-of-this-world board scores to get both of these, but I chose to go D.O. because I like the philosophy and idealism behind it (and OMM seems pretty sweet to me).

Anyway, getting to the point, I've been reading a bunch of threads about COMLEX/USMLE on SDN, and people who have taken these exams keep saying that you should study well in advance...I'm constantly reading statements like "make sure that you learn everything really well the first time through to make studying for boards easier". So, how does one go about doing this? Should I be reading the ever-popular First Aid for the USMLE from the get-go? Do I use this book to supplement my studying for exams in medical school?

Wow, I just re-read this post...I'm not even in med school yet and I already sound like a gunner...yeesh. Sorry, I'm not usually like this, but for the first time in a while, I think I see something I want and I just want to know what I have to do in order to get it, that's all.

Thanks in advance for responses.
 

cardiotonic

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suds945 said:
Hey guys:

I'm an incoming D.O. student, and I've been considering some possible specializations into which I might go. As of right now, my goal is to pursue a residency in radiology (stemming from undergraduate imaging background and/or scientific interest) and probably an academic fellowship in interventional radiology, assuming I'm not too burned-out. I know that, as a D.O. student, I will need, among other things, out-of-this-world board scores to get both of these, but I chose to go D.O. because I like the philosophy and idealism behind it (and OMM seems pretty sweet to me).

Anyway, getting to the point, I've been reading a bunch of threads about COMLEX/USMLE on SDN, and people who have taken these exams keep saying that you should study well in advance...I'm constantly reading statements like "make sure that you learn everything really well the first time through to make studying for boards easier". So, how does one go about doing this? Should I be reading the ever-popular First Aid for the USMLE from the get-go? Do I use this book to supplement my studying for exams in medical school?

Wow, I just re-read this post...I'm not even in med school yet and I already sound like a gunner...yeesh. Sorry, I'm not usually like this, but for the first time in a while, I think I see something I want and I just want to know what I have to do in order to get it, that's all.

Thanks in advance for responses.
Hey I like your attitude! But, keep in mind that a lot of students come in to medical school gunning for the most competitive/highly respected specialties and get knocked down to primary care docs after the first semester. Not that there is anything wrong with becoming a primary care physician, but just keep in mind that this could happen. I would also like to say that it seems like you have a good head on your shoulders and have a fairly decent idea of what lies ahead of you (I didn't know what First Aid was until second semester).
Anyway, getting to the point....as for studying in medical school...everyone has a different method (some are visual, some need paragraphs and context clues, some need to write things down, some need to work in groups...etc). Most likely, you will abandon most of the books that you thought you would need, and stick to the powerpoints and "testible material". Anything you can do to cut down on time, you will most likely resort to (including canned soup, driving an 1/8 mi. to school, and 5 hrs of sleep when you need 8). However, you always want to keep the boards in mind, since this counts for a lot more than GPA. So in my opinion, looking over your first aid book (or primary study source for the boards) and becoming familiar with what is in it and annotating as you go along is a good idea for the first year. Again...just skim it to get an idea of what is in it, and to maybe pick up something that sticks (or write something in it that sticks)... like a mneumonic or two.

Lastly..."I think I see something I want and I just want to know what I have to do in order to get it, that's all." ...There is nothing wrong with that.

Good luck,
 

biodork444

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I just took the comlex today. My advice is to get the first aid for first year and supplement with it, I read it 4 times before my boards and really felt like it helped me.However, I would read some other books too. Like all through first and second year I was reading some more detailed review type books- like lange's pathophysiology and I also read Robbins (not a review book, a big path book that I also used for pictures when reviewing for my boards) for every class- the reading the books part took a lot of discipline especially when you a stressed and exams are coming up and the questions are probably going to come from the lectures, but all of this stuff really helped me. For Omm, there is a green book called OMT Review, the author is Saverse or something spelled like that and get that book, love it, read it, it is really everything you need to know for omm for the boards. Plus, it is like 140 pages, you can read it in like a day or less, I read it twice over in the last 2 weeks before my exam. However, do not get so obsessed with boards before starting that you do not take the time to do anything else- know when enough is enough- that was probably the most difficult part of the first two years for me- learning to balance everything- learn your threshold and don't push yourself too far past it- medical school is tough, don't put too much pressure on yourself, but it is good to aim high. Alot of people end up changing their minds about what they want to do in the first two years and probably in third year too- a lot in third year, i'm sure.
i dunno just my 2 cents- i can't believe my boards are over- i am so wired, i can't even sleep- like a 9 hour test and I am on here writing about it at 4:30 am- this is what med school does to you (or me anyway)- get ready and good luck.
 

Fin-Nor

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i dont think studying way in advance will help you much due to the fact that you probably won't retain it.

If you do feel compelled to study in advance, maybe 6 months prior to taking the exam will be helpful.

as for first aid book, its a good book with high yield stuff, but should not be the primary source of all your facts. It's assuming that you understand all concepts of each topic and should be used as a quick review.

idk, that's my take on it. so my advice, no need to study way in advance.
 

EastCoaster78

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Fin-Nor said:
i dont think studying way in advance will help you much due to the fact that you probably won't retain it.

If you do feel compelled to study in advance, maybe 6 months prior to taking the exam will be helpful.

as for first aid book, its a good book with high yield stuff, but should not be the primary source of all your facts. It's assuming that you understand all concepts of each topic and should be used as a quick review.

idk, that's my take on it. so my advice, no need to study way in advance.

While on the subject,
For the summer, Ive basically embarked on a 2 month quick review of 1st year just to make board review a bit easier on myself come next spring. I mean I'm just chilling by the pool reading this stuff or going through it on the down time in the research lab im working in for the summer. I made all A's first year and I'm prob looking to go into ortho assuming I can maintain my performance next year and come board time. The way I see it when you go slowly through it system by system in your curriculum you should read, go to lecture, study notes, try to get all the details in, and when you do a quick review like im doing now, mostly BRS books without all the details, it all comes back to you from memory.
 

USArmyDoc

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EastCoaster78 said:
While on the subject,
For the summer, Ive basically embarked on a 2 month quick review of 1st year just to make board review a bit easier on myself come next spring. I mean I'm just chilling by the pool reading this stuff or going through it on the down time in the research lab im working in for the summer. I made all A's first year and I'm prob looking to go into ortho assuming I can maintain my performance next year and come board time. The way I see it when you go slowly through it system by system in your curriculum you should read, go to lecture, study notes, try to get all the details in, and when you do a quick review like im doing now, mostly BRS books without all the details, it all comes back to you from memory.

Hey EastCoaster,

I am an incoming D.O. student as well. I am attending PCOM just like yourself. What would help me to make the first year a little easier on me? I have a health problem that brings on severe fatigue at time and if I could make it easier on myself even by minute amounts it would be great. Would First Aid assist me in that? Maybe I should get it and skim through it to get into the swing of things quicker? I am just throwing out some suggestions but I really don't know thats why I am asking. Thanks

P.S. If anyone has any ideas don't hesitate to respond. I only addressed EastCoaster because he/she attends the school I will be matriculating at.
 

HunterGatherer

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USArmyDoc said:
Hey EastCoaster,

I am an incoming D.O. student as well. I am attending PCOM just like yourself. What would help me to make the first year a little easier on me? I have a health problem that brings on severe fatigue at time and if I could make it easier on myself even by minute amounts it would be great. Would First Aid assist me in that? Maybe I should get it and skim through it to get into the swing of things quicker? I am just throwing out some suggestions but I really don't know thats why I am asking. Thanks

P.S. If anyone has any ideas don't hesitate to respond. I only addressed EastCoaster because he/she attends the school I will be matriculating at.

Are you taking any of those PCOM summer courses or trying to place out of anything?
 

EastCoaster78

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USArmyDoc said:
Hey EastCoaster,

I am an incoming D.O. student as well. I am attending PCOM just like yourself. What would help me to make the first year a little easier on me? I have a health problem that brings on severe fatigue at time and if I could make it easier on myself even by minute amounts it would be great. Would First Aid assist me in that? Maybe I should get it and skim through it to get into the swing of things quicker? I am just throwing out some suggestions but I really don't know thats why I am asking. Thanks

P.S. If anyone has any ideas don't hesitate to respond. I only addressed EastCoaster because he/she attends the school I will be matriculating at.

One thing that really helped me was being able to place out of histology lab. During orientation they hold a histology place out exam that basically counts as your grade for the histo practical portion of SPOM. The catch is you have to have previosly taking a histology course with a grade of B or higher and get at least an 80 on the exam. I felt pretty overwhelmed during the SPOM course 1st semester without having to take histo, and then I'd see others studying gross and having to deal with histo and I was like 'man that has to suck'

If you can place out, I highly recomend it.
 
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