Trailblazer45

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1.5 months into MS1 and so far it's not too bad (expecting it will get more difficult). I'm in the top 5% of my class without straining myself too much. Is there anything that would be higher yield for me to focus on instead of just my classes? After all, they are just P/F with no internal ranking. I feel like its too early to start thinking about step 1 and I don't have enough knowledge to really study for it yet. I'm aiming for some specialties that happen to be more competitive. Definitely going to spend some time shadowing and pursue some research opportunities but other than that not sure what to do. Any suggestions would be helpful.
 
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exacto

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Jul 22, 2014
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First month in and I thought med school was all talk as I was top of class and not studying insane hours. Now im about 2 months in or so with new block and they turned up the heat. Still go out fridays and take entire day off Saturday, but it's not easy per se during the week. It will only get more time consuming...
 
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NickNaylor

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If you want to do some things that will be helpful for your career - i.e., CV boosters - then research is the obvious choice. It doesn't necessarily have to be research in a wet lab, and in fact clinical research or non-lab-based research is more likely to result in producibles that you can actually list on a CV than a traditional lab-based experience.

Otherwise, perhaps do some career enrichment activities - things like shadowing, exploring other aspects of medicine that you may not get to see, etc. - as the time will very quickly disappear once you get into the hospital. Or just use that time for yourself to keep you sane: maybe hobbies, getting into the gym if you aren't already, spending time with friends, etc..

Whatever you do, take advantage - that time will very quickly disappear and is unlikely to return for some time.
 

Hkhan

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This kid wow lol - stop being so arrogant and do something else with your time (research) for as long as you have it.
Post this in a year and we'll see.
Also, what was your MCAT/GPA (524/4.0)?
 

Perpetually Perplexed

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Research.

Shadow. Even if you think you know what you want to do, shadow to make sure. If you've already shadowed as a pre-med and think you know - shadowing as a medical student is usually different since you can actually do stuff. If you have no idea - then you really need to get started. Some specialties (like derm, neurosurgery, etc...) really like for you to have specialty-specific research, so it helps if you know you're interested early and can get started on some projects.

Can also work in free clinic - this will start building clinical skills to help you for third year. Plus, seeing things in real life helps you remember them, which will inevitably help during pre-clinicals.

Last - do whatever you like doing for fun. Staying sane is half the battle in medical school. You might think you're immune to stress, but I've witnessed some of the most intelligent, hard-working, and seemingly "put together" people in my class crash and burn due to burnout/depression/stress/anxiety/etc... It's important to spend some part of your day doing something that you genuinely enjoy - for most people this equates to doing something that doesn't boost the CV, but that's OK.
 

operaman

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First, keep doing whatever you're doing to stay at the top of your class. Even without internal ranking, everyone knows who the top people are and word spreads. Then there's also the matter of actually needing to know the things you're learning, which you will in one way or another. So keep up the good work.

Research is far and away the most valuable addition to your schedule. Publications are one of the few things from medical school that will still be on your CV in ten years, and they are very valuable for top residency positions. Ideally these would be specialty specific, but that's not always easy to do unless you already know where you're headed.

Shadowing is a great addition if you are still looking for a career path. Spend time in any field that interests you, especially ones that are outside the core clerkships you'll do. If you find one you like, that can help guide your research and other activities.

You're wise not wasting time on step studying right now, but do have an eye toward that horizon. For me that meant experimenting with various resources and seeing what worked and fit my style. Personally I liked Firecracker and made keeping up with the flash cards part of my routine. There are far more resources now, but if you can incorporate some sort of spaced repetition thing into your study to aid in long term retention of material, it can't hurt. From experience, I can tell you it's awfully comforting to take your pre-study nbme and break 250. Not everyone is so fortunate, but you sound like you may also be the sort of lucky sperm who is.

Above all, stay humble and realize most people are really struggling. This took me awhile to internalize. Your friendships and relationships with others are also one of the things that will carry forward with you, so remember that you are lucky and do what you can to help others around you.

When it's all said and done, you and all your classmates will have roughly the same base of knowledge regardless of how easy or difficult it was for each student. As July 1st interns you will all be equally inept. Yet we know it's more nuanced than that. I think the most gifted students have this rare opportunity to float through all those stages unscathed by the dehumanizing and demoralizing forces that tear down so many. If you happen to be one of those rare few, you really have a duty to become the sort of kind and compassionate physician that everyone else will wish they could be.
 

Dr.Jekyll75

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Oct 27, 2014
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research in the most confusing question of our time. what came first , the chicken or the egg ?
 

Gurby

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First, keep doing whatever you're doing to stay at the top of your class. Even without internal ranking, everyone knows who the top people are and word spreads. Then there's also the matter of actually needing to know the things you're learning, which you will in one way or another. So keep up the good work.

Research is far and away the most valuable addition to your schedule. Publications are one of the few things from medical school that will still be on your CV in ten years, and they are very valuable for top residency positions. Ideally these would be specialty specific, but that's not always easy to do unless you already know where you're headed.

Shadowing is a great addition if you are still looking for a career path. Spend time in any field that interests you, especially ones that are outside the core clerkships you'll do. If you find one you like, that can help guide your research and other activities.

You're wise not wasting time on step studying right now, but do have an eye toward that horizon. For me that meant experimenting with various resources and seeing what worked and fit my style. Personally I liked Firecracker and made keeping up with the flash cards part of my routine. There are far more resources now, but if you can incorporate some sort of spaced repetition thing into your study to aid in long term retention of material, it can't hurt. From experience, I can tell you it's awfully comforting to take your pre-study nbme and break 250. Not everyone is so fortunate, but you sound like you may also be the sort of lucky sperm who is.

Above all, stay humble and realize most people are really struggling. This took me awhile to internalize. Your friendships and relationships with others are also one of the things that will carry forward with you, so remember that you are lucky and do what you can to help others around you.

When it's all said and done, you and all your classmates will have roughly the same base of knowledge regardless of how easy or difficult it was for each student. As July 1st interns you will all be equally inept. Yet we know it's more nuanced than that. I think the most gifted students have this rare opportunity to float through all those stages unscathed by the dehumanizing and demoralizing forces that tear down so many. If you happen to be one of those rare few, you really have a duty to become the sort of kind and compassionate physician that everyone else will wish they could be.
 

Aerus

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The material does become more difficult. The first 2 months are usually easier than lower division classes in terms of complexity.
 
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libertyyne

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Winged Scapula

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This kid wow lol - stop being so arrogant and do something else with your time (research) for as long as you have it.
Post this in a year and we'll see.
Also, what was your MCAT/GPA (524/4.0)?
Arrogance is a self-admitted high school sophomore offering advice on such topics.
 

IslandStyle808

Akuma residency or bust!
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How do you know you are in the top 5% after 1.5 months? Something ain't right with this story...
ftfy

You can have internal ranking at a pass fail school. My home state's school does this. However, the 1.5 months does raise an eye brow.
 

croak2

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If you don't know what to do with your time, consider this: It will pass quickly. Ten, twenty, thirty years will go by in a blink of an eye. Youth will evaporate, and at some point you'll wonder why you didn't do the things you thought you would—Do those things, and then reflect on your accomplishments. There is never going to be a shortage of people doing basic science research—Know this, and you will become invaluable to peers and society.
 

Tozanzibarbymotorcar

2+ Year Member
May 28, 2017
298
184
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Medical Student
1.5 months into MS1 and so far it's not too bad (expecting it will get more difficult). I'm in the top 5% of my class without straining myself too much. Is there anything that would be higher yield for me to focus on instead of just my classes? After all, they are just P/F with no internal ranking. I feel like its too early to start thinking about step 1 and I don't have enough knowledge to really study for it yet. I'm aiming for some specialties that happen to be more competitive. Definitely going to spend some time shadowing and pursue some research opportunities but other than that not sure what to do. Any suggestions would be helpful.
Why not tutor the people who are struggling?
 

BehindBlueEyes

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Go volunteer in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter and do some good in the world rather than patting yourself on the back and telling an internet forum how swell you are.
 
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