Stinger86

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I know third year is much more time-intensive than second year, but can some of you who are or have recently been third year students tell me how much different the studying-aspect of that year is? I realize the studying is more focused, but do you feel like you're getting more out of it this time around, rather than just studying a buttload of information (both relevant and irrelevant) hoping it will help you pass a test?

I'm just about fed up with learning all these obscure drugs and their 30 side effects ("a good clue as to why they arent even used anymore, Dr. *****, PhD!!"), rather than focusing more on the common drugs and serious/common side effects.

ARGH +pissed+
 

Galaxian

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comparing second and third year are like comparing apples and oranges. Although, third year tends to build on the stuff you learned for the boards in second year, and most pimp questions are board style questions (i.e. if a patient is on coumadin, they will ask you what will happen to the INR if you treat them with antibiotics). As far as studying is concerned, you have to study for two things...you have to study up on your patients so you don't look like a ******* when you present them to attendings (that is, knowing all about their disease, the differential, the diagnostic criteria, the treatments, etc.), and you have to study for the shelf exam, which is more of the same boards type questions.
 

Vincristine

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I'm not sure that 3rd year is that much more time-intensive than 2nd year -- but maybe that's because so much of 3rd year stands between me and 2nd year.....

In terms of actual, sit down, read this book, and "learn something" studying -- I do much less of that in M3. This is because you are learning on the wards. You are learning as you work your way through your patients. And you are learning as you do questions in your "spare" time to prepare for the shelf.

The most time intensive part of M3 is being in the hospital itself -- for instance, sitting around on OB call (which I'm doing right now), vs needing to do lots of reading and memorizing pharmacology and pathology. You might need to know obscure drugs and their 30 side effects, but only if your attending is an arse. It's much more important to know major drugs, major classes of drug, and major side effects. It's also important to know the drugs your patient is on, how they work, and what you need to keep in mind, but that you'll undoubtedly have to look up again and again. If you are studying obscure drugs because you have a reasonable clue they will be on your school's exam, then keep studying. If however, you are trying to prepare for real life or step 1, take a look at First Aid for Step 1 for a general idea of what's important. You'll be in for a big surprise.
 
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Stinger86

Intern year? Ha!
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Thanks guys, this is all good news. I'm all for speeding up time, taking the boards, and moving into the hospital.
 

yaah

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Yeah, I think I spent most of my third year "studying" time reviewing things that I had seen and had questions about. I also spent time studying for the tests, but usually I didn't do much of that until the last week, and I studied almost exclusively for these things with review books and practice questions (completely opposite from how I studied 1-2 years).

But surgery rotation, e.g., not much studying time. Arrive hospital 4:30-5am, leave 5-7pm, eat dinner and go to bed soon thereafter. There are innumerable things to review during third year and fourth year. A lot of it involves treatment algorithms, rationales, etc which you don't get much of the first two years. Making a differential diagnosis and narrowing that down is another key. Which tests to order, how to interpret them, all that.

My days the first two years: Class 8am-1pm, then leave, do nothing the rest of the day. Study a little in the evenings. MUCH more free time. I tend to have a different way of studying though that works for me but not others. I never have used a highlighter, for example. And I actually went to class and paid attention.

Good luck! ENjoy the rest of your preclinical years because 3rd year is quite a grind. Just when you start to get comfortable on a rotation or service, you leave and start another one. And you are in the hospital, as someone else said, a lot. It's like having a job where you don't really have an assigned task and don't get paid either, but you have to be there all the time. You do perform a useful service to many residents and attendings but for the most part you also tend to slow them down. But you get to have experiences that you will never have again. I wouldn't trade my third year experience but I also wouldn't want to do it again, if that makes sense.

4th year, on the other hand, is nice but a lot of it is useless. Some people like having all this free time. For me, I just want to be done with it and move on already. I am glad to be doing some of my 4th year rotations but not all. 4th year should end at the end of december and residency should start sooner. An extra year (4th year) is pretty pointless except for the extra vacations.

And by the way, Dr ***** probably spent 7 years getting that PHD and learning about the p53 metabolism of cimetidine, just so that he could teach it to you ungrateful kids! ;)
 

Kosmo

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Good posts here, just wanted to add my $0.02...

In terms of studying, 2nd year is WAY more intense (assuming a traditional curriculum.) I consider the 2nd year of medical school to be the most intensive studying I've ever done throughout my entire education, including my prep for step 1.
3rd year is all about the hospitals, that's where your time is spent; and ultimately you probably spend more time there total than studying in 2nd year. But make no mistake, 3rd year is SOOO much better than 2nd year. You still have to study, but it's different. It's more like finding a spare hour to read a chapter or 2 at night or during downtime at the hospital (yes, there IS downtime.) If you're like me, you'll have to learn a lot of the stuff from 2nd year again anyway, but it is easier the 2nd time around.
I remember--one week before step 1--thinking that if I won the lottery I'd cancel my exam and drop out right then. Now, well, now I'd have more considering to do. ;-)
 

yaah

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Originally posted by Leforte
p53 is a tumor supressor gene...

Cimetidine is metabolized by CYP 3A4....

Add 2 more things to the list of things needed to review!
Hey, maybe Dr ***** was just really misguided and confused!

D'oh! I know that actually. I have no idea where that came from. I was actually thinking I was writing 3A4 but had a pathology presentation on my mind and p53 just popped in there. Believe me, I know way too much about p53 and that it has nothing to do with drug metabolism. I won't go back and correct it though, my embarrassment immortalized for all to see.

Count me among the many who really didn't find second year that intense. If you stay on top of it, not so bad. I found third year, in particular the first few days of each rotation, the toughest parts of med school.
 

dakotaman

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Originally posted by yaah

Count me among the many who really didn't find second year that intense. If you stay on top of it, not so bad. I found third year, in particular the first few days of each rotation, the toughest parts of med school.

Why was it so tough for you? Are you kinda "thrown into" your 3rd year rotations?

The thought actually bugs me a little bit...I hope I know what I'm doing or know what to do by the time I'm a 3rd year.
 

Seaglass

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The thought actually bugs me a little bit...I hope I know what I'm doing or know what to do by the time I'm a 3rd year.

That's the point of 3rd year--to learn what to do. No one starts 3rd year knowing what to do (except maybe former PA's).

C
 
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