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daily study plan during 3rd yr. Input?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by nrddct, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. nrddct

    nrddct carlover
    7+ Year Member

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    I don't know about you guys, but I find studying everyday a bit overwhelming. I feel the need to study everything b/c I know soo little clinically. But then I also need to review the basic knowledge of 1st and 2nd year. I don't get the advice I hear that if I study an hr every night, then I will be ok. Well an hr of study wont even get me through the 3-4 articles dispensed to me everyday. I also hate the attitude that this is something that we need to figure out for ourselves b/c the students before us did it themselves. The whole right of passage idea is bs b/c by the time I usually figure out what to do, its usually too late in the game. Any constructive ideas on a study plan would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Also how do you guys find time to look up info about a pt you rounded on in the morning to prepare for rounding with the attending?
     
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  3. DaveinDallas

    10+ Year Member

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    Without knowing what clerkships you've done and what you're on now.....

    I managed to make it through Medicine,Surgery and Family thus far by:

    1) Read CaseFiles for the appropriate topic. Works out to around 2 cases/night (total time 1 hr). That usually gets me done early and
    I've got two weeks to do questions or read up on other stuff.

    2) Do about 50 Kaplan Q's from Qbank/day/weekend. With IM, there were like 790Q's so I did a bit more, more often.

    3) I looked up stuff on the fly. Usually in about two hours early to start off with to round on patients (which includes looking up overnight labs, seeing that the orders were done, seeing the patient and doing a physical and writing my note and making a copy to present with).

    4) Used the phrase, "I don't know" quite frequently. I'm there to learn. If I knew it all and could teach it, I'd be the attending.

    3rd year is hard. I generally average 2 to 4 hours of study a night. When I get home from the hospital/clinic, I give myself about a half-hour to one hour of downtime and then I'm in the books.

    For IM,Surg,FM - the key was learning IM well while you were in it. The other two are based on that.

    As far as psych/peds/OB - who knows, I've got that next.

    There is a method to the 'learn it yourself'. Pretty much from this point forward, you will be an autonomous agent. You'll have to know what you don't know, where to go get the info, and how you learn best. Soon you'll be responsible. You need to have developed the sense of personal responsibility for your professional education and realize that no one is going to teach it to you or spoon feed you. There is an expected level of competency and if you don't have it.....I don't know what happens.....

    Every 3rd year I've talked to struggles to figure out what the hell to do....
     
  4. Scaredshizzles

    5+ Year Member

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    That's a pain if you have a team that hands you out 3-4 articles/day to read, regardless of whether or not you ever get around to reviewing them the next day.
     
  5. MSmentor018

    MSmentor018 Hooah!
    Physician Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    I know what you mean....12-13 hr days are killing me. I start around 430 and by 8pm I am beat!

    for IM, cards- I use step up to medicine and secrets for reading at home and pocket medicine for rounding....esp when getting pimped. I do practice questions on the weekends when I have a little more time so I can look up why I [email protected]#ing missed something. I find that the most time consuming.....

    as for surgery, reading before each case the night before and ICU care was key.

    neuro- mass general handbook and 1st aid step 1

    psych- boards and wards covered it pretty well

    I try to give myself at least 1 hr downtime/night and the ever so popular "I don't know but I will find out" is used daily!!
     
  6. NeuroTox

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    I study much less on rotations that require me to do "homework" like presentations and articles. You can consider that your "studying" for the month. On weekends, and other rotations, I do practice questions and read case files. It's been working out well so far :thumbup:
     
  7. Anka

    Anka Senior Member
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    I'd focus on studying third year specific stuff, and only delve into the first and second year stuff on an as needed and as time permits basis. You'll find that most of your clinical texts will review the directly relevant physiology, pathophysiology, and anatomy in as much detail as you really need to understand the clinical issues. As far as being handed papers all day every day, just stuff them in your pocket and throw them out at the end of the day... or read the abstract before throwing them out. You aren't really at the level yet where reading papers for general knowledge is helpful. Each course has a particular set of review books that are useful (e.g., Step Up, First Aid, Casefiles). Just develop a system and go with it. Ask your classmates what they did.

    Reading around patients you just met is always a problem. On some rotations, you'll have the luxury of admitting your patient the night before. On others, you'll be picking up a whole new patient the morning you are to present them. If the latter is the case on your rotation, come in ealier so you have some time to read before attending rounds. If the former, stay a little later (or read at home) the night you admit. Another problem that comes up is reading about new problems (e.g., you have a patient you know well, who this morning has thrombocytopenia or abdominal pain or what have you). I used Pocket Medicine while on medicine, but whatever rotation you are on you can get a pocket book for. Uptodate also helps a lot, if you have access. 10 minutes is all you need for that -- if you don't have that ten minutes, come in a little earlier. Talking to your resident briefly before rounds also helps. They can fill you in on basic stuff.
     
  8. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Anka - I think if you have a patient with a disorder, a review article is often the best thing to use, if you can get your hands on it.
     
  9. MattD

    MattD Curmudgeon
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    I think Anka was referring to being handed primary source research articles for general learning, which I agree is too low yield and too data heavy to be useful at a third year level. Review articles such as what you'd find on UpToDate, however, are invaluable for building a foundation upon which your treatment plan can be based.
     
  10. Anka

    Anka Senior Member
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    If you have one patient with a disorder, and you have the time, a review article or primary research article is often the best approach, but it sounds like the OP is just trying to get his head above water. I would also argue that if you're resorting to primary literature to solve your patient's problem, you should do one of those ten minute presentations they have med students do in order to capitalize fully on the work you've put into it. In any case, three papers a day handed to you by the team is excessive even if your head is above water.

    Anka
     

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