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do alot of med school students not go to class?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ronaldo23, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. ronaldo23

    ronaldo23 The Truth 7+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2007
    ive heard some people say they skip class except for required ones and labs and they instead study 6+ hours a day learning everything by themselves, as notes etc are all posted online, and people are more efficient on their own learning things....what are your guys thoughts? I
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  3. Chuckwalla

    Chuckwalla Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2006
    The few I have spoken to have said a large majority of students just listen to the lectures online. I was quite surprised by that.
  4. DenaliView

    DenaliView 2+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Yeah I was told the same, many people catch them online or listen to a taped version (as long as you are recieving all of the same info I don't see how this hurts anything). I have also heard of many people just choosing to keep up with the corresponding assignments while forgoing class. This on the other hand makes me a bit nervous.:scared: It probably all depends on the lecturer....
  5. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    It depends on the school and each student's preferred method of learning the material.
  6. Hurricane95

    Hurricane95 Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2005
    Miami, FL
    Yep...that pretty much describes our class for the most part.

    I learn better in the comfort of my own home, watching lectures at 2 x speed.
  7. Gut Shot

    Gut Shot 10+ Year Member

    Sep 7, 2003
    The best thing I ever did in med school was stop going to class. If there was less material (and by that, I mean a LOT less), learning through lecture would have been more rewarding. However, neither myself nor most of my classmates got much from 4 hours/day of lecture. I found it a far more efficient use of my time to just hit the library in the morning with my syllabus and study until late afternoon or early evening. It took discipline, but my grades actually increased and my enjoyment of life shot way up.

    I know, I know, it seems bizarre coming from undergrad, where class attendance is usually critical to understanding the material. Initially, I had serious misgivings about missing lecture. It took me months before I gave it a try, and after seeing the results I wanted to slap myself for not doing it sooner.
    sunshine02 likes this.
  8. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist Rocket Scientist Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    I attended most classes first year, but I'm seriously considering stopping for second (I know many people that stopped mid first).

    Part of the advantage is that you're much more efficient on your own, you dictate your schedule instead of waiting for the lecturer to dwell on points you got quickly, or answer questions that have no relevance to the topic at hand and then sit through the 10 min break every hour.

    Also, you much more fresh when studying the material. You aren't tired from sitting through 4-6 hours of lecture and if you're not a morning person you can start later and work later.

    BTW. that 6+ hours seems a bit low, esp if you're skipping lecture.
  9. MCP1

    MCP1 2+ Year Member

    Jun 9, 2008
    Ann Arbor
    Another reason I think people (only a premed but I have talked to several med students) tend to skip class (at least at UofM) is because the lectures are all posted online in video format and you can run them at an increased speed (4x) which cuts down on time.
  10. LucidSplash

    LucidSplash Wire Jockey Trainee Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    Our lectures are recorded and posted online within hours if not minutes of the actual lectures. Granted we only had 2 hours of lecture a day but still, many people do not go and will simply review the .avi files later. I found that more people attended lecture 2nd year, but I think this was related to a difference in the schedule between 1st and 2nd year. During 1st year, lecture is 8-10 am and small groups are 10-12. That gets swapped during 2nd year and mandatory small groups are 8-10 and lectures are 10-12. More people attend lecture because they are already on campus and don't have to make a special trip.
  11. ACSurgeon

    ACSurgeon Acute Care Surgeon Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Jun 8, 2008

    Although I tend to go to class, I would say what you describe is accurate for MOST of my classmates.
  12. bawer234

    bawer234 ASA Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2006
    This just made me crack up for some reason.:thumbup:
  13. rowerlauren

    rowerlauren 2+ Year Member

    Feb 3, 2008
    My undergrad has all of the pre-med requirements taped... and a lot of people do end up skipping class and try to study on their own. I don't know the difference between my school and med school (and i'm not saying that they are the same at all), but the people that did the best in that classes were the ones that actually got up for their 9AM orgo lecture... but that may be saying more about their character than what was gained by attending class.
  14. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna 7+ Year Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    if no one goes to class and instead studies on theire own in the library....why not go to a school with PBL?
  15. EBI831

    EBI831 legend in the making 7+ Year Member

    Apr 18, 2006
    Chi-town royalty

    from my understanding, PBL requires a lot of face time? ie small groups etc and such things are required attendance. so i dont think this will really solve any problem...except not only do you have to study on your own you also have to sit through discussions with classmates too. and from my experience (i don't know why i find med school different from everyone else) and from my close friends, 6+ hours studying a day is a helluvalot. sure, my school is true pass-fail so maybe that's why (but then again i have classmates who may very well do the 6 +....a few) but i think even with class skipping etc i'd have a hard time finding 6 hours of work for every's usually really manageable each sunday and saturday morning to play catch up and maybe do 3-4 hours max a day of what you would've been doing in class if you skip it. but if you factor in anatomy then yes you are looking at a lot more hours of work and lab's not that skippable anyway.
  16. Flaxmoore

    Flaxmoore StealthDoc Physician 10+ Year Member

    True all around. Anatomy was worthwhile to go to, but something like Behavioral Science was easier to learn solo. Don't get me started on clinical practice- that one was worthless either way. I went to the required lectures during the second half, and scored the same as in the first.
  17. pianola

    pianola MS2 7+ Year Member

    May 23, 2008
    Wow that just blows my mind.

    So, for the first 1-2 years I'll be spending $40,000+ a year to study on my own????:thumbdown:
  18. LucidSplash

    LucidSplash Wire Jockey Trainee Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    It depends on your learning style and the school and their lecture style. I personally chose not to attend schools with "traditional" lecture formats because I knew that my brain would scream and die if I tried to do 8 hours of lecture a day. Remember to that where lectures are recorded, not going to class is just physical presence. Many that do not attend class still watch the lecture. They just do it on their own. This is something to look into when you interview. Ask students if they go to class and then ask some probing questions about why and what they do instead. Its not as simple as going to class vs. not going and teaching yourself.
  19. rampagez99

    rampagez99 New Member 5+ Year Member

    Apr 25, 2006
    I go to all lectures (as does my girlfriend) and also watch the lectures after class on speed. I would slack too much if I didn't go. It's not for everyone, but we both agree it helps us to go to class.
  20. TheRealMD

    TheRealMD "The Mac Guy" 5+ Year Member

    May 23, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    An important note: There were always be a few lectures that are NOT recorded because the prof will bring in a patient or something like that. You ARE expected to come that day.
  21. rampagez99

    rampagez99 New Member 5+ Year Member

    Apr 25, 2006
    ahhh very true. Also, once in a while the audio guys forget to record a lecture or technical difficulties.
  22. LucidSplash

    LucidSplash Wire Jockey Trainee Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    When this happens at our school they pull the lecture recorded the previous year. Though it only happened once in 2 years that I can remember.

    And I always advocate attending the clinical correlates with patients. But at my school these are usually held in the mandatory "small group" time slot and its not an issue with class.

    See, you should all apply to Maryland. :D
  23. chad5871

    chad5871 Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2006
    Portland, OR
    I'm planning on it. It's one of my top choices. ;)
  24. Hyperstudyosis

    Hyperstudyosis 7+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2007
    I'm still in undergrad, but I can imagine that I might very well be better off skipping class in med school. I go to class religiously as an undergrad student, but that's because I'm pretty good friends with all my professors and attendance is mandatory. A lot of times, I feel like I would be better off just studying on my own because I can get it done so much more quickly. In fact, in some of my classes, I sit and study for other classes or for that class while the professor is lecturing. I'm definitely a "self-learner."
  25. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem 2+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    Are these lectures available to everyone? I'm assuming Hopkins.
  26. unsung

    unsung 10+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2007
    I hear this all the time, and it makes me wonder why the 1st 2 yrs of medical school even exist. Apparently a lot of people basically self-teach all that material, anyway (aside from lab attendance).

    Reminds me of something I learned from a Korean classmate- in Korea, lawyers are a really esteemed profession (high prestige, high $$), even more so than here. And there's no schooling for it, apparently. All you need to do to be licensed is to pass this really really intense, rigorous exam. Thousands of people test for it each yr, and only a few pass or something like that. Kind of interesting.
  27. LucidSplash

    LucidSplash Wire Jockey Trainee Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    Um, no. You can see the lecture schedule and whatnot at the website ( but you can't open the files unless you are a Maryland student (or alum). Why would you assume Hopkins?
  28. FSAP

    FSAP Foreigner 10+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2007
    I never go to lectures already, so I am well prepared for med school.
  29. 87138

    87138 Guest

    Jan 14, 2006
    While I have nothing at all against students who chose to learn on their own (or watch online lectures) in lieu of attending class, I found it kind of a turn-off when, at my Jefferson interview, the students who ran the interview day constantly trumpeted how cool they thought it was that "almost no one goes to class ever!!!" It seemed to be their prime selling point.

    Granted, they have a sweet lecture recording system, complete with an electronic whiteboard thing that records drawings and such that are synced in real time with the lecture.
  30. ronaldo23

    ronaldo23 The Truth 7+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2007
    so to those that don't go...what is ur day like? how many hours do you end up studying per day/on weekends? and how many hours a week is required attendance?
  31. DoctaJay

    DoctaJay bone breaker Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    San Diego
    You will find people on both sides of the spectrum, and both do quite well in class so neither gives you an advantage. I personally went to about 16 lectures during the whole school year. The key is to not make a blanket statement declaring that you will never go to class. You have to figure out which lecturues are actually worth going to, and go to those. The rest you can stay home and just study their notes. Alot of my classmates always went to class...the majority I would say. I think this will change during second year when they turn up the heat a little.
  32. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    This (6 hours) is where I don't agree with your initial post. I'd say at a lot of places about half the students don't attend regularly. (Assuming attendance is not mandatory other than labs and clinical stuff and PBL type stuff). But when they are not in attendance, they are studying on their own, watching the lecture remotely or otherwise doing what works for them to learn the material. It's not like college where you have free time when you are not in class. The volume of material is huge. And some people learn better from lecture and others by reading. The goal is to get to the same end point. So sure, if you want to replace 6 hours of lecture and 4 hours of review after lecture with 10 hours of studying in the library, go for it. Nobody has a problem with that. You don't generally save much -- the goal is to learn the same material. The one caution is that for every person who benefits by not going to class, there is someone who isn't a good self starter/motivator and sleeps in when not compelled to show up someplace at a fixed time, or is easily distracted by phone, TV, computer and doesn't cover as much ground when outside of class. These people actually find that they do worse if not in the structure of a lecture where at least they are bombarded with the material once each day starting at 8am, before they try to study through the distractions later.

    As for weekends, there is going to be no difference whether you attend lecture or watch it remotely or not at all. The weekend is the only time when you aren't getting "new" material bombarded at you, so it is an ideal time to review the stuff you covered for the week, or in some cases catch up. So plan on spending many many sunny weekends inside studying. It's part of med school. I'd say a lot of us spent the bulk of every weekend day studying, and as exams approached, you spent the bulk of every weekend night too.

    The fun starts in the clinical years though, when all of a sudden your time is not your own at all, and you are going to be on the wards before the sun comes up and leave after the sun goes down many many days. So you probably create more culture shock for yourself if you don't attend classes and spend your days studying in bed. Because come third year they rarely let you see your bed.
    sunshine02 likes this.
  33. bola

    bola MSIV (yikes!!) 10+ Year Member

    Aug 8, 2006
    You honestly have to just figure out what works for you.

    I am not an 8am person but I wake up most mornings and haul my behind to class. The few times I have been unable to wake up or was out of town and ended up listening to the lectures in my free time, I found that I was more efficient and didn't have to spend as much time on it the second time around.

    So this would logically mean that I should just stay at home and listen to all lectures but if I do this I know I will be screwed over MAJORLY. Listening to a 2 hr lecture is like pulling teeth for me and speeding it up to anything more than 1.5X is completely useless (except the lecturer talks in slow motion) so it would be extremely difficult for me to motivate myself to wake up and listen to a couple or 3 or 4 lectures in one day.

    So essentially feel out the waters and understand that not going to class is a lot more work than going. I know people that tried it for a term and ended up returning to regular class attendance (and I also know more people on the opposite end of the spectrum). I agree with L2D in saying that it will be good practice for the clinical years.

    (Not going to class will also mean you miss out on the intangibles of med school too-in terms of knowing your classmates in non-party atmosphere, actually knowing what some of your profs look like, etc)
    sunshine02 likes this.

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