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I was wondering if US medical schools generally provide their students with class notes and test off them? I'm asking out of curiosity as to how US med students study. You guys simply pick up these 1000 page textbook and read from page 1-1000 or does your school provide you with class notes of maybe 200 pages and you simply read that? Or do you simply find books on your own and read those?

And how are exams generally done? Are they USMLE style questions, questions that ask for basic recall of trivia, or essay questions?
 

JP2740

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No notes. They give you required and suggested textbooks which are usually quite long and filled with random factoids. You attend class 5 days a week usually 9-5, sometimes less, and take notes on those lectures. The powerpoint information is full of copyrighted material that cannot be made available to you. The tests are usually short answer/essay with some multiple choice interspersed. It's med school man, they aren't there to hold your hand and make it easy anymore.
 

swamprat

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No notes. They give you required and suggested textbooks which are usually quite long and filled with random factoids. You attend class 5 days a week usually 9-5, sometimes less, and take notes on those lectures. The powerpoint information is full of copyrighted material that cannot be made available to you. The tests are usually short answer/essay with some multiple choice interspersed. It's med school man, they aren't there to hold your hand and make it easy anymore.
Well thats def school dependent my school gave us huge guides for each block that varied between 300-500 pages and had notes that went (or not) along with the lecture. We rarely got access to the actual powerpoints used because of copyright or whatever but they gave us notes I sometimes liked more than the powerpoints because they were more detailed and I had to take less notes during lecture.
 

Stellar Clouds

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We had syllabi that were 100-300 pages per subject per block that basically had all the material you needed to know for the exam. MS1 exams were random questions, but MS2 tended to be more USMLE style. There was recommended reading from textbooks to help supplement the syllabi or clear up anything that wasn't well explained, but few to no questions came from the recommended textbook reading. We also had access to all of the powerpoints.
 

KeyzerSoze

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No notes. They give you required and suggested textbooks which are usually quite long and filled with random factoids. You attend class 5 days a week usually 9-5, sometimes less, and take notes on those lectures. The powerpoint information is full of copyrighted material that cannot be made available to you. The tests are usually short answer/essay with some multiple choice interspersed. It's med school man, they aren't there to hold your hand and make it easy anymore.

Wow. I would have hated that. My school had PowerPoints and syllabi available for every class, and streaming video of lectures for almost every class so you could listen at home at 2x speed. Even so I doubt there was ever more than 20 hours of lecture per week. Exams were all multiple choice except anatomy and histology practicals.

People mostly studied from the provided notes and from review books.
 

Stellar Clouds

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Wow. I would have hated that. My school had PowerPoints and syllabi available for every class, and streaming video of lectures for almost every class so you could listen at home at 2x speed. Even so I doubt there was ever more than 20 hours of lecture per week. Exams were all multiple choice except anatomy and histology practicals.

People mostly studied from the provided notes and from review books.
This sounds very much like we might be at the same school
 
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Wow. I would have hated that. My school had PowerPoints and syllabi available for every class, and streaming video of lectures for almost every class so you could listen at home at 2x speed. Even so I doubt there was ever more than 20 hours of lecture per week. Exams were all multiple choice except anatomy and histology practicals.

People mostly studied from the provided notes and from review books.
We have a similar set up.
 

evilbooyaa

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Wow. I would have hated that. My school had PowerPoints and syllabi available for every class, and streaming video of lectures for almost every class so you could listen at home at 2x speed. Even so I doubt there was ever more than 20 hours of lecture per week. Exams were all multiple choice except anatomy and histology practicals.

People mostly studied from the provided notes and from review books.
This is my experience except with > 20 hours of lecture a week. All MC choice exams except practicals.

If they didn't give us note packets with every lecture's powerpoint/outline to follow along, I'd go crazy. Sure, we complained when there were 500 pages of powerpoints and outlined notes to pick up, but it was miles better than being responsible for transcribing all the crap a presenter said.
 

thedoctor8706

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No notes. They give you required and suggested textbooks which are usually quite long and filled with random factoids. You attend class 5 days a week usually 9-5, sometimes less, and take notes on those lectures. The powerpoint information is full of copyrighted material that cannot be made available to you. The tests are usually short answer/essay with some multiple choice interspersed. It's med school man, they aren't there to hold your hand and make it easy anymore.
Not sure if sarcasm, or if I'd shoot myself after a week at that school. Haha
 

FrkyBgStok

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Wow. I would have hated that. My school had PowerPoints and syllabi available for every class, and streaming video of lectures for almost every class so you could listen at home at 2x speed. Even so I doubt there was ever more than 20 hours of lecture per week. Exams were all multiple choice except anatomy and histology practicals.

People mostly studied from the provided notes and from review books.
sounds similar to what we have. most of the classes also have extensive notesets to accompany the slides they give us. basically their own textbooks.

plus we had multiple choice anatomy and histology practicals.....SUCKERS!
 
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No notes. They give you required and suggested textbooks which are usually quite long and filled with random factoids. You attend class 5 days a week usually 9-5, sometimes less, and take notes on those lectures. The powerpoint information is full of copyrighted material that cannot be made available to you. The tests are usually short answer/essay with some multiple choice interspersed. It's med school man, they aren't there to hold your hand and make it easy anymore.
They give you absolutely no resources at all, and all the tests were essay based? What med school do you go to?

Gotta know where to NOT apply to :).
 

hunterjumper14

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They give you absolutely no resources at all, and all the tests were essay based? What med school do you go to?

Gotta know where to NOT apply to :).
No kidding! I'm glad I won't be attending this school in the fall. The note packets look a bit intimidating to me as a premed but wow is it better than the alternative!! :)
 

penguinism

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They give you absolutely no resources at all, and all the tests were essay based? What med school do you go to?

Gotta know where to NOT apply to :).
I feel like that was a sarcastic post. Either that, or the school really doesn't want people to succeed.

We get syllabi that are usually around 300 pgs for a 4-week course (block schedule). Some people study exclusively from the syllabus and don't even bother with lecture. The PowerPoints are all posted online, and lectures are recorded unless there's some sort of confidential patient information included.
 
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darkjedi

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We certainly get access to all the materials that are presented during lectures, in both powerpoint format, but also a PDF version which contains some extra information the professor may have decided to include with the slides. All my studying have been off those PDF's so far as they have been pretty comprehensive. The draw back is that sometimes these syllabi can be hundreds of pages long for each class. Most of the time though each page is about a slide though, so not very dense at all.

I'm pretty sure almost every medical school has some form of recorded lectures.
 
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I feel like that was a sarcastic post. Either that, the school really doesn't want people to succeed.

We get syllabi that are usually around 300 pgs for a 4-week course (block schedule). Some people study exclusively from the syllabus and don't even bother with lecture. The PowerPoints are all posted online, and lectures are recorded unless there's some sort of confidential patient information included.
My gut told me that he was trolling but I figured if I posted that, he'd come back with some snide comment and start a pointless flame war so

Is it 300 pgs per class per block, or 300 pgs total?
 

penguinism

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My gut told me that he was trolling but I figured if I posted that, he'd come back with some snide comment and start a pointless flame war so

Is it 300 pgs per class per block, or 300 pgs total?
Per class, though it varies since some classes are longer than others. Anatomy was in a block by itself, whereas biochem/genetics/cell were all lumped together into one block. We got a separate syllabus for each individual course.

Our syllabi are mostly in outline form, which makes it less dense than huge blocks of text.
 

redpanda

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Per class, though it varies since some classes are longer than others. Anatomy was in a block by itself, whereas biochem/genetics/cell were all lumped together into one block. We got a separate syllabus for each individual course.

Our syllabi are mostly in outline form, which makes it less dense than huge blocks of text.
As penguinism said, our school does syllabi which are the primary source of information. The general rule (there are exceptions) is that if it is not in the syllabus, it won't be tested. Powerpoint is usually concurrent with syllabus. MS1 averages 100 pages of syllabus/wk, MS2 averages 150-200 pages/wk. I don't know anyone who uses the recommended textbooks except for the immuno and cardio ones, which are concise. No one reads Harrison's or Robbins except to look up something specific.

Btw penguinism, MS2 syllabi are very often narrative. You have massive quantities of text to look forward to!
 

mvenus929

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We're given learning objectives for each subject and resources that address those learning objectives. Each class has tackled this a bit differently... our class had an open document for people to address the LOs. The class below us assigns lectures to people in the class, so you only have to find the answers to LOs from one class a month or something. I'm not sure how the first years are doing it.

All exams are multiple choice, USMLE style questions, except for 2 anatomy practicals during first year.
 

Renaissance Man

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At the start of each block (systems based) we are given the powerpoint slides printed (front and back but in black and white) for all of the lectures in that block. I get these books bound and they are roughly 500 pages or so? You can also get the PDF or PowerPoint version of these online in color. Tests are all multiple choice, except for anatomy practicals.

I usually just use a highlighter and a pen to write in the margins. Luckily, I never have to scramble to write anything down because after all, it is all recorded.
 

music2doc

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No notes. They give you required and suggested textbooks which are usually quite long and filled with random factoids. You attend class 5 days a week usually 9-5, sometimes less, and take notes on those lectures. The powerpoint information is full of copyrighted material that cannot be made available to you. The tests are usually short answer/essay with some multiple choice interspersed. It's med school man, they aren't there to hold your hand and make it easy anymore.
Assuming this is fake/a troll.


My school provides us with syllabi (usually 200-1000+ pages/course), power points, downloadable videos & MP3s of each lecture (as well as archived lectures from the previous year), self-assessments, previous exams (OLD material but still good for practice and matched to each lecture), etc. About 10-20% of our lectures are required on any given week (things like our foundations of clinical medicine course, preceptorship, ethics class, etc.). We go through about 200 pgs of lecture material/wk as M1s. I know it speeds up in M2 but not sure by how much.

All exams are multiple choice, some are on a computer. Some exams also have an essay component but this is, by far, the exception.
 
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RogueUnicorn

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Assuming this is fake/a troll.


My school provides us with syllabi (usually 200-1000+ pages/course), power points, downloadable videos & MP3s of each lecture (as well as archived lectures from the previous year), self-assessments, previous exams (OLD material but still good for practice and matched to each lecture), etc. About 10-20% of our lectures are required on any given week (things like our foundations of clinical medicine course, preceptorship, ethics class, etc.). We go through about 200 pgs of lecture material/wk as M1s. I know it speeds up in M2 but not sure by how much.

All exams are multiple choice, some are on a computer. Some exams also have an essay component but this is, by far, the exception.
because their med school is different from yours?
 

music2doc

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because their med school is different from yours?
No, because that would be a ridiculous number of restrictions on the students and make studying much more difficult than it needs to be. It also doesn't sound like any school where I interviewed, which was a reasonable sample of schools really (nearly 10% of the total population, including schools across the spectrum of ranks and parts of the country). It simply sounded like overkill to me. Could be true, but by the other comments here, I doubt it is.
 

RogueUnicorn

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No, because that would be a ridiculous number of restrictions on the students and make studying much more difficult than it needs to be. It also doesn't sound like any school where I interviewed, which was a reasonable sample of schools really (nearly 10% of the total population, including schools across the spectrum of ranks and parts of the country). It simply sounded like overkill to me. Could be true, but by the other comments here, I doubt it is.
even if you did interview at ~20 schools, how can you be so sure about other the OVER 90% of the places you DIDN'T interview? stop talking out your ass so much, there are impressionable children here and your incessant arrogance regarding what you perceive as your knowledge may appear as confidence of the actually well-informed to unwashed masses. ridiculous number of restrictions? really? because, to quote -

No notes. They give you required and suggested textbooks which are usually quite long and filled with random factoids. You attend class 5 days a week usually 9-5, sometimes less, and take notes on those lectures. The powerpoint information is full of copyrighted material that cannot be made available to you. The tests are usually short answer/essay with some multiple choice interspersed. It's med school man, they aren't there to hold your hand and make it easy anymore.
i won't pretend to know what this poster's school is like, but the only restriction actually noted here is that powerpoints are not made available to students.
 

MSTPlease

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i won't pretend to know what this poster's school is like, but the only restriction actually noted here is that powerpoints are not made available to students.
and that is an absurd policy that benefits no one
 

Law2Doc

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and that is an absurd policy that benefits no one
It benefits the professor who is hoping to publish and sell his notes as a textbook.

At most med schools you will receive a lengthy "syllabus", lecture slides, and often access to the live lectures as avi files. You will also usually be given a list of references as outside resources. What you do with these resources is up to you, but generally the use of each of these mediums allows you to do multiple passes through the material without having to look at the exact same thing each time. In addition, you probably make your own notes based on the lectures and these other resources. Textbooks, in the undergrad sense, aren't used in med school. Nor are you going to be able to just sit down and memorize a few factoids and pass. The schooling covers a large quantity of information and most people can only learn it via multiple passes through the information on a regular and systematic basis. You will hopefully have looked at the material for each days lecture about 4-5 times before the exam. Meaning you preread the next days material and review the prior days material each day, again on the weekend, and once again in the week leading up to the test. Cramming isn't useful because you need this info later, so you want longterm, not short term retention. Essay test in med school are a rarity.
 
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No notes. They give you required and suggested textbooks which are usually quite long and filled with random factoids. You attend class 5 days a week usually 9-5, sometimes less, and take notes on those lectures. The powerpoint information is full of copyrighted material that cannot be made available to you. The tests are usually short answer/essay with some multiple choice interspersed. It's med school man, they aren't there to hold your hand and make it easy anymore.
I think I interviewed at one school that was similar to this.....

It benefits the professor who is hoping to publish and sell his notes as a textbook.

At most med schools you will receive a lengthy "syllabus", lecture slides, and often access to the live lectures as avi files. You will also usually be given a list of outside references as outside resources. What you do with these resources is up to you, but generally te use of sly these mediums allows you to do multiple passes through the material without having to look at the exact same thing each time. In addition, you probably make your own notes based on the lectures and these other resources. Textbooks, in the undergrad sense, aren't used in med school. Nor are you going to be able to just sit down and memorize a few factoids and pass. The schooling covers a large quantity of information and most people can only learn it via multiple passes through the information on a regular and systematic basis. You will hopefully have looked at the material for each days lecture about 4-5 times before the exam. Meaning you preread the next days material and review the prior days material each day, again on the weekend, and once again in the week leading up to the test. Cramming isn't useful because you need this info later, so you want longterm, not short term retention. Essay test in med school are a rarity.
Very good explanation. This makes medical school sound very doable. I hate the pancakes or firehose analogy because it's so imprecise. How many people have videos of their classes and not just audio? Are videos of the lectures more useful then the audio? If you have video, audio and PP; what do you take notes on during class?
 
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NickNaylor

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I wish we had syllabi. That has been the main complaint about my school with respect to the pre-clinical curriculum. I hate having to guess what is going to be on the exam and having to use a collection of disorganized and, in many cases, poor quality notes to study from. I'm not sure why they're so obstinate about not making syllabi, but it's pretty irritating. Based on my friends who are at other schools, I seem to be the only one that doesn't have them, and most people say they just study directly from the syllabus for their courses.
 

NickNaylor

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The powerpoint information is full of copyrighted material that cannot be made available to you.
?

We get access to all of our PowerPoints. I think you are correct in that the professor can exercise rights over his content and ask that students not distribute it, but not giving students access to PowerPoints over fears of copyright is just silly. Education is one of the legitimate fair use claims that you can be made when using copyrighted material.
 

wholeheartedly

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We get access to all of our PowerPoints. I think you are correct in that the professor can exercise rights over his content and ask that students not distribute it, but not giving students access to PowerPoints over fears of copyright is just silly. Education is one of the legitimate fair use claims that you can be made when using copyrighted material.
There is one potential caveat to that. Some schools sell course packets of notes, so they are potentially making money off of other people's copyrighted material included with their own material.
 

NickNaylor

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There is one potential caveat to that. Some schools sell course packets of notes, so they are potentially making money off of other people's copyrighted material included with their own material.
Very true - in those cases I'm assuming they're either licensing the material or just ignoring copyright. :laugh:
 

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Very true - in those cases I'm assuming they're either licensing the material or just ignoring copyright. :laugh:
the $50 course packet just covers "printing costs", you know :smuggrin:
 

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I think I interviewed at one school that was similar to this.....



Very good explanation. This makes medical school sound very doable. I hate the pancakes or firehose analogy because it's so imprecise. How many people have videos of their classes and not just audio? Are videos of the lectures more useful then the audio? If you have video, audio and PP; what do you take notes on during class?
Many schools have video these days.

You take notes not to have the info,(because you already have it in multiple forms) but because active learning is superior to passive learning according to virtually every study -- the person who jots down or types notes or even highlights stuff as he listens remembers more longterm. Also professors often tip their hand as to things they consider more test worthy, so you'd be foolish not to jot that down for easy reference.
 
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No notes. They give you required and suggested textbooks which are usually quite long and filled with random factoids. You attend class 5 days a week usually 9-5, sometimes less, and take notes on those lectures. The powerpoint information is full of copyrighted material that cannot be made available to you. The tests are usually short answer/essay with some multiple choice interspersed. It's med school man, they aren't there to hold your hand and make it easy anymore.
For those who are wondering which med school this poster goes to I'm guessing he's an IMG. Maybe in Asia or even the Caribbean. From what I've heard going to an indian or pakistani medical school is basically just like being thrown into the jungle and having to find your way out. They don't really guide you at all. I'm assuming it's the same for the rest of Asia.
 

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and that is an absurd policy that benefits no one
Agreed. It makes the students lives SO much better if they ya know....give you the notes. I'd probably collapse if I went to the first responder's school :scared:
 

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LSU Shreveport provides podcasts and notes. I think AT Still uses notes on iPad.