Do you feel dumb everyday?

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nightowl

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Hi,
I was wondering if it's common to feel like a complete idiot pretty much every day your first two years. I'm an M1, it's the end of February,and I don't feel any smarter than I was when I got here. Actually, I feel a little dumber. Does it get any better? My confidence is taking a serious beating and as much as I try, I feel like I'm perpetually not measuring up with school. I study all the time but I don't feel like I retain very much at all (even less than in undergrad, because the pace is so much faster) and I'm wondering if it's me, or if this is a common feeling. Practically everyone in my med school class acts like they're not struggling--- no matter what the class average looks like. Any thoughts?
 

Dookter

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Yeah I feel like a ***** all the time. I get most of the material, and I do pretty well as far as grades go, but I still feel dumb all the time. You probably feel more dumb now than when you started b/c you did not realize how little you knew before. Relax, it's normal. People who won't admit to feeling like they know nothing are either in denial or they are the type with frightening confidence when it's not deserved....you know, the type you definitely do NOT want operating on you.... We'll all know what we need to know one day....it's just a long process with years of stumbling before we finally know what's up. A doctor in my family is like 34 and says he just now feels confident in most of the things he does....in other words, he is finally able to be the "doctor" in charge....
 

OncoCaP

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"The more you know, the less you know" applies to pretty much any advanced learning.
 

indo

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I've lost the ability to spell and use complete sentences when I'm talking.
 
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NonTradMed

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My grades suck. I suck.

I feel dumb because:

1. I realize this is just the beginning of what I'm expected to learn to become a doctor. I learn so much but then realize this is just the beginning of the learning process....

2. I study and study and study and I am barely keeping my grades alive. I used to consider myself fairly intelligent but being in a room with 100 super smart people makes me feel really dumb, especially when we get our grades back. :)

I try to stay sane by keeping in mind that med school is not representative of life. I am learning a lot and I am surrounded by really smart people.
 

SanDiegoSOD

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Hi,
I was wondering if it's common to feel like a complete idiot pretty much every day your first two years.

Fortunately I don't feel stupid every day, but I certainly do when involved in pretty much any clinical situation. At this point in my medical education (like most MSIs), I'm only knowledgeable enough to ask common sense clinical questions, and maybe the occasional advanced question that anyone in healthcare could ask. So I'm thrown into a clinical situation with my professors standing by, watching me interview a patient, expecting intelligent questions that get to the root of the problem. Sorry, but after asking about the nature of the patients pain and the frequency of bowel movements, I'm pretty much fresh out of questions. I know I shouldn't feel stupid, but I certainly do, and I think the system (at my school, at least) is designed in a way that you can't really get around that.
 

Droopy Snoopy

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I've lost the ability to spell and use complete sentences when I'm talking.

Some of my friends have dubbed this the "Penguin Theory". That is, you've got lots and lots of penguins sitting on this iceburg somewhere. The iceburg is of limited size (your brain) and pretty much full. So everytime a new penguin (a cool new factoid about the middle meningeal artery lets say) elbows himself a space, an old tired penguin falls off the other side. You never know right off what you've lost, but you'll be in conversation one day and just have a total brain fart about your sister's middle name or how old you are.
 

Biscuit799

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My grades suck. I suck.

I feel dumb because:

1. I realize this is just the beginning of what I'm expected to learn to become a doctor. I learn so much but then realize this is just the beginning of the learning process....

2. I study and study and study and I am barely keeping my grades alive. I used to consider myself fairly intelligent but being in a room with 100 super smart people makes me feel really dumb, especially when we get our grades back. :)

I try to stay sane by keeping in mind that med school is not representative of life. I am learning a lot and I am surrounded by really smart people.

my sentiments exactly
 

Biscuit799

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Some of my friends have dubbed this the "Penguin Theory". That is, you've got lots and lots of penguins sitting on this iceburg somewhere. The iceburg is of limited size (your brain) and pretty much full. So everytime a new penguin (a cool new factoid about the middle meningeal artery lets say) elbows himself a space, an old tired penguin falls off the other side. You never know right off what you've lost, but you'll be in conversation one day and just have a total brain fart about your sister's middle name or how old you are.

haha...i have a friend that calls this the "full cup" theory. same idea.
 

donair

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My grades suck. I suck.

I feel dumb because:

1. I realize this is just the beginning of what I'm expected to learn to become a doctor. I learn so much but then realize this is just the beginning of the learning process....

2. I study and study and study and I am barely keeping my grades alive. I used to consider myself fairly intelligent but being in a room with 100 super smart people makes me feel really dumb, especially when we get our grades back. :)

I try to stay sane by keeping in mind that med school is not representative of life. I am learning a lot and I am surrounded by really smart people.

wow-wow-ee-wow, that is exactly how i was feeling the other day after getting my crappy grade back...
 

humuhumu

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Some of my friends have dubbed this the "Penguin Theory". That is, you've got lots and lots of penguins sitting on this iceburg somewhere. The iceburg is of limited size (your brain) and pretty much full. So everytime a new penguin (a cool new factoid about the middle meningeal artery lets say) elbows himself a space, an old tired penguin falls off the other side. You never know right off what you've lost, but you'll be in conversation one day and just have a total brain fart about your sister's middle name or how old you are.

That's awesome. The other day I couldn't remember the make and model of my car!
 

psipsina

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Yeah . . . I so forgot my own name once during first semester, we have to pick our notesets up from folders with our names on them, and I seriously stood there for like a minute solid one morning unable to think of the letter that my last name starts with . . . I also generally suck at all parts of life except my marriage and medschool, my husband took the finances away from me (I've always been the organized one and I like making spreadsheets etc so this has been my duty for over 7 years. . . ) because I overdrafted the bank account by a very large sum in addition to almost losing various insurances and utilities because I just couldn't remember to go to a website and click pay . . . I don't do laundry now until I run out of clothing, like completely . . . I generally suck at life, except I still spend quality time with my husband and I'm not failing out of medschool . . . which seems to be the limit of what my brain can handle at a given time.
 

doctorp82

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Remember, 50% of all doctors finished in the bottom half of their class ;) . They're still called doctor, they still passed medical school. Eventually it does come together and somehow sticks, after repeatedly learning it about 50 - 50,000 times. It's like getting to know someone really well, or learning guitar, part of it is just practice.
 

Medical123

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I don't think that the "dumb feeling" ever goes away. Everytime I think that I am getting smart, something comes up to remind me of how much I don't know. As internship quickly approaches, I realize that I have so much more to learn and the scareder I get!:scared:
 

thewebthsp

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I'll second that feeling. I guess I worry I need to know more, for internship and beyond...
 

emidesu

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Yeah, I regularly feel like I know less than I did a year ago. In the face of this much information, I think it's kind of natural...
 

tupac_don

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Remember, 50% of all doctors finished in the bottom half of their class ;) . They're still called doctor, they still passed medical school. Eventually it does come together and somehow sticks, after repeatedly learning it about 50 - 50,000 times. It's like getting to know someone really well, or learning guitar, part of it is just practice.

Right that's why when bottom halfers can't figure it out they send you to the specialists (the top halfers) :laugh:
 

YouDontKnowJack

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Right that's why when bottom halfers can't figure it out they send you to the specialists (the top halfers) :laugh:


or they could be too dumb to know they have to send you to the specialist. so you'll never see the pt.
 

bubbleyum

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My grades suck. I suck.

I feel dumb because:

1. I realize this is just the beginning of what I'm expected to learn to become a doctor. I learn so much but then realize this is just the beginning of the learning process....

2. I study and study and study and I am barely keeping my grades alive. I used to consider myself fairly intelligent but being in a room with 100 super smart people makes me feel really dumb, especially when we get our grades back. :)

this is exactly how i feel every day these days, especially with the physio block. i try not to let it get to me but sometimes you can't help it. so much of life now is taken over by going to class, studying for class, being isolated from anybody other than your classmates taking the same exams as you are that you can't help but be reminded of it all the time.

on another note, it's really depressing to be studying all the time and then not do so well on your exams! aghghghghgghghhhh!! why am i so stupid. it's not that i don't study, so there must be something wrong with my logical reasoning right? i mean, we're all given the same facts to memorize about what is secreted from what and what diseases have which symptoms, which i spend so much time memorizing. then when i encounter an exam question and they ask you about things with a whole bunch of arrows going in different directions i end up getting it wrong. what the heck is wrong with me and my brain :mad: frustrating.

sorry just had my exam today and felt like venting.
 

GodoShingo

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on another note, it's really depressing to be studying all the time and then not do so well on your exams! aghghghghgghghhhh!! why am i so stupid. it's not that i don't study, so there must be something wrong with my logical reasoning right? i mean, we're all given the same facts to memorize about what is secreted from what and what diseases have which symptoms, which i spend so much time memorizing. then when i encounter an exam question and they ask you about things with a whole bunch of arrows going in different directions i end up getting it wrong. what the heck is wrong with me and my brain :mad: frustrating.

sorry just had my exam today and felt like venting.

No worries. We all have to let the steam out once in a while.

The core in learning is not about how much time you spend on studying, but about how much you learn. You have to find your personal method to study. For me it took 6 months to find mine. As long as you try to learn in a way that doesn't work for you everything will get mixed up. Post Its are perfect, aswell as markers, add colors, mnemonics ect. Mnemonics is teh ****. Try different methods and if one works well you have found your method.
A friend of mine had his walls full with post its and pieces of papers and that is how he learns, by walking around in his room, watching what he has written.
Myself I use to associate everything with other things, like if I want to learn "Apple" I think of a tree with apples or something similar. I like to think in 3D when it comes to anatomical structures too.
EDIT: When it comes to learning, sleep is very good. Get your 8h of sleep, nothing more or less.

Good luck!
 
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