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Do you read journals?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by dewdrinker23, May 9, 2007.

  1. dewdrinker23

    dewdrinker23 Banned Banned

    Apr 28, 2007
    As an undergraduate, do you read any journals on a regular basis? I will spend a good 10 to 15 hours a week reading journal articles. I have signed up for the automatic electronic notice of new issues that are posted online for the journals I'm interested in.

    If you do read journals, what do you do to remember the information? There are times where I will read an article and 15 minutes later I ask myself what I just read. When I did that, I was a sophomore and freshman. Now that I'm a junior I have been able to overcome that with the better understanding of the material. I know that I won't be able to remember minute detail in the long run, so I have adviced a plan that keeps the information in front of me. What I do is, I save a PDF file on RefWorks with the abstract attached and when I read an article I will highlight sections of the article I want to keep and then i transfer it to a Word document. When I'm trying to learn about a specific disease or disorder, I will go to the library and get my hands on every article I can relevant to the disorder I'm reading. I then save all of the PDF files on RefWorks and then make a review paper out of the articles I read. It generaly takes me a week to put together the review paper. I then print of the review paper and put it in a small binder. I then read the review paper and it really helps to learn just how muh information there is on a disorder. I find this the best way to learn. I don't feel like I know anything if I just read one article a single disorder. I feel like I can talk like I actually know something about the disorder after writing the review article.

    If you read journal articles, how useful do you find them (not for class, but to learn)?
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  3. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast 5+ Year Member

    Nov 13, 2006
  4. gsmithers68

    gsmithers68 2+ Year Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    Journals require a groundwork of knowledge with which to understand the advancements we are making in fields.

    As an undergraduate I read articles on what I conducted research on. That is it. Why would you read journals on topics that you have no background information on. How do you comprehend or retain the information you are being presented without this :confused: That seems rather silly to read that many journals, even medical journals. You'd be better off reading textbooks for now 10-15 hours a week to get a foundation of knowledge honestly.

    Also... why in the hell would you ever do this as an undergraduate? Go enjoy a beer at your local pub and see a psychiatrist for OCD
  5. WantsThisBad

    WantsThisBad Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    Do you have a girlfriend? (assuming you're a guy)
  6. Dookter

    Dookter Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    May 21, 2005
  7. ssquared

    ssquared Member 2+ Year Member

    wow.....just, wow.

    I think you need to find a hobby other than obsessively reading journals.
  8. SomeRandomName

    SomeRandomName 2+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2007
    This is a massive waste of time. I probably spend about 20 hours week reading journal articles. But this is my job - I get paid for it. This aspect of my job is both boring and unrewarding. Journal articles are written for a very targeted audience; reviews somewhat less so. If you are doing this to learn or expand your mind you are probably getting little benefit for your time. Information is much more tightly-packed and accessible in a text book. Read those instead. If you want to learn how to assess and interpret primary literature, read about the conduct of clinical trials, statistics and reporting, or any of a number of manuals on, well, assessing and interpreting primary research. Your approach, while perhaps well intentioned, is really misguided. It would be much more useful to use your time to expand your mind in other ways - take an art class, learn to dance, try talking to someone of the opposite sex. Also, if you really enjoy doing this, as opposed to interacting with people, you should strongly consider looking into getting a PhD, rather than an MD.
  9. CATallergy

    CATallergy 2+ Year Member

    Jan 23, 2007
    I second that - textbooks are awesome. if you really think you might be missing out on something, skim through the abstracts.
  10. etf

    etf Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2005
    only the one published by dow jones & co. (and only certain sections of that)
  11. geordon

    geordon 2+ Year Member

    Nov 23, 2006
    I subscribe (and read JEMS because I'm an EMT and am interested in street-level emergency medicine, as well as a couple of other EMS magazines, like EMS Responder. I also have signed up for several email alerts from different medical sites. Do those count?

    I skim through the emails for interesting articles/topics and, if I don't see any, delete them. I flip through the hard-copy magazines and read the interesting articles, look at the pretty pictures and then file the magazines away. Total time: maybe 5-10 hours A MONTH. Then again, I have kids, school, current career and spouse to pay attention to.

    How do I remember the information? Easy: what sticks, sticks. Some of the articles can be CME, so I sometimes pay to take the tests and get the credit (note to self: review CME list since NREMT is up next March). Some articles, I share with my wife, who is peripherally interested in some (very few) of the topics. Some I share with friends who are interested.

    Occasionally, I go looking for specific topics on-line, like TBI and disaster medicine, since those are also special interest topics for me. Some, I print out and read several times and/or use for articles in one of my EC sub-groups.

    Do I find them useful? Well, since I use some for CME, obviously. Some, I pass along to other interested parties.

    Seriously, though... Get a hobby that is NOT related to medicine! You don't want to be shallow and boring, do you? The other option is to be a "one trick pony". Yuk.
  12. mdm2fly

    mdm2fly 5+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    if you are reading for ?enjoyment?, skim over abstracts, and only read what sounds interesting to you. things that interest you normally stick better, but it sounds like you're just reading journals to read journals for 10-15 hours...and that...doesn't work.
  13. DuckHunter

    DuckHunter 2+ Year Member

    Dec 11, 2006
    If you're struggling for reading material, why not catch up on some fine novels? Doing so might make you more interesting. I bet only a few people would deem you an excellent conversationalist if you all you have to talk about is foot fungus research.

    Go play some Halo.
  14. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2006
    The Big Easy
    I think a better use of your time is finding some other great novels to read through. You'll rarely find time in the future to read the greats and classics but you'll always be surrouded by journal articles in the distant future in medical school. If you still want to be in the loop of emerging sciences, you could probably save a large portion of your time by just breezing through an abstract. Unless you find particular interest in statistics, methods, procedures, etc... you can probably learn jsut as much perusing through abstracts instead of reading through the whole paper
  15. GoGoPandaBot

    GoGoPandaBot Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    the Ladies Home Journal? Well, of course!

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