Feeling dumb and lost

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Penguin94, Oct 12, 2017 at 8:47 AM.

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  1. Penguin94

    Penguin94

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    Nov 11, 2016
    USA
    Hey everyone,

    I’m a first year who is about two and a half months into medical school. I’m currently taking histo/cell bio and anatomy/embryology and I am having SO MUCH DIFFICULTY with anatomy :(

    I am studying so much and have felt very drained from studying all day every day the past week to just find out that I barely passed my anatomy written and failed my practical (Written 74, practical 61). I’m feeling incredibly dumb, and am near the bottom of my anatomy class. So far, I’ve just barely passed my anatomy tests (70,80,75) and practicals (70,80) and this is the first practical I failed :( i have no idea how common failing something is in med school is and I guess I’m just looking for advice and if I’m overreacting, and what I should do?

    I really hate how I feel right now since I’m putting in so much of my life and effort into studying to barely pass most of my exams. I know med school is difficult for everyone, but I’m extremely scared the next test will be the one that makes me flunk the whole class:(
     
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  3. tensoranalysis

    tensoranalysis 7+ Year Member

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    Sep 12, 2008
    Anatomy is one of the hardest courses. Don't be paralyzed by your feeling discouraged! You will shine in others arenas.

    You may be studying or trying to learn in an ineffective manner. Have you tried other strategies: group learning or dissecting with a friend? I found anatomy was best learned when you did the dissecting yourself and followed along with a book like netter or grant's dissector.

    By the way, your school may offer help if you are struggling. They want you to succeed.
     
  4. mr.applesauce

    mr.applesauce

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    Sep 14, 2017
    I'm in the exact same situation. This class has made me feel like my memory isn't good enough for medical school. I failed my practical and barely passing the class. I'm not the type to repeat a year so I don't know what to do. I study all day and here I am. And here are students that are studying as much as I am while getting A's and B's in this class :/
     
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  5. jcorpsmanMD

    jcorpsmanMD

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    I've learned for anatomy that using Anki is really helpful. I just make card's from images of cadavers that are labeled. It is helped me incredibly, I don't know how some people look at an image full of structures a couple times and got it down. I learn them, then I hammer them into my brain with Anki, then Anki keeps hammering them into my brain until the practical. I take anatomy separately with other courses though so I'm studying anatomy everyday practically and it's been pretty helpful. I've done well on anatomy, now if only I could say the same for my written exams (excluding anatomy). But if your written exams are just anatomy, I suggest MichU anatomy has really good summative anatomy questions to practice from and even practice "practicals" of images you can use leading up to your practical. Good luck, we're all struggling, just remember that it's not just you! Med school is tough but you can do it
     
  6. Maskchamp

    Maskchamp

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    I was having the same trouble, do not despair! I hope you're doing better. I struggled and failed my anatomy final. I eventually got a tutor and it really helped. The key was just to do netters flash cards (online is more effective), then just do question after question after question. Eventually you see things that are repeated so much. You know where everything is and after doing so many questions, you really start to improve. I found this so much more efficient that reading "the circumflex artery goes around the scapula" and all that crap. I know your year is over but I hope this helps for the others who come to this post. Also, do not use any of the Gray's anatomy for students or those massive books, filled with low-yield information. Get High yield gross anatomy or BRS anatomy. So much better.
     
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  7. Penguin94

    Penguin94

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    Nov 11, 2016
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    Thanks everyone so so much for the kind words and advice. My studying has always consisted of reading my notes/diagrams and doing questions afterwards, so I will look into the flash cards!

    I’m really glad I’m not alone in the way I’m feeling.
     
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  8. Crayola227

    Crayola227 Bad Wolf 2+ Year Member

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    Across the Pond
    let's just say I know someone who straight up failed anatomy in med school, and ended up having to retake it over the summer, where the second time was the charm

    it didn't end up negatively impacting their career in any way

    they didn't end up in any particularly competitive specialty at any fancy place, but that was by choice and not cuz grades

    don't worry, anatomy is hard, it gets better

    reach out to your school for help
     
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  9. libertyyne

    libertyyne 2+ Year Member

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    Anatomy is difficult. Dont be afraid to change up your studying technique until you find something that works.I was the kind of person that read the material listened to class and then did practice questions but after subpar performance on the first exam I switched things up and focused on anki and practice questions. Make Anki Cards from Netters and go over them again and again. Once you learn the names then learn the blood supply and nerves and eventually everything fits into place.
     
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  10. Atom612

    Atom612 5+ Year Member

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    I've found Gray's Anatomy Review to be incredibly helpful for my written anatomy exams. It's purely 150+ 2nd and 3rd-order questions for each system with detailed explanations for each. Also, my professors absolutely love big Moore's and more than 20% of the questions are pulled straight from the clinical blue boxes, so I would say it's ultimately up to who's teaching the course.
     
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  11. Save a life

    Save a life 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 29, 2013
    I'm also an M1 taking anatomy for the first time. I'm getting about 87% with Anki, BRS, going to lab after hours, and university of Michigan questions. For me the key is testing myself and not just passively taking in information active learning versus passive. For lab practices go in over the weekends a bunch before the exam and for the written BRS will save your life with clinically oriented practice questions.
     
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  12. Save a life

    Save a life 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 29, 2013
    By the way, you're not dumb and you can pass. You passed all the undergrad classes and took the mcat to get here so I'm sure you can make through anatomy.
     
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  13. Milotic

    Milotic 2+ Year Member

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  14. Maskchamp

    Maskchamp

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    Hmm, I didn't even know about GA review, should have checked that out. Moore's is huge though and is filled with so much low yield stuff, don't read through it; but just looking through the clinical stuff can be a good idea. Guess it depends on the prof and the school. Michigan questions are also great as previously stated, 2 questions popped up on my exam from there!
     
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  15. Maskchamp

    Maskchamp

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    You are definitely NOT alone!
     
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  16. Penguin94

    Penguin94

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    I'm definitely going to follow the advice on here! My next exam is in a few weeks and then the NBME's so I'm internally freaking out. Everything is just still so different for me, I'm truly hoping I at least pass. Thank you once again for all the help offered by everyone:)
     
  17. Styrene

    Styrene medical student 2+ Year Member

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    My school starts off with anatomy, and I felt the same way during those first few months of med school. My tests grades in anatomy: 80, 61, 69, 74, so I passed by about 5 points or something :laugh:. Felt like I was on a treadmill of doom with a constant headache because of the formaldehyde, but seeing that passing grade in anatomy pop up on the student portal felt amazing. There are so many variables that can affect anatomy grades—for example, it takes me a long time to feel comfortable in a new place and make friends, so jumping into anatomy lab kinda sucked. Also, I slept during the day for the entire year before med school because of work, so my circadian rhythm and energy levels were totally f*****.

    In the other courses, I’ve consistently scored in the 90s on the tests, honored everything, and even had the highest grade in the class on a couple of the tests. JUST GET THROUGH ANATOMY. You will shine somewhere else as long as your work ethic remains intact.
     
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  18. IMG69

    IMG69

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    I just posted a thread about arterial anatomy and got some great responses; they all said use images to study rather then head bashing against a wall (wrote-learning/pure memorization), so I changed all my anki cards (i had mnemonics and everything) to pure images and wow it all just stuck in my head after that, so I would recommend this if your having trouble. I had my anatomy test and there was a question about drug injection into the median cubital vein and the path the drug would take to reach the appendix a lot of the class struggled with this as they had just wrote learnt, I had absolutely no trouble and wrote down every single specific vein/artery purely because I could visualize the images from my anki cards.

    The saying a picture says 1000 words really is true :) so combine the image technique with plenty of study time (I started about 2 weeks before the test) and your bound to do well, also note don't ever fall behind and what I mean by this is that you don't have to know every thing during/straight after the lecture or even several days after but the key thing is to be aware of what you don't know - so that you can estimate how much time to devote to learning these things.

    Imagery, give yourself plenty of time (start early) and be aware of what you don't know (so you can plan a study schedule)
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017 at 1:02 AM
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  19. Maskchamp

    Maskchamp

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    Jan 12, 2017
    All great advice, you're not alone. I felt like I got kicked in the stomach; I couldn't sleep for 2 weeks. I know how you feel and everyone here is obviously trying to help so we all know what it feels like. The annoying thing is to find what study technique works for you, and unfortunately it took me a freaking year to figure it out; I also had been out of school for about 8 years so it was even worse. Flashcard? Writing stuff on a white board over and over (definitely helped me)? Explaining something out loud? Study groups or not? Reading stuff over and over? Youtube videos? The list is endless. So much crap to figure out and on top of it you have this massive amount of material just thrown at you. Don't give up though, seriously, as cheesy and cliche that sounds. It's not easy by any means, but it is simple.
     
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