Dr Who

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I would like to know how most of you got used to life as a med school student?
I read many posts about students killing themselves in undergrad as pre- meds, I wasnt one of them. I'm not a gunner at all. I had a very active social life in undergrad and didnt use my time as efficiently as I could have in regards to study. Although it didnt affect my grades at all, looking back I think it didnt help me develope the strict study habits that are needed in med school.
I start med school this summer and realize that the first semester is going to be a bit difficult as I get used to the med school "culture" (like most everyone else).
What did you guys do to get over that first semester shock therapy?
Sorry guys but I'm not interested in hearing from gunners, you already had great study skills coming in, so I dont think you apply to this situation. I'm interested in the "normal and average" student who had good grades and all but not the best study habits in the world coming in to med school.
How was it and what did you do to get into the groove of med school life?
 

clkimmey

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Dr Who said:
I would like to know how most of you got used to life as a med school student?
I read many posts about students killing themselves in undergrad as pre- meds, I wasnt one of them. I'm not a gunner at all. I had a very active social life in undergrad and didnt use my time as efficiently as I could have in regards to study. Although it didnt affect my grades at all, looking back I think it didnt help me develope the strict study habits that are needed in med school.
I start med school this summer and realize that the first semester is going to be a bit difficult as I get used to the med school "culture" (like most everyone else).
What did you guys do to get over that first semester shock therapy?
Sorry guys but I'm not interested in hearing from gunners, you already had great study skills coming in, so I dont think you apply to this situation. I'm interested in the "normal and average" student who had good grades and all but not the best study habits in the world coming in to med school.
How was it and what did you do to get into the groove of med school life?

i was the same as an undergrad. now, in the middle of 1st year, i'm still struggling to force myself to study on a regular basis. for me, it took a couple of lousy tests during first semester to give me that kick in the ass that i needed.

try setting aside a specific amount of time at night that is for studying. don't let yourself do anything but study during that time. i started with an hour a night, and it expanded to more time for me. even if i don't want to do anything some nights, i still spend that 1 hour studying no matter what.

baby steps. if what you're doing isn't enough, you'll know pretty quickly.
 

mfrederi

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I was not a good student at all in undergrad, really only in med school by the grace of God. Unfortunately, my subpar study habits have continued in med school. However, I think it has helped that I have set the bar high for myself, so even though I fail to achieve my goals that I have set for myself, just making an effort has kept my grades pretty high. Also, I would recommend maybe finding some people slightly above your level in terms of discipline to help you out. But, don't hang out with the supermed students, because they will literally study 6-8 hours a day at least, and you will walk around all day feeling like a loser, which detracts from your studying effectiveness.
 

japhy

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if you are studying 3-4 hours a day, that should be plenty. but that means focused studying, not reading for 10-15 minutes and taking a break to grab a coke, reading for another 30 minutes, etc.

the first two years of med school are a blast. enjoy all the free time you will have. take advantage of the opportunities your school offers. for example, at my school we could take any classes for free. lots of med students took scuba, skiing, rock climbing, yoga, etc.
 

felipe5

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definitely strive to get yourself into a comfortable style, and try not to worry about other's methods......don't get freaked out when people in your class skip class and study for 10 hours a day. Its really all about you and the never ending search for the high-yield. If you can get a few hours of good, high-yield study sesh, than thats all you really need. Also, as japhy said, having fun, taking breaks, and living life is CRUCIAL, for burn out is practically inevitable. :horns:
 

erin682

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I did pretty well in undergrad but after a summer of hiking I was not at all ready for that amount of studying med school would take. I had a couple of tests kick me in the a$$ before I got my act together. I had to study super hard the rest of the semester just to keep myself from failing. Anyway this semester I just try to do a little everyday until the week before the test. Then I kick it into full gear just like in undergrad. I would recomend studying more than you think you will need to for the first test or 2. Then you can gauge how to gear your studying from there. Its much better to realize you can get by with less than to spend an entire semester having to make A's just to pass after bombing the first tests.
 

2112_rush

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Dr Who said:
I would like to know how most of you got used to life as a med school student?
I read many posts about students killing themselves in undergrad as pre- meds, I wasnt one of them. I'm not a gunner at all. I had a very active social life in undergrad and didnt use my time as efficiently as I could have in regards to study. Although it didnt affect my grades at all, looking back I think it didnt help me develope the strict study habits that are needed in med school.
I start med school this summer and realize that the first semester is going to be a bit difficult as I get used to the med school "culture" (like most everyone else).
What did you guys do to get over that first semester shock therapy?
Sorry guys but I'm not interested in hearing from gunners, you already had great study skills coming in, so I dont think you apply to this situation. I'm interested in the "normal and average" student who had good grades and all but not the best study habits in the world coming in to med school.
How was it and what did you do to get into the groove of med school life?
I had bad study habits coming in and that hurt me in the beginning. I would spend so much time studying and wasn't seeing the results from it. For me, the solution was to be more selective in what I studied. Now I start out by using old tests and using those questions to guide me. If I have time I'll read the book. Review books can also be good. My grades are better now, but there's still not much time for a real social life.

I would also say that keeping focused on the task at hand helps to not get so overwhelmed in the beginning. Don't worry about the mountain of information you have learn, but just focus on a few things at a time.

Good luck.
 

shocker

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I am a slacker and have always been. Now I am in my 2nd semester and have still found a way to be quasi-slack. In u-grad I studied 2-3 days before a test and usually did great. Now I study fairly hard 3 hours a day for the 2 weeks prior to exams. My school tests in blocks so we have everything at once. So I basically get 2 weeks to chill out periodically.

BTW this method seems to be working, I got all "A"s and 1 "B" (damn biochem).
 

erin682

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For me, the solution was to be more selective in what I studied.
Thats a really good point. I had to learn that nobody cares if you understand just that you can regurgitate specific details. Reading textbooks helps you to understand. Review books and handouts are good for memorizing exactly what you need to know.
 

felipe5

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shocker said:
BTW this method seems to be working, I got all "A"s and 1 "B" (damn biochem).
YES, damn biochem..........it is my mortal enemy
 

erin682

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felipe5 said:
YES, damn biochem..........it is my mortal enemy
I'm currently doing amino acid metabolism and signal transduction cascades. I mean honestly how many doctor's do you think know how leucine is metabolized. Its killing me.
 

2112_rush

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erin682 said:
I'm currently doing amino acid metabolism and signal transduction cascades. I mean honestly how many doctor's do you think know how leucine is metabolized. Its killing me.
I'm tempted to go up to my doctor and ask him to draw the brachial plexus. I mean, do we really need to know some of these things? As an example, I remember a question on an anatomy test about whether the facial artery crossed the edge of the mandible anterior or posterior or something to the masseter muscle. It seemed very trivial.
 

AlbertConstable

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If you just go for memorizing and not understanding (review materials instead of textbook reading) then how does that work out when it comes time for the boards? Can the boards be rocked by just memorizing or is understanding necessary?
 

thackl

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Dr's know their area very well, outside that, most only have vague recollection of what they learned may yrs ago. We have guest lectures all the time where a guy (or lady doc) will be blowing us away with their knowlege of an area, then they get one inch out and they start talking about the "big blue" or "little red" thing they have to stay away from. I get frustrated with how quickly I forget information, but it's pretty common for everyone.
 

thackl

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2112_rush said:
I remember a question on an anatomy test about whether the facial artery crossed the edge of the mandible anterior or posterior or something to the masseter muscle. It seemed very trivial.
It's about as representitive as taking the MCAT, but still something we have to do to get to the next level.
 

KitesurfDaEarth

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i kind of treated the whole thing like a job, but at the same time i didn't keep a strict schedule. when your burnt your burnt and takin a few days off is not a bad thing. i would listen to what felipe said because he got 2 100's in our last test block which was fierce!!! i think he must have the high yield technique down, either that or he is getting alot ass.

most importantly, youll find out more about yourself than anything else your first semester in med school. learn from it and dont forget to have fun
 

erin682

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AlbertConstable said:
If you just go for memorizing and not understanding (review materials instead of textbook reading) then how does that work out when it comes time for the boards? Can the boards be rocked by just memorizing or is understanding necessary?
I have taken boards yet, only NBME subject exams, but from what I understand boards are just more of the same. Lots of facts. Even the clinical questions on the exam aren't testing conceptual questions. They are basically a round about way of saying do you know this. The NBME exam I took last semester was pretty much like that.