Going to class

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by DocToBe, Feb 25, 2001.

  1. DocToBe

    DocToBe Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2000
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just a question,

    Do most people here go to class? I went to class most of the time during my first semester and I really believe that it hurt my grades more than anything because I do not learn in class. This past "block" (my school has a block exam format), I cut down on my time in class and I had my best block ever. Do people here generally feel like they might be missing something if they do not go to class? I mean, I have handouts and two years worth of scribes so I am starting to think that such a feeling should be nonsense, but sometimes if the lecturers change I feel that I should go. But I sincerely think that if I did not go to class anymore and just studied on my own I would improve my grades considerably. What do you guys think? Thanks for the input!

    DocToBe

    [This message has been edited by DocToBe (edited 02-25-2001).]
     
  2. Becket

    Becket Senior Member
    15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2000
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    My approach is pretty similar to yours. Now that I'm second year, I realize that I probably don't gain much from sitting through lectures, especially since we have good handouts and the transcripts. I probably make it to 50% of the lectures at best, although it varies depending on the course. Path is pretty much unbearable to attend, while neuro is more enjoyable. At first, there was always the worry that I'd miss something important; but my performance on exams hasn't suffered, so I no longer give it a second thought.
     
  3. roo

    roo Voice From The Wilderness
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2000
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Amen, home-study is the way to go. Everyone's learning is different, but >5% of students are primarily audio learners (most are visual/tactile), yet lectures continue to be part of most courses. There is also a pretty fundamental difference between earlier courses like Calculus or Chemistry, where is was helpful to have a guide to assist in some of the strategies, but aside from a few spots here and there in Physio, preclinical subjects are zero difficulty in understanding; it's just a time-limited learning of all the knowledge. Sitting listening to someone talk, plus the time spent in transit back and forth to class means less time to learn if you aren't one of the few people who remembers things that people said a months weeks ago. Tactile learning is much higher rate (~25% or so), including myself, so I always finished all my anatomy dissections, and that learning seemed to last well, but looking at the lecture notes now from earlier course, of the ones that I wrote down myself, there is zero difference in how much I remember from the notes that someone else went to and xeroxed, it's as if I wasn't even there.
     
  4. ned

    ned Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2000
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    I completely agree that most classes can be skipped. When I first started med school, my attendance hovered around 80-90%. This semester it has been 25-35%. On the interviewing trail I was fascinated by the fact that some schools -- such as OSU -- have programs where you can "learn by book." You're essentially given a packet of materials and are tested at the end of the semester; students who have questions can ask specially-designated faculty members. While I think the "learn by book" philosophy might be a bit extreme, the concept is a good idea.

    A more moderate suggestion would be to have *lecturers* draft comprehensive handouts or lecture transcripts for each lecture. Students could decide which lecturers to attend after the first few weeks according to what's best for their individual learning-style. We have a *student-run* note service, where scribes are paid $50/lecture to write what they think is important about each lecture. It's costly, and the quality of notes varies from scribe to scribe. If lecturers have the responsibility to provide notes for each of their lectures, it would maximize learning and minimize time-wasting.

    Everyone loses when students are forced to attend lectures where the material can be learned and digested in less time it takes to attend the lecture.

    [This message has been edited by ned (edited 02-26-2001).]
     
  5. Pegasus

    Pegasus Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    1
    I tend to think that some people learn better by going to class, and others find it a waste of time. I am somewhere in between. I start off the semester going to class every day at 8:30, attend all the labs, and by the time I get home at 5:30, I am exhausted, take a nap, then end up staying up all night studying.

    So, that ends up changing my schedule to something more like: Wake up at 11:00, go to the required classes (lab, disection, ect), then I feel so much more alert at 5:00 and am a more productive worker.

    Basically, there are classes like Physiology that I felt I learned so much by going to the class. Other classes, like Biochem, had such a great syllabus that I just didnt go to class. I guess I have picked and chosen the ones that I find more benificial.

    I have talked to other second years, and they tell me that we spend way too much time in class. I tend to agree that it almost becomes counterproductive to attend all the classes and then be too tired to study at night. I think most students start off going to all the classes, but by second semester of first year, and definately by second year, there are only the 'regulars' left who feel too GUILTY to not go..and then of course those lucky few who can retain what is said in lecture.

    With all that said, exams are in a week, and I havent been to a lecture in 2 weeks!! Do I feel prepared? Much more that I ever did first semester!!


    ------------------
    ~Pegasus~
     
  6. 1-eda

    1-eda Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2000
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    I?m one of those who always go to class... I think it helps me to hear how someone is talking about the stuff, plus to me it?s like a map or something with which I can decide what?s important to know or what belongs more to the little detail section.
     
  7. Pilot

    Pilot Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2000
    Messages:
    430
    Likes Received:
    8
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    You ought to see my class. There is still a 95% attendance rate (roughly) - I am one of those bringing that percentage down. I don't even know the names of most of the instructors or course coordinators. I rarely review my exams, and don't argue points on exams. My life is stress-free, all because I refuse to go to lectures and be confused by the instructors who are trying to "help us understand."

     
  8. 1-eda

    1-eda Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2000
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  9. fiatslug

    fiatslug Senior Member
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2000
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Pilot has a money strategy, particularly when it comes to arguing points on exams. I can't believe it when I see classmates doing this--of course, the admissions process rewards such total weenies, so it shouldn't come as a surprise--but it still amazes me how many people cannot shake the gunner habit.

     
  10. Homunculus

    Homunculus SDN Caveman Administrator
    Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    3,529
    Likes Received:
    297
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Hey Pilot-- I go to the same school you do, and I'm pretty sure that none of the classes have a 95% attendance rate. It depends on the class. I do agree with you about the professors. I usually sleep through most of the lectures, wake up during the last 10 minutes or so, read the notes, and stare in amazement at my clasmates who are in utter confusion. (were you there for the first cardiophys lecture? ugghhh) I also agree with you on the "gunners". I don't have to argue any questions because I'm guaranteed that at least 5 or 6 anal-retentive geeks will do it for me (you probably know who they are [​IMG] ) My life is also relatively stress free, mainly because I can hash things out on my own. Being a pharmacist, I'm sure you can, too [​IMG]

    take it easy

    homonculus
     
  11. watto

    watto Sleek White Pantsuit
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    Messages:
    882
    Likes Received:
    59
    The "learning theory" aspect of this discussion really interests me. I believe I have an auditory bias, but am seriously lacking in the visual--the sole exception being words on a page. I can memorize a huge amount of info if I see it in words (usually break lab practicals down into verbal descriptions to memorize the data) but have been, historically, the village idiot when it comes to spatial info (like stereochem). So my question is, does anyone know specifically which parts of the brain are taxed during 3-D spatial learning that are separate from those during 2-D "word-memorization" type learning? I look forward to sitting through all those lectures and memorizing my notes after...
     
  12. familydoc04

    familydoc04 Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Class attendance is falling off rapidly at our school, especially in the morning. I'm a class person though. Most of this stuff is brand new to me, and it helps to have a guide through it. It's true that more than one professor has confused me more than helped me . On the other hand, some are just really amusing and entertaining - able to make you care about stuff you just wouldn't otherwise. I think it's partly that I'm worried about missing something important. Also, I definitely don't have the energy to study at night after a full day of class. My solution - get up really early and study before class (even earlier right before exams...)and also, weekend mornings. I find if I study when I'm really fresh, I retain more and don't need to study for as long to achieve the same results.
     
  13. fiatslug

    fiatslug Senior Member
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2000
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    My vote for most gratuitous waste of classtime: histology. Other suggestions?
     
  14. 1-eda

    1-eda Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2000
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0

    really? i think especially for histo it was very very helpful...
    my vote: biochemistry

     
  15. Lt. Ub

    Lt. Ub Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2000
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    0
    I went to half the classes during first year, and about 2% during 2nd year.

    Gratuitous waste of time: biochemistry & genetics
     
  16. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,740
    Likes Received:
    18
    Originally posted by Watto: "The "learning theory" aspect of this discussion really interests me. I believe I have an auditory bias, but am seriously acking in the visual--the sole exception being words on a page. I can memorize a huge amount of info if I see it in words (usually break lab practicals down into verbal descriptions to memorize the data) but have been, historically, the village idiot when it comes to spatial info (like stereochem). So my question is, does anyone know specifically which parts of the brain are taxed during 3-D spatial learning that are separate from those during 2-D "word-memorization" type learning? I look forward to sitting through all those lectures and memorizing my notes after..."

    Being a cognitive science major, I feel nominally qualified to answer this...

    For most people, the right hemisphere is in charge of abstract spatial processing of information, and is not very concerned with the production of words. The left hemisphere is where all of your "word production and comprehension" sites reside (Wernike's and Broca's areas). Not being able to rotate objects is space doesn't necessarily mean that there is damage to your right hemi. Most people are pretty lateralized in their reliance on one hemi vs. another. Hence, right and left handedness, and spatial ability vs. word attack ability. This lateralization seems to be a very good thing. Some studies have shown that lack of lateralization is corralated with schizophrenia and severe academic difficulties.

    For me, (I have a math learning disability), I've found that practice has helped enormously in improving my spacial abilities, which weren't that bad to begin with. Pick up some games. 3D video games, or those games where you arrange blocks into patterns, will work that part of your brain. Practice knowing where North is without refering to a compass. These kinds of activities really do help.

    Nanon
     

Share This Page