DendWrite

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So, this is sort of a strange question. I'm a freshman undergrad right now taking the basic pre-med courses. But I wanted to get your input on this question...is the fact that I'm finding some of my early science classes challenging in any way a good indicator of what to expect in med school? I feel that while if I put in hard work, I can do well in my classes, but if these classes are pretty tough, does that mean that med. school eventually will just be impossibly tough?

I guess I'm just looking for opinions on how to know if this is a good path to stay on. I'm definitely interested in medicine (not because of what I feel like I'm expected to do, but for its own sake), but I also want to be a competent practitioner if I ever get there.

Basically, the question is, if you have to fight it all the way through undergrad, should that be telling you something about your capacity to become a doctor?

I'm at a pretty competitive (top-15) college, if that makes any difference.
 

PagingDrP

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If you are putting in 100% effort and not getting good grades (consistent B's and C's or lower), maybe something is wrong. But if you are seeing the output, fight on, this is normal. Of course it'll get harder, but it's mostly just the sheer amount of stuff you need to learn that makes it hard, not necessarily that it's impossible to grasp. You are more than capable of becoming a physician if you make it through pre-med curriculum at a top 15 college, and are sure you have the personal traits that elevate you from a smart student to a competent physician.
 

RoyBasch

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Conceptually-speaking, some of the most difficult material I have encountered in college (I am a college senior so I cannot speak as to medical school) I encountered very early on. I am completing two degrees in natural science and humanities, and nothing, even at the upper levels was as tough as some of the problem solving in general inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and entry level genetics. Some more advanced classes have had more detail and thus required more hours of studying, but less difficult material I think. As long as you are doing ok (B-range or better) don't worry.
-Roy
 
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dec0y

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I'd say that having to fight for it shouldn't be the deciding factor here--most people struggle at some point. I think that if you WANT to fight for it, then you should.
 

Chemist0157

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As long as you're making the grades you want, I see no problem. Some schools/professors are harder than others; eventually, you'll come to a point where things seem easier.
 

wurm

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For some people... college is a huge adjustment. I started out with a 2.9 GPA in my first quarter. For some kids who go to the super advanced technical high schools they're gonna have an advantage and find college easy. But once you learn how to study you can do well. I pretty much got a 4.0 in my last 2 years at my college after starting off horribly.
 

VanBrown

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science courses have a way of repeating the same concepts over and over.

However, the basic courses shouldn't be very challenging if you hope to do well later on. Try altering your study habits and focusing on the concepts and the information that you think you will be tested on. Talk to your professors as well... they are generally helpful.
 

FrickenhugeMD

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There is an adjustment needed to be made for every level of the education ladder you climb. It sounds like you just need to focus on your leaning technique, try understanding why things work instead of just trying to memorize things. This cannot be more stressed once you get to med school.

I will say that if it takes 110% effort of someone in undergrad to get good grades, they will most likely flounder when the material comes at 3-4X the pace like it does in med school. This is not to scare some of you, its just the truth. I see people in my class who couldn't make the transition. You hear alot of how hard everything is and "hopelessly large amounts of material". I even heard someone say the other day that they were looking at the things we need to know for our upcoming physiology test "I was trying to study last night but after looking at the material I didnt know if I should laugh or cry". Med school is not a cake walk, so don't come thinking you are all special just because you were able to get in. Its a TON of work.

Personally I have done better than I though I would have and have been loving almost every minute. It really is about understanding the concepts, along with a bit of memorizing the small details (which most of you do need to know). The emphases I'm trying to put here is on UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPTS. If you can learn to do this now, you will be in great shape for med school.
 

magikdoc

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I keep thinking that medical school is like being washed away in an enormous river. There is no point in trying to reach the shore first. It is more a matter of surviving, going along with the current, and trying to keep yourself from drowning.

On the plus side, I have heard from a lot of my interviews, that medical students are increasingly becoming more non-competitive, so at least everyone is no longer out to step on you like in undergrad.
 

HeatherMD

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I think a lot of courses seem difficult at the beginning.

Then you get to the end of your degree and marvel at how stupid you were in first year.
 

Jonesie

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Basically, the question is, if you have to fight it all the way through undergrad, should that be telling you something about your capacity to become a doctor?
Not necessarily. I struggled physics in my post-bac and worried about whether that meant I just wasn't "cut out" for medical school. As your progress, you'll develop better study skills and become more efficient... and those tendencies shift into overdrive once you start med school.

I almost think it's better to struggle a bit before you get into med school so that you're used to the feeling by the time you get there. Sometimes dealing with adversity is a skill you have to learn.

I keep thinking that medical school is like being washed away in an enormous river. There is no point in trying to reach the shore first. It is more a matter of surviving, going along with the current, and trying to keep yourself from drowning.
Yes. This is pretty much exactly what it's like. You get used to it. :rolleyes:
 

erskine

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How many hours a day do you study? Everyone has different thresholds for the amount of work they quantify as "tough". All the international students I know practically live in the library and are willing to study 10 hours everyday, while some frat boy might get a headache after reading a science textbook after fifteen minutes. I typically study 2-3 hours a day on the weekday for all my classes/labs, then maybe an hour a day on the weekend. This has stayed consistent from intro science classes to ochem/biochem/advanced biochem/whatever other upper electives I've taken. You're always learning new concepts, and I guess the only possible way the upper electives might be considered tougher is that they build on previous stuff, so you have to keep more concepts in your mind at once.
 

njbmd

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On the plus side, I have heard from a lot of my interviews, that medical students are increasingly becoming more non-competitive, so at least everyone is no longer out to step on you like in undergrad.
It's not your fellow medical students that are going to step on you, it's that huge volume of material. Most people are so "knee deep in the hoopla" that they aren't concerned with you or anyone else in the class. The volume overload will have you squashed by the second day of lectures. Keep up or perish. :scared:
 
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