Help, lost MS1 failing course...

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MightyShell

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Hello,

Finished up MS1 and I am currently failing my micro/path/physio course, and I am unsure how I should approach the Block Cumulative retest next Thursday as I need a 70% to pass. I just feel like a failure/ashamed. Usually what I would do is attend lectures, stay on campus and rewrite some of the important info by hand (ie this bug has x virulence factors). The mornings after lecture I was unsure how I should review so I just went over my notes and the lecture. I went to the learning centers throughout these two semester but they didin't really help me come up with a structured plan, the meetings were moreso "have you tried this?" and "here's a contract for what you will try to improve on" (my biggest issue was time management). I tried out the premade anki decks from previous classes for the last exam, and my score went up a lot (65/70% to 80%). Anki is something I would like to focus on more in the future, but given that I have less than a week I am not sure what to do. Another big problem is that I tend to only get like 3 or 4 hours of sleep before exams because I feel unprepared. I really just want to pass this exam and reflect on the summer for how I can create a more structured study schedule come second year, any hard advice is appreciated.

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Are your exams written by your professors or by the NBME? If written by the NMBE - crush as many uWorld questions as you can between now and then.
 
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Obviously this isn’t an immediately fixable issue, but 3 - 4 hours of sleep is not enough for basically every human being. That’s gonna noticeably hurt your performance. You may want to look into professional help for stress management. I bet sleep deprivation is at least part of the issue.
 
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For micro I'd recommend Sketchy--if you get the Anking deck you can unsuspend just the cards for each video you watch so it doesn't get too overwhelming. Boards and Beyond is also a good resource and is also linked to Anking so you can only unsuspend the relevant cards.
if your exams are in house premade decks are probably better but otherwise use Anking all the way. UWorld and Amboss are great resources for practice questions.

For the next week before your test try to eat mostly healthy food, stick to a sleep schedule, and try not to beat up on yourself too much. You got this!
 
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Hello,

Finished up MS1 and I am currently failing my micro/path/physio course, and I am unsure how I should approach the Block Cumulative retest next Thursday as I need a 70% to pass. I just feel like a failure/ashamed. Usually what I would do is attend lectures, stay on campus and rewrite some of the important info by hand (ie this bug has x virulence factors). The mornings after lecture I was unsure how I should review so I just went over my notes and the lecture. I went to the learning centers throughout these two semester but they didin't really help me come up with a structured plan, the meetings were moreso "have you tried this?" and "here's a contract for what you will try to improve on" (my biggest issue was time management). I tried out the premade anki decks from previous classes for the last exam, and my score went up a lot (65/70% to 80%). Anki is something I would like to focus on more in the future, but given that I have less than a week I am not sure what to do. Another big problem is that I tend to only get like 3 or 4 hours of sleep before exams because I feel unprepared. I really just want to pass this exam and reflect on the summer for how I can create a more structured study schedule come second year, any hard advice is appreciated.
Have you tried Sketchy Micro? My students swear by it.

Go talk to your professors about how best to learn the material.
 
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Sorry you’re in a fix but it sounds like you’ve already figured out the problem and found a good solution. You weren’t getting enough reps with material and weren’t hitting the high yield stuff hard enough. You made changes and started scoring well. So at the core you’ve figured out the issue.

For next week, just go hard with what you know works for you and what works for in-house vs name written exams. Just live and breathe this test for the next week - still lots of time to get some good use from Anki too. Not sure how many cards cover the material you’re doing - probably 2-3k I’d guess if your exams were like mine. There’s still time to get through the deck a few times.

Definitely make time to sleep too. Memory encoding is done during sleep not to mention being able to absorb new material. You’ve got to schedule sleep like you schedule study time as it is arguably even more important.
 
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Ended up failing by a few points (3). I will have to remediate over the summer. I feel totally lost. I was hammering the anki decks everyday, and getting enough sleep but it still wasn’t enough in the end.

I don’t really know what to do now.
 
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Ended up failing by a few points (3). I will have to remediate over the summer. I feel totally lost. I was hammering the anki decks everyday, and getting enough sleep but it still wasn’t enough in the end.

I don’t really know what to do now.
You’re going to remediate and pass with no problem over the summer when you’ve got more time. And you’re going to do just fine moving forward now that you’re getting your studies dialed in. Keep maturing your Anki cards and make any adjustments you need after getting to sit the final and see the material covered.

Sounds like you got things together too late plus this kind of material is especially tough. This is exactly why remediation is an option. One of my attendings in med school was a transplant surgeon and kept a framed letter on his office wall from his dean informing him he had failed histology and would need to remediate. Obviously he passed and you will too. I had classmates who failed classes and had to remediate and even repeat a year who are now on faculty and giving med student lectures themselves.

Take a moment to be upset and frustrated and then put it aside and get back to work. This is just a bump in the road and a story you’ll tell students later.
 
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You’re going to remediate and pass with no problem over the summer when you’ve got more time. And you’re going to do just fine moving forward now that you’re getting your studies dialed in. Keep maturing your Anki cards and make any adjustments you need after getting to sit the final and see the material covered.

Sounds like you got things together too late plus this kind of material is especially tough. This is exactly why remediation is an option. One of my attendings in med school was a transplant surgeon and kept a framed letter on his office wall from his dean informing him he had failed histology and would need to remediate. Obviously he passed and you will too. I had classmates who failed classes and had to remediate and even repeat a year who are now on faculty and giving med student lectures themselves.

Take a moment to be upset and frustrated and then put it aside and get back to work. This is just a bump in the road and a story you’ll tell students later.

Thanks this is helps. There was a lot I was neglecting about myself these past few months - I stopped working out, barely ate, had poor sleep, and didin’t have an overall good study routine on the weekends (I realized too late I just can’t study at home - too many distractions).

Looking to move closer to campus once my lease ends, and will continue with anki + sketchy (seemed very helpful but I just didint have enough time to go over all the bugs). I will also reach out to professors and see how I can improve.

I guess it’s better I fix bad habits now than let them continue on. It is discouraging seeing everyone in my class do well (avg on exams are low 80s), but I will come back and try harder this summer.
 
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Ended up failing by a few points (3). I will have to remediate over the summer. I feel totally lost. I was hammering the anki decks everyday, and getting enough sleep but it still wasn’t enough in the end.

I don’t really know what to do now.
Go talk to your faculty for advice on how to deal with the material.

Also talk to your learning or education center.
 
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Are your exams written by your professors or by the NBME? If written by the NMBE - crush as many uWorld questions as you can between now and then.
It's quite possible that you're already on the right track, but I think this is the key question to answer. At my school, tests were based on lectures, so I'd memorize what I felt was important from them.
 
There was a lot I was neglecting about myself these past few months - I stopped working out, barely ate, had poor sleep, and didin’t have an overall good study routine on the weekends (I realized too late I just can’t study at home - too many distractions).
It sounds like you need a better routine. I worked a rigid 8-5 job before medical school and found it helpful to treat school the same way. I would not just fail to show up to a job unless I was very sick or had a pre-planned reason to be away, so why should studying in medical school be any different? And like you, I cannot study at home beyond doing a bit of Anki. My Monday-Friday routine was getting to campus before 8:30 and study until 12 (when I got ravenously hungry), with approximately 10 minute breaks every hour. I would then study from 1 until between 4-5, at which point I would get tired and hungry. Then I would go home. While I would sometimes talk to classmates or wander to the cafeteria with someone, my default was to be studying.

It's important to recognize when you're tired, hungry, can't focus, etc. and STOP STUDYING. Taking a long break is "productive" in the sense that at the end of that break you'll be refreshed and ready to study again. If you spend 3 hours trying and failing to study you will have wasted 3 hours where you didn't learn anything and didn't rest/recharge.

It sounds like you've already found some third party resources that work for you and have been getting more sleep, which is great! I'm sure you'll pass over the summer and this will be a blip on your radar. You have all summer to come up with a routine that includes time carved out for studying, eating, and sleeping if you think that would be helpful for you, even if you only stick to it a few days per week. Not everybody does well with a hard and fast routine, but I personally find it helpful (and I did well on exams) because it means I don't have to devote much mental effort to what I'm going to do on any given day. If it is Monday-Friday I will be getting up at roughly the same time, eating breakfast, and heading to campus, no questions asked.
 
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Ended up failing by a few points (3). I will have to remediate over the summer. I feel totally lost. I was hammering the anki decks everyday, and getting enough sleep but it still wasn’t enough in the end.

I don’t really know what to do now.

At this point I'm probably just repeating what other people already said, but if it encourages you-

This time 6-8 months ago or so I was depressed man. I was worried about failing step 1 (I was one of those "trust the curriculum" people and found out my school's abysmal pass rate like a few months before my exam), and my wife pretty much told me I was a lousy husband (this was only like 2% true but it still stung). I felt guilty too.

Really, I just needed to stop doing what other people were telling me to do and do what worked for me. The spouse thing was a whole other issue, but that's better too now. But feeling inadequate/guilty/like a failure is SUPER common in medical school. Many of your classmates feel like that to, they just don't want to tell you because they're embarrassed.

The reason things didn't work out this time is that you can't cram for a block exam like that. If you study like you studied right before the test during the whole block next time, you're gonna be fine.

Go to therapy if you need to. Spend some time with your loved ones. And then start grinding. You're gonna be OK dude. You are not the first great future doctor this has happened to.
 
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Hello everyone,

I am to take the remediation exam and undergo a decelerated course load for 2nd year if I pass. Does anyone know what the ramifications of this would be for residency? (IM or gen surg) Also is there anything at all I can do during these years to improve from this red flag on my app?
 
Hello everyone,

I am to take the remediation exam and undergo a decelerated course load for 2nd year if I pass. Does anyone know what the ramifications of this would be for residency? (IM or gen surg) Also is there anything at all I can do during these years to improve from this red flag on my app?
Try to fix the deficits that caused you to fail

Shine in rotations

Network, network, network
 
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Hello everyone,

I am to take the remediation exam and undergo a decelerated course load for 2nd year if I pass. Does anyone know what the ramifications of this would be for residency? (IM or gen surg) Also is there anything at all I can do during these years to improve from this red flag on my app?
Hard to predict exactly because everything depends on how you do from here on out. If your main issue was your approach to studying and now you fix it and start crushing exams, pass S1, and do well in rotations and get a solid S2 score, then you’ve got a good shot for those fields. If nothing changes and you accumulate more and more red flags, then you’re going to have a harder time.

Plenty of people stumble in the beginning; it’s what you do moving forward that counts. Based on your post, it sounds like you’ve got a reasonable plan to move forward and start doing much better. If you’re able to do that you should be just fine.
 
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