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How are you lawyers finding med school?

ResIpsa

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 25, 2005
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    Hi,

    I'm a pre-med lawyer applying this cycle, and I wondered how my fellow lawyers are doing in med school. Is it harder or easier than you thought to keep up and do well? How much different is the workload/ studying from law school? I thought law school studying was a joke--one exam at the end of the semester determining your grade really annoyed me and I felt like you could do well, though, by just cramming the last two weeks or so of the semester.

    Just wondering how others lawyers feel.
     

    japhy

    Ski Bum
    15+ Year Member
    Nov 9, 1999
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    Alta, Ut
    1. Resident [Any Field]
      you are right about law school exams being a joke. although i do have a midterm in tax on monday...

      i found med school to be much more work than law school. i don't know if i would call the experience harder though. i certainly enjoyed my classes and the med school experience more than law school.

      med school is all about staying on top of things. i had exams every 4 weeks or so. the first week i would take it easy, very little studying. the next week i would start reading the notes for class. the last two weeks would be pretty intense sturdying. then rinse and repeat. i think part of the reason i found the workload to be manageable was that i really enjoyed the material. i would come home from class most days and say, "guess what i learned today? it was so cool." that has happened exactly zero times in law school.

      i also was in a location where i was able to mountain bike and ski. i had a season pass during 1st and 2nd year and managed to eek out 90-100 days of skiing. it helped keep me in shape and was a great way to unwind.

      good luck with the apps. feel free to pm me with any questions.
       

      juddson

      3K Member
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      Aug 21, 2002
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        You are exactly right about the work load between the two schools. Law school required a week or two at the end of the semester to study and then pass (or get a decent grade in) each class. And that was only in those classes where you were actually accountable for actual knowledge at the end of the class (I am thinking of many third year seminar courses here where you could simply ignore everything "taught" during the semester because the final consisted of a "paper on a related topic of your choice". By and large the idea of "accountability" exists only for the core courses in law school (first year and, perhaps, half of second year depending on where you go/went).

        Medical school, I am finding, is totally different. For one, you are accountable for a vast VAST body of information that must be reproduced on the examinations. Few classes in (my) law school came close to this, though federal income taxation and, perhaps, civil procedure come to mind. Moreover, the volume and pace of the information is such that missing about a week is the most I think one can manage before he simply risks failing the examination. There's simply WAY more there and it comes at you at a much faster clip. Quite frankly there is simply no comparison between the work-loads of the two types of schools. Med school demands considerably more.

        That said, med school is not half as interesting or stimulating. Much of the material must be learned by rote, and that much more of it simply isn't interesting (such as the various biochemical pathways). There is precious little in medical school to induce one to think critically (or originally), and even less to admire about the way it is taught (basically an onslaught of "facts" hung on an otherwise coherent fraimwork). I can say without hesitation that I enjoyed law school considerably and (quite frankly) think it did quite a bit more in terms of building up my "person" than medical school has.

        For me (so far) medicine has been the opposite of my legal experience. I enjoyed law school immensely but hated to practice. My limited clinical experience thus far in medical school suggests that I do not so much enjoy medical school, but practice will be fantastic. That's the direction you want to go - trust me.

        PM me or email at [email protected] for more questions.

        Judd
         
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        japhy

        Ski Bum
        15+ Year Member
        Nov 9, 1999
        805
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        Alta, Ut
        1. Resident [Any Field]
          i agree with judd that the learning styles in med school leave much to be desired. the first two years are almost exclusively rote memorization, with a smattering of pbl thrown in for variety. further, much of what is learned, especially during the first year, is basic science.

          that being said, i enjoyed that more than law school. some of my classmates love law school. they love the nuances, the developments of jurisprudence in x area of law, etc. i don't. to me, this seems like a big circle jerk. i was a philosophy major in undergrad so i understand the point of flushing out issues. but in law school it is done so haphazardly and not in the rigorous fashion seen in philosophy.

          finally, and this comes with many exceptions, i just don't "get" most of my law school classmates. i don't understand their motivations, their attitudes, etc. i mean, who wants to spend countless hours in the library cite checking for law review? or stuck behind a desk? not me. part of this disconnect has to do with the fact that i am going back to med school next year and my career path is markedly different. at least i am going to practice medicine like the rest of my med school class.
           

          ResIpsa

          Junior Member
          10+ Year Member
          7+ Year Member
          Feb 25, 2005
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            I personally hated law school. I thought it was boring, and did little, if anything, to "build me up as a person." I'd rather study organic chemistry than a law school subject, if the truth be told.

            Anyhow, I wondered how you fellow JDs are doing--grade-wise--in your classes. Are you doing better than you expected? Worse? Did your study skills from law school help at all?

            Also, do you find that you're better, worse, or the average prepared to handle the rigors of med school than your straight-arrow peers?

            Additionally, did you guys get a lot of annoying questions from adcoms when you applied? I dread the annoying, "Why did you leave law?" question. How did you answer it? As for myself, I'm hoping the fact that when I start med school, I will have two solid years of working full-time in a hospital to prove to adcoms that I am indeed committed to medicine (I work in the operating room). Did any of you JD's have healthcare full-time work experience before starting med school? Did you find that adcoms really grilled you about why law and now medicine?

            Also, do you think the JD hurt, helped, or did nothing for your admission chances?

            My stats, just for your info, are: UGPA: 3.5 law school: 3.1 post-bacc: 3.65 MCAT: 26 (re-taking)
             
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