nI7hwe

5+ Year Member
Oct 26, 2010
17
0
Status
Pre-Medical
for all those that made it into med school and are there right now, how is it going? Did it live up to your expectations, good or bad?
 

transfec

Class of 2015
5+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2010
327
0
Status
Medical Student
for all those that made it into med school and are there right now, how is it going? Did it live up to your expectations, good or bad?
...?
 

IHeartNerds

10+ Year Member
Jun 1, 2007
567
4
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Now that I'm almost done, I can say with confidence that these last ~four years have been the most intense, fun, and amazing of my life to date.

I've drilled into the skulls of living people. Delivered babies. Touched a beating heart. Learned more about human physiology than I thought possible. Stayed up for more hours straight than I thought possible. And met some of the coolest, hardest-working people I've ever known.

Granted, I did have to survive family medicine and Renal. I realized that most MDs are not very good at science, despite my original assumptions to the contrary. But hey, always gotta take the bad with the good...
 
Aug 5, 2010
58
1
Status
Now that I'm almost done, I can say with confidence that these last ~four years have been the most intense, fun, and amazing of my life to date.

I've drilled into the skulls of living people. Delivered babies. Touched a beating heart. Learned more about human physiology than I thought possible. Stayed up for more hours straight than I thought possible. And met some of the coolest, hardest-working people I've ever known.

Granted, I did have to survive family medicine and Renal. I realized that most MDs are not very good at science, despite my original assumptions to the contrary. But hey, always gotta take the bad with the good...
Inspirational and makes me excited! Just curious -> which specialty are you pursuing now that you've run the med school course?
 

Divine Furor

Academician
10+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2006
335
3
Ohio
Status
Attending Physician
The thing about med school is -- your expectations do not apply. It may be literally impossible for a non-medical student to understand the development of the mind, skills, and self that occurs during this training. The preclinical year and rotations are vastly different, so that even a comparison WITHIN medical school from year to year is difficult. IHeartNerds has it right; in retrospect, in condensed form, the synopsis is thrilling and the day to day sloggery and periods of excruciating work (pre Step 1) can be quietly forgotten. As they should be. Once you internalize what you're doing, medicine is like flying -- heady, exhilarating stuff that forms the majority of your worldview forever.
I can't remember my expectations, but I know they could not describe the reality.
 

MilkmanAl

Al the Ass Mod
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2008
12,032
62
Kansas City, MO
www.facebook.com
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Preclinical years=major suck in just about every way you can imagine. If you manage to get a good study program down, though, you can have a ton of free time if you skip class. Third year so far is unbelievable. It can be painful at times - nobody likes holding fat flaps for hours while getting asked tough questions and labor and delivery is the most god-awful crap I've ever waded through - but learning on the job is the name of the game for me. Cramming in all the minutiae the first years required is not my style at all. Give me clinical medicine, or give me death. I really don't care which fungus you get if you spelunk in a certain cave in Antarctica.
 

WellWornLad

10+ Year Member
Feb 5, 2008
1,090
31
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Ha, so true. It's a very strange mix of brutal preparation and exacting detail followed quickly by "holy s#*t, I'm supposed to deliver this f%*king baby? Right now? Seriously? We went over how to do that for all of five f$&king minutes two days ago. And where the f%&k is the resident going?"
 

45408

aw buddy
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2004
16,976
47
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Goes by fast. You'll deliver babies, you'll see people die, you'll watch families learn that their mom/wife/sister is going to die, you'll go through one of the most challenging academic endeavors out there, and then you'll arrive at residency and realize you ain't seen nothing yet.

You'll also read posts on SDN by med students or residents and think "Yeah, that sounds about right," and a torrent of starry-eyed premeds will denounce them as being cynical or jaded. And you'll realize that they ain't seen nothing yet.
 

kwang10

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2008
10
0
Gainesville
Status
Medical Student
Preview. Class. Review. Preview. Class. Review. Test. Binge drink.

Rinse and repeat
 

WingedOx

Unofficial Froopyland Forum Mod.
Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Nov 16, 2010
7,284
11,254
Let's call it a World Cup hiatus...
Status
Attending Physician
I've learned that I really hate hospitals... not kidding. I want to spend as little time as possible inside of inpatient wards.

I've learned that "professionalism" in medical education is the world's biggest case of "do as I say, not as I do."

I've learned that what I thought I wanted to do coming into med school was totally different from what I ended up doing. (hell, what I thought I wanted to do a year ago at this time, I hadn't even discovered my future career)

I've also learned to hate white coats. again, not kidding here. I've seen too many people use the coat as a shield for their own inadequacies. I have every intention of never wearing one when an attending (unless dictated by institutional policy). You can teach "interdisciplinary" education all you want, but you can't change the fact that certain people value status far too much to not see that nurse or tech working next to you as somehow a lesser being.

I've also learned that I've learned a hell of a lot. Do a teaching rotation in the 4th year, and wow, you realize not everything you did in the past 4 years went to waste.

/also, strangely enough my favorite time of med school was the first semester of second year. The classes were difficult, but you got very good at studying and prioritizing by then (plus it helped to be in a city surrounded by post-season baseball fever). 4th year is easier, but there's a lot of flying around and staying in hotels... plus the anxiety of having no idea where I'm going to be living and working next year. I'm slightly jealous of my military friends who matched yesterday.
 

thedoctor8706

10+ Year Member
Dec 12, 2008
749
44
Ohio
Status
Attending Physician
Goes by fast. You'll deliver babies, you'll see people die, you'll watch families learn that their mom/wife/sister is going to die, you'll go through one of the most challenging academic endeavors out there, and then you'll arrive at residency and realize you ain't seen nothing yet.

You'll also read posts on SDN by med students or residents and think "Yeah, that sounds about right," and a torrent of starry-eyed premeds will denounce them as being cynical or jaded. And you'll realize that they ain't seen nothing yet.
Too bad this is completely true. Unfortunately enthusiasm does not die hard.
 

coldweatherblue

10+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2007
1,085
8
Status
Medical Student
med school would be a lot cooler if:

1. nurses treated med students with the basic dignity befitting a living, breathing human being.

and

2. if residents/attendings were more open to teaching (given that every time a med student goes to the hospital we pay ~$150). I really like medicine and I'm gradually beginning to understand the skills and knowledge I'll need to be a competent physician, but it is SO hard to get people to teach you and I'm paying so much money for so little instruction. Basically you are expected to function perfectly in completely foreign situations and are given no instruction, and every time you make a mistake you are openly dissected in front of your superiors. So you gradually learn by observation and the intense fear of social embarrassment.. and you pay for this and spend basically all your time doing it..

this only applies to MS3, first two years just study for the stupid tests they give you.
 
Dec 15, 2010
33
0
Status
Medical Student
First year is farely easy, Second year is a lot harder.

Thats all I have.


You will look back on undergrad and the mcat and laugh how easy it was compared to the firehose of information they throw at you.
 

MCAT guy

...
May 24, 2010
2,058
11
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Too bad this is completely true. Unfortunately enthusiasm does not die hard.
I'm very enthusiastic about entering this field. It's funny, sometimes there is this misconception that the only medical students we are exposed to are on SDN. I've been fortunate to talk to around 100 M1's - PGY-5's in the last few months and not all are, "cynical and jaded." Neither was the physician I was fortunate enough to shadow.

A post I liked from earlier this week,

3. Learn to enjoy studying. It can actually be relaxing and interesting if you get over the pathetic need to complain and act like you wish you'd chosen another field. By the way, no you don't. None of us do. The people who really wish they chose another field drop out. And that leaves just the people who like it and say it, straight up, and those that complain and try to draw sympathy.
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showpost.php?p=10386753&postcount=20
 

ozzi22

it's over 9000
7+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2010
5,348
19
dallas tx
Status
First year is farely easy, Second year is a lot harder.

Thats all I have.


You will look back on undergrad and the mcat and laugh how easy it was compared to the firehose of information they throw at you.
really? i am [email protected]$king scared man
 

getdown

7+ Year Member
Nov 16, 2010
1,562
2,658
Status
Attending Physician
really? i am [email protected]$king scared man
Yes, it's very true. The hours I put in now JUST TO PASS is considerably more than I put in most of my college career. I mean if I studied like this in college I would have a 4.0 and 40 on my MCATs. Sigh, one more test today and I'm done for M2 fall semester. Can't wait, thank God.
 

silverhorse84

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2008
959
1
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Preclinical years=major suck in just about every way you can imagine. If you manage to get a good study program down, though, you can have a ton of free time if you skip class. Third year so far is unbelievable. It can be painful at times - nobody likes holding fat flaps for hours while getting asked tough questions and labor and delivery is the most god-awful crap I've ever waded through - but learning on the job is the name of the game for me. Cramming in all the minutiae the first years required is not my style at all. Give me clinical medicine, or give me death. I really don't care which fungus you get if you spelunk in a certain cave in Antarctica.
This is where I am right now - studying for the Micro shelf. And for the life of me I can't figure out how knowing that the Measles virus has a helical, enveloped, ssRNA non-segmented negative sense genome and is in the Paramyxoviridae class is going to help me be a better doctor. :rolleyes:
I'm really hoping I have the same experience as you 3rd year (that it gets better).
 

littlealex

little tiny alex
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2007
2,101
8
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Medical school isn't as hard as people make it out to be. The trouble for me is the lack of sleep. First two years aren't bad. Sure there are a lot of work to do, but you have a ton of time to do it. Just get your stuff done and go party. The third year is tougher because you generally get less sleep and have less free time. Even on the easy rotations you have to physically be there for at least 8 hours a day and you're still expected to go home and learn the necessary materials on your own.

On the wards you're learning by doing. Half the time on the wards you're tired and angry. The other half of the time you're scared. One of the above poster mentioned that a lot of procedures that you learn you really just got a 5 min overview quickly. You learn by doing. "Never done a paracentesis? Have you seen one done? Great. Take this needle to his abdomen. Just remember to hold negative pressure and advance slowly."
 

Ursa

woof
5+ Year Member
Oct 19, 2010
1,077
2
Status
Medical Student
Goes by fast. You'll deliver babies, you'll see people die, you'll watch families learn that their mom/wife/sister is going to die, you'll go through one of the most challenging academic endeavors out there, and then you'll arrive at residency and realize you ain't seen nothing yet.

You'll also read posts on SDN by med students or residents and think "Yeah, that sounds about right," and a torrent of starry-eyed premeds will denounce them as being cynical or jaded. And you'll realize that they ain't seen nothing yet.
I won't start med school until July, but I think this is pure truth. I graduated from undergrad in May as one of those starry-eyed premeds who was distraught over all of the disconnected physicians in America. Then I got a job in a doctor's office. Now, I'm completely sympathetic for even some of the most calloused physicians because of all the bullsh!t they have to put up with. No wonder most physicians are calloused and objective.
 

45408

aw buddy
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2004
16,976
47
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I've learned that I really hate hospitals... not kidding. I want to spend as little time as possible inside of inpatient wards.
I just hate hospital decor. Why can't they paint the walls a pleasant color?

I've also learned that I've learned a hell of a lot. Do a teaching rotation in the 4th year, and wow, you realize not everything you did in the past 4 years went to waste.
Also true. I still feel dumb on a regular basis, but when I start talking to med students, I realize that I have come a long ways. When I was an M4 helping teach some of the clinical exam course (we were required to do this on our outpatient medicine month), I thought it was pretty funny, because I remember thinking that the M4 who taught me was super smart. I didn't feel super smart, but I could tell that the M1s and M2s did. The tricky thing about medicine is that the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know.

I'm very enthusiastic about entering this field. It's funny, sometimes there is this misconception that the only medical students we are exposed to are on SDN. I've been fortunate to talk to around 100 M1's - PGY-5's in the last few months and not all are, "cynical and jaded." Neither was the physician I was fortunate enough to shadow.
I don't think I'm jaded or cynical, but I could find a few dozen pre-meds on this forum who would tell me that I was. It's a matter of perspective.

"Never done a paracentesis? Have you seen one done? Great. Take this needle to his abdomen. Just remember to hold negative pressure and advance slowly."
That's pretty much exactly how my first paracentesis went. The second one is "You've done this before, right? Okay, I'll be back when you're done."
 

xanthomondo

nom nom nom
Removed
10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2006
15,650
20
the island of Doctor Moreau
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Some good advice would be always pay attention and always try to get as much as you can out of any learning experience.

On FM, 5 weeks in, we had a lecture on how to do joint injections. I didn't really pay attention, because 1. I have no interest in anything remotely related and 2. I knew I'd never be doing it as a medical student and 3. Our clinic hasn't had an pt requiring a joint injection come in yet, so what are the chances one will in the next week?

The next day a women came in requesting knee injections. The resident (who usually doesn't let the students do anything, including H+Ps) says "great, xantho is going to do this" while handing me the needle.

The patient survived, but you never know when the things you're taught will be needed.
 

SuperHiro

Attending
10+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2006
5,265
51
USA
Status
Attending Physician
I've also learned to hate white coats. again, not kidding here. I've seen too many people use the coat as a shield for their own inadequacies. I have every intention of never wearing one when an attending (unless dictated by institutional policy). You can teach "interdisciplinary" education all you want, but you can't change the fact that certain people value status far too much to not see that nurse or tech working next to you as somehow a lesser being.
Hey...some of us like it for the extra pockets. I can't help this compulsion to carry all these note cards I never use.. :(
 

mmmcdowe

Duke of minimal vowels
Staff member
Administrator
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2008
9,782
1,580
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Now that I'm almost done, I can say with confidence that these last ~four years have been the most intense, fun, and amazing of my life to date.

I've drilled into the skulls of living people. Delivered babies. Touched a beating heart. Learned more about human physiology than I thought possible. Stayed up for more hours straight than I thought possible. And met some of the coolest, hardest-working people I've ever known.

Granted, I did have to survive family medicine and Renal. I realized that most MDs are not very good at science, despite my original assumptions to the contrary. But hey, always gotta take the bad with the good...
I'm not as far along but I have to agree.
 

searun

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2006
3,153
8
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I am a fourth year student, currently flying all over the country on my own dime, North and South, East and West, interviewing for residency positions. I also am still struggling to pay off the credit card debt that I incurred when I applied to medical school 4 years ago. I am broke, very broke. But not broken.
 

MilkmanAl

Al the Ass Mod
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2008
12,032
62
Kansas City, MO
www.facebook.com
Status
Resident [Any Field]
On the wards you're learning by doing. Half the time on the wards you're tired and angry. The other half of the time you're scared.
I haven't had that experience, really. Even on plastics when I was working 90-ish hours per week, I didn't get all that tired until I had a chance to let down. I also long since learned that the worst part about everything in med school is the anticipation, so wondering when I'm going to get thrown into some awkward, unfamiliar situation doesn't faze me much. Once you convince yourself that, barring gross negligence on your part, there's no way you can possibly screw up the stuff you're given to do badly enough to hurt anyone, things get way easier. Of course, if you have relentless douchebags for attendings and can't handle getting yelled at, I can see how fear might play a bigger role in your M3 experience.

I don't think I'm jaded or cynical, but I could find a few dozen pre-meds on this forum who would tell me that I was. It's a matter of perspective.
I'd also say it's a matter of relevant experience.
Now that I'm almost done, I can say with confidence that these last ~four years have been the most intense, fun, and amazing of my life to date
Intense I can get, but I can think of a nearly endless list of things that would be more fun and more amazing than spending 2 years cranking through thousands of facts. Third year is a different story, and I'm really happy to be here. It's the first time I've actually felt like I was really learning things I'd need for clinical practice, because lord knows not too much of that goes on during M1 and M2. M2 is definitely better about being clinical than M1, but neither are exactly delightful.
Some good advice would be always pay attention and always try to get as much as you can out of any learning experience.
Amen. I've found lectures during third year to be extremely helpful, for the most part. It's also a good plan to make your residents aware that you want to do histories and procedures and stuff. They're often more than happy to have a little bit of time freed up.
 

45408

aw buddy
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2004
16,976
47
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I'd also say it's a matter of relevant experience.
That was basically my point.

It's also a good plan to make your residents aware that you want to do histories and procedures and stuff. They're often more than happy to have a little bit of time freed up.
Truth. Offer to do a consult in the ER. That way, when they get your evaluation at the end of the rotation, they can fill out the checkboxes about your H&P abilities as well as your assessment and plan abilities. If those boxes aren't filled out, it's kind of being damned with faint praise.

Plus, it does save me time, and I can actually discuss the patient with you.
 

WingedOx

Unofficial Froopyland Forum Mod.
Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Nov 16, 2010
7,284
11,254
Let's call it a World Cup hiatus...
Status
Attending Physician
I just hate hospital decor. Why can't they paint the walls a pleasant color?
actually my hospital has done a decent job of renovating, starting with the oncology floors, and moving onto the ICU (I guess they're going in order of ****tiest place to be...which might also explain why the cafeteria is next)