How long did it take you to adjust to the extra studying in med school?

Hayden19

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I studied obsessively for the first few blocks and then scaled back as I got more efficient / knew what to expect. Prove to yourself that you can do it and then figure out how to do it more efficiently.
 
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QualityProcess

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I did well but it was through brute force. Still trying to figure out how to be efficient in 3rd year.
 
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cryhavoc

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This sort of sounds like how I studied in college. I'd get up, study before class, go to class, study in-between classes, study at the library and then go home around 9, exercise, reading or watch some tv for an hour and go to bed at 11.

But in college I always gave myself the entire evening off on Friday and Saturday to sort of unwind from the tight schedule I had all week. I'm assuming in med school you don't get evenings off ever?

I'm just wondering how you guys avoid burn out or if you just all have a ton of endurance? I'm willing to make sacrifices but I'm nervous I won't be ready for that intensity and was hoping I could learn some way to get used to it or study effectively before getting there.
 

yanks26dmb

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This sort of sounds like how I studied in college. I'd get up, study before class, go to class, study in-between classes, study at the library and then go home around 9, exercise, reading or watch some tv for an hour and go to bed at 11.

But in college I always gave myself the entire evening off on Friday and Saturday to sort of unwind from the tight schedule I had all week. I'm assuming in med school you don't get evenings off ever?

I'm just wondering how you guys avoid burn out or if you just all have a ton of endurance? I'm willing to make sacrifices but I'm nervous I won't be ready for that intensity and was hoping I could learn some way to get used to it or study effectively before getting there.
Fear will motivate you.

The reality is, if you don't do everything in your power to stay on top of the material AND know your **** for boards...you could quite possibly fail out, owe six figures in loans, have no way of repaying it, eat bologna sandwiches for dinner every night, and eventually come to support yourself by giving hand jobs at jersey turnpike truck stops.

yeah.....think about that one.
 

Dharma

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It takes a while. Hopefully during this process you become more efficient. That only comes with being self-aware and through trial and error (and not too much error). It's a transition that takes many months... at least. I don't think I truly figured out the efficiency thing until a good 1.5 years in. You will figure out how to triage your topics and let certain amounts of minutiae slide to the wayside. Think big, high yield and always shoot for true understanding as opposed to worrying about memorizing it all (because you won't).

Regardless, do find the time to sleep enough, eat well, and exercise. It may seem to cost time but the investment will most definitely pay in dividends, in terms of academics, health, and overall well-being.

Not sure if @yanks26dmb got that name at rest-stops ;), but as he says, a good dose of fear does help. Just don't let that be your main motivator. I saw some students where that fear was titrated a bit too high and it ate them alive. Yeah, they're still around... but their ride proved way bumpier than it needed to be.
 
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Fear will motivate you.

The reality is, if you don't do everything in your power to stay on top of the material AND know your **** for boards...you could quite possibly fail out, owe six figures in loans, have no way of repaying it, eat bologna sandwiches for dinner every night, and eventually come to support yourself by giving hand jobs at jersey turnpike truck stops.

yeah.....think about that one.
You would be surprised, there are a lot of kids in my school who have daddy and mommy still paying their way through school, some girl in my class got a brand new Tesla for her birthday, glad there are still some people who actually still have to pay their way through school and understand the expense and value of an education.
 
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This sort of sounds like how I studied in college. I'd get up, study before class, go to class, study in-between classes, study at the library and then go home around 9, exercise, reading or watch some tv for an hour and go to bed at 11.

But in college I always gave myself the entire evening off on Friday and Saturday to sort of unwind from the tight schedule I had all week. I'm assuming in med school you don't get evenings off ever?

I'm just wondering how you guys avoid burn out or if you just all have a ton of endurance? I'm willing to make sacrifices but I'm nervous I won't be ready for that intensity and was hoping I could learn some way to get used to it or study effectively before getting there.
You do need to give your brain a break even in medical school, but not as much in college, you can't party and go wild, you got to be careful because you really have less time for that, and doing that stuff is just plain silly anyway, also the expectations of you are much higher. One professor told me take a Sunday off but our school gave us exams on Monday, whatever.
 
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It took me the whole first quarter. I used to re-write everything and printed off lectures. Work on becoming efficient. Something that may sound random: avoid hangovers. You don't have time for them anymore.
 
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It took me the whole first quarter. I used to re-write everything and printed off lectures. Work on becoming efficient. Something that may sound random: avoid hangovers. You don't have time for them anymore.
Seriously, even if you study all Friday and go out that night, drink plenty of water. You will get nothing done Saturday if you are hungover and your whole next week will suffer.
 
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samac

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You do need to give your brain a break even in medical school, but not as much in college, you can't party and go wild, you got to be careful because you really have less time for that, and doing that stuff is just plain silly anyway, also the expectations of you are much higher. One professor told me take a Sunday off but our school gave us exams on Monday, whatever.
Except for after a block exam... then go wild
 

Jinxapotato

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It's really not that bad...I'm a month into medical school, had 6 exams so far, I still get to go out with friends after exam, watch shows or play video game (1-2 matches per day...kind of), and I still managed to get 95+ on all my exams. Sure, it's more work than undergrad or master, but it really is manageable.

My rule is to match the time spent in class with time spent studying outside of class, we have about 25-30h of class time per week, so I usually spend ~20h per week studying, that's like 4-8pm every day, and you still get late nights off :D
 

katiemaude

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It took me a full semester to adjust to the new schedule. It sunk in after my first exam about four weeks in that I needed to do more and do it differently. I struggled over the next month to adjust my study habits and my schedule. I had been going to class four-six hours a day and then studying for another two, plus four hours a day on weekends, and it just wasn't enough ... plus I was doing it wrong. For some reason I thought making a couple passes of the material would be sufficient. Ha ha. That was what worked in undergrad and I had a couple years of working a 9-5 job that lulled me into complacency. I tried to keep up my "normal" schedule and eventually I realized that I needed a new normal. By midterms I had it locked down. You need to do more than 40 hours a week and you need to make the learning active (not passive reading or watching lectures but reworking notes or trying to explain the material). Invariably, the people who say they don't need to do that had these classes at a more intense level in undergrad or did the first year of medical school in a master's program, or they are lying and are gunning you.

You have to increase your study stamina. It's just the way it is. Make time for meals and for exercise, call your loved ones a couple times a week, and give yourself a weekend day off and night off to socialize if an exam isn't on the immediate horizon. Definitely let loose after a block or a round of exams, but be smart and get back on track right away. I'm sitting here on Labor Day reviewing material for exams that are two weeks away. But I also went to the beach for a few hours yesterday, froze a bunch of meals for the week so I don't have to spend too much time cooking on days I have classes, and went out for drinks with friends on Friday night (after 4 hours of classes and 4 hours of reviewing that material and previewing for the next week and club responsibilities). If you don't give yourself a break you will go crazy, but it has to be the exception not the rule.
 

QueenJames

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When you guys talk about 4-6 hours of studying is this like "focused, good will hunting-esque straight 4 hours with no breaks", or more like 45 minutes, pass through a section of notes, take 15 minutes, and then back to it?
 

yanks26dmb

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When you guys talk about 4-6 hours of studying is this like "focused, good will hunting-esque straight 4 hours with no breaks", or more like 45 minutes, pass through a section of notes, take 15 minutes, and then back to it?
Out of 8 hours of studying, I'll probably seriously study for 7 hours.
 

ananasmed

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When you guys talk about 4-6 hours of studying is this like "focused, good will hunting-esque straight 4 hours with no breaks", or more like 45 minutes, pass through a section of notes, take 15 minutes, and then back to it?
I take a short break after going through a lecture/chunk of material, just to get up, walk around for a moment, maybe get a snack or a drink, but otherwise I'm pretty much studying for the entire time. This includes phone on silent (NOT vibrate) and no facebook/SDN/etc. except during breaks. It sounds daunting and maybe more than you were used to in undergrad, but I promise you will adjust out of necessity.
 
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QueenJames

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Out of 8 hours of studying, I'll probably seriously study for 7 hours.
oh ok. So you take short breaks in between? BTW congrats on everything thus far with gettin in and actually living the dream as a med student! I've been following your journey on SDN for awhile now. (not to sound stalkerish lol)
 

yanks26dmb

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oh ok. So you take short breaks in between? BTW congrats on everything thus far with gettin in and actually living the dream as a med student! I've been following your journey on SDN for awhile now. (not to sound stalkerish lol)
ha...living the dream. ha...appreciate it though.

Yeah I take short breaks, maybe 10 minutes or so every hour...something like that. I find I start breaking down around 7ish hours..then maybe Ill take a 2 hour break, do something non school related..then go back to it for another 3-4 hours if it's a weekend day.
 
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QueenJames

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ha...living the dream. ha...appreciate it though.

Yeah I take short breaks, maybe 10 minutes or so every hour...something like that. I find I start breaking down around 7ish hours..then maybe Ill take a 2 hour break, do something non school related..then go back to it for another 3-4 hours if it's a weekend day.
Sorry. I think you wanted me to say "nightmare" lol
 

Jinxapotato

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When you guys talk about 4-6 hours of studying is this like "focused, good will hunting-esque straight 4 hours with no breaks", or more like 45 minutes, pass through a section of notes, take 15 minutes, and then back to it?
I find breaks during studying distracting...I feel it breaks your line of thought...That being said, do know your limits. I know I can sit down for 4h straight so that's how I do it, 4h at once...stand up, eat, drink, pee, and repeat if necessary. I concur with the active learning part mentioned above, we have a 4 people study group that meet every Sunday to do an intensive review of the material that we will be examined on Monday (yes we have 1+ midterm every week). We all try to answer each others' questions and discuss so that helped a great deal so far.

PS: the above rule does not apply when a crazy (think anatomy, especially neuroanatomy) is coming your way...In that case, it's 12h days...
 

Captain DO

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Took me about 1 month... i became a lot more adjusted after not doing so well on the very first exam. after that its cake.
 
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The only people that aren't studying an inordinate amount of time are fresh out of post-baccs that refreshed all the material or masters that were literally the same exact material. I've already met a lot of people with recently finished masters (e.g. medical sciences, biochemistry, etc.) talking about how they don't have to study much or such and such test was easy... that's great until they get to the material they haven't seen before. As someone who needs to study from day one you have the advantage of being forced to develop efficient study habits from the beginning - even if that means your grades aren't as good initially.
 
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Cubsfan10

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The only people that aren't studying an inordinate amount of time are fresh out of post-baccs that refreshed all the material or masters that were literally the same exact material. I've already met a lot of people with recently finished masters (e.g. medical sciences, biochemistry, etc.) talking about how they don't have to study much or such and such test was easy... that's great until they get to the material they haven't seen before. As someone who needs to study from day one you have the advantage of being forced to develop efficient study habits from the beginning - even if that means your grades aren't as good initially.
This is absolutely true. I have questioned many medical students from many different schools on the success of certain groups of students and also used my own experiences. Trends seem to emerge in a few areas:
1. Those with post-bacc masters (esp anatomy, micro, and biochem) will excel early but fall off when new material arrives since they did not learn how to study early on
2. Those with undergraduate majors that were difficult ended up near the top of the class: Chemistry, Physics, Biochem
3. Females tended to score higher in class testing, have higher class rank, and perform better on clinical rotations whereas males tended to score higher on the board exams
4. Those with non-doctor parents (1st generation) performed better than those who were 2nd or more generation

Be fully aware these are just observations but feel free to chime in with your school/peers as well. This is not meant to be inflammatory and may not even hold true if really subjected to true study. However, someone could study these someday for interesting insights.
 
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kenjixshadow

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This is absolutely true. I have questioned many medical students from many different schools on the success of certain groups of students and also used my own experiences. Trends seem to emerge in a few areas:
1. Those with post-bacc masters (esp anatomy, micro, and biochem) will excel early but fall off when new material arrives since they did not learn how to study early on
2. Those with undergraduate majors that were difficult ended up near the top of the class: Chemistry, Physics, Biochem
3. Females tended to score higher in class testing, have higher class rank, and perform better on clinical rotations whereas males tended to score higher on the board exams
4. Those with non-doctor parents (1st generation) performed better than those who were 2nd or more generation

Be fully aware these are just observations but feel free to chime in with your school/peers as well. This is not meant to be inflammatory and may not even hold true if really subjected to true study. However, someone could study these someday for interesting insights.
Looks like not everyone can handle 8 hrs marathon of punishment. :naughty: