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How much do you really love it???

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DenaliView, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. DenaliView

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    I saw a thread on this on the allopathic board from a few years back but no one responded....maybe that is an answer all in itself :rolleyes:...lol Just curious, I realize med school/residency are probably some of the most difficult years many of us will endure but beyond the long hours and rigorous curriculum is it fun??? Do you enjoy classes and find that they are interesting or is it more like undergrad and another hurtle to overcome.
     
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  3. LadyWolverine

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    No %&#@ing way is it "fun."
     
  4. BoredMD

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    What are you talking about? This is, like, the best time of my life. :laugh: Much better than college.
     
  5. neurocirujano

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    It's really easy to get caught up in the process. Honestly, a lot of it is just jumping through the hoops. But I think it's definitely important to maintain an intellectual curiosity, which will make you want to learn and will hopefully propel you through those tough years in medical school and residency. A lot of things will sometimes cause you to wonder, "When am I ever going to use this?" Still, I think there is something to be said about expanding your knowledge of people, places, cultures, languages, government, politics, news, organisms, elements, the universe, etc. Ultimately, I think a love for learning is necessary to not only succeed, but also to enjoy this field we are all so eager to enter.

    Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
    --James Madison
     
  6. LadyWolverine

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    Blah blah, blah blah, blah blah. Seriously dude, that read like someone's personal statment. I'm wiping up the vomit as we speak.

    And Bored, you must've gone to an all-womens college. Otherwise, that's just really sad. :(
     
  7. BoredMD

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    Sarcasm...:p. I went to UCLA.
     
  8. Dulcina

    Dulcina =)
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    man, ladywolverine, you sure do sound angry/bitter!

    let others enjoy their medschool experience!
     
  9. DenaliView

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    So it really is simply 4 years of tourture before moving on to a residency program ....aka more tourture.... no fun at all ???
     
  10. neurocirujano

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    The OP asked, I responded. I apologize if you don't feel the same way.
     
  11. aaj117

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    i have to be totally honest-- i'm ecstatic and i can't wait for classes to begin. I know they're going to be hard, ridiculously hard. I know i will probably complain a lot. But honestly, i'm not happy unless i'm sufficiently stressed out and learning a lot. That's how i thrive.
     
  12. ejay286

    ejay286 Member
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    But you have to admit that you're still on the outside looking in through a rose colored window. Meanwhile, the med students and residents are already on the inside and have realized that that rosy window is really covered with blood.
     
  13. neurocirujano

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    This is true.
     
  14. LadyWolverine

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    Not angry, not bitter. Just realistic. Med school does not foster a healthy environment, which, in my opinion, is more than a bit hypocritical. You will miss having a stable, normal life. It is difficult to find "fun" in the day-to-day grind.

    ejay: Couldn't have put it better myself.
     
  15. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon
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    Fun is pretty relative. Med school is not exactly a great time. Even on cool rotations you're usually pretty tired. My most fun months were in my chosen field (EM) and even then on a string of night shifts there were times I wanted to shoot myself.

    You have to compare it to other career options though. Alot of people on SDN act as if law, engineering, etc are great alternatives to medicine and for some people they are. But in these fields where financial rewards come much sooner you spend a heck of alot of time at a desk or in a cubicle. (Before someone says it: I know there is alot of documentation in medicine as well). Especially with law in my experience the more "fun" it is (litigation, immigration, criminal etc) the less it tends to pay.

    My basic point is that there are very few things you can do for a living which will be fun. For me medicine is as close as it gets.

    M1/2 is for a goodly number of us an exercise in the oh-so-cliched statement - "work hard, play hard."
     
  16. FSAP

    FSAP Foreigner
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    Reading some of these posts from the med students sometimes makes me
    feel like I am digging my own grave with a toothpick. Good times.
     
  17. Mister Pie

    Mister Pie Senior Member
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    I know exactly how you feel.
     
  18. DenaliView

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    I completly agree.... dig*dig*
     
  19. LoneCoyote

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    It's good you're reading them. Going in with my eyes open to the reality and not wearing rose-colored blinder glasses made it slightly easier. I just finished medical school and overall it was not a ton of fun, but I do not regret doing it. There were some great times, some awful times, some good friends to be made, and a lot of studying. The environment can be very unhealthy and toxic so try to keep a strong support network and a balance in your life (ie something other than school that you enjoy doing) and it will be better. And remember that medicine is very broad so there is a field for everyone. Once you find that field, the number of good times will increase.
     
  20. LucidSplash

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    MSI wasn't too bad. MSII has made me want to gouge out my eyeballs with a tongue depressor at times.

    Optimistic about MSIII being better than MSII just because I am so sick of being in a classroom and studying and not actually using much of what I am learning and realizing it all got washed out of my brain days after exams because I didn't use it.

    However, pretty sure that there will be some hardcore suck moments in MSIII too, once the novelty wears off.
     
  21. ejay286

    ejay286 Member
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    This reminds me of a convo I had with a cousin of mine whos a cardiothoracic surgeon.

    He told me "the most fun years of my life were from when I was around 22 to around the age of 26, that seems counterintuitive since thats when I was in medical school and it was supposed to be horrible."
     
  22. flaahless

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    I think I'm going to love it. I understand that it will be difficult and time consuming with all the studying, but I'm not going to lose my life. There is so much more to a medical education that what is learned in the academic setting. I plan on living life to the fullest extent possible. Good thing my school is pass/fail for the first two years.
     
  23. Alteran

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    Indeed you are. I feel like reliving the first 3 years again like I need my tongue pulled out my anus. The first two years are filled with endless bookwork that depending on the the faculty may or may not be relevant to your career as a future physician followed by the ever panic inducing STEP 1. You are then rewarded with a year long physical endurance marathon where you will be endlessly scutted out on meaningless assignments or pimped on useless knowledge that for sure will have no bearing on your abilities as a future physician, but evaluated on none the less. Things really only start looking good in 4th year when you have some freedom to explore things you're interested in.

    And then you go onto residency where the vicious cycle repeats itself for the last time.
     
  24. aaj117

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    You never know what type of information will or will not be relevent to your abilities as a future phsyician because you don't know what type of turn your career will take until it happens. I understand that being pimped like that can be frustrating, but people wanting to make sure you know as much information as possible are helping you whether you like to think that way or not. And they know a lot more than you do at that point, so maybe they see some reason that this info is relevent that you just can't see yet.
     
  25. MrBurns10

    MrBurns10 Excellent, Smithers
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    Trust me when I say this...you get pimped on some of the most useless facts during 3rd year.

    "No, I do not know who Seeley G. Mudd was, but thanks for asking."
    "Roger Bannister was the first person to run a 4-minute mile and was present at the first carotid endarterectomy? No, I did not know that." etc.

    OP, the answer to your question is completely dependent on who you ask. I was very stressed during MS1 but enjoyed what I was learning and, in that sense, liked it better than undergrad. Clinical year is stressful and difficult in its own ways, but no way in hell would I rather be back in the classroom hearing lectures 7 hours a day again.
     
  26. eternalrage

    eternalrage Even Kal has bad days...
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    Alot of it really depends on your school.

    I just finished MSI, had so much more free time than I ever did in undergrad. Mainly because undergrad for me was hard as a b***h and I was studying all the time just to not fail. Also because my med school has few mandatory classes and is block scheduled, not much busywork thrown at us either.
     
  27. tantekari

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    Well, I lurk this board a lot, and I have to say I'm kind of discouraged by posts like these. It seems like I see all of the pre-meds going, "YAY MED SCHOOL!" while the med students are saying "SCREW ALL OF YOU MY LIFE IS TERRIBLE." Definitely discouraging... but I guess you guys are just being realistic, right?

    I just hope that I don't have the same attitude and hate what I'm doing when I'm halfway through med school. I'll just have to keep in mind that the end result is worth it...
     
  28. MrBurns10

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    I promise, for most people it's really not as bad as most people on here make it sound. You do tend to be more interested in what you're learning and there's less pressure to get an "A", especially if you go to a school that doesn't do grades or is H/P/F and when you realize that the first 2 years of school don't matter much as long as you pass. When I realized the second part, I was a much happier med student.
     
  29. smq123

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    MS1 and MS2 were NOT fun for me. MS2 had its good moments, but it still wasn't fun.

    Parts of MS3 were also not fun - writing two page notes every single morning on IM made me want to run away. Having INTERNS who had forgotten basic courtesies (would it kill them to say "Good morning" now and then? :rolleyes:) just filled me with a lot of sarcastic bitterness and rage. But parts of MS3 were VERY fun, and I didn't want to leave the hospital during those rotations. So it all varies.

    Well, to be perfectly honest, you might. At the same time, you might not.

    I've been saying this a lot on SDN lately, but I'll say it again. There's a wide variety of responses to med school, which range from "Fantastic! I loved every moment!" to "Sweet Christ, I seriously considered kill myself at least twice a day."

    The thing is, you don't know where on the spectrum you'll end up until you actually do it. I've had classmates that really seemed to like med school who ended up quitting halfway through 2nd year. You just don't know.

    So why is it important to keep in mind that you might end up anywhere on that spectrum? So that you can be ready for whatever happens. Be aware of the fact that you really might hate med school with a passion and want to quit - so know who to talk to if you realize that this is true for you. Know what kind of counseling options are available at your school. Have a support system in place. Have mentors that you can talk openly with. Etc. This way, you're not blindsided by your own emotional response to school.

    You haven't been pimped in front of an OR full of bored and mean nurses/harpies have you?

    I've yet to find someone who could explain to me why knowing who won the 1967 US Open will help me be a better physician. Or why not knowing who won the 1967 US Open somehow immediately means that I'm a complete moron.
     
  30. ZagDoc

    ZagDoc Ears, Noses, and Throats
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    Fun? Brief, fleeting moments. Challenging? A good part of it. Rewarding? At times.

    Of course there's the crap too. My own personal experience I couldn't see myself anywhere else. But your mileage may vary.
     
  31. HTxFrog

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    Ok, so I just finished undergrad and I'm heading to med school in August. One thing I don't really understand is how a lot of premeds consider college a hoop to jump through. I mean I guess bio/chem classes are harder than those of your average business major, but you can still find TONS of time to party and socialize with your friends and stuff. College should be the best time of your life. I mean honestly you have so much free time during college, much more than you will in the future so please if you are a 1st or second year premed reading this board keep in mind that you can and should have a great time in college and you don't necessarily have to spend all your time studying to get into med school. Think about it, if you spend 8 years gunning through undergrad and med school and then another 5 or so in residency, you have pretty much given up your youth.
     
  32. Strength&Speed

    Strength&Speed Need more speed......
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    For a contrasting opinion...i think med school may have been the best time of my life. Better than college. My experience is not typical however. ;)

    And my college probably sucked relative to most of yours.
     
  33. DenaliView

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    Wow,:soexcited::soexcited: That is great to hear! Can you please share some of the secrets to your positive experience. Is it all in your attitude, the friends that you have…How do you do it!!!
     
  34. BlondeDocteur

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    I have loved every minute of third year. I've felt alive in a new way. But, as smq said, I spent literally every day-- literally-- of first year wanting to drop out. I found it all so BORING, and hated the chirpy attitude of my classmates who thought that unless they could summon a perfectly detailed 3-D simulated human cadaver rotating through their heads at any given time on any given plane, every patient they would care for in the future would die.

    Organic chemistry and molecular biology have nothing to do with basic medical science like pathophysiology. You can hate the former and find yourself quite interested in the latter. Likewise, sitting in a classroom has little predictive value for how much you'll enjoy working on the wards. Just because you don't find one stage appealing doesn't mean you won't enjoy the next. Unfortunately some people find the converse is true as well-- they loved the intellectual content of medicine but hate its practice. They hopefully wind up as pathologists, but most don't wise up and become very bitter residents.

    There's no secret to enjoying something-- it's like your favorite flavor of ice cream. You can't analyze why you like it, you just do.
     
  35. unsung

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    Can we say bitter? Geez, that's like worthy of a Lisa moment off of Top Chef.

    Rosy-colored lenses or not, I think it's GREAT to have the attitude of wanting to learn for the sake of learning. Maybe it's out of envy that some view folks like that negatively... certainly it makes classes more enjoyable if you have a personal reason (beyond making that A) for wanting to learn. Having that kind of attitude makes life so much easier. Jmo.
     
  36. ForbiddenComma

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    In honesty... some parts of it really beat you down. Seriously.

    Yeah sure, it's hard from an academic point of view, but we knew that already. I'm talking about from a stress point of view. The stress of not having a clue what your chief resident thinks about you when he determines 25% of your grade. The stress of a shelf that seemed easy, until you took a practice test and got 6 out of 10 questions wrong. The stress when your service has three new patients and you know absolutely nothing about their conditions. The stress of thinking about the future and your residency, and having doubts about how competitive your CV is compared to the gunners who post on SDN. The stress of doubting whether MDs have much of a future at all in a field increasingly dominated by non-medical people in insurance/Medicare, and the nurse practitioners who take their orders, both wishing to remove individual thought process from patient care and institute "cookbook medicine."

    And then there are the patients. The 35 year old mother of two who has a cerebellar stroke, courtesy of her chiropracter. The nice middle-aged lady with a GBM. The 14 year old kid with sickle-cell so bad, she has terminal pulmonary hypertension. The 37 year old Army veteran living under the 2nd Street bridge with booze as his only friend. The diabetic who refuses to follow a sane diet. The drug addict. The neurofibromatosis patient. The HCC lady. The runaway-lupus lady. All are people that you can't help.. the resident can't help... the attending can't help, no matter how much education you have and no matter how hardcore a gunner you were in med school or undergrad.

    To be honest. Sometimes I browse this premed forum just to recall my own enthusiasm and idealism a mere four years ago.

    But on the other hand... it's a real job. We aren't just shuffling around money from one account to another and calling it a career. We aren't spending 95% of our time reading or writing endless boring legal briefs. We aren't spending our days speculating on the commodities or real estate market.

    So the point is... wait... I guess I don't have a point here! :oops:
     
    #35 ForbiddenComma, Jun 19, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  37. Strength&Speed

    Strength&Speed Need more speed......
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    i loved it because I loved the study of medicine. I think it is fascinating. However, I find the practice of medicine less fascinating, because I feel I am fighting an uphill battle against poor lifestyles (and other factors).

    Now, since I'm a knowledge-phile, the first two years were great, and the last two were ok too, because I was learning so much.

    The biggest thing that made it fun personally was that I lived with a bunch of other people and my social life was extremely active. I did not give up a thing to be in medical school, which was great. You have to stay socially active--it serves two purposes....you stay up to date and get tips from classmates--share notes/tips/exchange supplies/etc, and you don't feel like you are missing out on anything. Also, I skipped class as much as I possibly could. I get worn down by lectures, and frankly, its a poor way of spending your time. I can spend 1 hr in lecture, then I will need another hour to memorize/learn the notes from that hour. Thats 2 hrs. If I DONT attend lecture, it takes me 1.5 hrs to learn the lecture notes. That means over an 8 hour day, if I can skip class and get good notes, I have saved about 4 valuable hours of my time. I think class is generally a waste of time if you can get good notes. Obviously, this strategy doesn't work for everybody.

    the main thing is dont seclude yourself from social events or your peers.
     
  38. NPR

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    See I had the opposite reaction.

    MS1 and MS2 were not fun but tolerable.

    MS3 was an endless cycle of menial tasks, constant evaluation, and abuse from interns/residents/attendings/nurses/and heck, let's throw in administrative staff too. (Not all of them of course, but enough to anger me)

    The fact that I was able to go an entire year without racking up one honors grade despite racking up plenty in MS1/MS2 was yet another reason I'd hang myself if I had to go through MS3 again. Constant scrutiny with no reward. Ouch.
     
  39. ACSurgeon

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    not at all. True I only expereinced 1st year so far, but I know people at my school of all levels (2nd, 3rd, and 4th years).... you make of it what you want. You have those who complain and hate it, and you have those who still have a life and are able to enjoy what they learn. A big part is in your hands!
     
  40. ACSurgeon

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    I try to take every opportunity I get to meet with pre meds/ applicants at my school or give tours. Seeing people that are desperate to be where you are reminds you how lucky you are to be there. I always imagine what my life would have been like if that letter started with "Unfortunately" instead of "Congratulations"... and trust me, I wouldn't be in investment banking!!!!!
     
  41. Virgil

    Virgil Hi hi!
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    You know, it's becoming more and more apparent that you must have an excellent social presence (charisma, upbeat demeanor, etc.) as well as aptitude to do well in medical school. It is ironic that for residencies, 1st and 2nd year grades don't matter (bad for the bookworms, although there is Step 1) but 3rd and 4th year grades (which are very subjective, and oftentimes based on whether the chief resident likes you or not) matter a whole lot.
     
  42. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    It IS a good attitude to have.

    Unfortunately, a lot of people lose that attitude quickly. It's really hard to say "I'm learning for the sake of learning!" when you're trying to shove 25 pages of new material into your head each night. After a while, you start saying to yourself, "I'm learning because....I can't afford to fail out."

    And then third year hits, and you start saying to yourself, "I'm learning because I'm afraid of looking like a total moron tomorrow." Once in a while, you'll think to yourself, "I'm learning because I'm terrified of killing someone."

    What I'm trying to say is that, essentially, medical school boils down to fear. Lots and lots of fear.

    a) First and second year grades kind of DO matter, especially if you're going for derm or integrated plastics.

    b) You must have either an "excellent social presence," or top-notch ass-kissing skills. Either one will do, it seems.
     
  43. ACSurgeon

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    Here is my take on med school from my expereince and from talking to upperclassmen at my school:

    Expect the worst, and you won't be dissapointed (I was very pleasntly surprised MS-1)

    Take it step at a time. MS1 will fly by as you try to adjust and get though your first med school year. MS2 I hear is rough, but it is your LAST year in a classroom. You will be looking forward to the clinical years. MS3 is the worst (maybe physically and timewise), but once you are in your 3rd year, you look forward to that transition into 4th year with mainly electives that won't be as bad. Once you are an MS-4, you're there baby.... the MD is waiting right around the corner....

    I haven't figured out how to put a positive spin on intern year or residency... exeot for the fact that you get payed instead of paying. But even that is crappy. Hey, for pre-meds and even 1st year medical students, just thinking that you will be officially a doctor (per your name tag) will make it all better :rolleyes:
     
  44. Virgil

    Virgil Hi hi!
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    Wait a minute. Could someone please clarify this? Law2Doc just said:
    Do first and second year grades matter or not?
     
  45. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    Well, here's the thing.

    * For specialties where AOA is really important (= derm, integrated plastics, possibly some ortho/urology/ENT spots), then MS1 and MS2 grades probably really DO matter. This is because, at some schools, junior AOA is determined by your grades from the first two years.

    * When a friend of mine was considering derm a few years ago, he was told that by the chair of the department that (at least at their program), they DID look at MS1 and MS2 grades. It's one more way of separating out applicants. This is probably true for at least some programs in the more insanely competitive specialties.

    Otherwise, your MS1 and MS2 grades probably don't matter all that much.
     
  46. Virgil

    Virgil Hi hi!
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    So would you say lack of AOA is a deal breaker for derm, ortho and the other competitive specialties?
     
  47. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Not a deal breaker by any stretch of the imagination. Many people still get into those without AOA. But AOA helps if you get it. Most don't. You probably won't, statistically -- just a handful per school get AOA. But you should shoot for it anyway if you want one of these fields.

    But the real value of doing well in the first two years is that you probably are better prepared for Step 1. Which is probably one of the most important factors looked at by residencies. And it is heavily weighted on second year subjects.
     
  48. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    Not for all specialties.

    But not having AOA can definitely keep you out of some of the top spots for these really competitive specialties. But not having AOA won't necessarily bar you from certain specialties.
     
  49. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Fun is a relative term. Suppose you like ice cream and roller coasters. And you consider those fun, right? Med school is like eating a metric ton of ice cream in one sitting, and then spending the next 24 hours on a roller coaster, without a break. Not so much fun anymore, is it...

    So when you have time to step back, you will see some of it is kind of cool. fun even. But you just don't get a chance to step back and enjoy it as much as you'd like.
     
  50. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I'm not even sure this is true. At least it wasn't for a few folks I know who matched extremely well into uber competitive things without AOA recently. But it's definitely an asset if you have it.
     
  51. Virgil

    Virgil Hi hi!
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    So the take home message is that while grades do matter (they can help your application by getting you AOA status), they don't matter to such a degree that you should freak out about your performance...just as long as you're passing. This is because you're still in the running for even the most competitive of specialties given high board scores, clinical evaluations, and research experience.

    Is my understanding correct?

    Oh, and through my MCAT experience I've learned that doing extremely well in the prereqs is the single most beneficial thing you can do to prepare for the MCAT starting your freshman year of college. By that I mean seriously taking the time to learn and have a solid conceptual view of everything going on in each tested subject. Learning from my mistakes, I plan to approach med school and Step 1 in that way, God-willing.
     
    #50 Virgil, Jun 19, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008

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