How much effort to achieve the bare minimum passing track?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by vonburen, Apr 19, 2013.

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  1. vonburen


    Jan 20, 2013
    Say you were hypothetically taking the P=MD track, only to the extreme. How many hours a week of class + studying do you think it would take to achieve the grades that just meet the threshold of passing in a prototypical medical school?
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  3. sonofva

    sonofva 7+ Year Member

    Aug 31, 2009
    i have a friend who literally did the bare minimum. like literally says he is not planning on being that great of a doctor...not saying this is the way to go, or that I approve, but here it is...

    we had am classes for 4 hours each day for years 1-2, which he went to. he paid attention 60-70% of the time. sometimes played words/word scramble on his phone. probably 1 hour of really hard studying per day. then gym/video games/screwing around for a few good hours. then 1-2 hours of "flipping through" notes with game of thrones on in the background...

    this is when i'd get home from the library. he'd stop flipping through notes and we'd watch BS on tv for an hour or so before bed.

    he would ramp up studying to "normal" med school levels for about 2 days to a week before exam blocks, depending on how many tests we had in the block.

    he remediated 3 classes over 2 years. he failed step 1 his first time around. barely passed on his second.

    we are finishing 3rd year. he basically just keeps his head down. doesn't try to stand out, except with the sports med faculty at our school, who he is super close with...he plans on doing family med, preferably at our school. but really anywhere who will take him.

    this is what bare minimum looks like... haha
  4. qxrt

    qxrt 2+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2013
    If he's going to 4 hours of lectures a day, then I'd say he's doing far more than the bare minimum ;)
  5. link2swim06

    link2swim06 7+ Year Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    M2 year I did near the bare minimum. Essentially I'd study a day or two before each test (we had a older traditional curriculum with tests every 10 days). Never went to class. So basically 8 days completely free and 2 days 24-7 studying. Generally went to sleep around 4am and woke up at noon (except test days). It was pretty chill looking back on it.

    My grades were somewhere between C+ and B.

    M3 year I remembered why I signed up for medicine and actually started trying again.
  6. CherryRedDracul

    CherryRedDracul 2 Chainz Muscular Dystrophy 5+ Year Member

    Oct 12, 2012
    North America
    I could probably just watch each lecture once at 2x speed and do no studying and get a grade good enough to pass preclinicals. The effort I put into studying is so that I can get the tricky questions right and stay above average.
  7. Donald Juan

    Donald Juan 5+ Year Member

    May 22, 2011

    I think going to class if overkill if someone is trying to do the bare minimum.

    If I was trying to just pass, I think I could get by with 4 hours of genuine studying a day, five days a week, with maybe 6-8 hours of studying the day or two before the test.

    I'm in no way trying to say that cherry couldn't do that, but I know if I only spent 2 hours a day listening to the lectures on double speed, I would never pass. It would take me more time studying than that to pass.
  8. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod 7+ Year Member

    That's quite a lot more than I did for most of M2, and I was somewhere in the middle of the class. Depending on how well you retain information, you could probably get by with an hour of studying a day or less with some added effort for a week before tests, if all you're trying to do is squeak by.
  9. ucladoc2b

    ucladoc2b 7+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    Realistically, if he replaced the four hours of passive lecture attendance with two additional hours of good self-study, he would have been fine.
  10. Anigma07

    Anigma07 5+ Year Member

    Aug 13, 2010
    Just passing is not very difficult.

    What will be difficult for you is the time after you graduate with your just passing marks.
  11. yehhhboiii

    yehhhboiii ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Banned Account on Hold

    Apr 5, 2012
    You probably don't want to do this in the hopes of avoiding "Research year" next to your name on your school's match list.
  12. D elegans

    D elegans 5+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Flyover Country
    For me personally, I would find this difficult to achieve. We basically have one large exam at the end of each of blocks that covers material across many subjects (we have a quasi-integrated curriculum). There seems to be so much potentially testable material that I feel like I have to study lots just to feel comfy at passing even though I usually do pretty decently on the exams. However, I feel like if I exerted any less effort I might fall below the passing threshold.

    I would say that it's only two years of your life. If you put in a moderate effort, you will have many more options for residency than if you take the skin-of-your-teeth route. That way eventually you can choose a residency that afterward would allow you be a slackass.
  13. survivordo

    survivordo Gettin' through it 2+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2013
    It's interesting to me that someone would work so hard to get into medical school and then decide to do this. But that hard part really is getting into medical school. Once you're in if you just want to pass you can do it with moderate effort (this will obviously vary depending on your natural ability). I definitely agree with skipping class and listening to lectures instead, much better use of time.

    Survivor DO
  14. alpinism

    alpinism Give Em' the Jet Fuel 5+ Year Member

    Agreed. The thing you have to remember though is that there are a ton of people who get into med school each year who just aren't hard workers. They never have been and prob never will be. If you're really smart (aka naturally gifted) and a good test taker, its not that hard to get a 3.5 GPA in college taking easy classes or a light course load. The same people often will study for the MCAT for only a couple weeks and pull a 32+.

    I know a ton of really smart med students who basically never studied in ugrad except for cramming the night before exams. Many of them ended up with GPAs on the lower side but got great MCATs. They took a couple years off, beefed up their ECs, and eventually got in somewhere.
  15. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin 10+ Year Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    Now this is going to be a little bit lecture-ish. You can get by with minimal work. That's fine and you'll be a doctor and all. You don't have experience with this yet but you probably will. It is a sh.tty feeling to miss something that hurts one of your patients because you just didn't know it. On those days you'll wish you put in more effort than you did, even if you put in your maximum effort


    answer: 2 hours/day
  16. link2swim06

    link2swim06 7+ Year Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    True...but it is highly doubtful you missed it because you didn't study hard enough for M1 year and M2 year.

    I can see how slacking during M3 year and onwards could hurt your future patient care....but your ability to memorize biochem wasn't the cause. If you are crushing your rotations, the shelves, and step 2/onwards you shouldn't have any regrets.
  17. BlaseFaire


    Mar 19, 2013
    You could hypothetically get away with 2-3 hours/day. I don't think I could get away with it, though. I put in quite a bit of work and still don't get straight A's.

    Going to lecture is probably hurting more than helping unless the professor is some steller presenter.
  18. IlDestriero

    IlDestriero Ether Man 7+ Year Member

    There's nothing like being the best doctor you can be! Good luck with your plan!
    This technique will pay off in residency as well when the motivated medical students on service eat your lunch on rounds every day.
    You probably should learn about remediation now, you'll need it later.
  19. vonburen


    Jan 20, 2013
    This isn't my plan by the way, I'm just curious.
  20. Dkr

    Dkr 2+ Year Member

    Jul 5, 2012
    It depends on what type of student you are. I study a lot, like 4 hours a day on average, and more near the exam. I tend to hover in the B-/C+ range. Would probably fail something I decreased that by too much. Another thing that complicates it is that some exams are more difficult than others. For example, you might skate by on the Cardio exam but your Renal exam might be killer. You don't really know beforehand.

    One rule I've learned in medical school is that overkill preparation is always a good thing. I've never regretted over preparing for something. Usually overkill is just enough.
  21. normtheniner

    normtheniner 7+ Year Member

    Aug 20, 2010
    I think thats true for the most part, and I haven't started third year yet (I do soon though) and I don't see how you could be competent in third year if you don't have a solid understanding of pathology/pharmacology/physiology....

    I mean from my limited experience it seems like those classes form the basic core of knowledge that we'll need on the wards. A clinician told us the other day that without a solid understand of those classes, we'll just become cookbook mediocre physicians. I know that I'm going to gradually forget the fine details I've learned over the past two years, but I hope that at least all the studying I've put in will enable me to think more critically over the next few years of my training.
  22. tantacles

    tantacles Lifetime Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    I would say that I come very close to doing the bare minimum. We have combined exams every 3 weeks that test 3-5 subjects at once, though each subject's material is discrete.

    The first week of class, I listen to the lectures and try to keep up. This week, I fell behind by about 10 lectures at one point, but I've caught up this weekend for the most part. When anatomy is in session, I'm a bit more on top of things because lab makes study time a bit less available.

    The second week, I actually start studying. I keep up with lecture (most of the time) and try to go through lectures. Usually, I put off histology until the last second, though. I'd say beyond listening to lectures (2x speed), I put in about 2 hours of studying each day.

    The third week, I start going over old lectures again. I usually get through every lecture a total of two times, though there have been exams where that didn't happen. Our classes each give us 3 practice exams (though not all of them do this), and I generally go through 2 of them before I tell the practice exams to go **** themselves.

    That being said, given my level of malaise, I've so far received 2 Bs and 2 Cs. Not bad.

    Our school is moving to a pass/fail system next year, though not for our class. It's only for the years below us. It is for this reason that I'm so laid back.

    I should also say that my strategy will change considerably next year; my goal this year is simply not to burn out. I experience very little stress about school, and this should allow me to gear up more next year.
  23. BlaseFaire


    Mar 19, 2013
    Haha. And some attorney is going to track down this SDN post in the future. Boom. Done.

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