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How much is enough studying for M1?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by DocToBe2018, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. DocToBe2018

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    I have heard horror stories about the workload at the med school. Now that I'm an M1 at my top choice med school, I feel like I'm breezing by. One of the reasons is that I am worried about becoming a social outcast since I don't have any friends so I have been saying yes to almost all social calls (except the bar scenes since I don't drink). I go to sleep around 10. I attend classes every day from morning to around 5, which leaves me about an average of 3-4 hours of studying a day, sometimes less. I hear from my classmates that they are overwhelmed with the workload. But I'm studying way less than that of my undergraduate years. I got my first biochem test back and I scored 87 when the class median was 74 and H was 90+. I was very relieved. With the neuroticism of SDN, I feel guilty - there is a lurking feeling that I should be studying more and doing research, or God knows what else, etc. The other issue is complacence. I am worried that I will get into this habit of slacking off and solidifying this routine when the workload gets heavier and tougher. How do you gauge how much studying is enough?
     
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  3. DermViser

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    Humble brag about your grades. Kudos. Simple solution: Don't get complacent, don't slack off, get the grade you want. Profit.
     
  4. operaman

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    Happy with your grades? If so, then you're studying enough. At least for now. Titrate up/down as needed. The result is what matters, not how long it took you to make it happen. That said, give it a few more tests before deciding your current method is working.

    It looks like you're actually putting in quite a few hours each day if you count class time; that + your 3-4 hours at night is pretty solid. Now that I think about it, you're probably finding it easy because you are studying hard and getting the job done! That's how it's supposed to be.

    Ignore the whiners - while some are genuinely struggling to adapt to the new workload, for others, complaining is just them bragging about how much they can take.
     
  5. EMDO2018

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    The work load isn't that bad and it all depends on you goals, If you goal is to pass, M1 is not that bad, If you want honors you have to put in more hours. 4hrs on non exam weeks gets me there im right at 80%. We are system based so I hear M2 is heavier, 3rd year is hell, and 4 year is heaven.
     
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  6. DermViser

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    That's the spirit!
     
  7. GomerPyle

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    I think your problem is not drinking alcohol...
     
  8. Robotman

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    People cry about MS1 because its their first exposure to biochem or the volume of work needed to just pass anatomy. In retrospect, its relatively easy.... in retrospect. Because now you can compare your experiences to neuro, (physio for maybe half the people you meet, but thats because certain populations aren't physics inclined) and immuno, its a joke. When in MS2, after having your first systems lecture in pathology, you cry for dear life. You have no idea what volume is until pathology.

    Every semester and every year gets harder, but after that semester and you make it, you realize it wasn't that bad. And when you realize that, you have become stronger.
     
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  9. darklabel

    darklabel PGWhy
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    Listening to MS2s helps a lot also. If scoring 80's gets you in a good position and you're happy then I don't see what the problem is.
     
    #8 darklabel, Sep 7, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  10. Psai

    Psai Snitches get zero vicryl
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    So you didn't score honors. Not sure why you're bragging in here
     
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  11. DrEnderW

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    Nice job making the transition. As @DermViser mentioned, don't get complacent - things will begin to pile up. If you have a strong molec bio and biochem background, this will obviously be the easiest test you take in med school, as it is mostly low-end undergrad review.

    Be wary when you're comparing your hours put in to what you hear on SDN. Some students are gunning all honors... on every test... all year long. That is completely different level of sustained commitment. Furthermore, after things get going a little longer, students will be adding on research, maybe 1-2hrs of board review on programs like Anki or Firecracker, a little EC commitment here and there, and gym/working out a few days a week... I'm sure you can see the hours start disappearing.
     
  12. username456789

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    You're not getting honors, so you're not studying enough.

    I got pan-honors while studying 46 minutes a day (32 of which were spent drunk).
     
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  13. Apoplexy__

    Apoplexy__ Blood-and-thunder appearance
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    I got pan-cakes while cooking 12 minutes a day (10 of which were spent high)
     
  14. jdh71

    jdh71 epiphany at nine thousand six hundred feet
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    Med school is a full time job. Spend 36-40 hours a week in it. This includes going to class and labs. Do the math. It ends up being about right.

    I scanned the thread. Seems drinking is suggested. I wouldn't suggest partying hard as this will catch up with you. But getting lit up after a block of tests seems helpful especially if you can do it with classmates you like and get along with.

    I suggest margaritas. Just make sure they are correctly. Anything with "mango" or "strawberry" or similar in the name is a big waste of time.
     
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  15. 194342

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    Good job?
     
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  16. DocToBe2018

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    Thank you for everyone's helpful comments. So in essence, if I'm vying for honors, I should be putting in more hours. I am an EE major and with an exception of one semester of molec bio, my bio classes were bioengineering classes. Everyone told me that the biochem/bio majors have leg up in the beginning but the playing field levels out pretty quickly. I will have to see how things play out. I have a biochem exam this coming week and then anatomy exam/practicum in next few weeks. From your advice, I am gathering that I should probably add few more hours to studying to set the routine for the inevitable increase in the workload. My realistic goal is to stay above the median and if given this goal, I have an optimistic start; I do plan to look for research opportunities, starting the spring semester, that is, if I think I can squeeze that into my schedule. My school is research-heavy so I am guessing that it's not too hard to find research that fits me. The consensus seems to be that the research helps towards residency but it doesn't eclipse poor stats. As you can see, I am good at highlighting main points. Thanks, guys. :)
     
  17. Robotman

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    The playing field levels out at Micro/Neuro and if the playing field is not level still, it will 1000% level out at Pathology. Put in the work now, and put it in hard. When you get to path, things you learn now will make sense.

    If everything is going easy, great. I support that you take this opportunity to enjoy yourself, because I can guarantee that what people say about Med School being hard, will hit you and hit you fast when you start doing ICM and Path when they want you to remember every word and every period and comma.
     
  18. random1234

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    I guess I would like to ask, from the wiser upper-classmen: so preclinical grades really don't matter (unless you want AOA), right? I just found out at my school that they rank you based on just if you passed, high passed, or honors, not percentage...for instance, if someone gets an 84 (and 85 is high pass) and someone else finishes the class with a 67 (and 65 is pass), both get like 2 points (of out 4) towards the ranking, because it's still just a pass, even though clearly the one with an 84 is a much stronger student.

    But no one would know because a pass = a pass...

    Which seems super stupid and almost pointless to me to gut yourself out over grades. Here the difference between a high pass and honors is like 8 percentage points...that's like the difference of 2 or 3 questions on a test...and the number for high pass is a specific number, like 85 or 87, so you could get yourself out of a high pass simply from like 2 questions as well.

    Since this seems so arbitrary to me, I figured it probably would to PDs as well, which is probably why we have Step 1 in the first place.

    So in essence, preclinical grades shouldn't really matter (unless you want AOA)...is this thinking accurate? And if it does matter, does it matter only for very competitive residencies to begin with?

    I mean who is paying attention to preclinical grades, if anyone? If someone is, what specialties are they coming from?
     
  19. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Thank You for Smoking
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    Congratulations, you just discovered for yourself why preclinical grades as an independent entity aren't all that important when it comes to factors that PDs actually care about.
     
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  20. random1234

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    Thanks for confirming...so is it safe to assume that no one cares (unless they care about AOA)---even competitive residencies?

    Between someone with a 240 and publications but was ranked below average and someone who is ranked high but has a 230 and maybe an abstract, I think the first student looks more appealing to PDs, right?
     
  21. ChEMD

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    Please don't start with the misguided assumption that people at the top of their class won't do as well on step, because that's just not the case.
     
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  22. acapnial

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    Sure. But if someone gets low grades because they don't know the material presented in preclinical courses, it could be considered unrealistic to expect a stellar performance on boards.
     
  23. random1234

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    Nobody assumed that, don't get your panties in a wad...I am sure most will do well, I wanted to use said student as a hypothetical scenario as an example to illustrate the point.
    And that's why I didn't pick outrageous step 1 differences (left it at a 10 pt difference) in order to keep it more realistic.
     
  24. random1234

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    I kind of surmised it as someone who might get unlucky enough to always be borderline like 83/84) and as a result get straight passes...this person would be ranked "low" but would definitely know most of the material.

    That was my point.
     
  25. EMDO2018

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    We are expected to learn everything associated with the pelvis in 2 days, so for the next two days I' ll be putting in 8-10 hrs days, usually 4 is enough, but damn the pelvic region and everything associated with it.
     
    #24 EMDO2018, Sep 8, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2014
  26. DermViser

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    At most schools, preclinical grades don't contribute as much to medical school class rank as clinical rotation grades do. So preclinical grades are only as important as they are to your class rank which varies by school. Obviously if you go to a "true" P/F school, then from a class rank standpoint you only need to pass. For example at WashU - MS-1/MS-2 contributes 40% to class rank.
     
  27. LostinLift

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    Derm - everything sucks school is hard and terrible. Haha nah it's cool so far, I would be losing my mind if lectures were mandatory though. I'm going to email this prof tomorrow about research, he has very similar interests so hopefully I can join a project or start one. When did you start doing research, if ever?
     
  28. DermViser

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    Between MS-1/MS-2 summer. Most med schools have some research opportunities with stipend: http://www.uab.edu/medicine/home/images/current_students/research/advice_ms1.pdf
     
  29. okokok

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    I started M1 around 3 weeks ago. I study (including streaming lectures) around 13 hours a day. Even so, I didn't do too well on my first exam (77%, class average was 82%). I even wake up throughout the night with anxiety about not knowing things or not studying enough. I'm trying not to get in the habit of taking sleep aids, but after like 4 nights of being exhausted and too ramped up to sleep, I'll take a benadryl or ambien. (I do everything I can think of to help my sleep schedule: try to relax with a tv show or fun reading half an hour before bed, no phone or electronics near bed, exercise every other day--my mom has the same problem of anxiety-induced sleeplessness. I'm very open to suggestions.) Obviously I hope to find more efficient and effective studying methods as M1 goes on, hopefully sooner than later. I'd be in heaven if I could get into the 4-hours-a-day club like some of you.
     
  30. ChEMD

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    Try zzz-Quil!
     
  31. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It
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    You need to sleep. Sleep deprivation doesn't nor shouldn't happen until maybe you're studying step 1 or third year.
    Get some ambien or an escort. The only time Ive gone weeks on 4 hours is last month on cardiothoracic surgery. Or now. But that's because I have to.
     
  32. okokok

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    I agree with you, but I meant 4 hours of studying would be heaven. I'm sure I get more than that for sleeping most of the time (I lay in bed for 8-6, usually 7), it's just not very restful because it's all broken up due to waking up repeatedly then lying awake. Getting laid would be so great, but I don't want an escort and I'm not into picking up randos at the bar in my tiny little town. I help myself out before bed every night but it doesn't seem to help sleeping that much. Also it kind of feels like a lot of work to even get started when I'm exhausted. I need to get a vibrator. Or get on Tinder and meet people far outside my social group. Half kidding. (About tinder, pretty excited for the vibrator.)

    Sorry to derail the thread if I did btw
     
  33. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It
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    First: you're going to get a lot of messages for that response... Something from Med students saying they can do better than a vibrator or other lame pick up line lol

    But my point is:
    No, you shouldn't have to study 4 hrs a day. Nor stress yourself out so you don't sleep.
    I'm not saying its easy. I'm saying save your energy. You dont want to burn out. Especially during finals.
     
  34. okokok

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    Ew sick
    Also: no they can't

    Your advice is good though and very true, it's too soon to get burned out. Good news is I feel like I'm being more effective in my studying--I figured out a little method of note taking that works for me. I'm not spending any less time studying butttt I feel like I'm learning more so that's a plus.
     
  35. Kahreek

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    class plus 3 to 4 hours is plenty.
    Most people will scoff but I think about one good hour a day in non critical phases, is enough.
     
  36. Kahreek

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    you can do better than a vibrator, pm for phone number.
     

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