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How to take notes in vet school

kmonte95

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  1. Pre-Veterinary
I know this sounds like a crazy question but I'm struggling with time management right now in grad school and have tried many different techniques. The best one for me so far has been to download my PPTs to my iPad and annotate them whether it be written or typed right on the slide or next to it. After this I have been taking those notes and going slide by slide to organize the information, I used to use OneNote then Evernote but Notion has been by far the best note taking app I have ever tried. But I noticed I was taking a lot of photos from the slides and adding them in my notes, but at the same time I can make my notes more personalized but it takes much more time. I'm just not sure what to do and if it's worth it to go home after every 3 lectures everyday and do this plus make anki flashcards when instead I can just study from the PPTs and notes I took in class. I absolutely cannot handwrite, tried that the other day and wow my hand really hurt after 2 hours of aggressive note-taking. What do you guys do during class and to retain the information after the fact? Do you guys make your own notes or just study PPTs?
 
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JaynaAli

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  1. Veterinarian
This is going to vary so much person to person. Really, we can suggest things that worked for us, but you’re just gonna have to keep trying things and see what works best for you.

For me, in vet school I would usually pull up the PowerPoint or PDF on my laptop then jot down just the facts that seemed important that weren’t listed on there. Sometimes underline or star stuff they seemed to harp on. Then when preparing for exams I’d go through the powerpoints again and make a handwritten condensed notes sheet that would be my primary study document. I learn much better when I hand write stuff but it just wasn’t feasible for me to do that in real time in class. My best friend did take handwritten notes all four years though. In residency I did a lot of studying where I had to read stuff on my own, so for those I typed summaries as I went along through articles and books. For books I condensed those down further and put facts I thought were most important or that I didn’t know handwritten on note cards but it wasn’t feasible to do that for 5,000 Journal articles, so I had to adapt and learn how to remember things without writing them out.
 
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supershorty

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Jan 14, 2013
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  1. Veterinary Student
As said above, it's really going to vary person to person and class to class. For the majority of classes, my notes were flashcards. I made them during lectures based on what the prof said and what the slides included. It worked really well for me throughout vet school, although as we moved into case-based learning, it became less useful.

For imaging, I wrote lengthy outlines of what various conditions should look like; I'm not a visual learner and the only way I survived imaging was by putting everything into words.

In clinical pathology, I had big flow charts for differentials associated with various findings. I preferred to draw them by hand rather than type them, as I found I retained the information better that way.
 
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WildZoo

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  1. Veterinarian
I did a lot of different things depending on the class. Basically did what jayna did when I was in class, most of the time - pulled PowerPoints into OneNote and took extra notes or starred/highlighted things on those.

Early on I used Anki a lot but it was way too time consuming to do it after class. Worked better when I did it during class (basically set up the notecards as we went) but it really required me to pay close attention and by the time I was having 8 hours of lecture a day...that wasn't working anymore.

So I guess my best advice is to be flexible. One study method probably isn't going to work for everything. The most efficient way for me to learn things ended up being reviewing things with my friends and quizzing each other. When we couldn't do that I would try to test myself in a similar way - go through my lecture notes/ppts and then try to recall and write down everything I remembered about those topics or answer learning objectives if we were given them. And then run through what I had remembered and figure out which things weren't sticking as well, focus on studying those.

Of course sometimes you're in a time crunch and just have to get by on reading over your notes/ppts and absorbing as much as you can into your short term storage :) but for long-term learning, recall is going to work best.
 
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LetItSnow

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  1. Veterinarian
For me two things that helped were:

1) Lecturing out loud to myself. If I gave myself a verbal lecture on the material, that helped me remember it. Not sure if it was the physical component that helped, or the fact that it forces you to slow down (we've all been there where we think we're studying and we're really just skimming across stuff we're never going to remember because we barely even read it....) or what, but it helped a lot.

2) Copying from the PPT onto notes. Hardly ever went back over the notes much - but the process of copying them helped me remember the info. For the actual studying, I just studied the PPT itself.

Oh. And 3) I was perfectly content not getting A's in everything. :)
 
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DVMDream

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  1. Veterinarian
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finnickthedog

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  1. Veterinarian
I started out trying to take notes for all the classes. But I pretty quickly--like within a week--switched over to only taking notes that I planned to reference again. Which was very few things because there was almost always a chart or diagram or list that was just as good (if not better) than the one I would have written out. I did find writing things out good for retention... but also found I didn't have the time or hand stamina to do much of that. And typing just isn't the same.

So instead, I did (and do) a lot of this:

Lecturing out loud to myself. If I gave myself a verbal lecture on the material, that helped me remember it.

Sometimes I got tired of the sound of my own voice though. At which point I lecture at myself in (bad) accents for awhile.
 
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