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If you knew then what you know now…sage advice for entering medical students

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Gobble Town, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. Gobble Town

    Gobble Town Lurkin' up a storm dawwig 2+ Year Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Get a great GPA, ace the MCAT, great recs, great clinical exposure, great extracurriculars, great research, deliver babies in Africa, etc., are some of the things required to get into a great medical school, and with hindsight, we should have all been able to or at least tried to do most of them, had we only known.

    If there were a list of things that every beginning medical student should have in the front of their minds on entering medical school to ensure entrance into competitive residencies what would it contain? What are the crib notes on what to do to get into a great residency program, and beyond? (Mods, please do not move this to allo.)
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  3. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse Administrator Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Why not?
  4. ItOnlyTakesOne

    ItOnlyTakesOne 2+ Year Member

    Jan 22, 2007

    There are at least two threads in the Allo forum that deal with this exact topic. Don't you think the med students who use that forum would provide better advice than the pre-meds who use this one???
  5. Steve203

    Steve203 5+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2006
    yeah seriously....this is a pre-med forum...this is like asking a bunch of high school seniors what they would do to be successful in college.
  6. Gobble Town

    Gobble Town Lurkin' up a storm dawwig 2+ Year Member

    Jun 21, 2006

    Okay, points taken. I was just trying to get the perspective from people early in their medical education who still keep track of the pre-allo forum. Also, as an allo-post virgin, I guess I felt more comfortable asking here.

    There are a number of active threads dealing with this same question over there though: , for example

    I blame the ever-pesky search-function-laziness disease. :thumbdown:

    Move, leave, or close as you see fit :( (as if it needs my permission). :laugh:
  7. KaraKiz

    KaraKiz I'm Ron Burgundy? 7+ Year Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    from a "former" pre-med who just got into med school...

  8. SeventhSon

    SeventhSon SIMMER DOWN 7+ Year Member

    Aug 23, 2005
    San Diego
    Start thinking about how to pull out all the stops on how to learn/memorize large quantities of information. Especially if you were not a bio major.

    Don't fall behind. Make sure you give yourself one day before a test where you are filling in holes, not looking at stuff for the first time.
  9. NickRiviera

    NickRiviera MS-Never 2+ Year Member

    Feb 1, 2007
    Springfield, IL
    :rolleyes: please actually read the first post before making worthless comments
  10. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Manage your time well. The sooner you get a handle on this, the easier (and less stressful) your life as a med student will be.
  11. Sophie

    Sophie Lead Foot 10+ Year Member

    Apr 14, 2003
    Sacramento, CA
    1. When people say "don't fall behind", they really mean it. And no, you're not an exception, and you're not so brilliant that you can just ignore them.
    2. Be willing to change how you study, possibly many times, until you figure out what works best for you. Your undergrad methods may not work for med school.
    3. Details are VERY important.
    4. If you have an idea of what specialty you might like to go into, start going to their grand rounds during 1st year. That way you'll get to know the people in the department early, and by 4th year they'll know you really well.
    5. If you don't get much out of going to lecture, don't just go to lectures out of guilt, or because you feel like a bad student if you don't go. In med school, time is your worst enemy - you will not have time to adequately review everything, ever. So don't waste time unless you're wasting it on something fun.
  12. Gobble Town

    Gobble Town Lurkin' up a storm dawwig 2+ Year Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    I have never been a "get much out of going to lecture" type, a prof reading from a powerpoint that I have a copy of does nothing for me. But, I do get guilted into going because I feel like I might miss a valuable tidbit on material to focus on for a test. The typical payoff of these hours of time waisted has varied (i.e. knowing a few answers or a section to focus on for a test), but I just cannot fight the urge to go.

    What advice do you have for non-lecture-types that worry they might miss something that will potentially focus, save time on, or better prepare them while studying?
  13. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    While I actually find attendance of lectures to be a helpful first pass overview of the material (even if I don't absorb all of it), I think that this list of suggestions is a really good one. Plan to hit the ground running and be ready to experiment with different study styles until you find one that works. (And don't get too disheartened when one doesn't). Also I would add:
    6. Don't worry about what other people are doing, what they are studying, how much or how little they are working etc. It's hard to shake the premed competitiveness and curve grading mentality. In a class of 100, there will be 100 different study systems and styles. People will email notes and outlines and websites they feel helpful, but you only have time to look at so much, and some resources are dramatically better for you than others. Once you learn to keep your eyes on your own plate, and do your own "best", med school will become less stressful.
  14. SCynn

    SCynn 2+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2007

    Thanks, I will keep these in mind when I start med school in August.
  15. t33sg1rl

    t33sg1rl Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The biggest thing you need to do is just let go.

    There are really only two grades you can get in med school. "Pass" or "Fail". Especially the first two years, nobody really cares-that includes residency directors, who will basically use your step 1 score to measure the first two years, not whether you got "Medium High Honors Pass" or "Medium Honors Pass" in biochem. So relax, focus on slow and steady learning, ignore grades, don't stress, and don't compare yourself to your classmates.
  16. Ativanigans

    Ativanigans Adcom Member

    Nov 25, 2009
    Choosing a medical school (assuming you're holding multiple acceptances)
    -Find out about each schools curriculum. Do they do anything unique? Do the professors write their own tests or do they use the national shelf exam? Are you required to read textbooks like Robbins or are there provided syllabi to study from? What kind of grading policy does the school have for each of the 4 years? From what I've heard from friends at other schools, having to read a textbook is the most miserable experience I can imagine, especially if it's big mama robbins. Teachers that make you do that are lazy, period. It's not a productive way to learn and you end up bogged down in minute BS.

    -What is the ethnic makeup of the school? Will you get along w/ that? Some schools have a lot of minorities, some dont. Personal choice.

    -How much time is set aside for studying Step1 and Step2? Does the school "teach to the boards" or shy away from it. How many students elect to take extra time to study? Step 1 is super important and some school gives students a lot of time and school just kind of throw you to the wolves. I think to a certain extent that is reflected in the average board scores for the school.

    -Dont be overly impressed with how pretty a school is or vice versa. You're either too focused on your books to care or you're going to be hanging out with friends outside of school anyways. Who cares.

    While in med school
    -Do not buy books unless you have to, you will never look at it again. Most of the crap can be researched on uptodate once you're actually working.

    -Whatever you think you're going to go into, you're probably not.
    Keep your mind open to all options and really explore everything
    through preceptorships, volutneering etc.

    -Like the other poster said, be prepared to change the way you study
    (even from class to class).

    -Pick a goal for yourself in terms of how well you want to do and stick with it. If you find quailty of life important and you'd rather not bust your ass to make AOA, that's perfectly fine. Everyone graduating is still an MD. But keep in mind that you ARE shutting doors behind you everytime you make a decision to eschew grades/test scores/activities to enjoy life. I think everyone makes their own judgment call on how much theyre willing to sacrifice.

    -Get to know your classmates. Misery loves company. I think the most miserable students are the ones that shut themselves in their bedroom and just study at home 24/7. This is especially important during MS1. Get to know your classmates and find a group that you click with.
  17. OpalOnyx

    OpalOnyx 2+ Year Member

    Aug 15, 2008
    what does #4 mean? grand rounds?
  18. Ativanigans

    Ativanigans Adcom Member

    Nov 25, 2009

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