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improving study skills before Medical school...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by tpsych, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. tpsych

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    I have completed my post-bacc. work and prerequisites earning a 3.99 GPA! Despite this I still feel like my study skills are lacking a bit. I need to learn how to take better notes in class as well as from reading. I often find myself taking notes and then never looking at them again or not really listening to what is being said because I am so focused on the notes. In the undergrad classes I was able to do very will just using powerpoint provided by the instructors but I have a strong feeling this will not get me by next year in medical school. I am also interested in learning about over all study strategies.

    I have tried talking to my premed advisor about this and he directed me to the study resource center of the college. They weren't very helpful because everything they offer is geared towards recent high school graduates and she thought I need more advanced material (we'll see about this lol). She told me to contact medical schools and ask them for advice. So, I called Harvard. While extremely nice, they could really offer me any advice except for seeking out mentors to help me.

    I am really looking for concrete books or tools I can read/us to improve my study skills. Any recommendations?

    These are two I have come across that seem promising:

    Mastering Medical Sciences: Study Without Stress (Kelman and Straker)

    Study Skills and Test-Taking Strategies for Medical Students: Find and Use Your Personal Learning Style (Oklahoma Notes)
     
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  3. torshi

    torshi Squirrel
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    :thumbdown:thumbdown:thumbdown:
     
  4. jdok

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    I don't have any advice, but how can you improve your study skills by just reading a book? Wouldn't one have to be actively studying to recognize what works and what doesn't? I've seen many med students say that you'll learn to adapt once you start medical school since you really can't prepare for it until you actually experience it.
     
  5. Astarael

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    Find a book that will teach you to relax. If you're getting a 3.99, there's nothing wrong with your study habits.
     
  6. tpsych

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    torshi - thanks for the reply, very mature.:cool: :thumbdown:thumbdown:thumbdown:

    jdok - I understand what you're saying about learning to study from a book. From the research I have done so far, there are a number of books out there that offer self assessments to identify what type of learning style is best for you and then offer techniques to maximize your study efforts. Really I just want to get some new ideas and see if other people have different ideas and approaches than I do that might be better for me.

    Astarael - no matter how well anybody did in undergrad, Med school is another ball game all together. I think relaxation is a huge part of success but so is preparation!!!
     
  7. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    Keys: Good setup with comfy chair. Coffee supply and will power to keep your butt in the chair.
     
  8. 3.99? why did you take a post-bacc if you have such a good gpa?
     
  9. FunnyCurrent

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    You have been thumbs downing a lot of things lately torshi
     
  10. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis I wish I were a dentist
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    This is like a post saying "make me better looking."

    No, we can't help make you better looking unless we know how ugly you are first.

    The Department of Education Services at my school uses tutors, group studies, and these: http://www.hhpublishing.com/_assessments/LASSI/

    The LASSI can be used as:
    A basis for improving all student's learning and study strategies;
    A diagnostic measure to help identify areas in which students could benefit most from educational interventions;
    A counseling tool for college orientation programs, developmental education programs, learning assistance programs, and learning centers;
    A pre-post achievement measure for students participating in programs or courses focusing on learning strategies and study skills;
    An evaluation tool to assess the degree of success of intervention programs or courses. The LASSI is easily administered in 30 minutes and is self-scored. Each LASSI packet includes the instrument and score interpretation information.
    A detailed user's manual is available to those administering the inventory. It includes a history of the instrument's development, a complete description of the ten scales included in the LASSI, a section on administration and scoring, results of pilot and field testing, and the process used in scale construction.
     
  11. tpsych

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    Sorry for any confusion. I graduated in 2003 with a cGPA of 2.78. I went back to school about two years ago and took all my prerequisites and other upper level sciences and earned a 3.99.
    In total I think I ended at 3.19 cGPA and 3.81 sGPA (those numbers might be a tiny bit off I don't remember exactly)

    Also, I never took any sciences as and undergrad so I needed them before I could even consider applying to medical school. I double majored in English and Psychology as an undergrad.
     
  12. tpsych

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    Morsetlis,

    I totally agree with you and really appreciate the link. I truthfully am not aware what my deficiencies are, I just know they are there, so taking an assessment is something I plan on doing. I would really be interesting in contacting your schools advising department to learn more about this, would you mind telling me where you go to school? Maybe a PM? I contacted the school where I did my post-bacc work and they were really not helpful at all.


    just looked at you info. are you referring to St. George's or you undergrad institution?
     
  13. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis I wish I were a dentist
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    I don't think you will find that any school's support services will help a student not enrolled at their school.

    Nobody can tell you what your deficiencies are unless they spend quite some times with you. Even then, a lot of "experts" are totally useless in professional, graduate school settings (most people in this field are more focused on high school and early college students).

    The best thing to do might be trying to find some upper-termers, or people who have taken the course before, or a TA, and ask them of their methods to study. There was a recent speech given by the honors society at my school, and the speaker revealed the common sense knowledge that: studying methods vary by people, and what works for one person might not work for another.

    There was on universal truth, though: for every hour of lecture in medical school (or every hour of assigned lecture, since most end up skipping lecture by second year), you will spend 1-2 hours reviewing afterward. You will also use lots of pens: either annotate printed ppt slides, or writing your own notes from lecture, or rewriting notes from the book, or highlighting everything like a unicorn shat all over the page. But you will write.

    If your current style of studying doesn't include writing/highlighting, you're probably either doing it wrong or is very smart and the undergraduate coursework does not challenge you. I bought 0 books my senior year and still got A/B's, but I did write out several hundred pages of notes from lecture.
     
  14. johnwalldance

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  15. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis I wish I were a dentist
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    That reminds me of the theory of knowledge retention. http://www.cnsspectrums.com/userdocs/ArticleImages/Stahl_figure1.jpg (of course, this was a 1885 research, but the trend is exponential and the article was 2010).

    What you learn must be reinforced.

    If after 10 days you only remember 20% of disordered data, then perhaps you will remember >20% of the data if you organized it. However, if you study again and again, perhaps you could recall 25% of the material the following day after preview, then retain 25% of the material after lecture, and then retain an additional 25% (hopefully non-overlapping) during the review. Before midterm, another round of review/cramming will make up the last 25% and you'll get a perfect score on your test and set the curve ;p

    Of course what I just said was amazingly un-scientific (perhaps you could start a study?) but it gets the point across.

    One other popular method I've learned was: preview the lecture via provided notes/slides, go to lecture and take notes / annotate, review your notes and cross-reference with books when confused, use office hours.

    Then again these are undergrad classes so the whole armory might be over-doing it.
     
  16. matto

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    I'm going to choose to reinterpret the OP's post and rephrase it in a way that interests me: Is there a good, modern book on fundamental concepts/practices and various pieces of knowledge relevant to a student arriving at their first day of medical school that someone here has read and found to be interesting, correct, useful, and well-organized?

    muchas gracias mis amigos
     
  17. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis I wish I were a dentist
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    You could go read Gray's and memorize every single bone, muscle, nerve, and blood vessel in the human body. That will alleviate much stress during your first term/semester at med school.

    :laugh:
     
  18. Laplace

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    :confused: Am I the only one that finds this weird?
     
  19. matto

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    this will probably suffice for now http://bodybrowser.googlelabs.com
     
    #18 matto, Aug 18, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  20. torshi

    torshi Squirrel
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    just quit.
     
  21. UnclePhil

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    You have to figure out what works and what doesn't. I'm about to fail my first exam after realizing how I studied in undergrad doesn't really seem to work in med school.
     
  22. mvenus929

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    Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Each school is going to go about teaching their curriculum a little differently. Once you get in, you can talk to the upperclassmen at your school about how they managed. But please, don't bother before school starts, because chances are you're not going to take anything to heart until you really understand what they're talking about.
     

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