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is med school really that difficult?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by batista_123, May 9, 2008.

  1. batista_123

    batista_123 Junior Member
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    hello,
    someone who posted the same thing before me inspired me to ask this question. first of all, let me say that i am not smart, I am actually dumber than the average person. Trust me.
    now here we go with the question
    When i was in high school, everyone would say "oh, AP classes are so hard, blah blah" and i believed them,, which scared me enough to prevent me from taking ap classes my first 2 years. but then junior year I took some AP classes and they were actually easier than regular classes. or the same. but not more difficult.
    then came time to apply to univeristy, and everyone would say "[the name of the university that i go to] is so hard, you have to study alot, blah blah" and they scared the h*** out of me, but I dont see whats so difficult, i study like one hour per week and work a ful time job, its actually easier than high school.

    Now here is my dilemma: i want to do medicine but i am too afraid because of all the bad things people say, "its so hard, you will lose your hair , find something easier, its not worth it..."

    now i am not asking the usual question "how hard is it?" because thats kinda subjective...
    I just want to know , how can i get a feel for how difficut med school will be before making the commitment?
    thank you
     
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  3. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Pre-med issue and now moved to pre-med forum. Medical students read and respond to threads in preallo and may follow and respond to this one if desired.
     
  4. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    how are AP classes easier then regular classes??

    O and you are definitely not below average if you can do well and study an hour a week.
     
  5. Luxian

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    Um, why in the world would you say this?

    From what I understand "smart" people have an easier time doing academic/brainy things that other people consider hard. By that definition you are smart.

    So what's the deal? Has someone non-stop called you dumb?

    If I go in the way-back machine, I remember finding AP classes harder in terms of "more work required". My college (okay, it was an engineering boot camp) was also significantly "harder" than high school both in terms of the amount of time it took to conceptually understand the material and the amount of time it took to complete the required assignments. And from what I hear, med school is not necessarily conceptually difficult, but it's a big strain in terms of the amount you need to learn in a short amount of time. Maybe you don't call "lots of time invested" "hard" but a lot of other people do! Or maybe you're just brilliant! In which case, accept it! :)
     
  6. DollBabyKG

    DollBabyKG Wannabe Dr Mom

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    Well, from everyone I've spoken to, yes, medical school is as hard as they say. Though, the most common response I've heard is that it's not that the material itself is difficult to master, but that the sheer volume of it, makes it difficult to master.
     
  7. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me
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    So far in my education, everybody talks up the next level as being the toughest thing ever. For me, it wasn't the academics that were the toughest part. It is the added responsibility and expectations that accompany it. I haven't heard many medical students use the word "hard" to describe the concepts. The hard part is the sheer quantity of material they are ramming down your throat. Remember those first college classes where you were shocked you were expected to read 50 pages a week or so? It is the same shock you'll feel when you find out you are expected to read 4 times that in less time. You adjust and soon the several hundred pages doesn't seem so bad. The level of detail always increases with each step. Understanding the gist of things won't fly after a point. It is just a gradual evolution. Most kids could not mentally handle jumping from high school to medical school. One needs that step inbetween to grow a bit.
     
  8. malsponge

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    I am in an SMP program taking med classes. They are fantastically hard. Although I think a lot of the difficulty comes from how quickly the classes move.
     
  9. GoldShadow

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    OP, you're forgetting that the same people make it to medical school who don't have a considerably hard time in undergrad and/or high school (relative to people who are not successful pre-med/med caliber); for the most part, not the ones saying "X and Y classes are soooo hard!"
     
  10. kevster2001

    kevster2001 Senior Member
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    Depends on what you define as hard. Nothing is conceptually difficult, just a lot in general. But even then, no it's not that hard. But then again I'm just a first year so I'll probably change my tune in a few months
     
  11. TheRealMD

    TheRealMD "The Mac Guy"
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    If you had to pick between two words, would you say it is "hard" or "time-consuming"?
     
  12. kevster2001

    kevster2001 Senior Member
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    time-consuming for sure. But even that is'nt totally accurate. I'm not studying 24/7 although i know a lot of people that do. I'm taking microbio right now and that's probably the most time ive spent on any subject.
     
  13. Legato

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    I don't know anything about med school from my own experience, but my friends tell me that the hardest part is learning massive amounts of information in a short time. Seems that most people manage though.
     
  14. eeyoreDO

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    I'm not in medschool, but I remember worrying about organic because someone said "don't choose your major until you've taken organic chemistry."

    I managed to get the highest grade in our organic chemistry class :)

    I didn't study 24/7, I just took my time reading the chapters thoroughly.
     
  15. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    congratulations.
     
  16. honker

    honker Junior Member
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    The key to surviving med school is developing disciplined and effective study habits. Frankly, I don't think that it is difficult to get by in med school if you know how to study, but it is hard to do well due to the volume of data to be absorbed.
     
  17. eeyoreDO

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    I hope you don't think I was bragging, but I do deserve some congratulations. I was in IB in high school and my rank was 132/136. Nobody thought I could turn it all around in college, but I did.
     
  18. MOHS_01

    MOHS_01 audemus jura nostra defendere
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    Medical school hard? Difficult question to answer. On one hand, very few people who get in flunk out. On the other hand, very few who get in get to write their own ticket with regards to choice of residency and specialty. For instance, say someone wants to be an orthopedic surgeon, and that is the only reason that they go to medical school. Four years and $130,000 later there are NO guarantees that will happen.

    Regarding the academics -- I did not find the subject matter all that difficult -- there are very few difficult concepts that one has to master and understand. HOWEVER, the sheer volume of information that needs to be mastered is phenomenal.

    It is like trying to get a drink from a fire hydrant -- there is no way to drink it all, and you have to be careful to not drown.
     
  19. EpiPEN

    EpiPEN Aegis of Immortality
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    this part sounds kind of bragging now :laugh:
     
  20. mdgator

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    Can't really answer this one, considering I haven't actually started yet, but...If you are able to go through undergrad, taking respectable courseloads, with a sufficient amount of science classes mixed in and maintain the grades that it takes to get into med school, then med school is not too hard for you to manage. And considering your track record for finding scholastics easier than most people, you may find med school to be easier for you as well.

    In med school, you will work extremely hard. You'll work even harder in residency. I don't think there are many exceptions to this rule. But if it's worth it to you to work that hard, don't be scared that you can't handle it, because it sounds like you probably can.
     
  21. CubaLibre

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    OH, why didn't i think of that before? On another note, I'm really awesome.
     
  22. eeyoreDO

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    Eh, perhaps I do have the right to brag now :cool: but the last thing anybody wants to hear is somebody that talks trash.
     
  23. eeyoreDO

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    It seems like anybody on this site will look for the smallest thing and turn into a flame war.

    I was just saying that very few kids looked at the chapters in the book. There's no secret trick, just practice.
     
  24. OldSchooler

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    .
     
    #23 OldSchooler, May 9, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
  25. CubaLibre

    CubaLibre member
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    Will you group these 2 accomplishments into 1 entry on your AMCAS extracurriculars section? I think each feat is deserving of its own box.
     
  26. kevster2001

    kevster2001 Senior Member
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    Really depends on the size of the wheel doesn't it? I know adcoms really like to see truck sized cheese wheel eating
     
  27. dArroway

    dArroway Gettin' my hood on
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    med school, shmed school... that aint hard foolz
     
  28. Vvandenn

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  29. wally47

    wally47 I drink your milkshake
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    Geez I hope med school isn't hard. I was hoping for a break after all the premed hoops that I had to jump through. Sad fact is it is tough, however it is very seldom that someone flunks out so trust that you will at least pass. It's not like law school where they try and weed you out in grad school. For med school the weeding out was already done in undergrad.
     
  30. mglavin

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    AP classes are a publicity stunt and joke and not representative of actual college level material hence why most universities are no longer awarding credit even for max test scores.

    The material in medical school is not quantum physics. Somebody who can manage a B average in a class such as Ochem will not have any problems with understanding the concepts presented. However I would say 1 day of lecture in medical school is equal to a week of upper level biology classes in college. By the first test in medical school the amount of material covered felt like more then I learned my entire last year of college (overall a slacking year).

    That being said you do adjust to the work load and the classes are pretty interesting because there is not really any BS like some required classes in college. Everything will have an application for boards if not your entire career. Even the boring subjects like epidemiology are more enjoyable then 90% of the classes i took in undergrad as a biology major (may be attributable to the quality of professors). Overall first year has been great and I hear second year is even more interesting. Each year gets better and better.
     
  31. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig
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    My first two years of medical school (which utilizes a systems based approach.... i.e. Cardiovascular then Respiratory then GI versus Biochemistry then Physiology then Gross Anatomy), my routine went something along the lines of:

    • 4-6 hours of powerpoint presentation lectures per day (covering approximately 40-50 pages of syllabus notes)
    • 2 hour mandatory anatomy lab twice per week
    • 50-75 question midterms every other week
    • 150-200 question final + 50 tag anatomy practical + 40 question pathology practical every 5th/6th week at the end of a system block

    Mixed in were various activities such as clinical skills lab, mini-group ethics rounds, micro-lab and mandatory "volunteer" work.

    Nothing was ever hard to understand (though our immunology lectures were confusing due to our immunology instructor's thick swedish accent), it was just the sheer volume of material you needed to absorb in a short amount of time. Every student I knew that did well during medical school had two traits in common: hard working and efficient.
     
  32. milliya

    milliya Soon To Be Saving Babies
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    I'm just going to add in a few of my own questions about medschool here:

    1. Is the academic year in semesters or trimesters like undergrad?

    2. If so, how many classes and labs do you take per semester?

    3. At what time of day are classes usually over for you?

    4. Is it feasible to have a job while in med school?

    5. Are all the classes (except labs) the same length? If not, what is the average class length?
     
  33. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness
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    Don´t ask an internet message board, just take the premed classes. If you can get As in biochem and physio, chances are you´ll do just fine in medical school. No one really cares about you college grades except graduate/professional schools, so if you realize your one of those people that needs to find a job after college a couple of bad grades because of your stint as a premed isn´t going to hurt you.


    True dat. The class average in my quantum physics class was around 20%. I think 3 people understood those frigging wave equations. At the end of the class the professor had us write an essay about what grade we thought we deserved, and why, and then gave us that grade.
     
  34. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    so did anyone not make an A??
     
  35. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness
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    ?

    Yes, two semesters and a summer break for the first two years. Years 3 and 4 are clinical rotations.

    Depends. Some schools you only take one class at a time. Some you take 3-5 classes throughout the semester. Also some systems based cirriculums "integrate" things that you probably would think would be seperate classes. So, yeah, depends on the school. Also lots of people are persuing a second degree like an MPH, so that adds even more classes.

    Depends on the school, at mine generally 1-2 in the afternoon. Once you start rotations you obviously stay later

    Feasible maybe, good idea no. Your going to be raking up six figure debt anyway, don´t impare your residency chances for fear of taking out an extra few thousand.

    Depends on the school and the class. Anywhere from 1 to 4 hours.
     
  36. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness
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    Lots made As. Anyone that the professor felt had tried really hard, actually. The prof was really nice, and not a bad teacher. It´s just that the material did not belong in an undergraduate Chemistry cirriculum.
     
  37. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    Well was anyone stupid enough to write an essay saying they desreved anything besides an A?
     
  38. dArroway

    dArroway Gettin' my hood on
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    We learned some quantum physics in premed physics at my uni.

    It was an Epic ----> LOL wat?
     
  39. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness
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    Also lots, myself included. Basically everyone who gave up. The ones who stopped going to class, and stopped studying for the tests. I think almost everyone got at least a C, but the professor made it pretty clear that he wasn´t just going to give you the grade you wrote on your essay if you only showed up on exam days.

    It was an interesting psyche experiment in a way. I hadn´t gone to all that many of the hopeless classes (though I still went to more than many other students) so I´m sitting there thinking "if I ask for an A, he´s going to get pissed off enough to give me a C or worse, but if I ask for a B, I might actually get it. Of course if I´m actually humble enough to ask for a C I´m pretty much certain to at least not have to retake the friggin course..." and so on. Quite a mindfcuk, actually.
     
  40. mglavin

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    1. Classes last as long as they last. Physiology lasted 4 months, behavioral sciences lasted 2 weeks. next year it is one class at a time but sometimes this year we took more then 1 at a time in addition to fundamentals of clinical medicine (small group/preceptor) which was once a week the whole year.

    2. Usually 4 hours of lecture a day at my school in addition to once a week FCM group or at preceptors office, occassional afternoon lab/ethics/TBL thing

    3. 12pm on a good day, 3pm rarely

    4. No

    5. lectures are an hour, professors usually only teach 3-4 lectures per class on there specific area compared to 1 guy/girl teaching the whole semester in undergrad

    "Problem based learning" and "Early patient contact" are things that sound fun as pre-meds but you will quickly realize they are huge wastes of time the first year as you don't know anything yet. Be wary of schools that make these things a large required amount of time the first two years. You have to learn the basic science behind clinical medicine before you get anything educational out of pt. contact (other then a vague notion of how to do a history/physical without actually knowing what your looking for)
     
  41. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    ahhht that sucks..
     

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