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Is med school really that hard?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by sistermike, Apr 30, 2002.

  1. sistermike

    sistermike Senior Member
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    Ok I know med school won't be an easy ride. But is med school hard, like you have to really learn new concepts and think hard. Is it as hard as top notch hard math classes where you have to think or does it just take determination. I know its going to be mostly memorization but is that pretty much it?
     
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  3. Hoosierdaddy

    Hoosierdaddy Member
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    So far, there have been very few concepts that are intrinsically difficult to understand in med school. However, the problem is that you have to memorize and understand literally hundreds of simple concepts and factoids. You may not really have to "think" too hard, but you will spend a lot of time cramming various biochemical cycles, anatomical structures, and other random pieces of information into your head. This is easier for some than it is for others.

    I've heard people say that going through med school is like crossing a river that is a mile wide, but only an inch deep. That's the best description I can give you. Granted, I'm only a first-year (it's almost over!). I can't speak for the clinical years.
     
  4. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    I've heard it called memorizing a phonebook. It's Mission Difficult, not Mission Impossible.
     
  5. Hercules

    Hercules Son of Zeus
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    You have to define hard. It's definitely not intellectually challenging like high level math. It's simply a question of whether or not you're willing to put in the time to memorize a list of facts that may or may not have any relevance to your future career. Sorry if that last part sounded bitter, but it's amazing what some profs think is important.
     
  6. except for anatomy, where you have to memorize the contents of the pterygopalatine fossa(example), which has almost no clinical significance; med school is not hard at all. anatomy is sometimes interesting (clinical correlations) and fun and at other times tedious and pointless. it's just something to get through and pass IMHO.
     
  7. doepug

    doepug Senior Member
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    No, med school really isn't that tough.

    Med students' favorite hobby is to moan and whine about all the work we have to do. Don't let this intimidate you. It's not that bad. If you've been accepted, then you have the brainpower to get through, and you'll be fine.

    Just remember... everybody who starts med school makes it through to graduation. All you have to do is roll with the punches.

    Best of luck.
     
  8. Doctora Foxy

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    sistermike, I sent you a PM :D
     
  9. Whisker Barrel Cortex

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    I agree with the above posts when talking about the preclinical courses. However, in clinical rotations, there is a lot of critical thinking and difficult problems to assess. To me, it really wasn't that hard. I thought a lot of it was actually very fun and interesting when on rotations.
     
  10. barcher

    barcher Member
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    Hey Hercules,
    Did you teach Kaplan MCAT in Tuscaloosa last year? If so, I remember you telling us that you were a Classics major. If indeed that was you, did you think that you were "behind the eight ball" as complared to the bio majors?

    PS: I can't wait to start at UAB this summer.
     
  11. squeek

    squeek Senior Member
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    Like almost everyone above has said, medical school is only difficult (at least in the two years) because of the volumes of memorization you are required to do. For me, it has also been difficult because, in many ways, it saps you of creativity. You memorize so many lists, and it is integrative to the extent that you learn and apply pathways, pathology, etc., but you aren't thinking abstractly at all.

    I think my right brain has diminished in size and synaptic connections by ~75% in the last two years, and I DON'T like it. :)
     
  12. Hercules

    Hercules Son of Zeus
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by barcher:
    <strong>Hey Hercules,
    Did you teach Kaplan MCAT in Tuscaloosa last year? If so, I remember you telling us that you were a Classics major. If indeed that was you, did you think that you were "behind the eight ball" as complared to the bio majors?

    PS: I can't wait to start at UAB this summer.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Yes, I taught for Kaplan last year, and yes I was a Classics major. I did feel behind some of the others during some of the early courses like Gross, Biochem, and Histology. Even though I had never taken Physiology, I felt like I was ahead of most of my classmates for the simple reason that I have a grasp on physics and math. Looking back, I would have used my electives more wisely and taken a couple key bio classes.

    Congratulations on your UAB acceptance, and e-mail me if you have any questions about school, Birmingham, etc.
     
  13. BoonDoc

    BoonDoc Member
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    Just remember what they call the last guy to graduate............

    DOCTOR!!!!!!
     
  14. Guitarzan the Jungle Man

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    Med school is no more difficult than any hard class you have taken already--the problem is that instead of having 1 or two study intensive classes you now have six...it is all a matter of time management.
    That's the preclinical years. :p
    Clinical years can be very challenging, and if you are a good student and wish to become a good doctor it will be very challenging. You need to begin to learn to think a different way. There is no more one right/wrong answer, there are many right/wrong answers and you have to choose the most right or least wrong depending on your patient.
    Critical thinking and reasoning, and a bit of good luck will make you a star your third and fourth years.
     
  15. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Herc! a classics major? Me too!!!
     
  16. Hercules

    Hercules Son of Zeus
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by leorl:
    <strong>Herc! a classics major? Me too!!!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">And to think people say you can't do anything with a classics major <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> Seriously, out my 4 close friends who were classics majors 2 of us are in med school, 2 of us are in law school, and 1 is going on to graduate school in classics at Princeton.
     
  17. G3

    G3

    with the sheer vol. of knowledge that is encountered throughout the pre-clinical years, has anyone felt that they lost pertinent info., or had difficulty recovering it when it counted (clinicals)?
     
  18. Jova

    Jova Member
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    I have a completely different view from most of the above posters.

    I do NOT think med school is about memorizing a bunch of facts. I do not memorize most things.

    I like to use basic concepts, and think through the information. With a good foundation in science, (which you schould have if you learned the material in chemistry, physics, biology, etc.), I believe it is possible to use logic and pattern recognition to know the information expected in med school!!!

    I do not understand how people could possibly "memorize" all that material, that would be boring. When you think through things, you gain a true understanding of the material; it becomes common sense after a while. And, by thinking to solve the problems rather than memorizing, you will be able to remember most of it. (I retain about 80% of the iformation from each class. Usually the 80% that I find most interesting.)

    Most importantly, true understanding, rather than memorization, allows you to solve novel problems! Patients are each unique, though you may be able to help most patients by the repitition of facts, difficult cases require ingegrating concepts and comming up with new solutions.

    If everyone just memorized the material that is currently known, how could we advance the field of medicine?? Thinking is good.--Just my thoughs.
     
  19. moo

    moo 1K Member
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    Jova, were you a math major?
     
  20. Jova

    Jova Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by moo:
    <strong>Jova, were you a math major?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hi moo,

    No, I was not a math major. However, I really like math.

    Jova
     
  21. mddo2b

    mddo2b STOP PAGING ME....PLEASE!
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    When people ask me what med-school is like I tell them to think of Marine Boot camp for 4 years. It is physically and mentally challenging, it tries to break you, but if you are focused you will survive to be a doctor. Now residency is a whole different beast.
     
  22. hurley7

    hurley7 Junior Member
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    hi.
    medical school is definitely tough. i wouldnt believe anyone that says it isnt. is it doable? yes. if you have made it this far, you can do it, it will just be difficult. the salient issue for me was not the difficulty, but if it is worth it. that is why i withdrew from medical school. and i cant believe i EVER wanted to go to med school now that i have made the decision to desist. i just dont think it is worth the 4 years of pre-med, 4 years of med, year of internship, 3-9 years of residency, all the research you need to do to prove to everyone that you are capable, plus the years that you are a junior doctor and have to take all the crappy hours. you get one life, make sure it is really what you want to do.

    hurley
     
  23. G3

    G3

    Jova,

    I understand where your coming from, I tend to rely upon my analytical abilities, But what about purely factual, techinical information like anatomy w/ origins insertions, etc. Mneumonis are helpful, but don't you need to rely on memorization in order to retain such info.? I would it if you knew of a way to to get through such coursework through analytical means :D (hope this didn't sound sarcasrstic)
     
  24. Arukas

    Arukas Junior Member
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    I just got out from my Neuroscience final... and you know what? The problems I got stuck on are the pure memorization ones. Is it Angular Gyrus or Supramarginal Gyrus located at the end of the Superior Temporal Gyrus? :confused: What does NGF bind to? TRKA receptor, or is it TRKB or TRKC??? :confused: You see my point? There is no way you can do well in med school if you don't memorize those stupid details! Sure I can probably pass all my classes without too much studying or memorization, but if you goal is to honor all your classes, you better hope they come up with some therapy to give people photographic memory, or study 24/7. :mad: Ok maybe i sounded a little bitter since I just came out from a final. :(

    Oh well, or like my friend said, "Medical school is an intellectual toilet - you stuff it with so much crap that it overflows, then after you are done with exam, you flush it out and start stuffing new crap in." :p I am trying to unlearn all the neuro crap now so i can start fitting physio crap in my small size toilet bowl. :D
     
  25. G3

    G3

    I couldn't have said it better myself Arukus...although I'll still keep the search out for any tricks.
     

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