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Is Podiatry School harder or easier than what you anticipated?

Discussion in 'Podiatry Students' started by sunyplatt, May 11, 2018.

  1. sunyplatt

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    Just curious if Pod school seems more difficult or easier than what was expected.
     
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  3. DexterMorganSK

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    Harder or easier when compared to Undergrad?- definitely harder. I mean it is a medical school so you are taking classes during the first two years (for the most part) that any other MD/DO students are taking, granted the examinations might differ. Classes are not difficult if you put in the time but it is the material that you have to know for each exam. So, self-discipline and time management skills will be your best friends during that first term and beyond.
     
  4. Weirdy

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    A little bit of both.

    Background: B.S. and Masters non-SMP +working + MCAT. Research no pubs ECs and work experience were all great.
    Low stats (3.3c/ 2.8s) 487-- 493-- 496

    Going in I was very worried about course load. Never took more than 13-15 credit hours in undergrad.

    1st semester: Kicked my ass.
    -hard because you are learning how to learn.
    -time management (will get to this in a bit)
    -the insane amount of material in the short amount of time
    -No, this is not medical school on easy mode.

    2nd semester: Manageable. Less stressed. Felt more confident.
    -Learned how to learn. Figure out what professors emphasize. Figure out how they word exams. Figure out what they like to put on exams.
    -Time: is now a commodity. You want to get home a little eariler? Make that studying time count. You want to go on that date with your wife? Make that studying time count. You want to have time to review for another class instead of cramming each consecutive day? Make that studying time count. Time management is about prioritizing your study time and actually using it to study and gtfo. So you can spend more time doing the things you like.
    - The course load is intense. 18-23 credit hours per semester. Usually on campus from 8 or 9- 5pm. Go home eat dinner with wife-- back at it 7-12am during exam weeks. Long days. Even longer days when you have clinicals then the next day you have an exam.

    And finally: No it is not easier than medical school. Get off your high horse. I understand some individuals will go in and ace every exam regardless of what profession they choose. Those are the small and very few exceptions. I was not one of them. I am in the lower 1/2 of the class just by gauging averages. Am I on probation? No. Is it an uphill battle in certain courses to pass? Yes. Am I passing 90% of my classes with at least Bs? Yes.

    If you are willing to put in the work and time, there is absolutely no reason you should be failing out. Yes there are always caveats to this- personal problems, **** happens, you struggle with a specific class, professor is just s*** at their job. However I fully believe you can succeed if you want it bad enough and are willing to learn smarter, and spend your time more efficiently. This coming from someone who did not think they would make it past 1st semester. Seriously I thought I would've flunked out by now. The school knows they took a chance on me when they accepted me. So far am doing well.

    Another thing regarding the pissing contest with pre-meds:
    1. Premeds may look down on you for considering this profession. Your relatives may look down on you. They may attribute this to podiatric medical school being easier. It is not. If you don't believe me, compare the curriculum and credit hours yourself.

    2. I have a sibling who started a mid tier USMD the same time I started podiatric medical school. We swap stories all the time. I know exactly what he's talking about and he knows what I talk about. Are the curriculums set up a little differently? Yes. Is podiatric medical school any easier? No. If you don't believe me, apply, get in, and see for yourself.

    3. Premeds love to talk s*** until they actually get into professional grad school or get a dose of real life. For some of us, podiatric medicine was our last shot at being in a healthcare field that would push us. I did not have the stats for MD/DO. I knew I could get into optometry, PA, PT, Chiro (being realistic). I was ashamed of entering podiatry even after I got accepted and started. I was scared of bringing it up to my sibling who was at a USMD. But the more we talked, the more he realized how hard and thorough our schooling was. I respected the amount of work he put in every day and he respected my education.

    We both know we have specific roles to fill, and honestly its a lot of fun to compare the similarities (Aw yeah physio sucks there? It sucks here too). Its also fun looking at all the quirks our respective programs and professions offer. He thought it was cool we had surgical training during our schooling. I thought it was cool the amount of variety he could choose from (pending Step score of course).

    Was it harder than I anticipated? Yes.
    Was it easier than I anticipated after surviving 1 semester and being able to stay in the program? Yes.
     
    #3 Weirdy, May 11, 2018
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
  5. DexterMorganSK

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    True words. Every pre-pod/pod should read this!

    :=|:-):
     
    Keatbaby and PodStudent2018? like this.
  6. GypsyHummus

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    Wierdy's response should be a sticky not only for Pod but for MD/DO students as well. Thanks for the info dude.
     
    dbasaldua likes this.
  7. de Ribas

    de Ribas Nobel Prize Recipient
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    What do you feel about it now?
     
  8. Weirdy

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    Feel great. Made a lot of good friends and learning a ton.

    I'm not gonna go out and pick fights with MD/DO students, but I know where we stand as a profession and am not afraid to correct inaccurate statements.

    Changing the perception of the profession starts within. Do a good job and others will recognize it.
     
  9. Packers4lifeDPM

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    Put school first, bust your butt studying and you can succeed.
     
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  10. Toadesque

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    It's not that bad. Boards being P/F helps as well. Although you'll probably embarrass yourself at interviews if you manage to get by without actually knowing your **** at that point. Most people who shouldn't be there are weeded out by then anyway
     
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  11. firenation

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    WesternU pod here, it's definitely harder compared to my undergraduate education. We had 36 units this semester and we take all basic sciences with our fellow DO students. While it is a lot, all the students are incredibly supportive and everyone shares resources and helps each other out. Once you figure out how you learn best (auditory/visual/kinesthetic) and apply it, it all becomes more manageable. Med school is also incredibly taxing, and it's important to find ways to manage your stress and make time for yourself! Finding a supportive group of study buddies can really help you when you're feeling discouraged or unmotivated.

    And to add onto Weirdy regarding those MD/DOs, all the DOs I've met have been very interested in learning about podiatry and what podiatry is. They also crack our backs/necks sometimes, and we all really appreciate it. We also volunteer with UCLA medical students at homeless foot clinics, and they're always very interested in learning more about podiatry and learning about podiatric procedures from us.
     
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  12. GypsyHummus

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    Do the DOs take more credits/classes than the pod students or are they taking the same 36 credit hours?

     
  13. firenation

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    They take 36 units too! We each have 6 units dedicated to podiatric medicine classes (pods) and OMM (DO).
     
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  14. J29622

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    It's easier in the sense that I psyched myself out before going in and found that it's not HARD to get through, just time consuming.

    It's also harder in the sense that you can never prepare for the burnout and fatigue you experience, especially through the 2nd year. While I'm nervous about going into clinic where you have REAL consequences an actually have to know stuff and not just regurgitate it on an exam, I'm also excited to just not have to sit on my ass and study 10 hours a day.
     
  15. CappnNono

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    It is more manageable than i thought it would be.

    I am similar to weirdy in that i was accepted with lower stats (i think 2.3 sgpa and 2.7gpa) but with a decent mcat (499). But going in to school i had the mindset that this is my last chance to prove to myself that i could do it. I knew that i stretched myself too thin in undergrad with work, volunteering, and clubs so i decided to just focus on school for the first year of podiatry school.

    I didnt magically turn into a 4.0 student but i ended by 1st year within the 3’s and i am damn proud of myself. I worked hard and i finally figured out how to study and retain information. I also think i chose a really difficult route because NYCPM has 2 tests a week compared to if i went to kent which seemed a lot more relaxed.

    As with what weirdy said podiatry school is 100% doable. The people i see having to retest are typically the ones that party too much (theres a time and place for everything). Just focus and never be afraid to ask for help! Whether it be from a classmate, professor, or tutor before its too late.
     
  16. PodStudent2018?

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    Damn dude my stats were very similar to yours (2.77 gpa, 2.6something sgpa, and 500 MCAT). Tbh I messed around a lot in Ugrad and didn't put my full/best effort bc I was/am pretty lazy. Any tips for me to help get my priorities straight and stay focused on school? That's the thing I'm most nervous about. Not being able to sit and study for however many hours a day. I know I'm more than capable, but I get distracted pretty easily and like to have fun. I really want to excel in school but at the same time I don't want my life to be hell bc of school.
     
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  17. DexterMorganSK

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    Time management and setting up your priorities can be a start.

    Our curriculum or that of an MD/DO is similar, which means you will be studying for the most of your day, including weekends. But, if your prioritize your hours, create a schedule that you can follow, and finish assigned tasks on time; then you will also have time to relax, go out, watch Netflix, or whatever you like doing. Creating and following a schedule is also dependent on if the program you will attend has mandatory attendance or not. A good schedule should include going over lecture materials the same day of the lectures with proper breaks, food and exercise, and a good-night sleep to repeat it all the next day. We all have our ways of studying, but I go over each lecture ppt at least 3x before an exam, and that seems to be working for me. Also, if a plan is not working for you, say for the first two exams, then make sure to change your studying habits, or whatever the issue is. The key is to learn from the mistakes and to make proper changes for the next exams. So, yeah you will have to study as you have never before, but you should also find the time to relax, to take care of yourself, getting involved in clubs, etc.

    Staying focused is easier said than done, but we have to look at the bigger picture and the goals ahead.
     
    #16 DexterMorganSK, May 30, 2018
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  18. CappnNono

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    Mainly what dextermorgan said! You will definitely have time some weekends to relax as you should but definitely know that school is your priority - that is what you’re paying for and that is the end goal. To me the studying isn’t that bad because I’m enjoying the material. It is a lot sure but it is definitely doable and I’m still able to make time to have fun.
     
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  19. Packers4lifeDPM

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    Looking at my debt is motivating enough for me to put school/grades before everything else. If you feel your not mature enough to be dedicated towards school, take a year off and make sure this is exactly what you want to do. It's a huge investment.

     
  20. NovaPreMed23

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    It honestly depends. For me, I thought it was easier than undergrad but the caveat is I studied 100% more in pod school than I did in undergrad. There were definitely classes though that were harder than others but as soon as I figured out how to study for them I was good. The hardest part of pod school for me so far was the very end of my first year. We had a few two credit courses in the last two months and they just for some reason got me. I think it's cause after LEA I lost my motivation to study so that may have played a role.

    Having said that, my recommendation is to find a method of studying that works for you and that allows you to have some sense of a social life. I also recommend you actually being honest with yourself in how you're studying. If something is not working and you're not retaining the material, you're not going to show up on exam day and do well. There were plenty of times where I could study one way for a class and then the next exam the material was slightly different so I had to take a different approach. But it was something I caught on before taking the exam i.e. while reviewing the material.

    I don't know if that also played a role in why I thought it was easier. In undergrad if a study habit wasn't working, I didn't care and just kept doing it. I have also felt like I am more inclined to ask questions and email professors if I wasn't getting anything. Things I didn't do in undergrad. So to be honest I'm not sure if pod school was easier or if it's because I am approaching it in a different way that has allowed me to learn things and be more confident with the material

    But let me finish pod school as a whole before I give out my assessment lol
     
  21. NovaPreMed23

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    You're going to have time to have fun. But it's all about knowing when to have fun. For example, if you have an exam on Monday or Tuesday it's probably best to not go out that Friday night.

    For me, I didn't really take undergrad as serious as I took pod school. I wasn't the partying type but my priorities were definitely not on school during undergrad. What changed for me was simple: this is going to be my profession. My future depends on the decisions that I make now. And yes that required sacrificing some of my social life but I would rather set myself up to be successful in the future than think about what could have been.
     
  22. Bluecollarmed

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    Obviously it depends on the person but I thought this first year was going to be more challenging than it was. Now don't get me wrong, there was a lot of studying involved and I could have done better but we always had time to go out and have fun. I think the best advice is knowing when to have fun as others have stated. There's nothing wrong with going out on the weekend or taking a day or two off if you have awhile before the next exam but don't let that become the norm. Trust me, study time is precious when you have 2 exams a week :p
     
  23. GypsyHummus

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    How many hours of concentrated study (free from distraction, no cell phone, just sitting down reading and learning) would you say you guys did every day on weekdays? On weekends?

    Did you find there was enough time in the day to learn everything that was asked of you, or did you always have the feeling of being constantly behind?

    Did you up that study during exam time, or did you find that by keeping up with the material you could study normally and do fine?
     
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  24. plant based

    plant based TUSPM Class of 2021
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    Much, much harder......:arghh:... Really no amount of warning can help to prepare you... lol . Just the vast amount of material is so ridiculous and feels never ending...
     
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  25. Weirdy

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    Ayyyeee
     
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  26. NovaPreMed23

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    I tried to keep up with the material as much as I could but it's virtually impossible because of the amount of material you're required to study. There were times when I'd be in class almost all morning and well into the afternoon. There was no way I was going to be able to keep up. But what I did was try and keep up as much as I could. Then on the weekends I used that to hammer away at the material.

    But it also depended on which classes I had exams for. For example if I had a Mirco exam on a Monday, I devoted the weekend to it but I did leave some free time for other classes to give me a break from micro. But in short: no its virtually impossible to keep up with the material 100% but you should try your best to stay on it. The one thing you don't want to do is fall so far behind and dig yourself into a hole that you can't recover from.

    In regards to the amount of time I spent studying: it honestly depended on how well I knew the material. If I felt I had a good grasp on the material I would stop studying early on in the evening. I did give myself breaks though. So for every hour of studying I gave myself 5-10 minute break to do whatever. I lost the impulse to check my phone while studying and actually focused for that whole hour. I also made sure to get an hour of gym/running every day which I found to be a great stress reliever.

    But these are all things that you'll figure out. What worked for me may not work for you. And what works for you may not work for me. It's about finding the correct balance for you.
     
  27. Packers4lifeDPM

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    I'm the kind of student that casual studies the first day or two and then focus study for 8 to 12 hrs the 2nd day before the exam and then try to get as much studying in 24 hrs before the exam that I can depending on what the rest of the week looks like. I wouldn't recommend following my schedule as it tends to not give most students I know enough time to learn the material. My advice is give yourself 5 days of studying. Get through the material as many times as you can. Don't get hung up on things on your first 2 passes. Also, it takes time to find what works for you and each class you may have to change it up a bit on how you study. I also just study for the next exam. Too many exams to try to focus on every class but that's just me. Works very well for me.

     
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