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Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by captain bhangra, Feb 17, 2007.
wats medical school like? how much free time do u get? how much studying?? etc...??
very little free time....10x the amount of studying as in college.
Plenty of free time during preclinical years (1 & 2) if you're focused & reasonably well-organized with your studying.
You will spend a lot more time studying than college. Most people have to curtail their partying and social life significantly. You can expect to have to work at least a few hours every day, and most weekends, upping your regime significantly during exam weeks. If you are organized, you will still have time to exercise and goof off a little, maybe go out a weekend night or two on non-exam weeks. If you are disorganized, a slow learner, or shooting for derm, then forget about it - your life as you know it is over.
Went from 0 studying in college to studying my a$$ off in medical school. A complete new world here.
Same. It was quite a shock.
every weekend except the one before an exam I have a date night with my hubby, that I guess could be a go out and party night if you are single instead. I also watch a tv show and sit down for dinner every night. I sleep at least 6 hours a night and I work out. And I take study breaks about every hour for a bit and goof off on the net or call a friend or something. I nap when I'm exhausted and I take a night off when I just totally hit a wall or I catch a flu or something. Other than that I study all the rest of the time, like a madwoman. And sometimes I just pass so its not like I'm whoppin a$$ with this regimen, you would probably need to work more if you wanted to kick sum medschool butt.
Although I'm just a lowly pre-med, I would imagine that the answer to this varies quite a bit based on curriculum. A P/F no ranking school (e.g. Pritzker, Stanford, Harvard) will probably differ from a school with a big grading system (e.g. Hopkins, UCSD).
Ever been punched in the testicles/ovaries and gotten that empty feeling in your stomach? That's medical school in the basic science years.
Yah, kinda like when you don't know if you're gonna puke or crap your pants...or do both. 2nd year is both.
I was thinking more like in Dumb and Dumber when Lloyd grabs out the beating heart of the chef dude. Where the students are the chef, so then they need to explain why the heart is beating, the effects of it slowing down or speeding up, what drugs could affect heart function, all before they die.
It varies for people. For most people I know, it's more studying than in college. I was pretty busy in college so there are aspects of medical school that was similar to what I did in college but some people had a far easier time in college than me and had to make bigger adjustments to the study schedule. Then we get some people who goof off, put in a 9-5 studying gig, and do well on their exam. Those people are rare, but they do exist. Also, if you want to shoot for honors, then you will almost always study a lot, no matter how smart. It's just a lot of stuff they expect you to know.
I think the only thing a grading system does is affect the competitiveness of a learning environment. If you can only pass then you're more likely to help out your classmates and work together etc. But everyone has to learn the same amount of information in the same absurdly short period of time so they can take the same USMLE Step 1 exam, . . . and its the volume that makes it hurt, not the battle for an A instead of a B. Very few in medschool are working hard to get an honors instead of a high pass, for most mortals we bleed and sweat for a pass.
it depends of course
if you want derm, ortho, or rads and don't have a photographic memory, then that equals not much free time.
or...if you are content with internal, or something not so competitive, you will have mucho time to work out, chill with man/woman/friends/family.
don't stress... it's totally what you make it.
just be prepared for lots of memorize and regurg
Like others have said, intelectual bulimia. I had my purging session on Friday, and getting ready to binge for the next 3 weeks
I've been sitting in a windowless box studying micro and pharm for ~30hours in the last two days, and will spend the remaining 2 days of this 3 day weekend doing the same.
If history is any indicator, the 'payoff' will be an exam grade right around the class average.
I was near the top of my class with very little study time in undergrad...but that was problem solving mostly, this is hardcore memorization. I'm good at the former, and totally suck at the latter.
This is a tough section of the first year here...it was easier in the beginning and looks like it will ease up a bit after spring break.
Not quite...you still have to learn the material regardless if you are graded or not. And it's a LOT of material.
What are the tests like in med school? I often can ace multiple choice tests without studying a lot. Essay exams are MUCH harder. If they are mult choice I will prob not struggle to just pass my classes.
They are MCQ. This is assuming you are not in one of those "PBL" programs.
I suggest that you don't study at all on your first exam and test out that theory of yours.
Pritzker is not PBL and is not MCQs...they are mainly short answer
good idea. ill let you know how it works out.........NOT
I usually over-prepare for my first exams until I know what I can get away with and what I cant.
University of Missouri has PBL program. We have four blocks per year during 1st two years (8 weeks of class, 1 week tests, 1 week break, repeat..with two weeks for Christmas/New Years).
We have four exams: Two knowledge based (one basic/pathologic science, one behavioral/physical exam/psych/epidemiology/etc.) and two case solving exams that involve looking up stuff and essay responses with citations. So, we have both kinds of exams.
I don't think its the test format that presents the challenge, but the volume of information. Not only is each class more memorization-intensive than just about any undergrad class you can take, but your taking twice the number of course hours compared to a typical undergraduate "full load."
I too was great at multiple choice tests, like the MCAT, because I am good with problem solving and understanding broad concepts. Unfortunately, that's not what most of the first two years of medical school is all about. Its about memorizing thousands of new facts per month, and being able to recall them. It doesn't matter what the exam format is, it only matters whether or not you can read tons and memorize well.
I beg to differ. I'm far worse at memorizing than some of my classmates are, but I've always been really good at intuitive thinking/problem solving. Someone with a good grasp at how a system functions can start to see how things happen when things break down. Second year is moreso the "drinking from a firehose", but an excellent understanding of physiology and biochemistry and basic pathologic mechanisms like cell death and immunity will help you catch on faster.
"Mechanisms, guys, mechanisms..." - Edward Goljan
I really don't think its possible to over prepare for a medschool exam. I'm usually happy if I've looked at each lecture more than once, and even that doesn't happen sometimes. I've found myself figuring out that a lecture is only worth 4 questions out of 60 so I just don't read it ever and hand over those points, which would have been unthinkable as an undergrad. I've even figured out which classes I have the biggest point cushion over the pass mark so I can ignore that class in favor of a closer call. I was once like you and overprepared, walked into undergrad tests knowing that I knew everything and then rocking them out. Now I've learned to recognize that the sinking horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach on test day is what it feels like to pass. The quantity of information is really just too much to ever feel really prepared, talk about overprepared. I'm always praying for "just a few more days" before the test because there is always more I need to cover.
Well then, I look forward to systems. For now, its "memorize these several hundred microbes and antibiotics and all their annoying little details."
Come to think of it, intro biochem and physio were significantly easier for me, but now I am stuck in micro and pharm, which at least in the beginning is all memorization for us.
I do the same thing.
haha thanks guys, thatwas helpful
med school sounds likke fun fun f un
ill be happy if i get in and pass through
i jst dnt want to end up having to have ZERO free time and be in a library from 8-8 each day
Agree -- over preparation is not realistic. It's not uncommon for there simply to be too much to realistically know for a given exam. Thus the best students are the ones who can glean the highest yield info from the mountain of material they are supposed to know. But you are never going to be totally sure you are right, so you keep digging away at that mountain up until the test. Unlike college, you don't go to bed the night before the exam confident that you looked at everything you needed to as much as you needed to -- you are never "done", you are just "out of time". It is the rare individual who doesn't come across a question or two on an exam on a topic that they wished they had spent a bit more time reviewing.
There will be plenty of days like this, actually. And much of your clinical years will have these hours. Think long and hard about this if it's an issue for you.
This is exactly how it works. Actually, this is my life today. I have an exam tomorrow and I have not looked at 4 or 5 lectures even once [and didn't attend the class for them either...so I literally have not seen the material at all]. Keeping in mind that it takes 4-5 HOURS for the lecturer to breeze through these things at the speed of light, I can tell you I will probably blow off 75% of this new material in the interest of making sure I know everything else at least somewhat. After all, the new stuff is micro, which I think is the absolute most useless thing to memorize since a $5 card or flow chart will tell anyone just about anything they need to know about micro....and the rest can be looked up in about 2 seconds.
Here was my day yesterday, not atypical at all for a weekend . . .
Slept in until 9.
Gym until 10:30
Keeping in mind I take a 10 minute break after every hour of study.And I'm def not rocking my classes like I did in undergrad.
For me, the first two years were a breeze. I worked full time as a paramedic and went out at least as much as I did in college. In fact, I probably went out more because I didn't have the pressure of having to keep that 4.0. I *rarely* showed up for anything but exam days. When I did, it freaked people out. They would come up to me and say, "Man, do we have something mandatory today?" One of my classmates actually told a friend that he thought I had dropped out.
Of course, the first semester was a little tense. This was only because I didn't expect the emphasis on recognition and recall of trivial detail and the near total disregard for clinical "big picture" concepts. Once I knew I just needed to be able to regurgitate and not belabor conceptual understanding, I put my tried and true "cram the night before the exam" study program into effect and sailed through the rest of my didactics.
Mind you, I was quite happy with my B parade and a comfortably passing step one score. All of this changed in third year when I had to actually *know* my patients and understand the whys and hows of treatment. Again, I experienced a steep learning curve in the first semester, 80+ hour weeks the norm. By fourth year however, things were back to a happy medium of putting +/- 50 hours a week into school and carousing the rest of the time.
Basically, your life in med school depends on two factors. The first is your career goals. If you want derm, ortho, or some other en vogue specialty, you will likely have to live like a monk and repeat the litany of, "study, eat, sleep, repeat." The second is your capacity to assimilate a raw volume of data, 90% of which you will never use professionally. That said, it is *very* possible to balance school and a social life while in med school.
As an aside, dont get neurotic about not matching without a rock star CV. I went into the match with a mediocre GPA, mediocre step scores, and no extracurriculars (at least none I would put in a resume . This past week I had two internal medicine program directors call me to let me know I was ranked in their top three. As well, I was offered one position on the same day as my interview, if I was willing to go outside the match.
I didn't study at all in undergrad and made good to really good grades. I came to medical school, study all the time, and my grades are for s#it. You learn the value of passing really quick...
Is anyone else perplexed by the passage of time when exam days come up? I swear it's like every time I look up from my notes, an hour passes. I'll be reading and then feel like only a few minutes went by, then I look up - nope, a whole hour. Time goes 10x faster when exams come around
I experience the opposite phenomenon. I'll sit down to study, drink a whole liter of water, my facial hair will grow like an inch, and my butt will get all numb from sitting on it, and only 15 minutes will have passed while I was staring at my notes. Test weeks are evil.
Quite wrong. You still need to learn how the heart works whether you're in big bad Harvizzle or like me bowing down meekly at State U. You're life will not be over in med school, you'll still go out and party, and you'll still find time to watch tv, work out and do all the other things- in moderation. However, all the hours in between this, you'll be studying more than you did in the last 12 years of school combined and questioning why in jebus's name you're paying 35 grand a year to have someone- as my colleagues quite aptly put it- kick you in the testicles.
This totally happens to me. I think its like 7pm and I have all this time and then I look at a clock and its midnight, uggg! I thought they say that time flies when you are having fun, and I'm sooo not having fun when doing exam prep so what gives??
when you guys say studying , do u mean reading notes, books, doing labs, etc..(not exams, but regular studying)?
in high school i dont do much studying but i get worksheets, problems from the book and stuff like that
Are you in high school now? If so, why are you worried about med school?
So studying would be reading the notes, going through the notes multiple times (copying, annotating, rereading), making tables/notecards (if applicable), doing busy work assignments when assigned (usually right before they're due), reading books if you like to do that, looking at histology slides, looking at anatomy atlases, researching things online for clarification. Some people prepare ahead of time for lecture by reading through the next lecture. And any other variation on any of these you could possibly think of. Sometimes even watching House is studying. It's correlated with what we've been doing in our curriculum recently.
We mean memorizing tons and tons and tons of stuff. We don't have assignments to turn in.
As for your life, eh, it sucks, but there are lots of things that suck. You don't have tons of spare time, but you do indeed have spare time. You can go out, you can hang out with friends and family, you can workout, you can watch tv, you can read fiction, etc. It's nowhere near as laid back as ugrad, though.
wait a second. you're in high school? go out and have some fun! immediately. that's an order.
Seriously. If you're not out there doing borderline-illegal things that may compromise your chances to get into medical school years down the road you're just wasting your teenage years.
hahah tell me about it
i wana go out and do things but im indian, meaning all my friends are kinda boring
tonight my plans are to go out to dinner with friends maybe it will be fun
i seiously have too much free time on my hands, i get booooooooooored at home like i am now
so what? go and do craziness!
craziness transcends nationality....
besides, this may be your last chance....hurry!!!
What the hell is the matter with you. You're still in high school??? Most of the SDN stuff is at least NC-17. You're asking about the lifestyle of medical school when you're complaining you're not having enough fun in one of the most care-free periods of your life. My advice: hold off on SDN or anything related to medicine and go be 17 for god sakes. And I have no idea what the "i'm Indian so my friends are kinda boring" means.
Yeah, sounds like you need some new, more exciting friends. You should switch ethnicities so you can get some good ones - Polish people usually have exciting friends, try being that!
I'd approve him becoming British, but first I'll need to see some teeth x-rays.
Have you ever been to England? The national food is practically anything with curry! (I'm British and I have good teeth).