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Most difficult subjects during basic sciences

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by cbennett, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. cbennett

    cbennett Membership Revoked
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    Just curious to see what people think are the most difficult subjects in the first two years. I was going to add on most usefull and least usefull on step one but i see someone else just started one very similar. If there is already a thread for this then sorry but for some reason when ever i use sdn's search explorer just brings me to that "page can not be displayed" screen?

    Anyway list the top few.
     
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  3. vtucci

    vtucci Attending in Emergency Medicine
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    anatomy and neuro were the hardest.

    Behavioral was the easiest for me.


    It will depend largely on your background going in
     
  4. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I agree that these will likely be the most memorization intensive. Not sure if that makes them hardest for everyone.
    As for Step 1, most of the meat on that test will come from the second year, so most of your first year courses will fit into your "least useful" category.
     
  5. francisdoss

    francisdoss Member
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    And what is ur weapon of mass memorization?????????
     
  6. daeojkim

    daeojkim Member
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    I would say:

    1. Repetition
    2. Mnemonics
    3. Memory chip implant...
     
  7. Medical123

    Medical123 Senior Member
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    Biochem was definitely the hardest subject at my school. The guy gave these really hard essay exams and sometimes it was really hard to figure out what he wanted for an answer. About 6 or 7 people per year generally fail the course and even more have to take a make-up test to bring their grade from a Conditional up to a Conditional/Pass.
     
  8. mikedc813

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    I had no background in either of these and they were my favorite and easiest courses during 1st year (Honors in both). I probably disliked biochem the most. It seemed like there isn't a lot of clinical relevence for the field I'm interested in, so that's probably why.

    My thoughts on memorization:
    1) Be born with a photographic memory and not have to study.
    2) Or be normal like me and have to work hard. Repetition, repetition, repetition...
     
  9. cbennett

    cbennett Membership Revoked
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    Vtucci, if you dont mind i would greatly appreciate a more detailed opinion from you on courses and course load durring first two years because i'm really interested in USF. Its def my top choice so far
     
  10. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Hi there,
    The subject that was the hardest for me was Pharm. My easiest subjects were Gross Anatomy, Pathology, Biochemistry and Neuroscience. I slept through Biostats because it was boring but not difficult.

    For USMLE Step I: (in order of importance)
    Pathology
    Pharmacology
    Physiology
    Microbiology/Virology
    Biochemistry
    Neuroscience
    Behavioral Science
    Anatomy

    Likes and dislikes add to the difficulty of various subjects. I could post the same list by systems: My favorite system is Cardiac followed by GI. My least favorite is Renal.

    njbmd :)
     
  11. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    i think it depends on your school/teachers and your personality. something you have no interest in is a lot harder than something you actually enjoy learning about.
     
  12. vtucci

    vtucci Attending in Emergency Medicine
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    POM is a transition for three weeks. It is an interesting part of the curriculum. There are skills sessions in physical diagnosis, lectures, EBM and there are also a lot of planned social activities to help you get to know your classmates. We also have a big sib-little sib program that kicks off here. All the M2 get assigned an M1 little sib and are there to help them.

    Biochem- At the time, it seemed tough since I never had cell bio or molecular genetics in college but I am now nostaglic about it. Dr. eichler is great and he is the course director. He has an open door policy and I recommend anyone take advantage of it. I would recommend you polish up on the metabolic pathways. We never covered that in my biochem classes and it is heavy on memorization. However, Dr. Eichler does a very good job of making sure there are clinical correlations in biochem and that made it very interesting to me. I did not have as many moments of the "and why do I care"?

    Ethics and Humanities- this should be very easy if you put any effort into it. We get the book on doctoring at our White Coat ceremony that ends POM. Although a number of people we annoyed when we had to read things like Ode to My Uterus.

    Anatomy (including histo, embryo)- very memorization heavy. We had two weeks to learn the pelvis, perineum and the legs (over 500 structures). We had six weeks for the chest, upper arm and back. 4 weeks for stomach and related structures and about 4 weeks for the head and neck. The leg unit was ridiculous in my opinion since it was weighted more heavily than stomach (it is based on question number not time spent in class) but the faculty does really listen to the students and I do not think this will be the same schedule this year or subsequent ones. So for me, this course was a bear. I suck at memorizing. In addition, there was very little clinical correlation in this class because it is saved mainly for pathology in the second year (which I love).

    Physio- this is an excellent course. Our renal and endocrine professors are amazing. The heart and lung physio are not as good and they come first. The only problem I had with this course was that it was at the same time as anatomy and I did not manage my time effectively so my grade ended up being lower in this class than anatomy.

    Imaging- it is a pass/fail course but well done in my opinion and very important to learn for the real world. I enjoyed this class and your grade in this class on practicals is included in the anatomy class grade. It saved me but there are people who blow it off and are in danger of failing it every year.

    Physical Diagnosis- during Block 1 (biochem, ethics), it is classroom lectures. At Block 2, it goes to an online format with skills sessions. I do not love the format but the class is interesting. Once again, in Block B2 (anatomy, physio) and B3 (neuro and behavioral) many people blow this off to concentrate on anatomy.

    Neuroanatomy- this class is not so much bad as it comes at the end of the year and we are burnt out. Dr. Nolan is the person who mainly teaches this class. Our class split on how they liked Dr. Nolan. I think he is a great guy but his teaching style was not conducive for my learning style and this made learning neuro a chore.

    Behavioral- without a doubt the best class of the year, Dr. Catalano is a riot. The lectures are 80% about pathology (the other 20% involves developmental stages by Dr. Fernandez and he is amazing).

    Longitudinal Clinical Experience- we are assigned a clinical experience with a physician in the community. You do not get to pick or choose among the docs or specialties so this can lead to a variable experience. Some people loved it and others not so much.
     
  13. cbennett

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    Wow!!!! That was alot more detailed than i was expecting but it was very helpful. Thanks a bunch. Just curious, i don't need a very through explanation but I checked out the second year classes as well and i noticed it was done in a single unit rather than 3+ seperate divisions like the first year. Do all the classes/programs run the whole length of the year(34 wks) or is it broken up like the first year but just not listed like that on the webpage. As well i am guessing that Path, Pharm and Imm. are the three big ones in the second year and the others are much less demanding is this an accurate guess? Anyway thanks again.
     
  14. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    ??? :confused: I don't think I said I had one. I just said that more memorization does not equal harder for everyone.
     
  15. vtucci

    vtucci Attending in Emergency Medicine
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    The second year is much more integrated and is organ based. I am really enjoying it so far but pharm is as challenging as I expected it to be.

    Yes, all the courses continue for the whole year. Our second year is over at the end of March and then we study for the boards and start third year in mid-May.
     

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