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MS1ers enjoying med school so far?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by guardian, Oct 30, 2001.

  1. guardian

    guardian Senior Member

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    All the memorization! Arghghghghgh
    Is there a limit to how much a person can memorize?

    It's pretty scary, my class collectively seems to be losing it :eek:. Of course a 3rd or 4th year would probably be laughing at my post right now :rolleyes:.
     
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  3. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

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    I feel the pain, and my class is also losing it. I think that is the point of first year; to break you. Then, second year they leave you numb. Third and fourth years they reconstruct you in their molds. Brutal, really.
     
  4. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member

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    I hate to sound like a pollyanna, but I am enjoying med school. Don't get me wrong, it is tough and unpleasant at times - especially for those of us who had anatomy in a 6-7 week intensive block ... I know there are a lot of us out there. But, in the big picture, we now are learning such amazing stuff (e.g., how to interpret ECGs) that those first few weeks of hell are starting to make sense. I think it has a lot to do with our curriculum, though - I would not be happy if we were trudging thru a lot of basic science with little to no clinical relevance and no central focus (like we did for the first 7 weeks). I hope it gets better for everyone. Take care, get some rest and try to have fun,

    Becky
     
  5. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

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    Oh, don't get me wrong, I am loving it. I just think it is kind of funny how we all seemed to have the med-school induced ADD last week after our head and neck/metabolism block exams. The "stuff" we are learning is awesome because you can actually see most of its clinical applications.
     
  6. guardian

    guardian Senior Member

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    And then we're broken down again for residency :D.

    I'm not sure if my school knows what it's doing. They revised the curriculum and I'm not sure if it'll benefit us in an integrated clinical sense like they were planning.

    ALLLLLLLLL NIGHTEEEEEEERRRRRR!!!!! Caaaaaaaaw-feeeeeeeee :eek:!
     
  7. Cobragirl

    Cobragirl Hoohaa helper ;)

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    Our class is getting a "reality check" this Friday when the ENTIRE university, EXCEPT US, gets off for homecoming. Apparently, homecoming (sorry, I came from a non-football undergrad) is a REALLY BIG DEAL here, and the entire campus and city, completely shuts down to have parades, parties, etc. We lowly 108 med-students will be the ONLY students in class on friday (out of ~45,000 students!)....and from 8-5, I might add...

    As one of our 4th years so elequently put it.."get used to it" :rolleyes:
     
  8. nmehta

    nmehta Senior Member

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    Guardian

    whassup? i haven't heard from you in a long time...life here at tufts is good. the school kind of tip-toes us in to the curriculum, so it has a been tolerable thus far. we have been going out a lot (i am out at least two times a week) and other than the constant exams, life is good. however, next semester we have histology, anatomy, and physiology all at once...so much for that life.

    good to hear from you.

    Neel
     
  9. guardian

    guardian Senior Member

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    Hey Neel,
    Good to hear from you! Check your e-mail.
    -John
     
  10. hey guys what's up? I haven't seen you much in lecture Neel; but this may have to do with the fact that I'm never there ;) Nah, actually I go to most of the lectures except Biochemistry. So far I too am passing all my classes (P=M.D. is my philosophy with the exception of Immunology which I damn well should Honor since I've taken it twice before) and enjoying life at Tufts. There are a few irritating competitive people who feel the need to compare their performance to others, but most people are pretty cool. I have had lots of time to go out, work out, and even went home for a long weekend and camping in Maine another weekend. The main lesson I have learned here is to NOT date your roommate or pseudo-roommate, but that's another story altogether. I know, that must be obvious to everyone else :) well, back to studying and doing some relaxing before next semester kicks my butt.
     
  11. spacecadet22

    spacecadet22 Senior Member

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    Hey y'all,
    I'm loving my first year at Yale so far! It's really relaxed and we don't have an exam that counts until Dec. 17. As for my classmates, I can say the admissions office did a great job of picking some really great, down-to-earth folks. We also have a lot of free time so we are all sort of learning at our own pace. I have to admit, though, I'm a little worried about being well enough prepared for Step 1.
    We'll have to wait and see...
     
  12. daveshnave

    daveshnave Senior Member

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    First year is great so far... although I could have done without the last module. It was one of the toughest of the whole year, and it never let up until it was all over last Thursday. I'm definitely living the work hard/play hard mentality. I know this is sacrilege since gross anatomy is supposed to be the true intro to medical school, but does anyone else think it sucks too? It is in no way intellectually challenging AT ALL. Two words: rote memorization. Okay, I guess it's maybe interesting after you've learned it and you're able to put it all together, but prior to that I feel like I'm just sludging through the endless list of names to memorize, or trying to remember what nerve innervates what muscle. Not very exciting to say the least.

    Question: If I ever lose it and decide to flip off my anatomy professors, what muscles would I be using, and what nerves innervate them? I figure if I'm flexing my 2,3 and 5th digits I'd be using both the flexor digitorum superficialis and the flexor digitorum profundus, which are innervated by the median nerve and the ulnar nerve in the medial half of the profundus. Likewise, if I'm extending the 3rd digit I'd be using my extensor digitorum, which is innervated by the radial nerve. Am I missing anything? Isn't anatomy great? Learning can be fun!
     
  13. mvalento

    mvalento Senior Member

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    i'm having a great time in med school, but this has nothing to do with the material we are learning, most of which i find tedious and boring. it has everything to do with being able to go out 2-4 times a week, learning to study enough to pass (P=MD, you are goddam right), and spending time with awesome classmates.

    for those of you who haven't taken anatomy, well, get ready for a lot of time memorizing minute details that you will probably never need to know again. and if you do, trust me, you'll learn it again later on down the road. i can barely remember what i learned in the first few months (upper limb, apparently)- all i know is that i passed, which put me one step closer to not having to retake this stupid class again.

    sorry about that- anatomy gets me all emotional just thinking about it.

    bud
     
  14. tennis

    tennis Junior Member

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    I'm actually going to pass Anatomy too, I think. The only thing is that it's worth so many credits that if you don't do that great, you're off to a bad start GPA wise. Does anyone else worry about that?
     
  15. AthensfromCols

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    Anatomy can be tough, and there is lots of rote memorization, but my curriculum ties it all together with clinical correlations. It makes it more motivating to learn, I suppose. My school is pass/fail, as are most medical schools, I thought. That takes a little pressure off and allows you to learn what you can in the short time available.
     
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  17. kd

    kd Senior Member

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    I'm glad I'm not the only person who feels that way! Before starting med school, I thought I would love anatomy, but now I just can't WAIT until it's over. I feel like 90% of this stuff will be utterly useless to me, since I have absolutely no intention of going into surgery. I think the clinical correlations are fascinating, but unfortunately there is so much drudgery and rote memorization involved, it's hard to get too excited over it. Anatomy isn't even heavily tested on the boards, so it just seems like such a ridiculous, nit-picking, smelly waste of time! I think physiology next semester will be a lot more interesting.
    OK, that's it for venting tonight- I have an Abdomen, Pelvis, and Perineum exam first thing in the AM - so I'm back to Netter's to cram the branches of the internal iliac!
     
  18. rikkitikki

    rikkitikki Member

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    Much better than I thought work is interesting, classmates great, faculty supportive, preceptorship is fun. O f course the HPF gradings and the fact that its PBL and haven't had anatomy yet certainly helps ;)
     
  19. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

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    Check this out: keeping up with class is really the way to go. For the first two blocks I basically waited until the last week or so to start studying. First block, no big deal, but second block almost killed me. So, I have decided to keep up in class. Holy cow! I know everything we are talking about in class. Anatomy is so much easier. I even know the names of the little stuff I always told myself I would never memorize. I love med school!
     
  20. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    I've found that some people are able to do this, but I haven't seemed to be able to keep the streak going. Last week I got sick, so I fell behind and now I'll have to spend the three-day weekend catching up. But it's cool because the material is very interesting... cardiac cycle, valve disease, drugs, etc. We're learning the normal and disease processes side-by-side. Very cool. :D
     
  21. tennis

    tennis Junior Member

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    My school, unfortunately, is not pass/fail. I'm so burnt out from studying, but we're almost done!
     
  22. Sandpaper

    Sandpaper Member

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    Glad to see most everyone here so cheery about medical school. Just wait a few more years and I'll talk to ya then. When your butt is rounding at 5 in the morning on some gomer, you'll question why on God's earth did you do this. Better yet, when you're driving the freakin' camera for some stupid lap chole for the 38th time on a fat-fertile-fourty-female you'll again question what the hell you were thinking 4 years ago when you applied to medical school. It's all about saving lives and stamping out pestilence. [Do I sound jaded?] :D
     
  23. srlondon

    srlondon Member

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    In regard to the last poster, I don't know a single 4th year classmate of mine who doesn't think that the worst day on the wards is better than the best day in the basic science years. There is simply no comparison. Yes, you will work hard. Yes, you will get up early. But guess what? I hate getting up early and do it anyway, because 3rd and 4th year was the first real time in med school when I actually felt like I was on my way to becoming a doctor! You get to do procedures, see real patients, and have time which is your own when you finally get home at night. There is nothing like sitting on your ass for one blissful hour watching TV with a beer in your hand knowing that there's nothing else you need to be doing at that very moment. Yes, you have to read, but if you're good at time management and keep your books with you, you will find down-time during the day to get a ton of it out of the way.

    The bottom line is that if you can survive the first two years, you'll realize that it only gets better in med school in the last two years.
     
  24. kris

    kris Senior Member

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    Hi everyone,
    I haven't been around much lately, but that's because I need to study, run, and socialize. I fit meals in there too. Somehow SDN just isn't high enough on the list these days. ;)

    I didn't even realize this thread was here, so a couple days ago I posted my little M1 update on another thread.

    Overall, I'm surprised at how happy I am. It's all good. Is anyone else graded on a curve? For our school it usually means that 5 people fail every exam no matter how high the curve.

    And what does everyone mean by "block exams?" I wonder if it's the same kind of thing we have going on here--what we call "conjoints."

    take care,
    --kris
     
  25. lilycat

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    Let's just say that I think my school is going to end up paying a price for it's new curriculum experiment this fall...
     
  26. Sandpaper

    Sandpaper Member

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    Well now srlondon, I suppose in some parts it all depends on what school you attend. First year we got killed with exams (56 of them in all). Second year was a breeze because my school uses the PBL format. Skip the lectures and you only have to be at school roughly one hour a day for group discussions. One exam every three or four weeks. It was beee-yoo-tiful. Plenty of time to chill. Third year is a wreck. Got slammed. Freaking shelf exams, oral exams, and clinical exams on every clerkship. It's like having a full time job, plus being a full time student. Lots of us contemplated quitting, but thought better of it. All that crap prepares us well, but damn. Fourth year has been pretty nice thus far. Overall, would I do it again? If ya got to ask.....
     
  27. kd

    kd Senior Member

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    kris, I suppose block exams are different at every school. At my school, it's just a scheduled period every 4 weeks or so where we have exams in all or most of our classes. They usually reduce or cancel some of our classes and activities during this period to give us enough time to study. For example, right now we're in the middle of our third block of exams- we had anatomy last week and Genetics/Embryology tomorrow. Then we're home free until our fourth and final block in mid-December. Whew!
     
  28. guardian

    guardian Senior Member

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  29. TCOM-2005

    TCOM-2005 Junior Member

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    Try adding "osteopathic concepts" and mannipulative medicine to the pain in the ass classes ya'll have already mentioned.
     
  30. lilycat

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  31. Rocket

    Rocket New Member

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    This is for Lilycat or for anyone who can answer. Is it better to withdraw and start again, or to fail a class and repeat it over the summer and continue on? I have had some circumstances which have severely afected my 1st year, but I really don't want to withdrawal and rather try to finish med school as fast as possible. Any advice will be appreciated.
     
  32. kris

    kris Senior Member

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    Hey Lilycat,
    I'm sorry to hear the new program isn't working out so well.

    Something strange has been going on here too, but it's been hard to figure out what. Our curriculum has changed a little, but not much. We have 9 people repeating in my class, and that class (the current second years) has lost about 14 people total out of 120. Totally bizarre stats!

    Quite frankly, you guys sound like you got screwed--and I think I feel pretty comfortable using that term to describe the situation. ;)

    I'm still not sure whether I'm happy with the whole 'standard deviation' method of grading (if you're a -1.5 you get a marginal; if you're a -2 you fail. And that applies to the second years where on some exams the mean is in the mid- eighties, and the SD very very small. It just breeds a certain kind of competitiveness, and that's what I don't like.

    But that's enough about grading.

    Our conjoints, by the way, are kind of like block exams, but they're all in one day. Every 3 or 4 weeks, on SATURDAY!, we have a 4-5 hour exam over everything. It's painful, but I guess I'll get used to it. I've certainly learned to pace my studying over all my courses.

    Well, lilycat, I hope things get better for you. You certainly have reason to air grievances. It all sounds extraordinarily frustrating. :(

    What do the higher-ups say?
    --kris
     
  33. kris

    kris Senior Member

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    Rocket,

    In short, you really need to discuss this in detail with an appropriate dean at your school.

    In long:
    I think it depends on your school. Here you can fail one "core" and remediate it over the summer (if it's a core that's offered over the summer--like anatomy). Then they meet and discuss your case and decide whether you move on. I think if you fail two cores, you automatically have to repeat.

    A lot has to do with our three requirements to move on to second year: 1) pass your cores, 2) pass the comprehensive final 3) pass the surprise shelf exam given with the comprehensive final.

    So at our school, it's definitely to your benefit if you're in trouble to 1) seek and document getting a tutor, 2) document going to some learning office we have, 3) pass your remaining cores. They're pretty supportive here of getting students help when they need it, but the student needs to take some pretty strong initiatives, and the student's efforts are considered to some extent in the review.

    The rule I've always heard is that once you're in med school, they'll do what they can to help keep you in. I'm sure someone at your school will be able to answer your question in great detail. Definitely don't be afraid to approach someone if you're worried. That's just you taking responsibility for your future.

    Good luck!
    --kris
     
  34. Tone2002

    Tone2002 Senior Member

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    lilycat,

    If you don't mind, you go to Baylor rightt??? Nothing is giving at this point? I can't believe they would ask those students to go home especially if they aren't doing that badly like in the 70's. I didn't know Baylor was so cutthroat. I think they should make changes NOW!!

    Well there goes Baylor....
     
  35. bobcat

    bobcat Member

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    I found lilycat's post EXTREMELY disturbing. When you interview at Baylor, they go out of their way to make it seem very non-competitive, but it sounds worse than Hopkins.
     
  36. lilycat

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    Whoa, I didn't mean to freak everyone out.

    In all honesty, I would never use "cutthroat" or "competitive" to describe the class. Everyone can get a 90, and that's fine with the school, and fine with the students. So there's no stress with your classmates, and it is noncompetitive from that standpoint. My classmates definitely don't want people to fail, and the overall goal is for everyone to make it through together. When I think of "cutthroat," to me that means that my classmates are unwilling to help me, or feel that my success jepordizes their own, which just isn't the case here. Hard does not equal cutthroat. When I interviewed at Wash U, the MSII's seemed pretty stressed out by the transition to "grades," but their stress wasn't induced by competition with their classmates -- rather it was because they were trying to succeed in a challenging system. I think prospective applicants need to recognize that difference and not jump to the conclusion that just because there is stress in med school, or aspects of the curriculum are tough, that means that the place is cutthroat or competitive. Not only would that be an oversimplification, but it's just not true.

    As for the people who are leaving class, they were asked to leave because it is numerically impossible for them to pass at this point. Going from sheer numbers alone, that means some of them probably scored in the 40's or 50's on at least one of the exams. Obviously if they had to shoot for a 68 or 70 to pass, that might be more attainable than going for the 80. But, it's not like these people all have 78's. Also, it's sort of proactive on the administration's part -- these students can come back next year if they want, and this way they don't run the risk of receiving an "F" on their transcript.

    The problem is that some people are clearly not making the 80%, regardless of their classmates' performance. Since these changes are new this year, I think the administration clearly wasn't prepared to deal with that scenario because in general, schools really, really want to keep their attrition rates low. My guess is that if somewhere around ~10 students leave this year because of academic difficulty, changes will be made.

    For anyone considering Baylor, despite my irritations with the new curriculum changes, it is a good school and I would still come here knowing what I know now -- all the upperclassmen I know here are extremely happy, and there are huge positives to the school. The administration is trying to make improvements to the curriculum -- in that process they may have made some mistakes, but I wouldn't completely bash the school for that. My best advice would be that if you are deciding between Baylor and another school in the spring, call and ask them about their plans for the fall curriculum. My guess is that it will go much smoother next year and they will have made some changes. It's never fun to be in the "guinea pig" class.
     
  37. lilycat

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    Rocket,

    Definitely meet with one of your Deans if you haven't already. I think the policy is a little different at each school. Because I'm in a completely integrated curriculum this fall, if you fail the semester, you fail a huge number of credits, which would look really bad on your transcript. In general, I've heard from other students and my dean that basic science grades don't count for much, unless you fail. Then, that can become a big red flag on your residency application, and apparently some programs won't even interview you if you have an F anywhere on your transcript, regardless of how you have done since then.

    Basically, it depends on how much danger you truly think you are in of not passing, and what your official school policy is. Definitely meet with your Dean to go over all your options. Good luck.
     
  38. rubyness

    rubyness Senior Member

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  39. Cobragirl

    Cobragirl Hoohaa helper ;)

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    Let me tell you about my "finals" week. We have exactly 5 days off to study (including Thanksgiving day) for our cummulative practical block exam (Tuesday), our cummulative written block exam (Wednesday), our cummulative ORAL exam (Thursday), AND our USMLE shelf exam on Friday. The shelf exam is 40% of our grade...and we DO have grades (72 is failing). Fun, fun, fun....
     
  40. kris

    kris Senior Member

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    Is it really that bad, Cobra?

    I guess the answer to my original question is that block exams aren't really equivalent to what we call 'conjoints'. It sounds like block exams come in blocks of days as opposed to all in one day. At least now I have an idea of what others mean by 'block exams'.

    I hope I didn't sound like I was complaining too much about our grading system. It's not the grades that I mind (we get percentages along with our SD), it's the competitiveness it breeds since we're all pitted against one another, literally competing to pass.

    On the other hand, I'm pretty happy with things the way they are. I'm beating the curve, I learn a lot, and it's nice to have the entire exam ever all our main subjects done in one sitting. We bring lots of snacks to keep going! :)
    I do believe I'm even learning to like the exam system--though somtimes I feel as nauseated as I did for the MCAT. :D

    I still wonder how much anatomy I'll remember for the final in May. Hmmm.

    Happy studying all--which is what I SHOULD be doing!

    --kris
     
  41. trouserz

    trouserz Member

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  42. rubyness

    rubyness Senior Member

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  43. Cobragirl

    Cobragirl Hoohaa helper ;)

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    Katie,
    Our "block exams" consist of one day of "practical" exam (gross anatomy lab, histology lab, and radiology lab) which is 4 hours long, and then a second day of "written exam" (again, 4 hours long) that covers lecture material for the same classes (plus a couple "side-classes"). Two days....EVERY class exam.

    For finals they just threw in some extra fun stuff...
     
  44. Bonz

    Bonz New Member

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