EagerToBeMD

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Hey gang. I have a friend who's an MS1 doing pretty well and he swears that he has yet to read a substantial portion of any of his textbooks. He says that most med schools give you all the notes you need if you're part of the note service and that you have to just memorize everything on those papers for the exams. That all you do is read the text as a reference if you don't get something mentioned in the notes. Is that true or is he pulling my leg since he knows I hate reading textbooks?
 

TheMightyAngus

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Hey gang. I have a friend who's an MS1 doing pretty well and he swears that he has yet to read a substantial portion of any of his textbooks. He says that most med schools give you all the notes you need if you're part of the note service and that you have to just memorize everything on those papers for the exams. That all you do is read the text as a reference if you don't get something mentioned in the notes. Is that true or is he pulling my leg since he knows I hate reading textbooks?

The volume of material you need to know is too high to use textbooks to learn all of it.
 
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EagerToBeMD

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That is true - but is there really any difference between reading 500 pages of notes or 500 pages from a textbook?

I guess it depends on the notes. In undergrad, which I know isn't the same, I am able to retain much more from lecture notes than from the textbook. My Anatomy class was all lecture notes and I always did well on my tests because it was easier to memorize details that way whereas I struggled in Bio because all the test questions came directly from the textbook and they weren't conceptual but more on details that I always lost when reading the textbook.
 

Law2Doc

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Hey gang. I have a friend who's an MS1 doing pretty well and he swears that he has yet to read a substantial portion of any of his textbooks. He says that most med schools give you all the notes you need if you're part of the note service and that you have to just memorize everything on those papers for the exams. That all you do is read the text as a reference if you don't get something mentioned in the notes. Is that true or is he pulling my leg since he knows I hate reading textbooks?

Agree with the above. "Textbooks" per se aren't the focus at most schools, representing a break from undergrad, but you will cover a ton of material from someplace. You will have lengthy notesets and lecture notes that surpass the size of most texts. In fact, they probably could be pretty substantial texts in their own right if your profs ever decided to publish. So don't think that "just memorizing everything on those papers" means your friend is getting off easy. In many cases, using the textbook would actually be a lighter load. But yes, the answer to your question is that you rely on the notesets as highest yield for the exams and use textbooks, if at all, as secondary resources, at most schools.
 

Law2Doc

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I guess it depends on the notes. In undergrad, which I know isn't the same, I am able to retain much more from lecture notes than from the textbook. My Anatomy class was all lecture notes and I always did well on my tests because it was easier to memorize details that way whereas I struggled in Bio because all the test questions came directly from the textbook and they weren't conceptual but more on details that I always lost when reading the textbook.

Med school is not undergrad. You are not in Kansas anymore.
 
W

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The volume of material you need to know is too high to use textbooks to learn all of it.

:thumbup: Some of us use board review material (BRS, High Yield, First Aid etc.) and atlases for the charts and tables, but I have yet to purchase or open a textbook.

Med school is not undergrad. You are not in Kansas anymore.

lol KU was the other med school I was considering. Maybe I should have gone there...
 

Dookter

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It's true. Textbooks are not essential for med school for the most part. You might just have like 1000 powerpoint slides for a test instead....ha ha ha. But seriously, this is a great question to ask. I'll share a little story about a place covered in Blue with little Devil's running around called Dooke Medicul Skewl block4:

We have a reading list with like 10 books on it for this block, one of which is a 1500 page path book. For the micro part of the block, we have three books listed, "none of which is perfect." So basically they assign three books and reading assignments from all of them and want us to spend like all day going through them to find out what is important [if you're wondering, it is sort of hard for someone who hasn't seen this stuff before to know what is important]. The only book we have this block that actually goes right along with the lectures and is a really good, easy to read book is our immunology book. I actually asked the course director is there was a shorter, acceptable book for path since I can't read and learn 1500 pages in 20 weeks. He said, "Well, you'll just have to read it sparingly." Talk about two people being on different wavelengths! So you think to yourself, "What in the world do I do?" Easy! Don't read the books except for the immuno book! You say, "But won't you fail out of school doing that????" Well, no one else is going to read a 1500 page path book either! There MIGHT be 3 students in the whole class that could pull that off, but I doubt even 3 could do it. And it seems that every year above us skipped out on using a path book and for micro used this book called Medical Micro Made Ridiculously Simple. So this is a tried and true way of dealing with this block I guess.

So this might have seemed like a totally irrelevant story that was a waste of your time. But there is a moral here: they WILL assign you readings that are a waste of time. Don't assume for a minute that just b/c you're not really going to use a book or that it is a big waste of your precious time most of the time that they won't TELL you to read the book. It's up to you to realize when reading is worthwhile. Most of the time they teach you what you need to know...
 

pballa24

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i totally agree. I pride myself in not wasting money on some texts. The only things I have bought so far have been review books. Especially considering ive been able to find quite a few ful-length texts online and in our digital library. I think some people just buy the books so people can come over to their place and gawk at their book shelves..me, id rather have a lil extra cash in my pocket...to go drinking with on the off chance that I have a night to spare!
 

Ashers

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Ok, so I may be one of the few who likes textbooks for some classes. Before every phys test (with the exceptions of GI, endocrine, and exercise), I read Guyton twice. I also read Robbins at least once for path. I try to read it twice, if I have time. The first time I go through it slowly, annotate it, and the second time, it's basically go through what I highlighted. That's also partially because of my school the phys department thinks that Guyton was a god, and path is just so incomprehensible and incomplete, I feel the only way to understand anything that's going on is to read Robbins.

I do also love BRS.

Classes with very complete class notes, I don't use a text book unless it's for reference to clarify something.
 

jbrice1639

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I guess it depends on the notes. In undergrad, which I know isn't the same, I am able to retain much more from lecture notes than from the textbook. My Anatomy class was all lecture notes and I always did well on my tests because it was easier to memorize details that way whereas I struggled in Bio because all the test questions came directly from the textbook and they weren't conceptual but more on details that I always lost when reading the textbook.

honestly, the difference between undergrad and med school is highly overstated around here. a basic science course is a basic science course. if you have a learning style that's effective for learning biochem and anatomy in undergrad, those same learning styles will apply in med school. there may be more material in med school, but the format of a basic science course is really about the same
 
W

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honestly, the difference between undergrad and med school is highly overstated around here. a basic science course is a basic science course. if you have a learning style that's effective for learning biochem and anatomy in undergrad, those same learning styles will apply in med school. there may be more material in med school, but the format of a basic science course is really about the same

I can agree with this. The knowledge isn't really any more advanced than undergrad, it's just a lot of factoids to cram into your brain.
 

lilnoelle

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You are not in Kansas anymore.

Oh, I beg to differ.

I really don't have anything to contribute other than I agree, textbooks aren't used much in med school. I've bought a few review books that I haven't used much either. Hopefully I'll use them for Step I so they won't be a complete waste of money.
The only books I've found useful are books that were written by various course directors. Now those are high yield. I bought an Immunology review book written by our Immunology course director that was almost word for word what the lectures were and in the correct order. It was gold.
 
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Tired Pigeon

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Textbooks haven't been particularly useful, but I did benefit from anatomy & histology atlases.
 

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Depends on the class. At our school, some classes had poor notes and/or took notes directly from the textbooks and I bought and used the text to supplement my notes for parts I didnt' understand or to just rehash (more concisely) over major points.

Other classes had excellent notes and I didn't bother with the text. As a general rule, buy the atlas for visual classes like anatomy and histology b/c those pretty pics aren't going to be supplied by the professor. Also, the review books (BRS, high yield) are really useful for overviews/reviews. I would recommend not buying texts until you ask an upperclassman about what their class did. Our class publishes a 'survivial guide' for students and it lists out what books we should buy and what we shouldn't. I have found their advice pretty useful. But look for yourself what books are useful and what are not before buying.

I have found that for most classes thus far, when I have to buy something, its usually review books, or atlases, and not plain textbooks. So your friend is right, most med school classes, you won't need textbooks. However, be warned that the amount of notes we have ARE as big as a textbook, and pound for pound, reading notes gets you higher yield than the texts.
 

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There's a whole group of guys in my class who not only never buy ANY of the textbooks (never borrow and read them either, from what they have told me) AND I have at least one friend who claims that in four years he has only used up half a notebook.

I don't know how he does it - he's smart, but doesn't strike me as being overly, overly intelligent. Impressive stuff, but I still feel safer having my handwritten notes and highlighted textbooks.
 

BigKurz

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There's a whole group of guys in my class who not only never buy ANY of the textbooks (never borrow and read them either, from what they have told me) AND I have at least one friend who claims that in four years he has only used up half a notebook.

I don't know how he does it - he's smart, but doesn't strike me as being overly, overly intelligent. Impressive stuff, but I still feel safer having my handwritten notes and highlighted textbooks.

I'm glad to hear this second part from you. I'm a big textbook kind of guy, so I'm a bit worried with SOOOO many people saying that they don't use them. I don't wanna waste money, but I'd like to have that comfort zone as well.
 

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Hey gang. I have a friend who's an MS1 doing pretty well and he swears that he has yet to read a substantial portion of any of his textbooks. He says that most med schools give you all the notes you need if you're part of the note service and that you have to just memorize everything on those papers for the exams. That all you do is read the text as a reference if you don't get something mentioned in the notes. Is that true or is he pulling my leg since he knows I hate reading textbooks?
It definitely depends on the school. In my program, we all use textbooks. We have to, because we don't take exams, and we don't have any lecture note packets like apparently most other schools have. (Technically, we aren't supposed to even have any lectures, although some of our seminars turn out to be pretty lecturey.) Now sometimes the specific textbooks the block leaders suggest are not particularly helpful, but the upperclassmen have told us other ones to get or we've found them on our own. So I guess what I'm saying is that if you don't want to have to read textbooks, CCLCM wouldn't be a very good school for you. :p
 

Green Chimneys

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Buy an atlas and disector when you take anatomy. Don't buy another "required" text. For each block, consider buying a short review book to help you study for the boards but don't waste your time on it while you're actually taking the class. Any more and you're just wasting precious beer money.
 
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I'd highly recommend a Netter Atlas for Anatomy.....and that's about it thus far. I do read the Guyton phys textbook, but I didn't buy it - I just use the library reserve.
 

Sean2tall

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You can certainly do very well in the 1st two years without owning many books. As with most, I used Netter, essentially nothing else, and never struggled to pass any class. (Occasionally honors or high pass) However, I would recommend that you not try to prove anything to yourself and make a firm stance against all books. In retrospect I may have cheated myself in a few situations by refusing to ever shell out, and always memorizing the verbless, hyphenated sentences of the notes. They are, of course, going to be more spot-on with what the professors will test you on, with the occasional sacrifice of not fully understanding things.

Anyhow, I think the moral of my story here is: Use your discretion with buying books. Some classes try to throw around the "required" bomb, which is essentially meaningless, but if you feel that a book might help you after you start studying, you can take the padlock off of your wallet ;), although I rarely did. :oops:
 

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Textbooks I've actually used: pocket Robbins, Haines Neuro Atlas, Micro Made Simple, Netter's Atlas, and Rohen's Color Atlas. Bought a ton of BRS and High Yield books, though, and First Aid, and am about to start in on the Kaplan series for StepI.
 

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I do not regret purchasing the Sobotta anatomy atlas, Big Robbins, and Lawrence for Surgery. Does Baby Moore count as a textbook? That was also worthwhile.

But that's about it.
 

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I think it depends on your learning style. I'm envious of anyone who can do well with just the notes or the HY or BRS materials. I'm a book bandit! One fact after another spewed out onto a page for me to memorize doesn't work for me (I'm very sorry to say). I tried like hell to make it work, believe me! But when I finally bit the bullet and started to cozy up to Robbins Path, Parham Immuno, and Boron Physio...it was pretty smooth sailing....and so what that I've had to give up little niceties like eating and sleeping!
 

Skills of House

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Speaking of books though, does anyone have any suggestions for a good source for Behavioral Science?
 

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Buy first-aid, look in the back, and they'll tell you what to buy for each class. For behavioral, i like BRS

mini-moore (essential clincial anatomy) is a review of Big-Moore, and I enjoy it. I have it opened right now. It is not a textbook, even if it is around 700 pages. Big-Moore is a waste of your precious time to read unless you want to be Mr./Mrs. Surgery

The BRS series is good, as well as High-Yield (I think they are made by the same company).

Lipincott Illustrated Review of Biochem is a peaceful read compared to the endless of hours of Lehninger reading in undergrad many of us did.

The boards are going to test you on the more general concepts; not that random thing your prof does research on and writes complicated papers about. Always go for the high-yield material
 
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