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once accepted, how are you preparing for med school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by neovenom, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. neovenom

    neovenom Member
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    i've been accepted to med school since the EDP letters went out, and for the most part i've been happy that i'm finally going to be on the path towards a career as a physician. i already graduated in may, so i'm basically sitting out of school for a year before next fall. i've spent my time just enjoying my free time, sleeping in, and working at a pretty laid back place (a GAP store in the mall). but it won't be all fun and games the entire time. once my work hours go down after the holidays, i plan on picking up my MCAT prep book and going over my basic sciences, esp bio and some chem. i also plan on going back through my biochemistry book (i never finished the class). hopefully, these things will help me prepare a little for the future, since i know that i can't simluate med school experience until i'm in the real thing.

    i just wanted to ask others who have been accepted about what they're doing (if anything) in order to prepare for the next step ahead of us.
     
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  3. hobbesiscool

    hobbesiscool Senior Member
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    Biochem prep I hear is really good. Having a good foundation in that seems to help a lot of people during first year. This is from what I've heard from current medical students.
     
  4. Labslave

    Labslave Senior Member
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    I'm chilling out and planning some extended vacations. Med school is going to be enough work once we've started, and if we choose to do research between 1st and 2nd year, this will be our last summer off. :eek:
     
  5. trishaaa

    trishaaa Senior Member
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    Same here. I'm going to have as much fun as possible during the next 9 months! I'm staying far, far away from science, textbooks, thinking...
     
  6. Stroganoff

    Stroganoff Never give up.
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    *smirk*
     
  7. Thanatos

    Thanatos Senior Member
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    Have fun!! Do things you enjoy, spend time with friends and family, travel, etc.....

    All med schools are different and the material they emphasize may change slightly from year to year, so in reality any time you spend preparing would probably just be a waste.

    Not to mention that once you're in school you will NEVER have time to do anything.....take the time off to relax, your medical career will be a long journey.
     
  8. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I wouldn't waste my time with basic sciences, but biochem wouldn't hurt. Just bear in mind that whatever you did in typical college level courses will be covered in about the first two to three weeks of any med school course.
     
  9. Kitra101

    Kitra101 Senior Member
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    I am working to make some money for tuition, reading my cell bio book over when I have a chance and attempting to learn to make a website. I think it is kinda fun. I have been asking this same question and have heard pretty much the same response - no matter what you do, it really wont make much of a difference so you may as well enjoy the last year you have to do things not related to med school. That said, I feel like my mind is turning to mush, so I am reading cell. I also enjoy it, so it helps. I would not be reading physics, for example, for the same reason - yuck. Anyway, I have heard some people say it may be a good idea to pick up the netter flash cards in the spare time, but that it would be hard without a cadaver for real life reference. Neo - are you in Atlanta right now? Macon? Augusta?
     
  10. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member
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    I've been learning about study methods and working on stress reduction techniques. I'm pretty sure my flash card method won't work for the volume of stuff we'll be learning so I'm trying to figure out what will work for me beforehand, so I'm not caught offguard like I was freshman year. I'm also working on my yoga and meditation skills so I can stay chill throughout the process as I am prone to insomnia. Other than that I am trying to put away a bunch of money and give my husband maximum loving attention since I know we won't have as much time together for the next few years.
     
  11. boilerbeast

    boilerbeast suPURDUEper
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    I'm an MS1 and I think the most important thing you could do would be to relax! Biochem is one of those things that just kinda leaves your head...I'm not sure it's even worth your time. I had a minor in it in undergrad and I have a basic understanding, but our exam questions are like, "list the coenzymes in order for each step of gluconeogenesis." Med school is a big, rowdy fraternity where you're the pledge. But instead of drinking...you study. But it's bearable, with the right mindset. :)

    One thing that you could do would be to pick up some extra hours and put away as much money as you can, either to pay a little tuition or pad the living allowance they give you. It's a little easier when you can afford the things you really want to do...fly to see friends for a weekend, go to concerts, eat nice dinners, dress well. Nothing extravagant, just those little "extras" that don't always fit into the pre-made budget your school uses for financial aid. Being able to do those things (this semester, anyway) gives me something to look forward to and motivation to study.

    Congrats to all of you! Get excited! It's a lot of work, but definitely worth it.
     
  12. BooMed

    BooMed Optomist
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    Well, I'm not accepted yet, but if I am, I plan on doing fun, relaxing things! I'm going to keep working to fund my up coming wedding, trips to Europe, going out a lot with friends, and my honeymoon. I will not be doing anything school related. I want to arrive at med school fresh and excited to learn, not burned out because I never took a break.
     
  13. humuhumu

    humuhumu nukunuku apua'a
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    Keep working, spend time with family, travel, read for pleasure.

    I'm also planning to read Iserson's Getting Into a Residency, and I'd like to shadow a few more physicians.
     
  14. opmed

    opmed Member
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    I'm going to attempt to learn some Spanish and read as much non-science material as possible.
     
  15. neovenom

    neovenom Member
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    like you said, i hope that some of the reviewing at least keeps my mind active if nothing else. and i'm in macon right now.
     
  16. -Goose-

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    wakeboard tournaments!

    i'll probably never get the chance to compete again.
     
  17. anystream

    anystream Senior Member
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    i'm graduating this december, volunteering abroad for a month and then...:confused: i need advice! i want to get a chill job to fund summer travel. any suggestions for good short-term jobs? nothing resume-building, just fun. i've waitressed before, so that's my backup plan.
     
  18. humuhumu

    humuhumu nukunuku apua'a
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    Camp counselor? Lifeguard? Your city's Department of Parks and Recreation?
     
  19. Zweihander

    Zweihander Billygoat Gruff
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    You're going to be studying medicine for the rest of your life, presumably. Why waste some of the last few months you have to think about anything *but,* studying biochem?

    If you truly enjoy playing around with this stuff, then by all means study. If not, I think it's silly to forcefeed yourself bits of first year in the hopes that you'll do a little better. You'll have more than enough time to study when school starts.


    good luck
     
  20. DrHuang

    DrHuang SDN Donor
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    nothing....you're going to want to relax before med school, trust me.
     
  21. Turkeyman

    Turkeyman Trickster Poultry
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    Very good point, except martial arts tournaments here. I'll actually pay the money to go to Nationals this time...instead of qualifying at the state tourneys and not going because it was "a hassle." :D

    No more chances, EVER -- once med school begins!
     
  22. Saluki

    Saluki 1K Member
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    I haven't gotten in yet, but I'm hoping I'll be using a Fulbright grant in Indonesia...
     
  23. TheMightyAngus

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    If you don't mind. What kind of project are you planning to do in Indo?
     
  24. princessd3

    princessd3 Senior Member
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    Well considering I have been out of school since June 2004, I am going to get back into the books. I have had my break for the past year so I feel I need to refresh my memory on certain things.
     
  25. DropkickMurphy

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    Through hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. :thumbup:
     
  26. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    Play in the WSOP and make my tuition :laugh:
     
  27. Darth Asclepius

    Darth Asclepius Dark Lord of the Sith
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    I'd also like to vote for not studying. I'm an MS1 and if I had tried to study for anatomy or biochem ahead of time, I would have been way off on a lot of things. It would be very difficult to predict what your school will emphasize. I also think reviewing basic sciences is a waste unless you absolutely struggled and don't understand something really basic. The material in med school is different and studying up on ochem or general bio is going to be a waste of time. Even biochem is a waste, I think, because the focus in med school is much different than undergrad. Relax. It's easy to burn out in med school. Don't study now and start off fresh. If you absolutely must study ahead of time, at least pick up a board review book and study topics in it. Then you know it won't be a total waste of time when your professors decide to completely skip half the topics you studied out of a textbook.
     
  28. kirexhana

    kirexhana Make Me A Sandwich.
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    still no acceptances yet, but i would say, shed those pesky applicant pounds. too many hours of sitting at my desk studying for MCATs, writing my application, filling out secondaries, SDN, and the many 5+ hour flights for interviews, has taken a toll on my bum and given me many rolls. If I get an acceptance in December, I've got 8 months to lose 30 lbs and become less lethargic. anyone with me?
     
  29. DropkickMurphy

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    :thumbup: You're welcome to join me on my hike. That should burn off some pounds.
     
  30. neovenom

    neovenom Member
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    it's great to see all this feedback. seems that the overwhelming opinion is that it's better to use my free time to enjoy rather than try to prepare for something that i can't prepare for. deep down inside, such advice makes me happy.
     
  31. Mr. Freeze

    Mr. Freeze Not right. (in the head)
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    For me it'll depend on how fast my house sells this spring and how fast my wife finds a job. I might have to work right up until school starts :(

    Of course, I may not get in and then I'll have all kinds of free time, since I'm quitting my job no matter what happens!
     
  32. Scottish Chap

    Physician PhD Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    Congrats on your acceptance. Prep. is overkill and, for medical school, IMHO, it won't help at all. Enjoy your time off.
     
  33. Cram

    Cram Junior Member
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    I asked this question last year as well - and got many of the same responses. It has taken four months of MS1 to convince me, but I now agree with the RELAX advice! If you are stubborn like me, you may need more of an explanation, hope it helps.

    Why you can’t prep for medical courses:
    Medical courses have a unique emphasis, the material is different from undergrad, and from school to school. Every subject could easily require a 2000 page text for "comprehensive" coverage -your professors will draw from this material and require you to know some subset of it. The problem is you dont know what they will pick! Another problem is much of the material is not medically important (you wont need it to treat patients and it wont be on the boards). So you could easily spend weeks memorizing 500 of these "pages" of material, just to find that your don't need to know it!

    A more concrete example: I think two semesters of undergrad biochem would only save you the equivalent of 5-10 pages of memorization; likely 1%. of what you will cover! That's a lot of time for little benefit! How about studying something more relevant like a Medical school /board review type biochem book? Again, what your class "picks" to require may differ substantially. In my ms1biochem class -comparing it to Lippincot Blochem, I would say at least a third to one half of the review book material went beyond what our class required. Additionally our class covered an equal amount for more) material that wasn't in the book! It would be a huge chore to memorize that book over the summer - and the return would be minimal! Realize that classes can change substantially from year to year as well. Even if your could study next years materiel now - for most people so little would stick, that you would have to relearn a lot of it again anyway.

    Ok, I know that was likely repetitive, but it may help convince my fellow hardheads that the "just relax" advice is not offered lightly, by slackers, or even just for your mental health (and appropriately so), but that it reflects the near futility of preparing.

    If you have to do something productive, I have some ideas, I'll post them later.


    Good luck!
     
  34. neovenom

    neovenom Member
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    i appreciate the explanation. it does make things easier to understand. and i'll be looking forward to the ideas. right now, my main focuses are the job, spending time with girlfriend and friends, and working out.
     
  35. Darth Asclepius

    Darth Asclepius Dark Lord of the Sith
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    This was what I was trying to say, only this person said it better :D
     
  36. Jon Davis

    Jon Davis I killed the bank.
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    I am studying things on my own that are not related to medicine. I've been told that this time is very valuable since you won't have much free time again (atleast for a while). That, working in a hospital, doing research and SLEEP!
     
  37. Cram

    Cram Junior Member
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    Hopefully others will comment and add to this.

    Things to do before med school:

    1. Buy and watch "AcKlands DVD Atlas of the human body. This is a 6 DVD set, probably 15+ hours long. I know this seems to violate my "dont study" advice -but Im not saying to memorize the tape, just watch it once. Its not much of time commitment, so if nothing sticks, you haven't lost much. the goal is to gain a general idea of the type and quantity of things covered in each body section. Kind of like skimming /pre-reading a book-you will gain a good big picture understanding, a framework that well help your learn in class. Its kind of expensive ($150), but worth having. I'vs watched each tape multiple times (while taking anatomy) and have found it a great study aide.

    2. Buy Issersons guide to Getting a residency. The first couple of chapters teach about the usmle and give a general idea of what matters in school. The rest is just something the browse at your leisure. Mostly its a chapter on every major medical specialty, what they really do, what the patients are like, training requirements, options, and competitiveness. Ex: who performs cochlear (sp?) implant surgery, what fellowships are open to family practice, how long does it take to become a hand surgeon, what fields have sport medicine fellowships, what fields let your mix office practice with surgery, what hours do they work... This wont help with classes, except maybe makingbyou sound more informed when talking to mentors and professors. Mostly it is just good info, fun to browse, and makes you better informed.

    3. If you've ever had motivation or time management issues, now is probably a good time to learn time management and practice it. Steven Covey books & daily planners, or any system. If you are a disorganized person, begin the habit of organizing your life. Small things: regularly spend 30 min Sunday night reviewing the past week and planning the next. Developing habits, not reading about them, is the point.

    4. there are several learning styles / study shills books written specifically for medical school. You will gain at least a few good ideas from each. they probably wont offer a great return on time invested-but may he useful (and are still better than trying to study biochem.) Some examples: "Study skills and test taking strategies For medical students" , "Study without Stress: Medical sciences" -there are a couple of others. the first includes a learning styles assessment: are you really a better visual ,audio, or kinetic learner? For most people, this stuff didn't matter in undergrad, premeds could succeed rather easily with any method (including craming); in medical school the volume makes efficiency and method important.

    5. Do things that put time in a "savings bank" for next year. If you are diciplinedyou will have free time in school. At certain times (test blocks) time can become a valuable and rare commodity. Some ideas on putting time away for your future:

    Earn money so you don't have to waste time pinching pennies when school starts. $ so you get a more reliable car, closer housing, buy books instead of borrow, splurge on a maid/laundry occasionally, order out more... Get a faster computer (this can be relevant -if it bogs down with multiple big files, this could cost you many hours over a year.)

    If money is not limiting, figure out what is: buy gifts for those with birthdays 1st semester now (you will be in the doghouse it she doesn't like that gift you spent 5min picking at the CVS between school home!), get a tivo (so tv is limited to shows you must see). Become a better computer, power point, adobe, school library user (I think you’d have to talk to current students and find out what is needed and compare to your skills.) Learn to cook some new "Quick-but-healthy meals" and snacks. Think about all the non academic/non entertainment type things you did last fall and figure out how to save time on them next year. Its all pretty personal, but a little effort can matter.

    6. Work on a realistic exercise schedule now. Even if you have a good exercise habit, beware of unrealistic schedules. Some people get used to "big" exercise schedules: 4x workouts, daily run, and sports/aerobic work. It may be as hard to trim this down to 2-3X per week 45*min sessions as it is to start from scratch. Just make sure you have a routine that scales - when time is tight, get the basics done in 2 sessions per week, scale up when you want/have time.

    7. Girlfriend tips-you might develop some traditions. spend a day doing something she likes together -like all day looking at special Xmas decorations, antiques, whatever, then go to a restraunt you don't usually frequent (one of mine is cheesecake factory after xmas decoration shopping). Make it a restaurant you never frequent, so it becomes associated with the day /the memory. It can be a fancy place just for desert, or whatever. Next year you wont have time for the long day, but you can meet for desert & she will enjoy it nearly as much as before. Spend a day at the museum and picnic in the park-next year just do the picnic lunch.

    Ok-those are my Ideas. The point isn't todo them all, but choose what works for you. It will fulfill the premed OCD need to prepare, actually accomplishes something, and most are entertaining. Let me know if they help.
    Good luck!
     
  38. OSUdoc08

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    You absolutely should not look at an MCAT prep book.

    Drink as much alcohol and get laid as much as possible.
     
  39. MadameLULU

    MadameLULU Saucy
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    Do not study
    Do not study
    Do not study
    Do not study
    Do not study

    Trust me, your professors will go over all those fundametnal concepts sometime during lectures. Guess what, at the beginning of the year we had 2 lectures over mitosis and meiosis and i've seen it 50 million times since the sixth grade. Right now we're going over spematogenesis and about to start oogenesis. can't tell you how many times I've been over contraction/relaxation of muscle. You don't need to study. NO NO NO NO and NO. Relax. Have fun. Read. Go out. Do something besides "prepping" for med school!
     
  40. humuhumu

    humuhumu nukunuku apua'a
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    I think these are all great ideas.
     
  41. OnMyWayThere

    OnMyWayThere OMS-III
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    Biochem majors are studying biochem with me as we speak. Undergrad biochem really won't help. Let alone, reading a biochem book while you're off. Take a vacation, or 3.
     
  42. DropkickMurphy

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    Change of plans: I'm going to climb Denali. It will be the start to my plan to climb the highest mountains on every continent. :thumbup:
     
  43. CristaGalli

    CristaGalli Member
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    I think you are a nutcase! What is the relevance of buying and watching a 15hr dvd of the atlas of the human body :laugh: You have most of the rest of your life to do all that.
    The only things you should do to prepare for med school is to realize that you are worthy of your acceptance. Relax, finish up undergrad if it applies, spend the summer doing something fun with friends.
     
  44. jbone

    jbone Herro!
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    THANKS FOR THE INFO! YOU ARE THE MAN! :thumbup:
     
  45. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    I'll be taking biochem, but that's to finish out my minor. Other than that, I'm not going to be doing any "pre-medschool studying"
     
  46. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Wow, Cram, thanks for all the info. I think I'll look into that book about residency.
     
  47. Cram

    Cram Junior Member
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    Relaxing is fine! This post's for those who feel the need to do something. (And to give them practical, helpful things they can do that aren't a waste )

    Really the DVD's not a waste. The point is if your have anatomy 1st semester, you don't have your whole life to learn it, just August-Dec, which will be a busy time! Previewing the video is like getting the cliff notes version ahead of time, helps keep you oriented. (and the guy in the video is a excellent teacher)
     
  48. QuikClot

    QuikClot Senior Member
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    Haven't been accepted yet, but I'd like to spent some time in Palestine with the ISM. Not likely to get time for that in med school.
     
  49. C.P. Jones

    C.P. Jones Catface Majigger
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    Question....assuming i can get into a school in the next couple of months (hopefully weeks....DREXEL, THAT'S YOU) is all this information trying to tell me that an xbox will be a complete waste of money?

    also, it sounds as if you come home, study, go to bed, go to class, come home, study...and on and on when you get into med school.....is this coming from the same ppl that packed the libraries to study at undergrad? b/c i really wasn't one to do that, but i can understand how that would change for med school since it is my life...and it is just a little harder...but just a little :p

    anyway, stop scaring me
     
  50. Cram

    Cram Junior Member
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    don't ask if you wont like the answer! :D

    if you are disciplined and keep on task by studying a little every day, you will still have free time. (Well except for busy test weeks) You can use that X-Box. The trap is falling behind, then you can find yourself without time. Unfortunately, when you cover what is probably the equivalent of a 1 semester undergrad course every week or two-you can no longer rely on cramming to make up for lapses in discipline. Being able to party a couple of times per week, exercise, and keep up with school will take time management skill. (substitute date, family, X-Box, whatever for party) Time management and discipline are key. Your grade goal also determines how much it takes - passing is probably the equivalent of A's in undergrad, making A's are more like A's in 2-3x the courseload.
     
  51. Cram

    Cram Junior Member
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    Sorry, but its not undergrad 'librarians talking!

    You should start a thread w/ this Question -although I think you will find most agree the best/easiest way through med school is 2-3 hours daily or more of daily study. People skip classes to free time up so they have time for fun and to avoid the monotony your described!
     

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