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Is there any way that non-trad students can prepare for medical school…academically? Like for students who take 1-2 years off after undergrad. Couldn't they technically learn the medical school material (for at least one or two first year classes) by reading at their own pace? They could buy the textbooks beforehand or maybe even sit in on med school lectures?! I mean, who would know? Most of the students end up teaching themselves anyway from what I've heard…

I personally feel like this would reduce SO much stress in the early stages of med school! Especially when you don't have to worry about learning new things every two weeks so you can pass those bi-weekly exams! Thoughts?
 

DermViser

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Is there any way that non-trad students can prepare for medical school…academically? Like for students who take 1-2 years off after undergrad. Couldn't they technically learn the medical school material (for at least one or two first year classes) by reading at their own pace? They could buy the textbooks beforehand or maybe even sit in on med school lectures?! I mean, who would know? Most of the students end up teaching themselves anyway from what I've heard…

I personally feel like this would reduce SO much stress in the early stages of med school! Especially when you don't have to worry about learning new things every two weeks so you can pass those bi-weekly exams! Thoughts?
You're in luck:
The students I know in my class who are currently failing are those who lack a good science background from undergrad. Luckily, I took many science classes during undergrad and I am not studying nearly as much as some of my classmates yet I am doing better so far. I am sure this experience will change as medical school gets more difficult and we get into stuff that's not talked about in undergrad, but having exposure to those courses has helped me immensely in lecture and in my studies. You can be going through a lot of stress early on if you are new to the material when school starts. This has been my current experience and my background has helped me settle in easier than some..

Classes I highly suggest (some are required by med schools, but some are not yet I still highly suggest):

Anatomy - at least take general anatomy. This will help you in tackling the advanced questions you will get right away at the beginning of med school.
Embryology - one of the most complained about subjects at my school
Genetics - I would know general genetics before starting
EPIDEMIOLOGY - I took a weak stats class. Lots of these questions in medical school and on the boards. I highly suggest taking this if you can. This is probably the most difficult, and boring, class.
Physiology - I am sure this is required by medical schools - get an A in this class.
Nutrition - believe it or not, having a basic understanding of nutrition has helped me a lot!
Immunology - we have yet to tackle immunology in depth, but knowing a bit about immunology has helped in my other classes already. I would for sure take this course.

Histology in medical school is not that hard - just takes practice looking at slides and you'll get it eventually. In my opinion, biochem is useful but not SUPER beneficial. If you take the above classes, you'll be fine in biochem.

I am a first year medical student so maybe MS2's have a different feeling about this. I haven't gotten to their level of experience yet, but as of right now, you might thank me by having these classes under your belt before medical school starts!
 

DermViser

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Is there any way that non-trad students can prepare for medical school…academically? Like for students who take 1-2 years off after undergrad. Couldn't they technically learn the medical school material (for at least one or two first year classes) by reading at their own pace? They could buy the textbooks beforehand or maybe even sit in on med school lectures?! I mean, who would know? Most of the students end up teaching themselves anyway from what I've heard…

I personally feel like this would reduce SO much stress in the early stages of med school! Especially when you don't have to worry about learning new things every two weeks so you can pass those bi-weekly exams!
Thoughts?
 
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Ismet

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You want to give up 2 years of salary so you can pre-study for pre-clinical, which doesn't make a difference in the big scheme of things? Sure, go for it. :rolleyes:

Gap years are meant to improve your application to medical school. You should be working, researching, volunteering, shadowing, etc. Not pre-studying.

We also don't study from textbooks. Most of us study from lecture notes, which you would not be able to obtain as a non-student. You also can't just sit in on or sneak into med school lectures, as you are not paying tuition and everyone will know that you are a random person who is not in the class.

Just learn it and study it when everyone else does. It's really not that horrible or impossible.
 

DermViser

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You want to give up 2 years of salary so you can pre-study for pre-clinical, which doesn't make a difference in the big scheme of things? Sure, go for it. :rolleyes:

Gap years are meant to improve your application to medical school. You should be working, researching, volunteering, shadowing, etc. Not pre-studying.

We also don't study from textbooks. Most of us study from lecture notes, which you would not be able to obtain as a non-student. You also can't just sit in on or sneak into med school lectures, as you are not paying tuition and everyone will know that you are a random person who is not in the class.

Just learn it and study it when everyone else does. It's really not that horrible or impossible.
Depends very much on the school. Not all medical schools have premade syllabi or course packs. There are still some that are going out of Guyton for Physiology, Robbins for Pathology, Katzung for Pharmacology, Junquiera for Histology, etc. I guess if you're really stealthy you can actually go to the med school bookstore and buy the syllabi or if you have a med school friend, he can download all the lectures posted online and any PDF lecture notes.
 

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Yeah, you can buy all the books you like, but you won't have the structure that the lectures provide. This just leaves you with a pile of books and tens of thousands of pages that are far more than you could ever memorize. By the time you'd reach the end of each book you'd have forgotten the beginning, making it a pretty fruitless exercise. Once you get into medical school, they let you know what you need to know and explain it to you in a manner that is generally more cohesive than the books you've been assigned to read, as you'll sometimes have a lecture that references 3 or 4 texts to make a single point and explain one topic.

Don't bother prestudying, it is a waste of time.
 

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You're assuming that 1) you know what material is going to be important in medical school and 2) you're going to be able to retain enough information to be useful. The fact of the matter is that most people will fail on both counts. The way medical school is taught and paced is not conducive to "pre-studying." The same thing applies for taking "medical school classes" in undergrad; it's just not useful. The information you learn (and subsequently forget) from most undergraduate courses will help minimally.
 

Mad Jack

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Depends very much on the school. Not all medical schools have premade syllabi or course packs. There are still some that are going out of Guyton for Physiology, Robbins for Pathology, Katzung for Pharmacology, Junquiera for Histology, etc. I guess if you're really stealthy you can actually go to the med school bookstore and buy the syllabi or if you have a med school friend, he can download all the lectures posted online and any PDF lecture notes.
And then if you end up at a different school with a different syllabus, you're boned.
 

DermViser

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And then if you end up at a different school with a different syllabus, you're boned.
True. Although I guess if you're a real stealthy gunner, and plan on going to your state medical school regardless, then you'd have all the video lectures and lecture notes and during your 2 gap years, you can make Anki/Firecracker/Quizlet/whatever he **** cards galore.
 

DermViser

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Thank you. I felt it was quite appropriate for the thread considering. Gomer Pyle should have one person who is "thankful" for his "advice".
 

Mad Jack

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True. Although I guess if you're a real stealthy gunner, and plan on going to your state medical school regardless, then you'd have all the video lectures and lecture notes and during your 2 gap years, you can make Anki/Firecracker/Quizlet/whatever he **** cards galore.
What a sad existence that would be. The burnout by MS-4 would probably drive them damn near to suicide.
 

DermViser

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What a sad existence that would be. The burnout by MS-4 would probably drive them damn near to suicide.
I have no doubt there are some people who truly subsist on studying at the expense of a lot of things in life. It's quite sad, IMHO.
 
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Mad Jack

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I have no doubt there are some people who truly subsist on studying at the expense of a lot of things in life. It's quite sad, IMHO.
Way too many people put everything into their future, always looking forward to what tomorrow will bring and never paying any mind to the present. Before they know it, life has passed them by, and they wonder where it all went.
 

sb247

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Is there any way that non-trad students can prepare for medical school…academically? Like for students who take 1-2 years off after undergrad. Couldn't they technically learn the medical school material (for at least one or two first year classes) by reading at their own pace? They could buy the textbooks beforehand or maybe even sit in on med school lectures?! I mean, who would know? Most of the students end up teaching themselves anyway from what I've heard…

I personally feel like this would reduce SO much stress in the early stages of med school! Especially when you don't have to worry about learning new things every two weeks so you can pass those bi-weekly exams! Thoughts?
Not with textbooks....maybe with prof lecture slides
 

DermViser

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Way too many people put everything into their future, always looking forward to what tomorrow will bring and never paying any mind to the present. Before they know it, life has passed them by, and they wonder where it all went.
Yup. I think residency is when it REALLY hits home, bc then when you want to have fun on your own terms, you can't (assuming it hasn't happened during med school).
 
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These tend to be people who are academically perfect but have zero ECs except for research. They are literally the 4.0 automatons I talk about.

I have no doubt there are some people who truly subsist on studying at the expense of a lot of things in life. It's quite sad, IMHO.
 

DermViser

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These tend to be people who are academically perfect but have zero ECs except for research. They are literally the 4.0 automatons I talk about.
And these are exactly the people who should be filtered out. There still is this pervading belief in the premed world that one's success in medicine is 100% contingent on academic metrics and medical knowledge. Being a 4.0 automaton is a big risk factor bc the you'll need to have other areas of your life to rely on heavily when it comes to the inherent stress of medical school, residency, etc. that don't have a direct CV advantage.

That's why I think it's funny when SDNers think that extracurriculars are a waste of time. If it's for notches in your gun belt, then yes. When used properly, it gives a good view as to your interests, what you're passionate about, and whether medicine is truly what you should be doing. It also helps you thru the tough times in medical school, when you're questioning what you're doing and doubt starts creeping in.
 

Goro

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My students tend to eat these people alive.

And these are exactly the people who should be filtered out. There still is this pervading belief in the premed world that one's success in medicine is 100% contingent on academic metrics and medical knowledge. Being a 4.0 automaton is a big risk factor bc the you'll need to have other areas of your life to rely on heavily when it comes to the inherent stress of medical school, residency, etc. that don't have a direct CV advantage.

That's why I think it's funny when SDNers think that extracurriculars are a waste of time. If it's for notches in your gun belt, then yes. When used properly, it gives a good view as to your interests, what you're passionate about, and whether medicine is truly what you should be doing. It also helps you thru the tough times in medical school, when you're questioning what you're doing and doubt starts creeping in.
 

DermViser

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My students tend to eat these people alive.
Yes. They tend to not make as many friends in medical school, which ends up being quite critical to have if not in the first 2 years, then definitely in the clerkship year when team-based care is important. Tend to also be more the exceedingly shy, loner type or more the inability to get along with others, everyone is against me type.

Not surprisingly, they tend to end up going for Pathology or Radiology (assuming they can make it thru internship).
 

DermViser

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Only a little bit....our lecture notes are comprehensive enough for our exams. While you couldn't prestudy and stop completely, if i had those notes and few hours every day for a year prior the first few months of my ms1 would look a lot differently
And you might be even more exhausted now.
 

DermViser

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I wouldn't do it...but in the realm of physically possible? Yes
Yes, physically possible. Quite different from mentally possible.
 
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Goro

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Actually, I was referring to the students who do admissions interviews. The students are very collegial and altruistic to their classmates. But the 4.0 hyperacheivers certainly don't seek us out for our research venues, that's for sure! Definitely agree with your assessment.

Yes. They tend to not make as many friends in medical school, which ends up being quite critical to have if not in the first 2 years, then definitely in the clerkship year when team-based care is important. Tend to also be more the exceedingly shy, loner type or more the inability to get along with others, everyone is against me type.

Not surprisingly, they tend to end up going for Pathology or Radiology (assuming they can make it thru internship).
 

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It is possible to breeze through M1 and M2, but you cannot gain a time advantage on anyone outside of what your mental faculties already possess. The challenges to the lecture years are 1) studying habits, 2) dense materials and no clinical basis from which to have a good overall grasp, and 3) fierce competition.

You can't fix 1) without actually being in med school or an SMP.

You can't do anything about 3).

Therefore, the only thing you can do is pre-study. But how can you who are not a medical student with no experienced tutor learn faster than a medical student with the infrastructures in place, unless you go pay $2000 for Kaplan livecourses?
 

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I wonder if I can sneak into a cadaver lab at one of my neighborhood med schools and get a head start on surgical skills. Drilling into bones really doesn't seem that difficult.
I'm kidding.
 
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I wonder if I can sneak into a cadaver lab at one of my neighborhood med schools and get a head start on surgical skills. Drilling into bones really doesn't seem that difficult.
I'm kidding.
It might be easier going to an animal shelter to work on euthanized animals. That's where all the cats came from that we used in my dual enrollment anatomy class in high school. ;) :p
 

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I wonder if I can sneak into a cadaver lab at one of my neighborhood med schools and get a head start on surgical skills. Drilling into bones really doesn't seem that difficult.
I'm kidding.
Just rob a grave.

Medical school will come when it comes. No need to worry about how hard it will be just yet. If you can get in, you are as prepared as anyone can be.
 

Cyberdyne 101

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It might be easier going to an animal shelter to work on euthanized animals. That's where all the cats came from that we used in my dual enrollment anatomy class in high school. ;) :p
I'd have a difficult time with dead cats...
not with other animals though.