Jun 22, 2020
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I want you all's opinion on pre-studying for first year.

I am currently nailing down anatomy along with the functions. I am using an older FA book with the USMLE-Rx videos and the UMich Med School M1 "course" for gross anatomy. With that being said the "med school anatomy is much deeper than UG anatomy so it's a waste" comments aren't needed. I included a photo so you can see

I'm mostly seeking opinions from people who have done it. Was it beneficial? Did you remember the material when you started class?
 

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FindersFee5

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I'm going to give you a slightly different opinion than the SDN majority, which still leads to the same conclusion.

Prestudying using medical school resources (the UMich anatomy guide is great, FA is almost useless for gross anatomy though) and anki to make sure that you remember everything WILL make your first quarter earlier. However, there is no way you're going to be willing to devote even 1/4 the time you'll eventually be dedicating in medical school. So you may find that the first quarter is easier, but I would wager that prestudying will have no statistically significant effect on any med school metrics, such as step 1/2 score, clinical grades, class rank, or research output.

There is something you can do now that will be super helpful for medical school, but it isn't prestudying. Learning basic database management, biostats, and statistical programming (R or Python) would be an ENORMOUS boon for starting research in medical school. Most residents don't have the time/knowledge to run stats themselves, and few departments actually have access to the number of statisticians they want. Being a medical student who can do those things will immediately make you a very valued commodity and residents will be super happy to include you on projects. Having moderate statistical knowledge as well as the medical knowledge to understand the projects you're working on is a very valuable thing.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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The stats thing is good. Learning python is a great idea. Spend time getting your medical/dental good to go. Bills on autopay and set up. A workout routine. Meal prep good to go. Etc. That will be way more beneficial.
 
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I was against prestudying last year and still am for the most part. Med school is so fast that even if you manage to get stupidly far ahead it won’t mean much unless you constantly review said material. This is why if you must prestudy, I’d consider testing out anki and other study strategies so you’re not trying to figure out what works when school starts. You don’t need R or Python. SPSS plus YouTube is more than enough lol but programming skills are highly marketable.
 

The_RZ_Method

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The stats thing is good. Learning python is a great idea. Spend time getting your medical/dental good to go. Bills on autopay and set up. A workout routine. Meal prep good to go. Etc. That will be way more beneficial.

There is something you can do now that will be super helpful for medical school, but it isn't prestudying. Learning basic database management, biostats, and statistical programming (R or Python) would be an ENORMOUS boon for starting research in medical school. Most residents don't have the time/knowledge to run stats themselves, and few departments actually have access to the number of statisticians they want. Being a medical student who can do those things will immediately make you a very valued commodity and residents will be super happy to include you on projects. Having moderate statistical knowledge as well as the medical knowledge to understand the projects you're working on is a very valuable thing.

Any tips on resources/courses to learn biostats, python, etc would be appreciated. What would be the most efficient and high-yield stuff to focus on? Thank you.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Any tips on resources/courses to learn biostats, python, etc would be appreciated. What would be the most efficient and high-yield stuff to focus on? Thank you.

For stats, just understanding the stuff that goes into assessing studies. Test characteristics (sensitivity/specificity/likelihood ratios/PPV and NPV), incidence and prevalence, OR/RR, absolute and relative risk reduction, and the different types of studies. If you can even skim some of that you’ll have a great head start. Most people are terrible at stats, and you’ll have attendings insist on using PPV instead of likelihood ratios because they don’t understand them or tell you that a test with a sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 20% is good for ruling stuff out.
 
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Ole_Toe

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Agree with all of the above. From an academic standpoint, there is truly no benefit to prestudying. However, I would highly recommend learning how to use Anki well. Spend time watching the anking videos and reading the zanki forums on reddit to see if this is something that you want to use. Once you start medical school, you're not going to have the time to figure all of that out. I am seeing many of my peers struggle with this now. Instead of spending this time to pre-study, become familiar with the resources that people use to study (UFAP) and how they are used. This will save you a lot of time when you are busy & stressed with school work.
 

efle

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Step 1 is pass/fail for you, so I'd chill out on prestudying M1 materials. You're going to have to go hard in 3rd year because studying for Step 2 CK will have a new degree of importance on top of the life-consuming rotations you'll be on. So prior to M3, I'd spend any spare time in M1-M2 on R&R (research and relaxation).
 
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Lawpy

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Step 1 is pass/fail for you, so I'd chill out on prestudying M1 materials. You're going to have to go hard in 3rd year because studying for Step 2 CK will have a new degree of importance on top of the life-consuming rotations you'll be on. So prior to M3, I'd spend any spare time in M1-M2 on R&R (research and relaxation).

2 years are too long and likely a waste of time when clinicals can just start MS2 forward. 2 years of research with clinicals and Step 2 lurking doesn't really sound relaxing
 

The_RZ_Method

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Step 1 is pass/fail for you, so I'd chill out on prestudying M1 materials. You're going to have to go hard in 3rd year because studying for Step 2 CK will have a new degree of importance on top of the life-consuming rotations you'll be on. So prior to M3, I'd spend any spare time in M1-M2 on R&R (research and relaxation).

Isn't mastering Step 1 material the best way to prepare for Step 2 (during pre-clinical)? In addition to making rotations a bit easier?
 

efle

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Isn't mastering Step 1 material the best way to prepare for Step 2 (during pre-clinical)? In addition to making rotations a bit easier?
Nah, the best way to prepare for step 2 is to study directly for step 2. Different study materials (e.g. if you like video overviews, OME replaces Boards and Beyond/Pathoma. Uworld step 2 replaces uworld step 1. Nobody uses First Aid for Step 2).

And studying for step 2 will also help on the wards more. That's basically what step 2 is, a giant NBME shelf exam on all the subject matter youre learning in MS3.

Dont get me wrong you still need to be comfortably passing your classes and Step 1. But the recipe for success is definitely no longer going to be relentlessly flashcarding 30,000 pieces of UFAPS into your memory banks.
 
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The_RZ_Method

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Nah, the best way to prepare for step 2 is to study directly for step 2. Different study materials (e.g. if you like video overviews, OME replaces Boards and Beyond/Pathoma. Uworld step 2 replaces uworld step 1. Nobody uses First Aid for Step 2).

And studying for step 2 will also help on the wards more. That's basically what step 2 is, a giant NBME shelf exam on all the subject matter youre learning in MS3.

Dont get me wrong you still need to be comfortably passing your classes and Step 1. But the recipe for success is definitely no longer going to be relentlessly flashcarding 30,000 pieces of UFAPS into your memory banks.

I see, thanks.

I believe in another thread the consensus was that Step 1 material is still very important and not something to take lightly either. At the same time, its better to devote time to research since the knowledge from 240+ is more low yield now.

So to summarize, for someone dedicated to doing as well as possible, the best course of action is:

-Study hard and early for Step 1, but no need to go down the rabbit hole for the minutiae previously required for 245+.

-Emphasize research early and make it a priority.

-Go all out in year 3 for shelf exams and Step 2

Apologies if this seems neurotic. As someone who messed up his undergrad GPA, I'm super motivated to give it my all during medical school. So the change to P/F has left me wondering how to best direct that energy.
 
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