- Nov 8, 2009
- Reaction score
As far as what's important/not, you're right, that's a tough call to make. My approach has been that whatever I will be exposed to on the wards and in residency is what is important. This attitude was built on many discussions that I've had with MS3s/MS4s, residents, and even some attendings and their responses on hearing what we were studying (90% of the time it was, "wow, I don't remember any of that" - at least for the M1 material).
There's as much minutiae and useless crap that you're expected to learn on the wards as there is in MS2 because you're going to specialize in one area of medicine, not everything. Do you think you're really going to need to know stages of labor, dilation rates, and management of ectopic pregnancies when you're going into internal medicine? **** no. MS3 isn't some magical year where everything is relevant. You chug and burn information for the clerkships NBMEs and Step 2 CK just as you're going to have to do for block exams and Step 1.
Definitely prioritize learning board relevant material, but using attendings or residents as a filter for important information is a poor gauge. Your MS3s are probably the best source. The problem is a lot of 1st and 2nd years aren't able to discern board importance without a lot of perspective on the year. Also very few people have the work ethic to learn all this information outside of a structured lecture/PBL environment that forces you to take small bites at a time. That's the great thing about class. A huge chunk of it is pointlessly learned, but it forces you to work.