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Question for current med students

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medicalman123

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Hey so I'm starting 1st year in August and I have a question for you guys. I'm truly not a gunner or anything like that, but since I have so much time on my hands I was wondering if it would be beneficial to do some reading (medical school related) before school started that could give me an edge, or at least make me more comfortable with the material or potentially make my life easier in the future. If so, what would you guys recommend? I was thinking of getting an anatomy or pathology book and read a chapter a week or something. Thoughts? Thanks in advance, and please be honest and not snide
 

CatFactorial

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Gah. How many times will someone ask this question?
 

SeekerOfTheTree

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Honestly enjoy your time man. No reading is going to be sufficient. If I were you I would take some kind of a trip to a far away place and enjoy the freedom. Don't study till you have to. The next two years suck.
 

druggeek

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Do you feel better about yourself now?
lol that was legitimate advice...get drunk, get laid, fool around, travel, see friends.. you know.. enjoy life? worry about school during school time. I guess if you really want to "read" and learn, maybe do a little research on some specialties or something for future interests and get a better idea of the job market/etc.
 

kautionwirez

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Honestly enjoy your time man. No reading is going to be sufficient. If I were you I would take some kind of a trip to a far away place and enjoy the freedom. Don't study till you have to. The next two years suck.

I'm looking forward to the one-two months of "I'M IN MEDICAL SCHOOL! WOOHOO!".
 

nburnett3

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I'm looking forward to the one-two months of "I'M IN MEDICAL SCHOOL! WOOHOO!".

Yeah... you don't really get that. At least at my school, all of our first year is basically just an extension of undergrad. By the time the "Woah, I'm really in medical school" thought sets in, you're already sick of it.
 

SpecterGT260

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do whatever you want. no amount of reading will prepare you for first semester any better. To try to get a leg up on first semester is just a waste of time.
 

Chakrabs

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If you can get BRS Physiology by Costanzo under your belt, you're halfway to acing Step 1.
 

Abby_Normal

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The best thing you can do for the time being is get yourself into a good mindset for starting school in the fall. I would caution against trying to "get ahead", unless its in a subject of particular interest to you. It may be better to direct your energy to things that will keep you enthusiastic about starting med school in the fall or practical things you need to do between then and now.

The only studying suggestion I might make is that if you haven't taken a basic science class in a while, it might be worth it to review your notes. I was a humanities major and I did all my pre-med requirements freshman and sophomore year and in retrospect it would have helped me to have glanced at my notes from orgo, micro, and cell bio.

But, seriously, try to have fun.
 

D elegans

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I was wondering the same thing prior to starting med school (as do many, many people).

There is absolutely no use in studying before school starts. You will gain nothing. Enjoy your summer; it's the last truly free one you will ever have.
 

medicalman123

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All I really want to know is if some pre-med school reading would be at all beneficial, and i find it hard to accept that it wouldnt. I really don't need tips on how to enjoy my life, Ive got that all squared away.
 
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medicalman123

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Alright thanks, I appreciate the few genuine answers. I suppose I overestimated the importance of reviewing beforehand.
 

Signe

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Just to clarify, not only am I traveling to the other side of the world for a month to party, I haven't woken up before noon for the past 7 months, I visit my friends to get drunk in various cities/colleges every weekend, I don't work nor am i in school, I'm not "worried" about school, I have absolutely no responsibilities, and I got into my #1 choice med school. Trust me, I understand all these points and I have it all covered. I wouldn't even consider doing this if it affected my absurd life this year, however I don't think it would. All I really want to know is if some pre-med school reading would be at all beneficial, and i find it hard to accept that it wouldnt. I really don't need tips on how to enjoy my life, Ive got that all squared away.
I think some reading would be beneficial, just not the type you're probably thinking of. Don't bother reading any science--I did all humanities in undergrad, took only the basic pre-reqs, and I feel like I'm at the same level as the rest of my classmates who majored in biochem/biology/chemistry (I'm no genius either, and there are many people who are in my same position). The point is: you learn it all again in the way the school wants you to know it...and then you learn it again for boards.

So what type of reading would be beneficial? As AMH0505 points out, you should do something that will keep you excited about medicine or life for that matter. For instance, The Emperor of All Maladies is a good one to check out if you're interested in cancer...or you could just get addicted to reading Game of Thrones if you haven't already. Nobody is giving this advice because they think you won't learn anything from reading Boron or Costanzo...just that in the end (i.e. when you take your boards), the cost/benefit ratio isn't worth it. If you enjoy reading physiology and pathophys, by all means, go ahead. The benefit will be pretty negligible in terms of getting you ahead of your class or making things less stressful for yourself. Personally, I've loved med school so far...but does that mean I'll do extra work when I don't have to. Nope.
 

kautionwirez

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Just to clarify, not only am I traveling to the other side of the world for a month to party, I haven't woken up before noon for the past 7 months, I visit my friends to get drunk in various cities/colleges every weekend, I don't work nor am i in school, I'm not "worried" about school, I have absolutely no responsibilities, and I got into my #1 choice med school. Trust me, I understand all these points and I have it all covered. I wouldn't even consider doing this if it affected my absurd life this year, however I don't think it would. All I really want to know is if some pre-med school reading would be at all beneficial, and i find it hard to accept that it wouldnt. I really don't need tips on how to enjoy my life, Ive got that all squared away.

You're so cool bro.
 

medicalman123

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So are you Patrick Willis. I appreciate that you commented on a question that was directly aimed towards med students.
 

dr zaius

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Just to clarify, not only am I traveling to the other side of the world for a month to party, I haven't woken up before noon for the past 7 months, I visit my friends to get drunk in various cities/colleges every weekend, I don't work nor am i in school, I'm not "worried" about school, I have absolutely no responsibilities, and I got into my #1 choice med school. Trust me, I understand all these points and I have it all covered. I wouldn't even consider doing this if it affected my absurd life this year, however I don't think it would. All I really want to know is if some pre-med school reading would be at all beneficial, and i find it hard to accept that it wouldnt. I really don't need tips on how to enjoy my life, Ive got that all squared away.

There's really nothing you should be doing. If you really feel the need to do something medically related pick up House of God or some Atul Gawande rag and read it on the beach. Keep on doing what you're doing. Once you start school you're going to really miss the freedom to drink and be lazy whenever you want without the guilt of not studying hanging over your head. Treasure these last moments.
 

medicalman123

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There's really nothing you should be doing. If you really feel the need to do something medically related pick up House of God or some Atul Gawande rag and read it on the beach. Keep on doing what you're doing. Once you start school you're going to really miss the freedom to drink and be lazy whenever you want without the guilt of not studying hanging over your head. Treasure these last moments.

Thanks that sounds like solid advice
 

NickNaylor

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Agree with the above, there really isn't anything you can do that will help you academically. Well, that's not entirely true - but there isn't anything you can do that will help you academically that's actually worth your time.
 

kavorca

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It's almost May. You are already so far behind your classmates, you might as well quit.
 

JP2740

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All I really want to know is if some pre-med school reading would be at all beneficial, and i find it hard to accept that it wouldnt. I really don't need tips on how to enjoy my life, Ive got that all squared away.

You might find it hard to accept, but it's the truth. No amount of reviewing will be beneficial. You will have more than enough time to succeed to the max. If you want to do anything now, try thinking of specialties you might be interested in and maybe shadow a doc once a week or something. It does help to have an idea of what you want to do (but not necessary). I say this so that you can do research in your interest field after first year. However, not even that is imperative and it can easily change. Enjoy and congrats.
 

JackShephard MD

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Hey so I'm starting 1st year in August and I have a question for you guys. I'm truly not a gunner or anything like that, but since I have so much time on my hands I was wondering if it would be beneficial to do some reading (medical school related) before school started that could give me an edge, or at least make me more comfortable with the material or potentially make my life easier in the future. If so, what would you guys recommend? I was thinking of getting an anatomy or pathology book and read a chapter a week or something. Thoughts? Thanks in advance, and please be honest and not snide

Gotta get that edge over the competition!
 

FTFY

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It's almost May. You are already so far behind your classmates, you might as well quit.

I heard that if you haven't passed med school before entering med school you're going to fail.
 

projectlogic

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Everyone always asks this and the answer is always the same..

Do NOT study before starting med school! It is a huge waste of time as you have no direction or any idea as to what to study. You'll have enough time to study the material once you start school.

Also, this is one of the last few times in your life where you will have this much free time, so enjoy your life!
 

D elegans

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I purchased First Aid before I started medical school because everyone said to buy it. I glanced at a few sections, laughed at myself, and then enjoyed the rest of my summer.
 

druggeek

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Might as well get ready for Step 1 then if you want a real edge.
 

Pills Of Soap

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No need to prestudy. There's plenty of time in year 1 to sleep in everyday and do well.
 

tobi44

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Hey so I'm starting 1st year in August and I have a question for you guys. I'm truly not a gunner or anything like that, but since I have so much time on my hands I was wondering if it would be beneficial to do some reading (medical school related) before school started that could give me an edge, or at least make me more comfortable with the material or potentially make my life easier in the future. If so, what would you guys recommend? I was thinking of getting an anatomy or pathology book and read a chapter a week or something. Thoughts? Thanks in advance, and please be honest and not snide


I think the only pre-study material that would be beneficial would be actual lecture material. For example if you had access to podcast/webcasts/lecture notes from lectures of the previous year from your med school. Cracking open a random textbook probably won't help much since every professor chooses to focus on specific parts of the material. No way to know unless you've taken the class.
 

Frank Nutter

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Learn how to read EKGs.

Meh. I can read them better than most IM attendings, and it's no benefit, at least not for course exams or step 1.

Using your precious summer free time to master any one thing isn't going to give you much of an edge. The exams will be particular to the lecture material presented, not whether you understand things (sad as that is...). Then by the time shelves and step 1 come around, your understanding of the subject has faded, while everyone has basically caught up. You're no better off.

So forget about it, it's not worth it. I say, for the love of god, it's NOT worth it.

[youtube]rKTN5NHfwlQ[/youtube]
 

druggeek

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OP, I would spend the summer getting really jacked. Go on a high calorie diet + 15 hours of week in the gym and you should be muchh bigger by end of the summer. Then you'll have a REAL EDGE on your classmates and can you imagine med student + jacked? That's the recipe for bangings 9s daily.

(fairly serious)
 

myhandsarecold

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studying is always good. i recommend BRS Physiology by Costanzo and Biochemistry (Illustrated Lippincott Reviews). I dont think studying for anatomy will help.
 

kautionwirez

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OP, I would spend the summer getting really jacked. Go on a high calorie diet + 15 hours of week in the gym and you should be muchh bigger by end of the summer. Then you'll have a REAL EDGE on your classmates and can you imagine med student + jacked? That's the recipe for bangings 9s daily.

(fairly serious)

:thumbup:

That's what I'm doing right now.
 

Houmd

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There's really nothing you should be doing. If you really feel the need to do something medically related pick up House of God or some Atul Gawande rag and read it on the beach. Keep on doing what you're doing. Once you start school you're going to really miss the freedom to drink and be lazy whenever you want without the guilt of not studying hanging over your head. Treasure these last moments.

+1 :thumbup: although I'm not sure how much sense it would make to the OP if he/she doesn't already have some background in healthcare
 

CarlATHF

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The better question is, why are you not playing Skyrim right now?

I can't because Step 1 is coming up. Feels bad man.
 

Morsetlis

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I think it's time for you to brush up on your spiritual fortitude, because med school is going to be mentally and emotionally exhausting.

Yes, you could also go get jacked, take a picture, and leave it on Facebook for the next 2 years because you won't be that good-looking again.
 

gators21

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Go buy Harrisons and read it cover to cover. Forget the first years on med school, years 3 and 4 is where gunner training pays off!!!!!
 

aSagacious

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I'm surprised no one has pointed this out yet.

Many schools start with anatomy so clearly it should be your primary goal to obtain several dead bodies, bring them to your basement, and begin pouring over Netter's.
 

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I would finish all the content in 1st and 2nd year. Leave the fun until you're a 60 year old attending.
 

LazyElemental

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I'm surprised no one has pointed this out yet.

Many schools start with anatomy so clearly it should be your primary goal to obtain several dead bodies, bring them to your basement, and begin pouring over Netter's.
Epic :thumbup:
 

expendible

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Listen to Dr. Najeeb's lectures on youtube. Thats it. Nothing else.
 

Chakrabs

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You might find it hard to accept, but it's the truth. No amount of reviewing will be beneficial. You will have more than enough time to succeed to the max. If you want to do anything now, try thinking of specialties you might be interested in and maybe shadow a doc once a week or something. It does help to have an idea of what you want to do (but not necessary). I say this so that you can do research in your interest field after first year. However, not even that is imperative and it can easily change. Enjoy and congrats.

OP, this might be the best advice on the thread. Figuring out what specialty you're interested in and pursuing it in ernest early can give you a huge leg up on the competition.
 
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