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Tildy

12 yrs old, feels like 84
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Apr 4, 2007
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Hello, I hope this question is nuanced enough to gain a response:

I am an older student, married with kids. I did well as an undergraduate (3.93 cum), but took a long time to finish and was a non-science major. After taking science classes, I only achieved a 3.1 BCMP, which I think is mostly due to not knowing how to study properly for "big picture" science courses. I would study for hours and hours and only reached a B level in most classes with one swing (Physics) to a C and a couple swings upward to A's. I was always the last to finish tests or simply timed out.

I am the type of student who can read a page and have to read it many times before the information actually sinks in. This isn't just with science, it is with other things, too (i.e. leisure reading, especially fiction). I was diagnosed with ADD as a child and have shifted into some OCD type habits (i.e. excessive cleaning habits). My point is that I think this is all connected, and sometimes I just get stuck and can't pull myself out.

I am worried that I will not be able to become an efficient enough test taker to succeed in medical school. I only achieved a 24 on the MCAT, mostly because I did not finish any of the sections (including the writing sample which I actually managed to hit the matriculant median on despite some spelling errors which I did not have time to correct, but stared at despairingly as time ran out). I am worried that I will fail Step 1 if only because I do not finish it. I have so much anxiety when taking these kinds of tests that I either panic and don't read the passage portions completely enough or am too deliberate and run out of time. I am willing to work hard to correct this, but don't know how to start to train myself to get better. I have already been accepted to medical school and will start in the fall. I just don't want to fail. I think I will probably be able to do really well on anatomy, biochemistry and memorization classes (I actually scored As in Orgo, Biochem and Calc), but failing board exams will nullify all of that. Do you have any suggestions on self help books I can read, strategies or methods that might help me?

I was thinking about restudying for the MCAT just to improve my test-taking skills and then keeping the new score if I feel I do well (to improve my options for school). But, perhaps I should just take the acceptance I have and work from there? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

Regnvejr

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Time to get seen by a psychiatrist. Definitely one with both adult and the child & adolescent background. The adult-only psychiatrists can have unreasonable concerns about using ADHD medications, in case you need it.

ADHD/ADD are many things. You may be smart enough with raw intellect to overcome a lot of difficulties, and yet at some point have to study so much material that you are no longer able to get it all. There are several options available, if indeed you have ADHD. About 1/4th of my ADHD patients are adults who either were taken off meds when they turned 18, just because they "shouldn't need" them anymore, or they were never officially diagnosed and treated.
 

Tildy

12 yrs old, feels like 84
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
911
20
My master's house
Status
Attending Physician
Time to get seen by a psychiatrist.
Do you see dogs too? Tildy, like all Jack Russell Terriers has severe ADHD and could use your services.:oops:

To the OP: In general, unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise, keep the acceptance you have, get the evaluation and therapy you need and do well in medical school.
 

Regnvejr

Membership Revoked
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10+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2009
6,614
2
Cadre is toast.
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Attending Physician
Dogs are all nuts from ADHD, got a few wild ones myself.

Generally, once you make it to medical school, the system wants you to succeed. The States put enormous amounts of money into medical education and will do just about anything to keep you going and succeed.

So if your focus is lousy, seek help, report the long-term patterns, relate what happens when you drink caffeine or take no-doze (and don't take any after 4-5 pm), explain how you function when sleep deprived, rule out thyroid, blood sugar or sleep apnea problems, and then go about your business becoming a help to your future patients.:highfive:
 
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