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Reading "First Aid" the summer BEFORE medical school...

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Jumb0

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Give me one good reason why I shouldn't make my first pass through First Aid 2016 before I matriculate this August.

Yes, I literally have nothing better to do.
 
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22031 Alum

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Give me one good reason why I shouldn't make my first pass through First Aid 2016 before I matriculate this August.

Yes, I literally have nothing better to do.

It will be less than meaningless to you with no context. It's a glorified review outline, not a textbook.
 
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WilliamofOckham

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Use the Search function, please.
 
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FindMeOnTheLinks

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Lol, have you ever actually seen the book? You can't learn anything from it if you haven't seen the material before. It would be like trying to read a novel that had every third word missing - you would figure a few things out, but you would never really know what's truly going on. It's your time to waste though.
 
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eteshoe

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Go ahead and burn your last summer of freedom. Literally no one is going to stop you. Good luck.
 
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Bobdabuilda14

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I wonder if they will be asking this question in 2025
 
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Mad Jack

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It would be mud fence levels of worthless. First Aid is just a collection of facts, not nearly enough to get you through first year exams let alone help you without context.
 
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alpinism

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Why not memorize your favorite anatomy text as well?

(truthfully this would be a much better use of time if you absolutely must study something this summer).
 
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Brahnold Bloodaxe

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If you want to study something before M1 I'd probably restrict myself to reviewing basic chemistry acid-base stuff and a few grounding principals of orgo in preparation for biochem. It should only take a few days and when med school starts you'll be able to jump straight into the memorization ground-and-pound game without the added stress of recalling principles of buffering, pKa's, etc.
 
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futuremdforme

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I recommend the following as better things to do:
- Volunteer (non-medical is fine)
- Find a physical project, like building something or painting your house or fences
- Travel
- Get a job
- Take up cycling

Lots of good things to do!
 
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TBV

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Whatever you do don't tell anyone at school that you did that or you will be "that guy" forever
 
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Hangry

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Do you like wasting your time? Because that is how you waste your time.
 
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shtumpa

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You would be better off reading through Big Robbins than First Aid. At least the information will be interesting before you forget it. What the hell, you may as well read through Harrison's.
 
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sliceofbread136

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Dude cmon you are basically an adult now, you can think of something productive/fun to use your summer on.
 
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dougy

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Why would you??? I'm going to sit my ass on the beach, read a few novels (haven't had time to do this since hs), go out to dinner with parents and siblings and friends, drink a few margaritas....and if i'm feeling ambitious maybe ride my bike or kayak. Thats it, no volunteering, no manual labor, no job, nothing productive, just a big deep breathe! and if its raining, binge watch Parks and Rec on netflix.
 
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TrustMeImaDahctar

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Hahaha, I thought I was the only one doing this!!! I'm reading first aid and reviewing anatomy/biochem over the summer. And FYI I do have a full time job and plenty of hobbies I'm indulging in this summer, but I think there's nothing wrong with being prepared, especially if you have some gap years like me. Just don't go crazy with it. Personally, I've set aside specific time for pre-studying, (a couple of hours a week), which helps me keep it in moderation.

Super good luck to you in medical school. Go class of 2020! :)
 
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MedicaMagus

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Enjoy your free time and the sunshine. Availability of both of those things are about to become a limited commodity.
 
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petrosgp

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Why would you??? I'm going to sit my ass on the beach, read a few novels (haven't had time to do this since hs), go out to dinner with parents and siblings and friends, drink a few margaritas....and if i'm feeling ambitious maybe ride my bike or kayak. Thats it, no volunteering, no manual labor, no job, nothing productive, just a big deep breathe! and if its raining, binge watch Parks and Rec on netflix.

Parks and Rec got me through my third semester exams. Amy Poehler is the reason I survived histology!

But yeah, pre-studying isn't that bad, you just need to ground your expectations. I went through biochemistry once in the summer before starting medschool, mostly focusing on the principles and less on the pathways, and it really helped when the firehose was turned on.
 
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Anicetus

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Because honestly you will be ostracized based on this personality you are manifesting by the time you work with people. "He's the guy that read first aid his summer before medical school."

SDN makes me wary of weird colleagues in my future.
 
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Jumb0

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Why is everyone so butthurt over the notion of prestudying? Common sense says that the earlier you start, the more prepared you will be. It's not like FA is entirely new information to me. For example, I've covered anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry many times in my academic career, so huge swathes of FA will actually constitute review. I'm flipping through it right now, and tons of it looks familiar. I can simply look up the topics that are covered too sparsely. Let's be honest with ourselves, people, medicine is basically just memorization. We're not dealing with rocket science here. Any way you slice it, multiple passes through the material can only help. Plus, I enjoy learning. You can call me a gunner or whatever you'd like, but I'm just being rational.

I leave you with a Nietzsche quote:

"The most spiritual men, as the strongest, find their happiness where others would find their destruction: in the labyrinth, in hardness against themselves and others, in experiments. Their joy is self-conquest: asceticism becomes in them nature, need, and instinct. Difficult tasks are a privilege to them; to play with burdens that crush others, a recreation. Knowledge-a form of asceticism. They are the most venerable kind of man: that does not preclude their being the most cheerful and the kindliest."
 
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TheFutureFatMan

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There are a thousand better things you could do with your time. Go get rosetta stone and learn a language. Do something useful. That's like being a sophomore in high school and saying "I'm going to read through Kaplan for the MCAT." Let your brain relax. Avoid burn out. This is a marathon, don't be the idiot that ran from home to the starting line the morning of the race.
 
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TheFutureFatMan

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Why is everyone so butthurt over the notion of prestudying? Common sense says that the earlier you start, the more prepared you will be. It's not like FA is entirely new information to me. For example, I've covered anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry many times in my academic career, so huge swathes of FA will actually constitute review. I'm flipping through it right now, and tons of it looks familiar. I can simply look up the topics that are covered too sparsely. Let's be honest with ourselves, people, medicine is basically just memorization. We're not dealing with rocket science here. Any way you slice it, multiple passes through the material can only help. Plus, I enjoy learning. You can call me a gunner or whatever you'd like, but I'm just being rational.

I leave you with a Nietzsche quote:

"The most spiritual men, as the strongest, find their happiness where others would find their destruction: in the labyrinth, in hardness against themselves and others, in experiments. Their joy is self-conquest: asceticism becomes in them nature, need, and instinct. Difficult tasks are a privilege to them; to play with burdens that crush others, a recreation. Knowledge-a form of asceticism. They are the most venerable kind of man: that does not preclude their being the most cheerful and the kindliest."

Nietzsche was not talking about a wasting time on a pointless and fruitless endeavor. Don't be insulting.
 
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xffan624

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Every year these threads are like groundhog day. Rinse and repeat.

1. Ambitious premed asks about prestudying
2. Medical students advise against it.
3. Other ambitious premeds argue that they think it's a good idea
4. Med students be like... :smack:
 
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ZX10R

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Why is everyone so butthurt over the notion of prestudying? Common sense says that the earlier you start, the more prepared you will be. It's not like FA is entirely new information to me. For example, I've covered anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry many times in my academic career, so huge swathes of FA will actually constitute review. I'm flipping through it right now, and tons of it looks familiar. I can simply look up the topics that are covered too sparsely. Let's be honest with ourselves, people, medicine is basically just memorization. We're not dealing with rocket science here. Any way you slice it, multiple passes through the material can only help. Plus, I enjoy learning. You can call me a gunner or whatever you'd like, but I'm just being rational.

Bro, who crapped in your litter box today? You came in here asking us to convince you not to; now you're saying you were gonna do it regardless of what we said. Now that we know you've been learning all med school subjects for years we can guarantee it will be worthless. A much better use of time would be getting research going in a field that's interesting to you.
 
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Jumb0

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Would you ever read a dictionary before starting an English class?

If that English course was preparing me for a giant test that required knowing every word in the dictionary cold, upon which the future of my entire professional career would depend, then yeah, I would.
 
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Because First Aid is a review book, and you'll waste time reviewing things you haven't learned yet.

Enjoy your free time and the sunshine. Availability of both of those things are about to become a limited commodity.

This x100. Relax. Go on a hike. Learn Spanish. Watch Netflix. Drink beer. Practice cooking. Sleep. Med school and First Aid will consume your life soon enough.
 
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SpacemanSpifff

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Why is everyone so butthurt over the notion of prestudying? Common sense says that the earlier you start, the more prepared you will be. It's not like FA is entirely new information to me. For example, I've covered anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry many times in my academic career, so huge swathes of FA will actually constitute review. I'm flipping through it right now, and tons of it looks familiar. I can simply look up the topics that are covered too sparsely. Let's be honest with ourselves, people, medicine is basically just memorization. We're not dealing with rocket science here. Any way you slice it, multiple passes through the material can only help. Plus, I enjoy learning. You can call me a gunner or whatever you'd like, but I'm just being rational.

If that English course was preparing me for a giant test that required knowing every word in the dictionary cold, upon which the future of my entire professional career would depend, then yeah, I would.

It seems like you're rationale for pre-studying is that it will boost your board score, and subsequently your chances at matching into your dream specialty. That's probably true, to a certain extent. But I think what most of us who have already passed that hurdle would tell you is you don't need to start that early to absolutely crush Step 1. You have more than enough time during 2nd year to prep for the exam, and if you're really chomping at the bit, all of first year (and the following summer) to hammer home the basic science topics.

The thing is, once you surpass a certain score on Step 1, small differences between scores begin to mean less and less. Program directors probably aren't going to be much more impressed with a 270 compared to a 265. At that point, other aspects of your application are much more important (community involvement, research in your chosen specialty, leadership experiences, etc.). So if buffing your future derm/ortho/plastics app is your goal, you'd probably be best served listening to @ZX10R.

Of course, you should do whatever you feel is best. But it seems strange that you would completely ignore the advice of people who have already successfully navigated challenges you have yet to face.
 
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Rekt

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If that English course was preparing me for a giant test that required knowing every word in the dictionary cold, upon which the future of my entire professional career would depend, then yeah, I would.

Its 750 pages of tables.
 
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Evidence Based

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Every year these threads are like groundhog day. Rinse and repeat.

1. Ambitious premed asks about prestudying
2. Medical students advise against it.
3. Other ambitious premeds argue that they think it's a good idea
4. Med students be like... :smack:

This. If you're going to study no matter what we say, fine. It's a waste of time, but it's your life. But if you genuinely want advice, then why argue with med students giving you an answer you don't want to hear?

n=1: I didn't study at all before M1, nothing between M1 and M2, and really only started doing anything resembling significant boards studying until January. I take Step 1 in 5 days, and if I could go back and change anything, I wouldn't.
 
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OnePunchBiopsy

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If that English course was preparing me for a giant test that required knowing every word in the dictionary cold, upon which the future of my entire professional career would depend, then yeah, I would.

Because First Aid is a review book, and you'll waste time reviewing things you haven't learned yet.

I'll elaborate. There are 2 ways I burn facts into my head: learning resources and review resources. FA is a review resource. This means it is meant to reenforce knowledge that you have already learned, or maybe help you make new connections at a multiple organ system level. Trying to learn from a review resource results in learning a bunch of random facts that have no context, and this is not how Step 1 is going to test you. Step 1 is a THINKING exam. I can't speak for everyone else's test, but mine had 2, maybe 3 SLAM DUNK questions that were straight out of FA/Pathoma/UWORLD. For all the other 300+ questions I actually had to take a minute and pause, reflecting on vignettes at a multisystem level.

I tried to do what you are trying to do with biostatistics (not even all of FA, just one section). After that summer I would always tell myself "I got biostat, I reviewed it before medical school, no big deal right?"

It was still my lowest scoring section of Step 1. All that time was wasted.

This is why we (EDIT: ALL THE ACTUAL MEDICAL STUDENTS) are saying your time will best be spent not studying, because those of us who tried to study before medical school ended up realizing it did not benefit us; and even if it did help us a little bit, it was not worth the sacrifice of wasting the precious time of our last free summer.
 
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tellmemore2020

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It's not about knowing every word there cold. Occasionally, questions have a keyword in there that first aid also does. What will more likely happen is that you will see the name of a test for a disease and not know what it is. You may memorize it, but your eyes will probably glaze over as it's the 10th thing in a list of things for that disease. The related question (two years later..) will describe the test in words you haven't seen and ask you to name a disease process that presents similarly to the disease in question. It's not as straightforward as it sounds and you don't have the tools to make the most of this review book.

I reviewed a subject that was difficult for me during first year in FA the following summer. Turns out that I actually took for granted a lot of new information that I later learned in second-year classes.
 

Señor S

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You'd be an idiot not to do this.
 
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Ioannes Paulus

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OP is already behind.
I haven't matriculated yet but am already dissecting a cadaver in my dining room. Integrated Plastics here I come! I will gun to the stars*****
 
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kavorca

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Why not get USMLE World too? If I were going to study anything (which I wouldn't) is anatomy. Also, if you want old in-service exams for Ortho, IM, Rads, or general surgery, let me know.
 
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Ace Khalifa

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When you read the title of the post and you confirm that pre-meds about to start med school are lacking more and more common sense every year...smh
 
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Slack3r

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If that English course was preparing me for a giant test that required knowing every word in the dictionary cold, upon which the future of my entire professional career would depend, then yeah, I would.

Well, since Step 1 isn't a rote memorization test, no. But please, pre-med, tell us more about the test you won't even begin studying for until 2 years from now.
 
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dadaddadaBATMAN

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There's an awful lot of angst in this thread. I tend to agree with the people that say "there's more to life than step one."

If you wanna do it, do it. As someone who literally never completed a single pass of that book, I'd say it's pretty worthless. Despite the common wisdom, there are other ways to do well on step 1.

If you really want to learn something useful before medical school, learn Spanish. If you already know Spanish, brush up on medical Spanish.
 
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Jabbed

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OP, everyone here is trying to gun you down because they all wish that they had the sense to start FA before med school. Don't listen to them. Start memorizing high yields asap.

Report back on your experience after the first week of M1.

#schadenfreude
 
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Jumb0

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.
 
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OP, everyone here is trying to gun you down because they all wish that they had the sense to start FA before med school. Don't listen to them. Start memorizing high yields asap.

Report back on your experience after the first week of M1.

#schadenfreude

Current med students have no reason to gunner to premeds. We're giving real advice.
 
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FindMeOnTheLinks

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Lmao, butthurt over what? Everyone is just trying to give you advice. If you wanna act like an ass and not take the advice, go ahead.

(Now I'm gonna get back to studying for my block final on Friday, because I forgot stuff I learned 6 weeks ago. Maybe if I just read FA I will be able to retain it for two years?)
 
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Jumb0

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Lmao, butthurt over what? Everyone is just trying to give you advice. If you wanna act like an ass and not take the advice, go ahead.

(Now I'm gonna get back to studying for my block final on Friday, because I forgot **** I learned 6 weeks ago. Maybe if I just read FA I will be able to retain it for two years?)

No, you're right. I was just joking, brah. I couldn't help myself. In fact, part of me was playing devil's advocate all along.
In all seriousness, thanks for all the advice, everyone. I concede now that FA is not optimal pre-study material.
I would still like to do some sort of preparation though because it just simply bothers me to sit on my butt doing absolutely nothing when I could be bolstering my foundations in some way. So I'll do as some of you have suggested and just read through some actual textbooks, probably anatomy.
 
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Bobdabuilda14

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Why is everyone so butthurt over the notion of prestudying? Common sense says that the earlier you start, the more prepared you will be. It's not like FA is entirely new information to me. For example, I've covered anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry many times in my academic career, so huge swathes of FA will actually constitute review. I'm flipping through it right now, and tons of it looks familiar. I can simply look up the topics that are covered too sparsely. Let's be honest with ourselves, people, medicine is basically just memorization. We're not dealing with rocket science here. Any way you slice it, multiple passes through the material can only help. Plus, I enjoy learning. You can call me a gunner or whatever you'd like, but I'm just being rational.

I leave you with a Nietzsche quote:

"The most spiritual men, as the strongest, find their happiness where others would find their destruction: in the labyrinth, in hardness against themselves and others, in experiments. Their joy is self-conquest: asceticism becomes in them nature, need, and instinct. Difficult tasks are a privilege to them; to play with burdens that crush others, a recreation. Knowledge-a form of asceticism. They are the most venerable kind of man: that does not preclude their being the most cheerful and the kindliest."

I leave you with a Nate Dogg quote:

"Smoke weed erryday."
 
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oncology2020

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you will not understand first aid so no point in wasting your time
 
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