Aug 17, 2017
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Does anyone else feel like when they are reading first aid or doing questions and reading answers that they are skimming and not truly learning the material? Any serious advice on how to combat this or what helps you focus?

Anyone else with study habits which are like study for 15 mins, sit on your phone for 10 minutes. With the step1 coming this year, my habits worry me. I know a lot of people recommend adderall, but that isn't something I can use constantly.

Often when I do usmle-rx or kaplan q bank questions and they list symptoms of a condition or something of the sort, I have no idea what it is, even if it seems familiar? Is this normal and means I just dont know the material or that im doing it wrong? Thanks
 

trs88

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Mar 20, 2013
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I know a lot of people recommend adderall, but that isn't something I can use constantly.
Please tell me you have a prescription for this. If you do, speak to your doctor that prescribed it to you about your study habits and medication and see what they recommend.
 

Blunt Dissection

"Keep poking until it's out."
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Mar 12, 2015
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Does anyone else feel like when they are reading first aid or doing questions and reading answers that they are skimming and not truly learning the material? Any serious advice on how to combat this or what helps you focus?

Anyone else with study habits which are like study for 15 mins, sit on your phone for 10 minutes. With the step1 coming this year, my habits worry me. I know a lot of people recommend adderall, but that isn't something I can use constantly.

Often when I do usmle-rx or kaplan q bank questions and they list symptoms of a condition or something of the sort, I have no idea what it is, even if it seems familiar? Is this normal and means I just dont know the material or that im doing it wrong? Thanks
This likely means that you're missing the underlying concept of the pathology. There are very few things that actually require you to memorize them on these qbanks - a majority of it requires that you are familiar with the presentation of whatever disease you are trying to tackle and are able to dive into knowledge to figure out the answer. If you're having trouble focusing for more than 15 minutes at a time, I would highly recommend you go talk to your doctor about it asap because the process of getting adult add/adhd diagnosed is long and tedious. If you truly have ADD/ADHD, then it very well may benefit you to get medicated. If you don't, then you have to work around vices that you have - leave your phone in the car, download an app that blocks website usage for a designated amount of time. Also if you don't have ADD/ADHD, do not go and take someone else's - research has shown time and time again that students without add/adhd perform worst when given stimulants and it's likely a result of the false confidence you get from the medication. Not to mention that a random drug screen will get you flagged for life for misuse of medication - this is a huge red flag to every program director because if you get caught doing it in medical school, they assume you're likely going to do it as a doctor.
 
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12glaucoma34

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Aug 1, 2017
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This likely means that you're missing the underlying concept of the pathology. There are very few things that actually require you to memorize them on these qbanks - a majority of it requires that you are familiar with the presentation of whatever disease you are trying to tackle and are able to dive into knowledge to figure out the answer. If you're having trouble focusing for more than 15 minutes at a time, I would highly recommend you go talk to your doctor about it asap because the process of getting adult add/adhd diagnosed is long and tedious. If you truly have ADD/ADHD, then it very well may benefit you to get medicated. If you don't, then you have to work around vices that you have - leave your phone in the car, download an app that blocks website usage for a designated amount of time. Also if you don't have ADD/ADHD, do not go and take someone else's - research has shown time and time again that students without add/adhd perform worst when given stimulants and it's likely a result of the false confidence you get from the medication. Not to mention that a random drug screen will get you flagged for life for misuse of medication - this is a huge red flag to every program director because if you get caught doing it in medical school, they assume you're likely going to do it as a doctor.
Methylphenidate is not an amphetamine so a 10 panel will not pick this up. Not advocating, just sayin'
 

12glaucoma34

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Aug 1, 2017
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Does anyone else feel like when they are reading first aid or doing questions and reading answers that they are skimming and not truly learning the material? Any serious advice on how to combat this or what helps you focus?

Anyone else with study habits which are like study for 15 mins, sit on your phone for 10 minutes. With the step1 coming this year, my habits worry me. I know a lot of people recommend adderall, but that isn't something I can use constantly.

Often when I do usmle-rx or kaplan q bank questions and they list symptoms of a condition or something of the sort, I have no idea what it is, even if it seems familiar? Is this normal and means I just dont know the material or that im doing it wrong? Thanks
Solution is simple. You're not reading to read, you're reading to understand. Learn about a topic, then close the book or minimize the screen and recite the topic back to yourself now and in one hour. If you can do both, you understand. Draw out anything you can. You must be active, just reading First Aid is not very beneficial. As an example, read about all the gram positive bacteria. Then draw out the flow chart to classify them based on their characteristics and uniqueness. Do this again and again until you have it memorized.
 

Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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Does anyone else feel like when they are reading first aid or doing questions and reading answers that they are skimming and not truly learning the material? Any serious advice on how to combat this or what helps you focus?

Anyone else with study habits which are like study for 15 mins, sit on your phone for 10 minutes. With the step1 coming this year, my habits worry me. I know a lot of people recommend adderall, but that isn't something I can use constantly.

Often when I do usmle-rx or kaplan q bank questions and they list symptoms of a condition or something of the sort, I have no idea what it is, even if it seems familiar? Is this normal and means I just dont know the material or that im doing it wrong? Thanks
If you're trying to learn by reading FA, then you are truly skimming and not learning.

Med school isn't just about memorizing, it's about being able to apply. If you're able to think things through clinically, then you can handle any material in the next four years.

Cue the FA evangelists.
 
May 18, 2017
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from what you wrote it doesn't sound like you are learning it well. read to understand the basic concept and be able to connect it to other subjects and to information you already know. reading is passive, you need to transform your way of studying into an active one.

also try the pomodoro method to help eliminate distractions. definitely turn off your phone. Also try feinman method, basically repeat what you learned outloud in different words and more concisely (main points). If you can do that without looking at the book than you are learning.
 

WingedOx

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My med school studying for each test was basically 3 full reads of the syllabus.

1st read: Mostly superficial understanding of it.
2nd read: Actually understanding it.
3rd read: Confirming what I learned the first two times.

/worked pretty well for me.
 
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