So I got accepted to med school, should I review something to prepare myself?

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I recently got accepted for next fall and am currently working full time. I was thinking of getting "first aid for the basic sciences" to review. Do you guys think this would help me out for next year?
 

ShyRem

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Everyone asks this question. The answers are always the same: learn to cook, study auto repair, take a financial class, learn a new language, and study the inside of your eyelids. Any school type stuff will be a waste of time before you actually start med school.
 

WashMe

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I recently got accepted for next fall and am currently working full time. I was thinking of getting "first aid for the basic sciences" to review. Do you guys think this would help me out for next year?
Please, don't do anything. 90+% of medical students/residents/attendings will recommend that you take it easy, and we can't all be wrong.
 

swamprat

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I'd go with study the female anatomy in as much intricate detail as possible under high levels of EtOH.
 

Tekar

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Everyone asks this question. The answers are always the same: learn to cook, study auto repair, take a financial class, learn a new language, and study the inside of your eyelids. Any school type stuff will be a waste of time before you actually start med school.
And I will go against all of them having been in your position asking the same question looking for answers that no one provided.

I'd start with what is your major? If it's some form of a bio/science then I'd agree with all of them.

If it is a non-traditional background, then can can definitely discuss how you might better prepare yourself for medical school. Looking back, I can think of at least 5 suggestions that I wish people had given me.
 

sonofva

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i agree with tekar. esp. if you are non-trad or a bit out from undergrad. there is a lot you can be doing just to get warmed up.
 

Ibn Rushd

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If you absolutely MUST do something, then I recommend learning some gross anatomy. For that to be worthwhile, however, you'd have to study anatomy 1) consistently, 2) at a time just before classes start so you remember things, and 3) at a pace comparable to the one you'll see in school. I would recommend talking to a first-year at your school to get an idea of the pace. Try challenging yourself to learn at that pace, even if for a couple of days.

I also recommend getting Netter's and just staring at the illustrations. Stare at a given illustration for five-ten minutes whilst verbalizing all the structures. Do this again and again and again and you'll have made some headway and will hopefully be more comfortable with anatomy going into school.
 

st2205

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In hindsight and knowing what I know now it would be possible to have it be beneficial, but since you have no idea what you'll struggle with, how the courses are set up, or under what context you're studying you're guaranteed to be way off the mark for what/how you study before school. And that's to say nothing of whether or not it would help you. At best it is very, very low-yield.

I was a psych major, FYI, having only taken the prerequisites. It will be hard regardless.
 

chinocochino

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I wish that I had studied some anatomy before med school. Also, some physiology review would be nice.

If you really want to study, why don't you get in contact with a first year student and study their coursepack?

In summary: study a bit before school and definitely get proficient at being efficient with your time. (cooking, exercise, etc)

I recently got accepted for next fall and am currently working full time. I was thinking of getting "first aid for the basic sciences" to review. Do you guys think this would help me out for next year?
 

Forthegood

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I was going to say you should study the other threads on SDN about this same exact topic by using the "search" function (little known secret to only us SDN abusers) but then this came along:

I'd go with study the female anatomy in as much intricate detail as possible under high levels of EtOH.
And this was PERFECT. Nail, meet hammer.
 

ShyRem

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:) I am a non-trad. A 43 year old in first year of residency currently. My advice stands.

If you are looking for absolute medical learning advice, get a medical terminology workbook or a speed reading course. There is nothing you can study science-wise that will give you a leg up. The information just moves too quickly in medical school to make any science studying at this point effective.
 

nontradguy

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".... Looking back, I can think of at least 5 suggestions that I wish people had given me."
Tekar,

Please do share. I'm sure that I would benefit from a suggested reading list, just like I'm sure that I'm going to benefit from the biochemistry that I just took.

Regardless, I do have a few solid months before matriculation and I'm already well-versed with the female anatomy. I would like to at least establish a false sense of academic security. What are your recommendations please?
 

Perrotfish

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Things that you can do before showing up:

1) First and foremost, move in to your apartment. I was amazed at how many of my generally type A personality classmates basically spent the first week of classes unpacking to save one week of rent. Have all your boxes unpacked a couple of days before orientation so you can focus on meeting your classmates

2) If you know any students from the class above you, ask if you have any left wing mafia essays to write. Most schools will try to waste you time with at least one introspection on your feeling, your biases, your cultural competency, etc. If you can find out about them and knock them out early it's worth doing.

3) If you can find the anatomy website, read through the slides for the first 2-3 days. Hit the ground running.

Other than that I would recommend you sit back and enjoy your free time. In fact, if I were you I'd also quit the job.
 

Phlame217

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Just finishing my first semester:

Enjoy the summer. My school offered a summer course to aid in histo, I didn't take it but those who did for the most part regret it becuase it aided very little and they lost an entire month of summer.

The hardest thing for me was getting up to speed. I was in the mantra of undergrad where I could get everything I needed from class and do minimal reviews for tests. Now My daily grind is just processing the material fast enough to keep up during lectures (which has gotten much easier over time) and then learning as much as I can by killing note packets at night.

The only way I can describe it is like one of those bullet roller coasters where you go 0-80 mph in 3 seconds and once you get up to speed it isn't that bad but the ride is over before you expect it. I look back on this semester and there are so many black spots of things outside of school that I don't remember it aint funny and it all passed in a blink of an eye. However just be ready for the start and don't let stress or worry get the better of you.
 
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da8s0859q

1) First and foremost, move in to your apartment.
Definitely. I had a lot of classmates who were still unpacking and/or finding places to live early in first year.

The only way I can describe it is like one of those bullet roller coasters where you go 0-80 mph in 3 seconds and once you get up to speed it isn't that bad but the ride is over before you expect it. I look back on this semester and there are so many black spots of things outside of school that I don't remember it aint funny and it all passed in a blink of an eye.
Different comparison, but this was exactly my take on all of first year. And, with about a couple weeks left of the first half of second year, it's still true. Have been told many times by those ahead of me that the same is true for all of med school.

OP, the only things I can think of possibly even being close to useful are MAYBE getting some origin / insertion / action / innervation stuff down for gross anatomy, or MAYBE getting a "big picture" appreciation of histology, but as was said earlier, it's pretty low yield without context and before med school.

I very clearly remember the extent of my pre-studying for medical school. It was about one minute spent in the end-of-chapter questions for upper extremity of BRS Gross Anatomy, more as a matter of curiosity than intent to study. Read a question or two and said "screw it, I'll wait."

I made it through gross just fine.
 

bonsaipalmtree

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Any good ideas of how nontraditional students might prepare how to study? Everyone says, "learn how you learn best"- any ideas of how to do that, besides re-enrolling in school and learning what works?

Also, Tekar, what are your 5 suggestions?
 

DaveinDallas

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Any good ideas of how nontraditional students might prepare how to study? Everyone says, "learn how you learn best"- any ideas of how to do that, besides re-enrolling in school and learning what works?

Also, Tekar, what are your 5 suggestions?
Having gotten my head kicked in my first trip through first year, I'd second ShyRem's advice. There's nothing you can do that will help you get ready for this...I know.....I tried to and all it did was burn precious time with my family. You have no clue what's important so don't bother trying to do this way too early.....Studying female anatomy with dim lights, soft music and good wine is the best advice.....

Having said that, what you need to prepare for is how to tell what IS important to know once classes start because they'll make it seem like it's all important...it's not....

The best advice I've seen given around here is: --- Get the latest copy of First Aid for Step 1 that you can find. Make sure you have memorized the section of First Aid that applies to the particular class you are currently taking....backwards and forwards, question cards, whatever works to get it into your head cold, no warm up. That will get you a pass and a pass on boards...everything else is gravy. This is about surviving; excelling is another matter.....In the end, the patient's dont' give a rats rip if you know the histological significane of foamy macrophages or starry sky appearance and you shouldn't either unless you're a pathologist...know what's common, how it presents, what causes it, what tests to order to exclude/include it and KNOW the treatments......it's real simple once you boil it down and can get someone to tell you in plain English how it works without trying to make themselves look important.....

But I digress.....go on vacation. It's the last you'll have for at least 7 years....including Thanksgiving and Christmas.....sleep late, drink lots of beer, eat copious amounts of spicy food, check out the blondes and enjoy life...it'll get rough here soon enough....
 

PJ meowerton

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To "prepare" I plan on trying to make my way through a list of top 100 movies and books before fall. And sleeping, a lot, :yawn: I'm gonna miss naps :(
 
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da8s0859q

To "prepare" I plan on trying to make my way through a list of top 100 movies and books before fall. And sleeping, a lot, :yawn: I'm gonna miss naps :(
Eh, it depends on whether your school has required attendance or not. If they don't, and if you're not in histo lab or gross lab or something, you can keep your naps.

M1 / M2 don't have to be sleep-depriving at all.
 

Altruist

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Someone on here told me once that the best part of medical school is the time between your acceptance and the first day of class. Don't waste it. :laugh:

To put it nicely, you have to be highly motivated to ask a question like this. That trait alone will get you farther in med school than whatever little info you retain from trying to pre-study. Just don't let it drive you crazy.
 

waitwhat

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read first aid. twice. then robbin's path and ross histo. thrice.

in all seriousness, travel, learn a language, travel to deep space, anything besides study. you'll get enough of it when you start and it won't stop.
 

Tekar

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Tekar,

Please do share. I'm sure that I would benefit from a suggested reading list, just like I'm sure that I'm going to benefit from the biochemistry that I just took.

Regardless, I do have a few solid months before matriculation and I'm already well-versed with the female anatomy. I would like to at least establish a false sense of academic security. What are your recommendations please?
Keep in mind, all of this advice is also not to be taken as an excuse to turn into a neurotic medical student a year before you'll turn into a neurotic medical student. All of the studying options involve you, your family, and evening television. These are things you should do whilst sitting on a couch watching football, or iron chef, or Spongebob if your kids are watching it. These studying concepts are about familiarity, not mastery.

First, there is Biochemistry. I hadn't taken it because it wasn't a pre-req and I'm was a Secondary Education major and former high school teacher. If you have not taken Biochem (one said they had) I would see about grabbing the required Medical Biochem text your school uses and start reading. You're going to be expected to discuss pathways and lectures will start with pathways on day one as though you already have familiarity. Build some familiarity. You don't want your first time pronouncing Phosphofructokinase-1 to be in your first lecture. I wish I had. I bought Lippencott's Review and it was pointless because it was a review text that assumed you already knew. Don't buy any review texts (you will eventually) buy actual text books.

Second, and I am at a loss for how to do this, but it would behoove you to learn about the various research techniques. I so bombed this and am still fuzzy on this, but my roommate, who did research for eight years, got every question correct on that block exam that covered that section.

Third, Seriously begin paying attention to nutrition, which you should anyway. My roommate is drowning in all these B Vitamins, fat solueble, water soluble, Omega Fatty acid, stuff. Familiarity with nutrition will pay off later.

Fourth. If you don't have any clinical experience, get some in a fashion other than shadowing. Take a CNA or an EMT-B class to get some basic medical knowledge and if you're lucky you'll get to see sick people. Regardless of if you are unable to obtain employment, those classes will be simplistic enough but also informative enough to start getting your feet wet. I already knew what a person with Jaundice looks like and I knew what Ascites was because I spent time working in an ER. It helps to have awareness.

Sixth. Start learning about health care issues and the system we will practice in. Health Reform is here to stay in some form or another. It'd behoove you to understand the differences between insurers, payors, providers, and patients. Those are basic fundamentals. In so doing, becoming aware of health issues now will just make it easier to transition in when you really need to know it. Think magazing articles, newspaper articles, etc. There is so much free knowledge out there that you can obtain in 10 minutes on Huffingtonpost, and Drudge by linking around.

Seventh - Anatomy. Find out what the required anatomy text will be and buy it. You might as well buy a Netter's Anatomy Atlas as well. Don't bother reading the text, just become familiar with all of the different pictures and disease states and the various clincial applications throughout the text. again, awareness is the goal here. You don't need to memorize anything, but seeing what sickness looks like so that your first time seeing what ascites in a belly looks like while on your couch relaxing and knowing you got in is a whole lot better than feeling like you just walked into a lecture in Japanese.

Netters is beautiful. The drawings are amazing. Find out what the path of Anatomy is at your school and start at the beginning. Look at the diagrams and become familiar with the relationships and the naming conventions. It wouldn't hurt at all to see how the muscles of the legs and arms attach and what they move. It isn't in a memorize a chart way, but in a look at the picture and see what it might do way. Seeing the complexity in the human body in a nonstressful way can allow you to appreciate it for a bit before you don't have time to appreciate it and you smell like formaldehyde.

This isn't a laundry list. It should not be taken as any form of a syllabus. It's me fishing my experiences from the trash and recylcing them for more than they are worth in hopes that it may help. If you have to triage the list, the biochem will be worth it's weight in gold. I spent more group sessions glossy eyed while my biochemist peers ran circles around the assignments.

Enjoy, flame, or whatever. I care not.

And lastly, and this one everyone should do who goes to a DO school..read The D.O.'s. Being aware of how not friendly the MD world is will keep things in perspective and allow you to understand what is going on when they look down at you. They will.
 

Tekar

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To "prepare" I plan on trying to make my way through a list of top 100 movies and books before fall. And sleeping, a lot, :yawn: I'm gonna miss naps :(
No you won't. You'll learn that if you're going to nap,make it 90 minutes. I also sleep now more than I did before. There's so much learning going on, there are times you'll find your body will simply tell you to sleep.
 

Colbert

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I was like you not so long ago. So excited to start med school. I believed the world was my oyster and if I only got a head start that I'd excel beyond all belief. Man was I ignorant.

I have a shelf full of books that I've wanted to read for pleasure that I'm just now getting to. I'm a fourth year with a "month off" for interviews (I have five interviews in the next eight days in four different states, so it's hard to consider it time off) so I'm reading them while I'm traveling. You really have absolutely no idea how life-consuming medical school is. Hobbies you loved will go by the wayside and cooking will consist of what can be shoved in the microwave and heated in four minutes.

If there was ever something you wanted to do that will in no way be productive for your medical education but sounds like a damn good time, for the love of all that is holy please do it. You won't have a chance to in the next four years and you'll be sitting there thinking to yourself, "man I really wish I would have taken the time to go white-water-rafting/feng-shui-ing my room/watching every Kevin Bacon movie/learn the difference between pinot grigio and pinot gris."

So essentially, enjoy your last bit of freedom. There is really no amount of effort you can put in between now and start of school that will make any bit of difference in your medical school performance.
 

JustPlainBill

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I was like you not so long ago. So excited to start med school. I believed the world was my oyster and if I only got a head start that I'd excel beyond all belief. Man was I ignorant.

I have a shelf full of books that I've wanted to read for pleasure that I'm just now getting to. I'm a fourth year with a "month off" for interviews (I have five interviews in the next eight days in four different states, so it's hard to consider it time off) so I'm reading them while I'm traveling. You really have absolutely no idea how life-consuming medical school is. Hobbies you loved will go by the wayside and cooking will consist of what can be shoved in the microwave and heated in four minutes.

If there was ever something you wanted to do that will in no way be productive for your medical education but sounds like a damn good time, for the love of all that is holy please do it. You won't have a chance to in the next four years and you'll be sitting there thinking to yourself, "man I really wish I would have taken the time to go white-water-rafting/feng-shui-ing my room/watching every Kevin Bacon movie/learn the difference between pinot grigio and pinot gris."

So essentially, enjoy your last bit of freedom. There is really no amount of effort you can put in between now and start of school that will make any bit of difference in your medical school performance.
Or that which can be cooked by shoving it in the oven and setting an alarm clock to pull it out a certain time later.....if you like cooking, you can forget about it for the next 4 years.....or taking time to eat -- inhale your food is not just a method of eating you use in boot camp.....

Agreed --- for the love of all that is holy, party your posterior off, preferably with one or more blondes, brunettes and redheads with copious amounts of wine and a warm beach close by.......you can forget a life any time during medical school, especially the first two years.....simple things like sitting on the couch watching television with a home cooked meal will seem like winning the freakin' lottery......
 

ShyRem

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Y'all really should learn how to cook with a crock-pot. Home-cooked meals that cook themselves while you're at school.
 

MedStudentWanna

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I recently got accepted for next fall and am currently working full time. I was thinking of getting "first aid for the basic sciences" to review. Do you guys think this would help me out for next year?
Dude, you haven't taken any of the med school basic sciences. What exactly are you planning to "review"?
 

Slane

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Dude, you haven't taken any of the med school basic sciences. What exactly are you planning to "review"?
Quoted for emphasis. If you've never seen the material before, the First Aid books are so high yield that it won't make any sense to you. If you want to do something, like others have said, ask a first year what's up first on your schedule and dig into that--not a review book. I second the do nothing ideas though--you'll totally regret not making the most of your free time when you don't have any next year...
 

JustPlainBill

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Y'all really should learn how to cook with a crock-pot. Home-cooked meals that cook themselves while you're at school.
:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

Totally forgot about that one ---- My wife has a recipe for 7 can soup that really is more like a slightly watery stew --- one crock pot fed me for 2 meals x 5 days....add a turkey loaf from target -- 45 minutes in the oven at 275, throw in some salad and I was golden....at least for that week.....I also learned to love the $2.50/piece Target pizzas.....no freakin' wonder I gained 60 pounds......
 

ShyRem

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You can make a LOT of stuff in a crock pot. Lasagnas, chicken marsala, chili, stews, soups, veggies, baked potatoes even. There is a really awesome potato cheese bacon soup that is just to die for you can make in a crock pot.

The other REALLY great piece that should be in your kitchen? A rice cooker. Preferably a Zojirushi. You can program it to be DONE at a certain time. And it will do all kinds of rice dishes, casseroles, even bake a cake. VERY handy.
 

Terpskins99

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I recently got accepted for next fall and am currently working full time. I was thinking of getting "first aid for the basic sciences" to review. Do you guys think this would help me out for next year?
Read up about the various specialties in medicine while you still have the "free" time to do so. Med school flies fast when you're studying 24/7 for the upcoming biweekly exam and then pre-rounding like a madman during 3rd year clerkships.
 

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After reading this thread...I think I am going to teach my boyfriend how to cook in these months before med school!!! :D
 

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You can make a LOT of stuff in a crock pot. Lasagnas, chicken marsala, chili, stews, soups, veggies, baked potatoes even. There is a really awesome potato cheese bacon soup that is just to die for you can make in a crock pot.

The other REALLY great piece that should be in your kitchen? A rice cooker. Preferably a Zojirushi. You can program it to be DONE at a certain time. And it will do all kinds of rice dishes, casseroles, even bake a cake. VERY handy.
Can you reccomend a really good crock pot. I'm sick of these cheap black friday specials. My last one is 5 quarts, but it's really loud and gets water all over the counter. The steam makes it bounce and it's loud and annoying and the knob broke (i use a screw driver to turn the "new" knob). It broke when I dropped it (on accident) and then I kicked it (on purpose).
 

Gabby

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Can you reccomend a really good crock pot. I'm sick of these cheap black friday specials. My last one is 5 quarts, but it's really loud and gets water all over the counter. The steam makes it bounce and it's loud and annoying and the knob broke (i use a screw driver to turn the "new" knob). It broke when I dropped it (on accident) and then I kicked it (on purpose).
I have a Hamilton Beach one that's programmable. I love it! I time it to cook anywhere from 4-8 hours, depending on what I'm cooking and when the time runs out, it keeps it on warm until I get home and turn it off. Your food will never spoil if you're late getting home. It also came with a meat thermometer that you can stick in through a hole in the lid and check the temp of your chicken or whatever. I use slow cooker liners to keep the clean up to a minimum.
 

bonsaipalmtree

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I have a Hamilton Beach one that's programmable. I love it! I time it to cook anywhere from 4-8 hours, depending on what I'm cooking and when the time runs out, it keeps it on warm until I get home and turn it off. Your food will never spoil if you're late getting home. It also came with a meat thermometer that you can stick in through a hole in the lid and check the temp of your chicken or whatever. I use slow cooker liners to keep the clean up to a minimum.
Second on the Hamilton Beach! Programmable to 4, 6, or 8 hours of cooking and it came with 2, 4, and 6 quart pots so you can make different amounts of food.

I tell you, I will preach the beauty of the crock-pot to anyone who will listen...
 
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da8s0859q

I have a Hamilton Beach one that's programmable. I love it! I time it to cook anywhere from 4-8 hours, depending on what I'm cooking and when the time runs out, it keeps it on warm until I get home and turn it off. Your food will never spoil if you're late getting home. It also came with a meat thermometer that you can stick in through a hole in the lid and check the temp of your chicken or whatever. I use slow cooker liners to keep the clean up to a minimum.
Second on the Hamilton Beach! Programmable to 4, 6, or 8 hours of cooking and it came with 2, 4, and 6 quart pots so you can make different amounts of food.

I tell you, I will preach the beauty of the crock-pot to anyone who will listen...
Would you two mind posting an Amazon link to your crock pot of choice? Have seen a few Hamilton Beach programmables over there.
 

Farmacist2011

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Would you two mind posting an Amazon link to your crock pot of choice? Have seen a few Hamilton Beach programmables over there.
I was just about to ask for a amazon link to buy one. IM SO EXCITED!!!! Some of what I just read i didn't even know crock pots could do! And there are such things as LINERS to make clean up easier!? :eek:

:love:
 

Gabby

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Somebody butter my biscuit because that crock pot looks dope. Does it last a while? If I buy it now it'll still be good next Fall? How long have you had yours and any wear and tear?
I've had it for 2 1/2 years. I use it all the time and it's good as new.
 

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Exercise. Seriously, the summer before med school I

-tutored
-read neuroscience book
-tried all the good sushi places in town
-read non-medical books for enjoyment
-played piano (a longtime hobby)
-exercised (a lot)--jogging, hiking, yoga, dance, etc.
-took two or three good weekend vacations

The thing that made the biggest difference to me was feeling in-shape and refreshed for the school year, it gave me the energy and effort I needed to invest into studying during the semester.

Sorry if this sounded like a cheesy, new-agey answer. It is true that it is difficult to make time for this during the semester, so whatever you can do in the summer to establish a good routine helps.

Academically, I would point out that anatomy is a really tough class and if you're gonna study ahead, that's the class I would study.

ps. I'm a first year, so I don't know how rotations schedules go, but I cook dinner for myself and my bf every night, so there's time for it. A good stir fry (homemade) and rice meal can be whipped up in like 10 minutes.
 

MedStudentWanna

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ps. I'm a first year, so I don't know how rotations schedules go, but I cook dinner for myself and my bf every night, so there's time for it. A good stir fry (homemade) and rice meal can be whipped up in like 10 minutes.
Veggie stir-fry maybe. It takes longer than that to prepare and cook meat. Also, what time do you get out of school every day? I've found that how much time people have each night is highly dependent on their school schedules/program.
 

g8orlife

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I'd go with study the female anatomy in as much intricate detail as possible under high levels of EtOH.
Awwww yeah!! :thumbup:

....buuut if you're dead set on wasting the rest of your valuable free time, then I'd follow Tekar's detailed post...

Enjoy, flame, or whatever. I care not.

And lastly, and this one everyone should do who goes to a DO school..read The D.O.'s. Being aware of how not friendly the MD world is will keep things in perspective and allow you to understand what is going on when they look down at you. They will.
No flame here; your post is excellent for all matriculants who truly have no life outside studying.
 

g8orlife

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Having said that, what you need to prepare for is how to tell what IS important to know once classes start because they'll make it seem like it's all important...it's not....

The best advice I've seen given around here is: --- Get the latest copy of First Aid for Step 1 that you can find. Make sure you have memorized the section of First Aid that applies to the particular class you are currently taking....backwards and forwards, question cards, whatever works to get it into your head cold, no warm up. That will get you a pass and a pass on boards...everything else is gravy. This is about surviving; excelling is another matter.....
DaveinDallas's advice is also solid.
 

Jamers

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I recently got accepted for next fall and am currently working full time. I was thinking of getting "first aid for the basic sciences" to review. Do you guys think this would help me out for next year?
Yeah, get a 5th of your favorite and study that for the remaining time.