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Study groups

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Mitch, Apr 10, 2001.

  1. Mitch

    Mitch Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2000
    I am starting med school in the fall and was wondering about study groups. I have tried them a few times but always found that I learned more studying by myself. I get the impression that my med school encourages them - are they really useful?
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  3. GeoLeoX

    GeoLeoX Ancient 10+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2000
    Thay can be very useful. You do know something until you can teach it.
  4. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    They are useful provided you actually study and don't fool around. I sort of gave up on them after awhile because the people I was studying with came to the group unprepared, without having read the material.

    GeoLeoX is right - if you can explain something to someone, you are much more likely to know it better than if you are just reading it over and over.

    Give it a try and see whether it works for you. Not all study groups are efficient or have the right balance of personalities.
  5. Gumbydammit

    Gumbydammit Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Salt Lake City, UT, USA
    I have found that study groups can go either way too--either they suck or they can be very helpful. I think a key to a productive study group is finding individuals who are willing to share their knowledge rather than hold back information so they can have an edge on the test. I tire of such bastards and I know that many of us have encountered these types in undergraduate and graduate circumstances. There has to be a feeling of constructive cohesion between study mates instead of selfish behavior. I worry that finding good study partners is a rare catch in the competitive medical regime.
  6. Cobragirl

    Cobragirl Hoohaa helper ;) 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2000
    In residency HELL
    I have found study groups pretty helpful as long as *I* am already comfortable with the material. I have to be done with MY reading first, and then I'll join a group. I've found (due to my anal study habits) that I'm usually much more prepared than my partners, but just the act of trying to EXPLAIN everything to them, helps solidify the material for me.

    I did have one class (comparitive anatomy of chordates...damn near as hard as gross anatomy) where 10 of the 12 people in the class were all pre-med or pre-vet. Now THAT was a GREAT study group because EVERYONE was prepared when we had group study. We were able to quiz each other back and forth, correct other peoples misunderstandings...and they corrected yours. It was awesome! I hope I can find another group like that in med-school!
  7. Cobragirl

    Cobragirl Hoohaa helper ;) 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2000
    In residency HELL
    PS- Our instructor told us on the first day of class that we would all make C's (that there MIGHT be one A or B)....we ALL got A's that semester! [​IMG]
  8. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    I have a Histology class much like Cobragirl's, only there are eight of us, all pre-professional. This class is great, and everyone is well prepared.

    I love studying with people who are trying to learn, rather than listen to someone else's answers.
  9. jwpelley

    jwpelley Member 10+ Year Member

    Medical schools usually use group study as a way of getting you to look at medical problems via case vignettes. These are either revealed gradually in more detail as you study them or all at once. The quality of the experience is uneven because there is little understanding by medical faculty of learning style and its effect on group study. Since learning style is my academic specialty I?ll offer some suggestions that will make a major difference in your performance in medical school.

    First, take my learning styles type indicator at and determine if you are an extravert or an introvert. If you are an extravert, then you should take 20 minutes at the end of every day of classes, which will be Monday through Friday, and review the entire day with a partner, also an extravert, out loud. Then go home and study. You will get much more out of your study time. If you are an introvert, just go home and study.

    Whether you are an introvert or an extravert, you should summarize the week in a rotating oral exam on the weekend. The details are in a handout that I use when I make presentations at medical schools and it is online at

    If you learn about yourself and your blind spots as a learner before you get to med school, you will maximize your growth as a professional. Keep in mind that now that you are accepted, you are, in effect, a physician. You are embryonic and need to develop and mature before you are born at graduation, but you are now a physician. I hope my comments will help you come to term.

  10. Pegasus

    Pegasus Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I totally agree with the above post. I hated study groups in undergrad. No one came prepared, no one was serious and everyone goofed off. Basically, it was a big waste of time.
    However, the first semester of med school, they repeatedly told us we NEED to get into a study group. Many med students are Type A personallities, with little time to goof off. You will get alot more done, and verbalizing the information is a helpful way of learning.
    I didnt do a study group for the first part of last semester, and I learned quick. Now for most things, I do still study on my own, however, Anatomy is a MUST for study groups (if your curriculum is anything like ours). It is helpful in those classes where there is limitless amounts of information it is helpful to see what others are focusing on, and also lets you know where you stand in the range of you knowledge of a particular subject.

    I dont think you have to do study groups all the time, but you will see that there are just some things that are better talked about as a group.


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