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study habits?

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neurotrancer

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At our school, we have an exam pretty much every monday in a different subject. One unfortunate side effect of this is that most people seem to end up taking their education one exam at a time where they focus on strictly studying the material relevant to the upcoming exam at the utter expense of everything else (in my case that also includes studying at the expense of class attendance if the exam is really difficult). Have any of you had this experience so far? Do you think it is possible to stay on top of all the material in all your classes all the time? Or do you think this is a very lofty goal?

Also, what do you think is the average retention rate among most student for the material they study during their pleclinical years? I know I find myself forgetting things regardless of how well I once knew them but at least upon re-reading I can generally relearn it that much faster. do you think this is generally the case for most students? Personally, I think exposure and constructing a knowledge base for relearning during residency and USMLE preparation is the name of the game for the preclinical years. What sense to you make of the fact that a lot of what is learned is forgotten? I talked to some med school graduates recently who told me that "if you remember even 10% of what you learn in med school, you'll be fine for practicing later on." Do you agree? also, I talked to a doctor who claimed that if he were to take my physiology exams, he'd probably score a whopping 10%. Do you agree or do you think this might be an overstatement?
 

jwin

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i have the same schedule at my school and am forced to study the same way. there is a thread going right now on "anyone not like there med school" that is talking about having staggered exams. i do not think there is any other way to do it. you get behind in one class while studying for exams, then you have to cut class to catch up in that class when its exam comes around. pretty much everyone in my class works this way, although we would all prefer to keep up with the new material we are getting, but i think you would just get hammered on exams if you did not load up a lot of the material the few days before the exam and ignore your other work.

i too forget things that i once knew like the back of my hand. i really don't think you should worry though. everyone has to study for the boards and once you are in practice i think you will remember the things that are relevant. i worked for the chair of bone marrow transplant this summer and he said that if he had to take the boards for internal medicine again he would get a 10% (this seems to be the popular number) but he certainly knows everything that is relevant to his patient's care.
 
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