compstomper

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Just finishing up 2nd block of M1 (anatomy). I tried anki and it's fairly good but there's not enough time in my schedule to make quality cards. Right now I'm just gonna try as many pass throughs as possible of the powerpoint lecture slides.

So I was wondering how everyone on the forum studies. What works for you when you were/are in M1 year? What didn't work for you?
 
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I haven't made a single flashcard yet, it's just not my thing. I just listen to the lecture, go through another pass of the material, get lab tutoring every week, and run through all of the my notes again during exam week. If I need to memorize something by brute force (let's say, cranial nerves), I draw diagrams or write it down on a list. Written memory works way better for me.

What didn't work for me was going to lecture in person.
 

DermViser

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Just finishing up 2nd block of M1 (anatomy). I tried anki and it's fairly good but there's not enough time in my schedule to make quality cards. Right now I'm just gonna try as many pass throughs as possible of the powerpoint lecture slides.

So I was wondering how everyone on the forum studies. What works for you when you were/are in M1 year? What didn't work for you?
I swear the use of Anki by med students is ridiculous. I get the logic behind it, but still.
 

circulus vitios

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Just finishing up 2nd block of M1 (anatomy). I tried anki and it's fairly good but there's not enough time in my schedule to make quality cards. Right now I'm just gonna try as many pass throughs as possible of the powerpoint lecture slides.

So I was wondering how everyone on the forum studies. What works for you when you were/are in M1 year? What didn't work for you?
I'm an MS1. I used Anki for the first few weeks of our biochem/genetics/histo block and it was just too much of a pain in the balls to keep up on. I fell back on highlighting our lecture note PDF files and reading through them and making hand-written paper notes for any "exceptionally" difficult stuff like the biochemical pathways, coagulation cascade, etc. I'm a below average student FWIW, but I think it's more because I'm lazy and not because my study method sucks.
 
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DermViser

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I'm an MS1. I used Anki for the first few weeks of our biochem/genetics/histo block and it was just too much of a pain in the balls to keep up on. I fell back on highlighting our lecture note PDF files and reading through them and making hand-written paper notes for any "exceptionally" difficult stuff like the biochemical pathways, coagulation cascade, etc. I'm a below average student FWIW, but I think it's more because I'm lazy and not because my study method sucks.

Have you tried talking to a counselor, or learning specialist (well I guess you said you're lazy so that might not help). What about doing some things for stress release (exercise, s**)?
 

circulus vitios

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Have you tried talking to a counselor, or learning specialist (well I guess you said you're lazy so that might not help). What about doing some things for stress release (exercise, s**)?
I don't need to. I know exactly why I'm a below average student: because I don't put in nearly enough work. I've studied 15, maybe 20 hours for each of my exams. I expect I'll slowly ramp up my studying as the coursework gets more difficult in MS1, and definitely in MS2. I just don't care about slaving away when my school is P/F (although it is internally ranked) and when I don't want a competitive specialty.
 

DermViser

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I don't need to. I know exactly why I'm a below average student: because I don't put in nearly enough work. I've studied 15, maybe 20 hours for each of my exams. I expect I'll slowly ramp up my studying as the coursework gets more difficult in MS1, and definitely in MS2. I just don't care about slaving away when my school is P/F (although it is internally ranked) and when I don't want to do a competitive specialty.
So you purposefully only put 15-20 hours TOTAL for an exam and you're worried about "slaving" away? And you think it won't matter a darn bc you're not going for something "competitive"? You realize it's not just the specialty itself that makes something competitive right?
 
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I'm an MS1. I used Anki for the first few weeks of our biochem/genetics/histo block and it was just too much of a pain in the balls to keep up on. I fell back on highlighting our lecture note PDF files and reading through them and making hand-written paper notes for any "exceptionally" difficult stuff like the biochemical pathways, coagulation cascade, etc. I'm a below average student FWIW, but I think it's more because I'm lazy and not because my study method sucks.
Two things. First, every person will be different in his/her study methods. Even things which seem effective in one class may end up being poor methods in another. Keep adapting.

Second, I wouldn't define yourself so narrowly. There will be days and even weeks when you feel this way, and your fellow medical students may make you feel as such. Medical students tend not to be a good barometer for what's sane. That feeling is probably bullsh*t.

Some classes will turn you on, some classes will turn you off. It's hard to work when you hate something. It's easy when you find it interesting to study. If you can try to find something interesting about each subject, and get a great feel for the story of the subject, you'll be happier.

Just work as best you can, and try to learn the material for yourself. Who cares how anyone else does? Your future patients aren't going to care how well your classmates learned biochemistry, they'll care about how competent you are (and they'll probably be poor judges of that even).

Keep your chin up!
 

circulus vitios

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So you purposefully only put 15-20 hours TOTAL for an exam and you're worried about "slaving" away? And you think it won't matter a darn bc you're not going for something "competitive"? You realize it's not just the specialty itself that makes something competitive right?
I can put in 15-20 hours of studying for a passing grade of 75%, or I can put in 40-60 hours or whatever the "normal" amount of time is for the class average of 80-85%. Diminishing returns and such, especially when those extra 5-10 percentage points are composed primarily of idiotic minutiae that were pulled from a single slide, on a single lecture, and it was something that was covered "in passing."
 

DermViser

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I can put in 15-20 hours of studying for a passing grade of 75%, or I can put in 40-60 hours or whatever the "normal" amount of time is for the class average of 80-85%. Diminishing returns and such, especially when those extra 5-10 percentage points are composed primarily of idiotic minutiae that were pulled from a single slide, on a single lecture, and it was something that was covered "in passing."
So in your mind - passing and getting at the class average is diminishing returns? Really?

Also I don't know how spread out your exams are, but 40 hours total is nothing for an exam.
 

circulus vitios

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So in your mind - passing and getting at the class average is diminishing returns? Really?

Also I don't know how spread out your exams are, but 40 hours total is nothing for an exam.
15-20 hours for 75%
40+ hours for 85%

Is that not the definition of a diminishing return?
 
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15-20 hours for 75%
40+ hours for 85%

Is that not the definition of a diminishing return?
That might be true if it ended there, but it doesn't.

It's important to realize that although the tests may not be representative of what you know, putting in the hours to learn that "minutiae" actually does teach you something. You aren't studying to do well on exams, because the exams aren't hugely important (beyond passing). What is important is that you understand the material.

Consider that much of M2, 3, and 4 is based on M1 (progressively more loosely). A basic understanding of things will make your life easier in the coming years. It's nothing to panic over, but you will need to know a lot of that material at some point.

There's no need to panic, but I would suggest trying your best to learn as much as you can. It will make your life easier in the future.
 

DermViser

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15-20 hours for 75%
40+ hours for 85%

Is that not the definition of a diminishing return?
Except 40 hours TOTAL for a medical school exam isn't much at all considering the amount of info on it.
 

DermViser

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That might be true if it ended there, but it doesn't.

It's important to realize that although the tests may not be representative of what you know, putting in the hours to learn that "minutiae" actually does teach you something. You aren't studying to do well on exams, because the exams aren't hugely important (beyond passing). What is important is that you understand the material.

Consider that much of M2, 3, and 4 is based on M1 (progressively more loosely). A basic understanding of things will make your life easier in the coming years. It's nothing to panic over, but you will need to know a lot of that material at some point.

There's no need to panic, but I would suggest trying your best to learn as much as you can. It will make your life easier in the future.
Right. He's just creating a bad foundation (apparently on purpose) unnecessarily.
 

circulus vitios

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That might be true if it ended there, but it doesn't.

It's important to realize that although the tests may not be representative of what you know, putting in the hours to learn that "minutiae" actually does teach you something. You aren't studying to do well on exams, because the exams aren't hugely important (beyond passing). What is important is that you understand the material.

Consider that much of M2, 3, and 4 is based on M1 (progressively more loosely). A basic understanding of things will make your life easier in the coming years. It's nothing to panic over, but you will need to know a lot of that material at some point.

There's no need to panic, but I would suggest trying your best to learn as much as you can. It will make your life easier in the future.
Sorry, I don't see the utility in memorizing a table of types of intermediate filaments when I'll invariably forget them within a week of taking the exam. Might it be clinically relevant, for a small subset of practicing physicians? Sure, but I don't care because if I ever need this information I'll consult with a reliable source i.e. not my memory of a single Powerpoint slide from a basic science lecture that I took years or decades ago.

Overarching concepts and important details are valuable information, I agree with that. But I can't agree with information hoarding.
 
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Anki is a great tool, but only for pharm. I don't care how many passes of the notes you make in pharm, when you have to have 120+ drugs memorized with all actions and side effects, it's incredibly hard to remember their names without flashcards.

I changed my study methods dramatically early into MS2, and it's worked out really well for me. When a new block starts, I read the lecture notes and watch the lectures at 2x speed. I can do that all in like 5ish hours. The rest of the day, I spend reading lectures for tomorrow, and if I finish that, the day after. On day 2, I'll keep reading ahead, and I'll watch the lectures for that day at 2 speed again.

Generally speaking, I plan to be 2-3 weeks ahead of the current material, so that I can go into 'review' mode and stay there for several weeks. I can go through lecture notes several times, but also, this lets me do tons of third party resources: 2-3x pathoma, UW, RX, path textbook questions, practice tests, Step Up to Medicine, RR Path, 3x Anki pharm cards, Microcards, Pharm cards, 2x Picmonic (microbio only), peer-made study sheets.

The only time I write anything down is in that final review period where if I get a practice question wrong or there's just some detail that I can never remember, I'll write a short sentence down in a notebook. The day before and the morning of the exam, I'll reread my notes which will be a few pages long.

By the time I get to the exam, I'll be so familiar with the material that it's genuinely boring. I'll have done 5-7 passes through lectures, ~800 practice questions, and passes through third party material.


Sorry, I don't see the utility in memorizing a table of types of intermediate filaments when I'll invariably forget them within a week of taking the exam. Might it be clinically relevant, for a small subset of practicing physicians? Sure, but I don't care because if I ever need this information I'll consult with a reliable source i.e. not my memory of a single Powerpoint slide from a basic science lecture that I took years or decades ago.

Overarching concepts and important details are valuable information, I agree with that. But I can't agree with information hoarding.
You have a bad attitude towards this stuff. Every year ahead of builds on the last, and while you will forget a lot, you'll be shocked at how many details you do remember. Those are the types of details that end up accidentally saving your ass on Step 1, which you hear about a lot in the Step 1 thread. It's one reason that preclinical grades are the strongest predictor of Step 1 grades. Of course there are outliers, but you don't want to have to work your ass off to be one.
 
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Sorry, I don't see the utility in memorizing a table of types of intermediate filaments when I'll invariably forget them within a week of taking the exam. Might it be clinically relevant, for a small subset of practicing physicians? Sure, but I don't care because if I ever need this information I'll consult with a reliable source i.e. not my memory of a single Powerpoint slide from a basic science lecture that I took years or decades ago.

Overarching concepts and important details are valuable information, I agree with that. But I can't agree with information hoarding.
Intermediate filament proteins are useful markers in pathology,oncology, dermatology, and several other specialties. Memorizing what tissue sub-type everyone of them goes to might not be necessary, but it won't hurt. Even if you don't remember the specific tissue, you'll be more likely to remember that they do have specific tissues.

Many chemotherapeutic drugs work on similar proteins like microtubules (e.g. vinblastine, vincristine and taxol). It's useful to know that intermediate filaments don't really have polarity like actin or microtubules (last year I thought this was ridiculous minutiae).

It's always hard to figure out what's important, which is why everyone tries to swallow the notes whole. I can also tell you that relearning material is much easier than learning it the first time. M2 instructors assume you'll remember a lot of what you did last year.

The decision is ultimately yours. Chances are that if you're passing, you're doing enough. However, it may make your life more difficult in the future (next year, during M3, the rest of your career).

good luck
 

DermViser

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Sorry, I don't see the utility in memorizing a table of types of intermediate filaments when I'll invariably forget them within a week of taking the exam. Might it be clinically relevant, for a small subset of practicing physicians? Sure, but I don't care because if I ever need this information I'll consult with a reliable source i.e. not my memory of a single Powerpoint slide from a basic science lecture that I took years or decades ago.

Overarching concepts and important details are valuable information, I agree with that. But I can't agree with information hoarding.
You realize you have no idea what you don't or won't need right? Also not EVERYTHING you learn in basic science will automatically have clinical relevance to you.
 

DermViser

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Intermediate filament proteins are useful markers in pathology,oncology, dermatology, and several other specialties. Memorizing what tissue sub-type everyone of them goes to might not be necessary, but it won't hurt. Even if you don't remember the specific tissue, you'll be more likely to remember that they do have specific tissues.

Many chemotherapeutic drugs work on similar proteins like microtubules (e.g. vinblastine, vincristine and taxol). It's useful to know that intermediate filaments don't really have polarity like actin or microtubules (last year I thought this was ridiculous minutiae).

It's always hard to figure out what's important, which is why everyone tries to swallow the notes whole. I can also tell you that relearning material is much easier than learning it the first time. M2 instructors assume you'll remember a lot of what you did last year.

The decision is ultimately yours. Chances are that if you're passing, you're doing enough. However, it may make your life more difficult in the future (next year, during M3, the rest of your career).

good luck
He's got it all figured out. He figures he's not going for something competitive so everything he's learning is useless.
 
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He's got it all figured out. He figures he's not going for something competitive so everything he's learning is useless.
I'm not really in a position to judge anyone's use of time. Personally, I wouldn't apply that strategy to my life, but I care a great deal about keeping all my options open. I'm also afraid that my own lack of dedication will result in someone else's injury or death, although that's a bit melodramatic for a second-year student.

Medical schools have minimum standards for a reason, and I'm sure that passing those standards is more important than my own. I hope it all works out for the best, and if not, I doubt my internet persona's opinion would have swayed anyone anyway.

 
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Espadaleader

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I try to learn everything because everything is important. What I mean is sometimes it's easier to just learn the stuff than to try and cut corners. It might be just me but I am not spending all this money to "just pass". I study 40 hours a week. I still have time for Hulu every night, one weekend day to have a beer or two, talk to my loved ones, and I get add equate sleep.
 

MedWonk

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Sorry, I don't see the utility in memorizing a table of types of intermediate filaments when I'll invariably forget them within a week of taking the exam. Might it be clinically relevant, for a small subset of practicing physicians? Sure, but I don't care because if I ever need this information I'll consult with a reliable source i.e. not my memory of a single Powerpoint slide from a basic science lecture that I took years or decades ago.

Overarching concepts and important details are valuable information, I agree with that. But I can't agree with information hoarding.
I used to question why I was learning all that **** in biochem and genetics. Now in our anatomy/physiology/embryology/imaging/basic pharm cluster**** of a class, a bunch of things we learned are coming back. We aren't tested directly on biochem anymore, but knowing the things we learned does help make sense of we're learning now, and it makes answering some questions on the exam easier (especially the clinical vignettes). And looking at the stuff they do in M2, there's plenty that relates back to M1. Not knowing stuff from M1 would seem to make life during M2 a lot harder. The "little details" are the glue that ties the overarching concepts together and makes what we learn from here on out a cohesive body of knowledge rather than a large volume of discrete facts.
 

DermViser

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I used to question why I was learning all that **** in biochem and genetics. Now in our anatomy/physiology/embryology/imaging/basic pharm cluster**** of a class, a bunch of things we learned are coming back. We aren't tested directly on biochem anymore, but knowing the things we learned does help make sense of we're learning now, and it makes answering some questions on the exam easier (especially the clinical vignettes). And looking at the stuff they do in M2, there's plenty that relates back to M1. Not knowing stuff from M1 would seem to make life during M2 a lot harder. The "little details" are the glue that ties the overarching concepts together and makes what we learn from here on out a cohesive body of knowledge rather than a large volume of discrete facts.
This happens thru out medical school. It builds. M1 will NOT be retaught to you again. You learn about the cell cycle in M1 and M2 builds on that -- chemotherapeutics that act on the cell cycle, assuming you've already been taught this at M1 although it might be briefly reviewed quickly. Certain topics repeat themselves over and over. Shelf exams will have questions that aren't directly taught but you'll remember bc it was covered in another class. To say, forget about it, I just care to pass M1 is a huge mistake bc you can't make up that huge of a deficit based on what you as a med student deem as minutiae when you have no basis on which to make that claim.
 
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MedWonk

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This happens thru out medical school. It builds. M1 will NOT be retaught to you again. You learn about the cell cycle in M1 and M2 builds on that -- chemotherapeutics that act on the cell cycle, assuming you've already been taught this at M1 although it might be briefly reviewed quickly. Certain topics repeat themselves over and over. Shelf exams will have questions that aren't directly taught but you'll remember bc it was covered in another class. To say, forget about it, I just care to pass M1 is a huge mistake bc you can't make up that huge of a deficit based on what you as a med student deem as minutiae when you have no basis on which to make that claim.
I'm assuming this was intended for ciculous and not me, since I agree with you...
 
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DermViser

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I'm assuming this was intended for ciculous and not me, since I agree with you...
LOL. I was corroborating (and building) on what you were saying. He's a gone case as he won't believe all of us anyways, esp. someone who thinks studying 40 hours total for a midterm exam is too much.
 
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