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studying... exams... success/fail

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by abooodMD, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. Hi...
    My mate,
    I just wanted to discuss you with this topic, because it annoys me very much.
    I finished my second year, and next term I'll be in 3rd level, but there is one problem :
    "The way of studying"
    My medical school recommends "Guyton" as a reference for studying physiology, "Snell" or "Gray's" as a reference for studying Anatomy.
    Those big books need long time to be studied, and you may can't finish studying for exams from them.
    So I just wanna know how medical students study during the whole course, and especially studying for exams??
    And what is your source for studying during the whole term as well as for exams??
    And is reviewing exams a good thing to do before performing the exam ??

    plz help me with this, coz it's really hard on me and I can't withstand anymore.

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  3. Monica Lewinsky

    Monica Lewinsky 2+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2008
    Guyton is a good text, but I seriously think that BRS Physiology is all you need to do well in that course.

    I found anatomy texts to be useless (atlases are much better). Our professor told us that no one learns anatomy by reading, and I wholeheartedly agree.
  4. EBI831

    EBI831 legend in the making 7+ Year Member

    Apr 18, 2006
    Chi-town royalty
    BRS is good enough for physio i agree. but as for the anatomy opinion above, i disagree wholeheartedly. atlases are great for learning structures but you won't know crap about the facts about these vessels (anastomoses, function, etc) without the texts. gray's was a great resource for this. the texts are unfortunately a necessity (at least if you go to a school like mine where u have written tests separate from practicals and the written is in a whole lot more detail).
  5. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Sounds like you are coming from a different system than most of us US Allo students are in, so I'm not sure if we can give you useful advice. Most of us have anatomy and physiology during our first year of medical school. And we don't use textbooks -- we generally use note-sets and lecture notes prepared by the faculty, and only turn to things like Guyton or BRS as secondary resources. In my experience, reviewing old exams is always a good idea before taking an exam, but many of us don't have that option because old exams are not released.
  6. The Angriest Bird

    The Angriest Bird 10+ Year Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    My school uses syllabus. Memorizing a syllabus is pretty much all your need to get into the 1st quartile.
  7. No the way of teaching in my medical school is the American way, but I'm asking about how other medical students deal with this huge amount of curriculum.
    U know, next semester I've "Pharmacology,Microbiology,Neuroanatomy,Neurophysiology... etc."
    Lippincott's will be the textbook for pharma, and the doctor makes his exam questions from this book.
    But others don't use their recommended textbooks as a source for his exam questions, such as physiology "previously", they may rely on board questions, and any other resources.
    So I study the whole textbook and have no time to review some old exams before taking the exam and only I can answer 1/2 of the exam's question , although I didn't left any info in the textbook withoutt memorizing it.
  8. Hayden2102

    Hayden2102 Down Under 7+ Year Member

    Nov 21, 2006
    Tasmania, Australia
    I respectfully think that's bull. You definitely need both.

    Well what country are you studying medicine in? With all due respect, your English does sound like it's not your first language. What is your school's curriculum style? Mine is different from that of most US schools so maybe I can give you a few pointers...
  9. Yes you are right, English is not my native language.
    I'm studying Medecine in (Palestine), and I didn't get what u meant by "What is your school's curriculum style?"
    But as I said, it's the american way, the 1st 3 years are basic medecine,
    and the next 3 years are clinical " I mean practicing medecine as well as learning in hospitals".

    Guys... plz,
    All what I want is to know if my way of studying is the wrong way? and what is the right?

    thank you all.
  10. Hayden2102

    Hayden2102 Down Under 7+ Year Member

    Nov 21, 2006
    Tasmania, Australia
    well what I mean is, in your school, do you study all normal systems in first year, and then all the pathology of those systems in second year, like a lot of US schools?

    Or does your school teach it systems-style, so you learn all the physiology, pathology, pharmacology etc. for one system, then move on to the next? That's how mine does it...
  11. well, let me explain,
    In the 1st year, I studied : General science, Biochemistry, Genetics, General physiology, Introduction in Anatomy.
    In the 2nd year, I studied : Anatomy "All", Physiology"All", Biochemistry, Histology, public health, Nutrition, Medical ethics... etc.
    And I'll study in the 3rd year :
    Microbilogy, Pharmacology, Neuroanatomy, Neurophysilogy, Pathology, ... etc.
    and in clinical years we'll study : pediatrics, surgery, ... etc.
    This is to put you in the picture...
    Our school recommends alot of textbooks to study from each course, as other medical schools do.
    Then it is my turn to regulate my studying time and the way of studying, the problem which I suffer from is this massive quantities of curriculum I gotta study, and sometimes I can't finish it all before taking the exam, and if I did I can't answer all the questions, so I guessed that I study in the wrong manner, so I asked you to help me, just wanna know how do you deal with this during your studying ??
    plz tell me do you review board questions, study from the textbooks before taking the exam " I mean the night before the exam"..

    Thank you very much.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2008
  12. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004

    This is not the same as the American system. After college, we have 4 years of med school here. Two basic science and then two clinical years. And the basic science courses are frequently not in the order you describe. As mentioned above, most of us don't use textbooks as our primary resource, because our faculty has put together massive note-sets/syllabi and lecture notes from which we study. Everything else is a secondary resource. So most of us won't be studying from the textbook for exams, we will be studying the syllabus/course notes. Because that is what our faculty consider important and so that is where the test questions are generally going to come from. And most of us do most of the board review questions before the boards, not to study for tests during the year. Sometimes they can be helpful to start on during the year, but as a primary study tool for med school tests, not so much, in my opinion.

    I'm not sure you answered Hayden's question. At some US med schools they teach you the normal physiology in the first year, and the pathophysiology the next. So you see normal first and move on to diseased the next year. Additionally, many US schools cover each of these courses system by system where you mix in the physiology, pharmacology, pathology of, say, the respiratory system, as opposed to having separate courses for pharmacology in which you cover all organ systems. So it's all integrated, rather than free standing pathology, pharmacology etc courses. Sounds like you have the latter, which again is different than a lot of US schools are doing these days.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2008
  13. Ya, It doesn't seem the same, but now you know my medical school style, as I described earlier.
    I'll be grateful, if you sent me a model of your syllabi notes about any subject, just to compare to with my curriculum.

    In fact, yes, first we study the physiological state then the pathological state.
    But this doesn't mean that during the course we know nothing about any disease, the clinical correlations in "Snell's textbook" had been studied, as well as in physiology. For example " Respiration"...(Guyton textbook), there are alot of diseases related with this topic, and we studied it.
    but regarding " Histology & Pathology", we studied Histology during the second year, and we'll study Pathology during the next year "3rd level".
    And as I mentioned above, the 1st 3 years are basic science then the 2nd 3 years are clinical.

    Thank you .
  14. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Unfortunately no can do. They are copyrighted and proprietary. It is both illegal and violation of the school's honor code to circulate them to others.
  15. Oh, I understand.
    Thank you all for your discussion.:)
  16. HEADintheCLOUDS

    HEADintheCLOUDS Banned

    Feb 24, 2008
    He said a "model" not the exact ones you have. Reminds me in undergrad when I asked to see a girls notes and she acted like it was cheating if she let me see them. needless to say she was a poindexter..I mean loosen up.
  17. Hayden2102

    Hayden2102 Down Under 7+ Year Member

    Nov 21, 2006
    Tasmania, Australia
    Well how can Law2Doc provide a "model" without violating copyright?
  18. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Yeah, I'd need a lot of spare time to recreate a several hundred page syllabus from my own resources so he could see a model that didn't violate copyright. People who "loosen up" along these lines end up facing legal action or expulsion. Not worth it to me.
  19. ZagDoc

    ZagDoc Ears, Noses, and Throats 10+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    Here's a picture of my syllabus, not displaying any copyright information. It's a good example of how "thorough" our syllabi are, which is hard to describe to people sometimes:


    God I was such a first year...
  20. Thank you guys for supporting, but " Law2Doc " didn't commit a crime when he apologized that he can't give me a model .
    It's ok.
    And you " ZagDoc " ;
    (Back and Upper limb)>>> really big syllabus, it's about 1/3 snell's textbook :D.

    Thank you all.
  21. vtucci

    vtucci Attending in Emergency Medicine Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 6, 2003
    I would recommend the following sources for helping you synthesize information. All textbooks and review guides can be found on or other online booksellers.

    Pathology- Robbins is a good text but very dense. Golijan is where the $ is at for review book. Also, Robbins Review of Path is excellent.

    Microbiology- many students like Clinical Micro made ridiculously easy. I personally preferred Micro Recall, High Yield Immunology, Micro Dejareview.

    Neuroanatomy- text: Blumenfeld through clinical cases, High Yield Neuroanatomy.

    Pharm- Lippincott's.

    Also, PM me with your e-mail. I have some references that I and other students made, I can send them to you.
  22. Thank you for your explanation, and I've sent you a private message with my e-mail address.
  23. SQUmedic

    SQUmedic 2+ Year Member

    Oct 27, 2007
    Sultanate of Oman
    Well, Abood I understand your curiousity of comparing ur curriculum with the American medschools' curriculum.. My med school follows phases, basic sciences, organ systems which is integrated physiology, anatomy, pharmacology etc.. this takes up 4 years together and then 3 years of clinical studies and we r done with an MD after 7 years. I have the same problem, all the books that we use are the ones which are used in the American curriculum so I get lost when it comes to exams. Whether to prepare from the Qbanks available for the American system or to just stick to the local resources etc. And to be honest, it totally depends on ur professors. So try to exaust most of the resources. Esp. when it comes to exams, buy the pretest series, kaplan qbank, firstaid Q&A and etc. Buy the review series as well..they r very helpful.
    And practise lots and lots of questions from these sources as well as your pastpapers.

    Knowledge never goes for waste..even if u learn somethign out of the above mentioned books which is not taught in ur medschool..its not a waste of time..its worth it !
  24. Remember that basic science textbooks (like Snell's) are just references.

    The entire syllabus for any given class is meant to be learned. All of that material is fair game.
  25. What a helpful post. :)
    Thanks " SQUmedic " for ur reply, It's very kind of u .
    And you are right, I'm not regret I studied any info, coz its worth it.
    And I'll follow my course director resources to study from .
    Thank you.
  26. Yes, I know . :(
    But do u know what is the problem ??
    I'm studying " Anatomy " from snell's textbook, also the night before the exam, and this is really hard on me.
    I can't finish studying it for the exam .
  27. Are you trying to cram all of anatomy in one evening? :eek:

    That's not going to work...were you keeping up with the material throughout the course of the class?
  28. Yes I had to, :( what can I do else ???

    Ya, sure I'm keeping up but the problem is studying the whole curriculum for the exam, that's it.

  29. ZagDoc

    ZagDoc Ears, Noses, and Throats 10+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    Start 2 or 3 days earlier. It's possible to start reviewing even when you are still being presented new material. Just takes a little more caffeine and a little more discipline.
  30. Hope you did well on your exam! I don't envy your situation. :(
  31. Actaully I do.
    But it isn't enough.
    Any way thank you for your concerning . :)
  32. Thank you for your feelings, and don't worry about my exams, I study well. ;)

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