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Subscription to Medical Journals?

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Akay04

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Hi everyone,

Can anyone recommend a particular medical journal for a pre medical student? My mother has asked me what I want for christmas and I can't help but think about asking for learning tools that will actually benefit me in the future. Any other christmas gift suggestions (i.e., mcat resources, etc.) are welcome.

Thanks.
 

nellia

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new england journal of medicine, jama, science, nature, and the lancet are all pretty good ..

i am personally asking for sweaters because it is collllldddddd out !
 

EpiPEN

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FYI, if you join AMA once you become a med student, you get (i think) the NEJM for free (well.. technically you are paying for AMA membership, but it's pretty darn cheap compared to the alternative)

*Edit*
actually I think it might be JAMA
 

RySerr21

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dude dont waste a Xmas present on a medical journal! You can read most of them for free via pubmed....and the ones that aren't free you can probably locate via your college's library.

And don't ask for an MCAT review book either! Thats probably somethign your parents will buy you when the time comes anyway if you really cant afford to buy it.
 

Lukkie

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i cant believe this :laugh:
 

Quix

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Yeah, I wouldn't do this. Many of the journals will be above your level of understanding, many of them are dry and *extremely* specialized, and you could find many more fun things to do with the cost of subscription. Assuming you actually do end up in medicine, you'll be spending enough of your time and energy reading these things on your own. Additionally, much of this information will be obsolete by the time you start your clinical rotations.

Can I suggest you ask for a gift card instead and spend it on books like How Doctors Think, War Hospital, or Complications?
 

brucecanbeatyou

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Invest in a subscription to Time magazine or a mainstream news magazine. This will help you when it comes time to interview and write essays.

The above posters are right, you won't understand most of the above essays, and if you are dying to spend a few days doing the research on one specific article in a medical journal, then just do it for free through your university.
 

p30doc

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I signed up for the NEJM this past summer. There definitely is some interesting stuff in it, there is a lot packed into each weekly issue. Also the economist is a really good read.
 

therocketman

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shouldn't your college have access to these journal's anyways? through my school we go through pubmed, nejm, and science direct..more than enough. and trust me your parents will get you the mcat stuff anyways haha
 

lord_jeebus

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I think the New England Journal of Medicine is the best journal to read at any level of understanding of medicine.

Much better than JAMA - I didn't renew my AMA membership so they'd stop sending it, and changed addresses, but they tracked me down and it keeps coming. I used to try to read it, then later piled it in stacks in the bathroom - now it goes straight to the trash.
 

Snake Doctor

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Don't certain schools (if not all) subscribe to medical journals?
So can't you either read them online or go to the library on campus and read them???
 

LizzyM

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I agree that a subscription to The Economist is a great suggestion. It is a British news magazine and it does a great job of covering issues in the US and abroad.
 
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njbmd

Hi everyone,

Can anyone recommend a particular medical journal for a pre medical student? My mother has asked me what I want for christmas and I can't help but think about asking for learning tools that will actually benefit me in the future. Any other christmas gift suggestions (i.e., mcat resources, etc.) are welcome.

Thanks.


Most of what you can use and understand from The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA or any other medical journal can be obtained free of charge from your college library. A better choice would be something that can be of assistance to you at this point in your career. If you are an undergraduate, choose something that will help you get through your courses now. How about a compact computer or a digital camera that fits in your pocket. (My small digital camera has been the single most useful tool that I own for taking photos of my lab experiements as an undergrad and then pathology as a medical student/resident/attending). These would be infinitely more useful than a subscription to NEJM/JAMA etc. You could use these tools now and when you get into medical school. If you haven't taken the MCAT, you might put your emphasis there. If you don't score well on that very important test, JAMA or NEJM is going to be pretty useless.
 
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musicalmedicine

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Yeah, I wouldn't do this. Many of the journals will be above your level of understanding, many of them are dry and *extremely* specialized, and you could find many more fun things to do with the cost of subscription. Assuming you actually do end up in medicine, you'll be spending enough of your time and energy reading these things on your own. Additionally, much of this information will be obsolete by the time you start your clinical rotations.

Can I suggest you ask for a gift card instead and spend it on books like How Doctors Think, War Hospital, or Complications?
I second the How Doctor's Think idea! Its a great book.
 

searun

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Ask your mom for the new Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendar. It is tasteful and the bodies look better than those in the medical journals.
 

Lukkie

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Ask your mom to donate to SDN on your (and my) behalf
 

JackInTheBox

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Ask her to donate to the JackInTheBox Medical School Tuition Fund and help send poor students to medical school :D
 

Perrotfish

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The journal of the American Association (Academy?) of Family Physicians is probably your best best for something at your level, but you can also read it online for free and there has to be something better to ask for for your Christmas gift.
 

magikdoc

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ExamCrackers for verbal (MCAT)?

Kaplan/Princeton course?

New Suit?
 

silas2642

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Hi everyone,

Can anyone recommend a particular medical journal for a pre medical student? My mother has asked me what I want for christmas and I can't help but think about asking for learning tools that will actually benefit me in the future. Any other christmas gift suggestions (i.e., mcat resources, etc.) are welcome.

Thanks.

I would have asked her for a subscription for like a good soft-core porn magazine or something... seriously, a medical journal subscription? sigh.
 
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I would have asked her for a subscription for like a good soft-core porn magazine or something... seriously, a medical journal subscription? sigh.

Why soft core? It's all or nothing if you want to be a good doc.
 

NJDIF

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savant

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I would also like to recommend a book --

A Not Entirely Benign Procedure by Perri Klass.

It's about a med school student's perspective on her training, experiences, dilemmas, issues in medicine, etc as a collection of short essays. The quality of writing is outstanding imo and much more introspective than other books (i.e. it makes the writing interesting and entertaining and thoughtful).

How Doctors Think is also good, but the main topic of discussion is the types of cognitive errors doctors make in practice. Stories and examples are plentiful throughout the book, but I sort of feel like the writing is detached. The author discusses the medical cases, what the doctors did wrong (very detailedly), solutions, etc, but (maybe it's just me) it feels like reading a mildly entertaining textbook. Still, it's a very good book!
 
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dragonfly99

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US news or Time would better prepare you for medical school interviews.
JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine, and journal of the American Assoc. of Family Practice are interesting reads, but I wouldn't bother at least until you are in med school. Of those, the AAFP one is the most "readable" for a layperson.

I would invest in a good MCAT prep book or class...I don't know about now but way back when when I took it, I thought Princeton Review made the best stuff (I think the book was by Silverman?), and their class was awesome. Some folks prefer Kaplan or others, though.

I like the idea above about getting a good digital camera, or a laptop computer. You could also get a Netter's Atlas...it's a cool book with the anatomy pictures of parts of the body you would dissect in medical school...you don't really need it yet, though.
 

Nomdeplume

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I also suggest you ask for something more fun and conducive to relaxing for the holidays. Asking for a subscription to a medical journal is respectable, but you don't want to burn out and lose interest.

If you're intent on getting some more reading material though, I also suggest the New England Journal of Medicine, Science (especially if you're a science or engineering major, or really enjoy science in general), and The Economist (if you'd like to build up a working knowledge of current economic matters).

Edit: I was reminded after reading some of the above posts that I'd also like to endorse Maxim. I don't currently subscribe, but the issues are usually pretty packed with generally funny and interesting stories. Plus the photographer is rather skillful. :p
 

LizzyM

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The Economist (if you'd like to build up a working knowledge of current economic matters.)



The Economist is not about economics. It is a general interst publication focusing on current events, markets and finance (a major preoccupation these days), science and technology and popular culture (books, films, etc). It has a more serious tone that Time and covers more global stories than Newsweek. Reading it regularly may improve your MCAT verbal score as you become more familiar with "dense" prose.
 

Excelsius

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I think the New England Journal of Medicine is the best journal to read at any level of understanding of medicine.

Much better than JAMA - I didn't renew my AMA membership so they'd stop sending it, and changed addresses, but they tracked me down and it keeps coming. I used to try to read it, then later piled it in stacks in the bathroom - now it goes straight to the trash.

Why do you think NEJM is better than JAMA?

I disagree about the Nature comments. There are regular articles there, besides the research letters in the end. However, you have to keep reading these research letters to better understand concepts. My bio teacher at my CC honors class required all of us to read one letter a week and give a report. Guess what, after some time it became quite easy to understand these. And if you don't understand a term, look it up! So I don't think Nature is necessarily abstruse. But yeah, you can read it free at your college library.

If you are going to get a subscription, get the New Yorker. There is no other journal that has a higher level of sophistication in terms of grammar and vocabulary. This will be the single best thing you will do to improve your language skills (and the verbal section of the MCAT). There are a lot of students, med students, and even residents on SDN that seem to be unaware of the most rudimentary grammar laws. The Atlantic is another good one, but I like NYer better.
 

lord_jeebus

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I think NEJM stuff is higher impact, and there are great features like "images in clinical medicine," good review articles, and the ones where they walk through unusual cases.
 

Excelsius

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I think NEJM stuff is higher impact, and there are great features like "images in clinical medicine," good review articles, and the ones where they walk through unusual cases.

That's good to know. I used to read JAMA, but wasn't too thrilled with it, so I completely transitioned to Nature and Science. NEJM is worth a try. The unusual cases sound very interesting. I have often wondered when are they going to put all those Medical Mysteries from the Discovery channel in writing. This might be as close as it gets.
 

Timberwolf

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I subscribed to NEJM for a year. Tried to read the first few, the rest mostly went into the trash.
 

Quix

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The take-home message from these experiences is:

Technical journals aren't written for pre-meds and assume a level of specialization not present in the typical undergraduate student. Ergo, spend your money elsewhere until you have the requisite level of training, time, and focus.
 

McPoyle

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I feel like we should merge this thread with that one about what stethoscope to ask for for christmas....
 

health565656

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Hi everyone,

Can anyone recommend a particular medical journal for a pre medical student? My mother has asked me what I want for christmas and I can't help but think about asking for learning tools that will actually benefit me in the future. Any other christmas gift suggestions (i.e., mcat resources, etc.) are welcome.

Thanks.

Hello. I will provide some honest feedback.

There is nothing wrong with getting a personal subscription to a medical journal. However, the issue here isn't getting a subscription, but could the money being spent to get the subscription be put to use for other things that are important. If you come from a rich family, then ignore my next sentence. Why not ask for a new pair of pants, some nice ties, nice dress shirts, nice dress pants, and the like.

People are being ignorant in this thread. They are assuming that you have access to these journals just because you go to college. That is not the truth. Some small colleges don't even subscribe to any medical journals...yes, that is the truth. So people need to stop being so damn ignorant.

If you want access to these type of journals, locate the closest big university (I assume you go to a small school...otherwise you wouldn't be asking a question like this), save a PDF file, go home and read them.

I work professionally as a medical writer. I only have a B.S. degree in biology and I have trained myself to understand all of the terminology used in all fields of medicine. I make $5,000 a month doing this. I write on topics ranging from how botox works all the way to first trimester screening for Down syndrome, congenital defects, heart surgery, and so so so much more.

The NEJM is good, but if you really want to understand a topic, you can't just read A SINGLE ARTICLE ON THE TOPIC...you need to read several so you can understand what is not known, the contradictions between two different studies, and so much more.

My advice is to search PubMed for topics that you might find interesting or search the table of contents of major journals that you may find interesting and pick out the articles that you want. Read the abstrcts to see if you may find the article worth your time to read. I must warn you though, some introductions in the journal articles are so short that you may not get anything out of the article.

I have access to over 7,000 medical and science journals for my job.

If you want to understand the mechanisms of a molecule in a disease, you read the science journals, if you want to know what the latest treatment method is for urinary tract infection, you read medical journals. As a doctor, you will read the medical journals and not so much the science journals (you are free to if you want to be the most competent doctor you can be----but your time will be limited).

Once I get my masters degree I'm going to hire a student to help me with my writing career so I can do both careers.
 

wally47

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Hi everyone,

Can anyone recommend a particular medical journal for a pre medical student? My mother has asked me what I want for christmas and I can't help but think about asking for learning tools that will actually benefit me in the future. Any other christmas gift suggestions (i.e., mcat resources, etc.) are welcome.

Thanks.

No offense but you won't understand most of what is in them until after medical school so do waste your parents money. Buy a book(non medically related) so that you can be a normal person for the short time you have left. Learn some history or maybe try science fiction. Medical journals are killer boring and people who read them to actually gain knowledge from them don't read the whole journal anyway since they serve the save purpose as a textbook.
 

Nomdeplume

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The Economist is not about economics. It is a general interst publication focusing on current events, markets and finance (a major preoccupation these days), science and technology and popular culture (books, films, etc). It has a more serious tone that Time and covers more global stories than Newsweek. Reading it regularly may improve your MCAT verbal score as you become more familiar with "dense" prose.

I apologize. I was under the impression that it focused primarily on markets, finance, international business and trends pertaining to such matters. Thanks for the correction.
 

DrYoda

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shouldn't your college have access to these journal's anyways? through my school we go through pubmed, nejm, and science direct..more than enough. and trust me your parents will get you the mcat stuff anyways haha

This. You already pay for access to many journals with your tution. Buying a personal subscription would be a waste of $.
 
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