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Summer Before Medical School

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trevagandalf

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So, I was going to retake my MCATs this summer, but just found out that I got in through a waitlist. Now, I'm stuck at home with no plans for the summer. I was thinking of taking an easy online medical terminology course to prepare for medical school, but people keep telling me not to study before Medical School. I really don't know what to do and I'm just bored to death... Any suggestions?
 

EvoDevo

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1. It's MCAT, not MCATs. How can there be a plural of a single thing?

2. Dude. I know that you're motivated and alll, but please, for your own sake, take some time off. If you're truly that bored, pick up a hobby. Spend some time reading all those books you've never had time for. Go out a lot and date some more, etc. While not the end of everything, you'll have much less time for all of those things once school begins.

3. Congratulations!
 

OrnotMajestic

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So, I was going to retake my MCATs this summer, but just found out that I got in through a waitlist. Now, I'm stuck at home with no plans for the summer. I was thinking of taking an easy online medical terminology course to prepare for medical school, but people keep telling me not to study before Medical School. I really don't know what to do and I'm just bored to death... Any suggestions?

ANYTHING but studying. Sit around and be bored if you have to, but for the love of everything holy, DON'T PRE-STUDY.

Since I have no idea where you live, I can't really suggest anything for you to do. I'm sure, even without pre-planning, you can at least find something to do with your friends? Read a book? Play Xbox? Ride a bike? Funnel beers?
 

jonb12997

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Drink. A lot. and Congrats

or you could play what this persons username says... too cheap to buy a xbox and the guitar? do what I do for a study break, and go play at best buy till the high school kid working in the section starts giving you wierd looks... :D
 

trevagandalf

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lol. I'm actually a girl... I am not really a fan of video games... But can't wait till Harry Potter 7 comes out!
 

braluk

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Anything but studying. Im finishing up my graduate program with a thesis here over the summer (ends a few days right before medical school starts) and for the love of God, I wish I had the summer to be bored. What's the point of eating at a buffet (note the symbolism) if you're going to snack beforehand. :)
Congrats and enjoy your summer!
 

8o8o8o8

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savor the boredom, go out every night, sleep
 

Law2Doc

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lol. I'm actually a girl... I am not really a fan of video games... But can't wait till Harry Potter 7 comes out!

Then read that and any other non-course-related book you find interesting, preferably on a beach while sipping mai-tais. You will not have the time or inclination for all that much pleasure reading once school starts (and even when you do have the time, you are going to feel guilty for not reading something course related). So enjoy what little uncorrupted liesure time you have left.
 

Doctor Bagel

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Nah, forget all the enjoying your summer advice. Sure, if you want to average, that's OK, but if you want to be truly great, you must master anatomy and biochem this summer!! Read Moore, stare at Netter's for hours, start memorizing those biochem pathways with all those fun intermediates. OK, j/k :D

I'm with you on the being bored thing. I thought I'd want to slack this summer and consequently signed up for that, but yeah, it's boring. I imagine it's especially bad if you're living at home with your parents and not around your college friends. My thoughts for my summer are to go on a few road trips, maybe take a yoga class, read some books and waste lots of time online (I'd like to avoid that latter, but I don't see it happening). Now if only it weren't so hot! :(
 

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In the same boat, kind of. I just quit early to have the summer free. My plan...spending about half the time on a lake. Drinking, getting sun burned, sleeping. Repeating this every day for a month or so. Then, since I got a house by the school maybe some small house projects to spruce up the place.

Guitar Hero, even though you aren't a big game fan. Always classic!
 

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Congrats! Now go party and have a great time. Pre-studying is useless and will just wear you out. Take up a hobby, learn a language, travel, do anything unrelated to medicine that interests you. That way you'll be refreshed and ready to start school in the fall.
 

erin682

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lol. I'm actually a girl... I am not really a fan of video games... But can't wait till Harry Potter 7 comes out!


Too bad that'll only take a day, or 2 at most. But you could re-read the 1st six prior to 7/21 :D
 
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MonkeyNuts!

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lol. I'm actually a girl... I am not really a fan of video games... But can't wait till Harry Potter 7 comes out!

WTF!?!?!? YOU'rE A GIRL!??!?!

All this time I thought u were a guy
 

bivwack

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your got in, congrats! you have plenty of studying ahead of you, dont waste the little free time you have left w/ anything remotely academic related.

i spent the summer before medschool killing as many brain cells as i could, had to thin the flock, you know survival of the fittest. If that sounds good to you her are some simple guidelines:
have fun- lots of partying....don't get arrested.:hardy:
do lots of drinking.....don't get a DWI:barf:
try new things /experiment....don't OD:banana:
 

trevagandalf

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thanks everyone. I guess I should just relax....

LOL ER, what made you think that I was a guy?
 

Yehosh

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lol. I'm actually a girl... I am not really a fan of video games... But can't wait till Harry Potter 7 comes out!


YEAH!!! I can't wait for HP7

I remember when HP6 came out, I was in the midst of studying for my MCAT, I was behind on everything and I didn't know what to do since I knew it would be a huge distraction. So I bought it and read it in one sitting to get it "out of the way". Now I can enjoy HP7 without a rush.
 

scholj

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lol. I'm actually a girl... I am not really a fan of video games... But can't wait till Harry Potter 7 comes out!

I'm so excited for it! I'm re-reading all of the books. I'll be starting in August, and so far, my summer has included reading lots of Harry Potter, exploring Burlington, some climbing, and raising a husky puppy. Oh, and learning to cook. I'm taking the summer off! I think you should do the same :)

And congrats!
 

ICCONFETTI

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look for a place to live!
Congrats on getting in off of waitlist. What a relief :)
 

ubcredfox

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Random hookups. Round home a few times.

That's what I do :p
 
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trevagandalf

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Lol.. Thanks for all the advice.. I'm starting to plan a trip... maybe this will all work out after all!
 

happysquirrel

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I'm an MS0 as well and I've been spending the summer doing the following:
1.) spending time with the bf, since we won't see each other for long periods of time.

2.) hanging out with friends that I won't see for awhile

3.) picking up new hobbies like knitting and jewelry-making

4.) reading as much as I can

5.) planning on spending more time on the beach

Just relax and enjoy yourself!
 

braluk

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Dont forget Harry Potter final book is about to be released too :D
 

degoo_

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Working fulltime the entire summer at a hospital affiliated with your medical school with no vacation while reading some IM books and anat books in the evening is the way to go.
 

dannylee718

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hell yeah~ HP dude ::hint of sarcasm::

:smuggrin:
 

kydoc

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I know this is an old thread, but I'll be starting med school in August and wanted to know if anyone else had any suggestion on what I could do to prepare. I will be doing research this summer, but will still have a good amount of free time. I do plan on doing a lot of relaxing but still wanted to do something productive besides research.

Is there anything anyone particularly struggled with first year and thought some background would have helped?
 

JP2740

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I know this is an old thread, but I'll be starting med school in August and wanted to know if anyone else had any suggestion on what I could do to prepare. I will be doing research this summer, but will still have a good amount of free time. I do plan on doing a lot of relaxing but still wanted to do something productive besides research.

Is there anything anyone particularly struggled with first year and thought some background would have helped?

It would be preferable to stare at a white wall everyday for 3 months than study before med school.
 

SteinUmStein

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Nopenopenopenopenope! RELAX! Please. For your future sanity, relax this summer. Do whatever it is that makes you happy. If you haven't figured that out yet, now would be the ideal time.
 

Marcus Brody

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The only way studying would be worthwhile is if you had already taken MS1 and knew what to study and how. Same with MS2 and the summer between years. One just has no clue how to approach the upcoming year unless he/she's already gone through it. So, it's not worth it, don't bother, just get hammered and enjoy life.
 

ManBroDude

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Would shadowing different specialists be overboard? You know, to have an early idea in case you wanted to start specialty-directed research?
 
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SteinUmStein

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Would shadowing different specialists be overboard? You know, to have an early idea in case you wanted to start specialty-directed research?

Shadowing is not a bad idea, just don't overdo it. Studying = terrible, terrible idea.
 

CaptainSSO

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I mean if you just love studying you could do it. But like a lot of of other people said you're not going to know the right things to study until you've been in med school awhile.

I guess you could get some BRS books.

And this is if you LIKE studying. If you don't like studying, or it's just a means to an end, than don't it. You'll do nothing but study every single day for the next two years.
 

CrimsonMirage

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This is the last vacation you'll have for a while. RELAX! :)
 

sirenomelia

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Some schools have pre-matriculation summer programs that are intended for non-trads or students with non-science backgrounds to get them up to speed and to get acclimated to the pace and climate of med school and also makes you a few early friends and connections/ ins for opportunities to work in a lab or other activity once things start formally in the fall.
 

ucladoc2b

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Some schools have pre-matriculation summer programs that are intended for non-trads or students with non-science backgrounds to get them up to speed and to get acclimated to the pace and climate of med school and also makes you a few early friends and connections/ ins for opportunities to work in a lab or other activity once things start formally in the fall.

While common belief seems to dictate that med school will give you everything you need to do well, I am not sure if this is really the case.

How much prior preparation you need depends on the curriculum you are attempting and your background...

If you are a non trad or have a weaker background in science (non science major with only prereqs), you might want to do some self study. Some curricula, particularly the integrated ones, have a kind of odd way of instilling the background knowledge required to do well. Some schools build your background better than others.

For example, some schools will integrate biochem into the systems. However, if you have no background in biochem, you might have a tough time understanding certain topics as they are presented or have any idea why they are important. Hence, you may miss out on some pretty key points and understanding. A solid backgorund will be the difference between understanding the material and knowing why it is important vs. struggling while memorizing a bunch of seemingly unrelated lists. This is really a school specific issue. If you have some contacts at the school you matriculate at, it might be a good idea to ask them.

Traditional curricula and "hybrid" systems-traditional curricula may have fewer problems this way.

Some of the summer courses are useful and well taught. However, they may just delay your struggle a bit (depending on what they cover).
 

kydoc

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Thank for all the responses. Keep em' coming.

The med school I'll be attending has an integrated systems based curriculum, and our first phase will be Cell and Metabolism. I was thinking if I get a head start on the reading (I've already bought the books), it'll make the first few weeks/months a little less overwhelming and make the transition from undergrad to med school a little easier.
 

Nomdeplume

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Lol.. Thanks for all the advice.. I'm starting to plan a trip... maybe this will all work out after all!

I plan on spending time with my family and girlfriend, visiting friends who live in other places, and maybe seeing a museum or two. This will probably be our last bit of "true freedom" from the profession, so enjoy it!
 

SteinUmStein

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Thank for all the responses. Keep em' coming.

The med school I'll be attending has an integrated systems based curriculum, and our first phase will be Cell and Metabolism. I was thinking if I get a head start on the reading (I've already bought the books), it'll make the first few weeks/months a little less overwhelming and make the transition from undergrad to med school a little easier.

Nope. There is no head start. You could study all summer 8 hrs per day and I don't think it would make much of a difference. You'd just look back a few months after starting and realize you wasted your last truly free summer.
 

Cinclus

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I'm not even going to attempt to study med school stuff before school starts. I graduated in December, and I have been brushing up on Spanish, sleeping like I haven't slept in years (it's wonderful, really), reading books I've been meaning to read for a long time, catching up on new music, planning a hiking trip to New Mexico (I'm going in a little over a week!), spending time with buddies before I move and get busier-than-heck, and developing an exercise schedule I think I'll be able to stick to, even when busy.
 

CaptainSSO

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Nope. There is no head start. You could study all summer 8 hrs per day and I don't think it would make much of a difference. You'd just look back a few months after starting and realize you wasted your last truly free summer.

I don't think this is true. I don't go to class or watch recorded lectures, so medical shool for me is 100% self-study.

You could learn a lot if you studied every day all summer--now, it might be a waste in the sense that during med school you'll learn all it again so well that it wasn't necessary. But you could still learn a lot in the summer.

I mean, I took physiology in undergrad (also just self-studying) and essentially my entire med school physio course is just review.
 

SteinUmStein

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I don't think this is true. I don't go to class or watch recorded lectures, so medical shool for me is 100% self-study.

You could learn a lot if you studied every day all summer--now, it might be a waste in the sense that during med school you'll learn all it again so well that it wasn't necessary. But you could still learn a lot in the summer.

I mean, I took physiology in undergrad (also just self-studying) and essentially my entire med school physio course is just review.

I'm not saying you can't learn on your own before you start (you certainly can, most of my learning has been on my own), I'm saying it's a waste of your time. M1 year isn't even high-yield in the long run anyway, and you're going to learn the concepts during the school year just fine.
 

Morsetlis

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I think a few of my classmates could have done a bit more studying before school started, but you guys are geniuses, so enjoy your summers ;p
 

kydoc

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I don't think this is true. I don't go to class or watch recorded lectures, so medical shool for me is 100% self-study.

I mean, I took physiology in undergrad (also just self-studying) and essentially my entire med school physio course is just review.

That's what I was thinking. Studying a couple hours a day wouldn't be too stressful during the summer. I think anyone starting in August would benefit from it. This might sound kind of nerdy but hey, no one is forcing us to go to medical school, so we should enjoy learning about this stuff.....in small quantities at least.
 

JackShephard MD

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I don't think this is true. I don't go to class or watch recorded lectures, so medical shool for me is 100% self-study.

You could learn a lot if you studied every day all summer--now, it might be a waste in the sense that during med school you'll learn all it again so well that it wasn't necessary. But you could still learn a lot in the summer.

I mean, I took physiology in undergrad (also just self-studying) and essentially my entire med school physio course is just review.

I think the reason people are against it:

- it's not very beneficial (you need to know stuff really well each test week, think of how well you know stuff you studied 6 months ago)
- your efficiency is better in medical school (enviornment + pressure)
- textbooks are typically overkill yet review books don't flesh things out well (so what source do you use?)

Overall, knowing what I know now, I could have pre-studied effectively, but it wouldn't have changed my grades on anything or given me any real advantage. A similar circumstance is Step 1. Some begin studying for step 1 a year out and others 2 months out. Often times, that final intense 2-6 weeks are what make your score, so your knowledge level at the bottom of that intense hill or mountain isn't as important as the final push to the peak.


That's what I was thinking. Studying a couple hours a day wouldn't be too stressful during the summer. I think anyone starting in August would benefit from it. This might sound kind of nerdy but hey, no one is forcing us to go to medical school, so we should enjoy learning about this stuff.....in small quantities at least.

I'm 100% for studying for interest. I would say I'm against studying to improve grades or your chances in a course.
 

calvnandhobbs68

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Study like this

party-fails-after-conan-drinks-like-a-man.jpg
 

SteinUmStein

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I'm 100% for studying for interest. I would say I'm against studying to improve grades or your chances in a course.

Absolutely this. If you are interested in a topic, check it out! For some reason I was really interested in sleep physiology before med school so I read The Promise of Sleep by William C Dement. It didn't help me at all in med school, but it was a nice easy summer read on an interesting medical topic.

I would recommend anything by Atul Gawande if you haven't read his stuff yet, super interesting and relevant topics. Again, not going to give you a leg up, but it keeps your brain active and gives you some background on lots of really important issues for future physicians.
 

tryp

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I just vegetated and rested up, honestly. You'll be working flat out once you get there, so you should stock up on all the relaxation you can and really savour the freedom.

I did some light psychiatry-related reading because that's my interest but apart from that I just ate and slept and hung out with those near and dear to me.
 
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