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Summer school before med school???

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by Aloha Kid, Mar 12, 2001.

  1. Aloha Kid

    Aloha Kid Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2001
    I have heard a lot of different opinions on what to do the summer before medical school begins. Some say take a break and enjoy it, while others say read the texts, get a hold of the notes, and take summer courses in Anatomy, Histology, and Embryology. Personally, I think summer school is a good idea to cushion the blow when the start of school rolls around. What are the rest of you doing???
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  3. bustinbooty

    bustinbooty Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 11, 2001
    Detroit, MI
    Just remember that medical careers require a lifetime of continuing education. You are going to be studying and learning for the rest of your life. Why not take three months off?
  4. lumbrical

    lumbrical Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2000
    AlohaKid & other future colleagues:

    I posted this last year about this time, and I thought it might be useful again...AlohaKid, check out #2 particularly.

    1) It's ok to be a little nervous about starting, but remember that you're entering a wonderful field, and many, many others before you have entered and completed med school successfully. You will too.

    2) DO NOT try to pre-study. Almost every current and former med student will tell you it's a COMPLETE WASTE OF THE LAST REAL FREE TIME you'll have for a while, so just have fun. It would take you a month on your own to cover what you'll cover in a few days once you start, and you won't learn it as well. It sounds crazy, but after a while it actually gets to be normal, sort of.

    3) In my opinion, you need a computer in med school, but you don't have to have a laptop. It may depend on the school, but you don't even have to have your own computer really; it's whatever saves you the most time. Either way, you still have to cover the same material, and that $2000 or so will be real nice to keep in your pocket once your income goes to nil and your expenses go WAY up @ school.

    4)What I wish I would have known: DO NOT BUY: a) most textbooks. You need a Netter and a dissector for Gross, Robbins for Pathology, and board review books for most of the rest. It's easy to spend a couple grand a year on textbooks that you don't have time to read. b) you may not need to buy the $600 or so in medical equipment they try to sell you the first month; you're not setting up your own clinic. *** NOTE: Your best bet here is to wait until you are at school and ask the 2d & 3d year students; also, you can usually find discounts once you're in school that aren't available to you before, so don't pre-buy.

    5) If you wanted to do something, pick up the phone or drop a polite note to a doctor near you who practices a kind of medicine you're interested in. Tell them you start med school in the fall, you're interested in what they do, and you'd like to observe their practice at their convenience. You might get turned down, but if you do this a few times you'll also get to see some cool stuff. They don't expect you to know anything, so you can just go in there with big eyes and learn whatever you can. I was surprised at the opportunities this got me once I was in that it was IMPOSSIBLE to get as a pre-med. They know you're not an idiot if you got in, I think, and you are maybe less desperate! :)

    6) Be excited! Don't believe pre-meds about ANYTHING relating to med school. They haven't a clue, just as I didn't. It's hard work, but it's also challenging, FUN, fascinating...You'll work hard, but you have time for the things that are important to you as well. You can have a family life, you can have hobbies, you just have to pick what's really important to you and focus on just that. You'll learn how much time you really wasted before...and believe me, it's a lot, I don't care how old you are! You're entering a pretty supportive profession; there's a great sense of professional concern for your progress and well-being, even from the docs and professors that smack you around sometimes. You are in the BEST place...all the joy that comes with knowing you've gotten through the cut, you've made the team, but without any of the work or responsibility yet. ENJOY IT; tell everyone you meet that you're going to be a doctor, because you are.

    Congratulations, and best wishes for next year.
  5. PV1



    I just wanted to say that what you posted was WONDERFUL [​IMG] I can't wait to start school in August. Right now, I'm lazier than I've been before. And its sooo much fun! Thanks for the vote of confidence and advice.

  6. Aloha Kid

    Aloha Kid Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2001
    Hey, thanks guys for all your responses. Lumbrical, it seems that really like the idea of shadowing physicians. Would you recommend this activity instead of summer classes?
  7. Hskermdic

    Hskermdic Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 17, 1998
    I won't pretend to know everything, or much of anything right now. But I do know this. The time I spend shadowing doctors the summer before medical school was the best decision I made. Not only did I learn a lot as far as working with patients and basic medical diseases but it was what reminded me during the first few basic science courses why I wanted to be a doctor.
    I agree with lumbrical, don't try to prestudy. It is a waste of your time. Relax and do something you enjoy and if you would enjoy shadowing a physician take some time to do that.

  8. joe_nycom

    joe_nycom New Member

    Feb 24, 2001
    If you know you want to go into something particularly competitive (ie. ENT or Urology), I would suggest doing some research. Get to know some people or try to publish something.

    PS I didnt do any of this, but for a while I was considering urology and I know research is essentially required.

    Have Fun!
  9. Aloha Kid

    Aloha Kid Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2001

    So are you saying it's never too early to get some connections going for clinicals and residencies?
  10. viperdoc

    viperdoc Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 10, 2001
    People who tell you to relax and enjoy are just trying to make you fat and lazy so they can beat you in med school

    start studying now and show them a lesson!!!!!!!!

    They are you compettition

  11. faeryprincess

    faeryprincess Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 25, 2000
    Boulder, CO USA
    i didn't know that medical school was one big competition. let's just learn to be the best docs we can be.........
  12. joe_nycom

    joe_nycom New Member

    Feb 24, 2001
    Its never to early to make connections. My point is that for very competetive specialities you will be "competing" against people with research and connections. I can tell you from my experience that the surgical subs look for research - I dont know how much of a chance an applicant will have without it.

    As far as studying in the summer before school, I wouldnt recommend it. I dont know if its worth your free time. Its your choice but I can assure you that after 6 months at school you'll wish you had that free time back.

  13. Neurogirl

    Neurogirl Resident Extraordinaire 10+ Year Member

    Sep 29, 2000
    To viperdoc,

    You'll be happy to learn that MOST folks are NOT gunners, not because they can't be, but because they choose not to be. I was never a gunner and did just fine...even got my first choice residency.

    Believe it or not, no amount of studying will put you THAT far ahead of the game. Your time is much better spent enjoying your last REAL freedom.


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