Textbooks and Lectures

Discussion in 'Podiatry Students' started by sachiejones, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. sachiejones

    sachiejones ACFAS Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Podiatry Student
    How useful and important do you guys find textbooks for your classes? Conversely, what do you think of attending lectures as opposed to doing self-learning by skipping lectures through either textbooks or outside sources? I understand alot of self learning is involved in being successful and knowledgable, however, do you find attending lectures as a waste of "precious" study time?
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Feli

    Feli ACFAS Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,986
    Likes Received:
    15
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    A lot might depend on what has gotten you this far. You probably know what works for you by now...

    My best advice would be to talk to (successful) upperclassmen at your school. They can tell you which profs test from the book, which test from PowerPoints, which test from hints they give in lecture, etc.

    As far as lecture attendance, again, ask people who did well in the course. Some teachers give many hints as to what will be emphasized on exams to reward students who attend. Other teachers are not very effective or interesting lecturers and test straight from their PowerPoints anyways, so it may be low yield to attend the lectures. It is important to weigh the quality/understandability (if that's a word :D) of the textbook against how effective and intelligent the lecturer is. It's unfortunate, but some teachers are just up there going through the motions while other profs are excellent and can make the subject seem interesting, understandable, and applicable.

    Personally, I attend as many lectures as I can simply for personal enrichment. That might sound dumb, but I like to ask questions, and why pay so much tuition money for the teacher's expertise in the subject and then not utilize that in your learning? Also, being in lecture will generally keep you on pace in the course; it's much easier to fall dangerously behind on the reading and material for a class if you skip its lectures.

    Most of all, keep in mind a sense of professionalism and the relationships you are creating. Most professors realize that a significant number of students will skip classes when a big exam is looming in another class, but, for the most part, the professors have to be there and expect good students to do the same. How likely do you think a professor is to write you a strong recommendation letter for a clerkship/residency if they couldn't even pick you out of a lineup because you only showed up on test days lol?
     
  4. krabmas

    krabmas Senior Member
    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    2,167
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    This depends on how you learn.

    I like to hear and see things to learn them so going to lecture helps me even if it is one of the boring profs.

    Feli is right, if you do not go to lecture regularly you will not know what is going on and it is very easy to fall behind.

    Feli is also right about the professionalism and getting recommendations.

    If you go to lecture and take notes then review your notes that night or the next day it is much easier to learn the material. Some classes no matter what you'll just have to read the book, but going to lecture cannot hurt. The whole waste of time thing and better spent reading? I don't think I can agree with this. I think the people that say this have not learned who to effectively take notes and study their notes with the textbook as a suppliment.

    Yes it is important to be able to teach yourself but this is more for expanding your knowledge not learning the basics (IMO).

    And Feli, I have to disagree. We know that some people that got into pod school will not make it thru because they clearly have not learned what has gotten them "this far". If you are one of the students with lower acceptance stats (for what ever reason) you will have to step up the game and really figure out how you learn and work very hard to not fail out and do well.
     
  5. densmore22

    densmore22 Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    See, I disagree. But I agree totally with the assessment that it totally depends on the type of person you are and how you learn. If you're self motivated, then not going to lecture shouldn't be a problem. If you need some motivation, then skipping lecture will probably hinder your learning. It depends on the school too I think. Some schools record their lectures, others don't. Actually, I would be interested to hear what schools record their lectures and which ones do not? For the record, DMU does.
     
  6. krabmas

    krabmas Senior Member
    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    2,167
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    NYCPM records its lectures as well.
     
  7. Feli

    Feli ACFAS Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,986
    Likes Received:
    15
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    With all due respect, you are still yet to complete your first year. You will probably realize near the end of your didactic pod education that the vast majority of the people not in lecture are the people who make poor marks and are scrambling around a few days before exam week to ask, "what chapters are on the test?" and "can I copy your notes?" because they have fallen behind. There are always exceptions to the rule, but I think that holds up pretty well as a generalization. I think you will see a marked correlation between the students who regularly attend lecture and the students who are still around in the program a year from now.

    In my personal experience, the didactic part of a pod education is more about dedication than simply motivation/inspiration. Most decent students come out of the gate strong and get good grades in the first semester, but initial motivation/inspiration will likely begin to fail some time in the second semester or second year as the program picks up intensity. That is where dedication and mental fortitude come into play. Keeping pace by being in lecture is a great way to ensure that you are up to speed. I think that missed lectures can quickly turn into missed exam hints and piles of unread notes or lecture audio files which the student may never "get around to" listening to. Even if you listen to the lectures later on, can you ask the teacher a question or see the radiograph/path specimen/physio flow chart, etc that he is describing while listening? Also, what would you do if the AV guy didn't record the critical day you missed or the mp3/tape got damaged?

    You will have to be on time and in clinic during the latter half of pod school, so why not practice meeting at scheduled times and gaining faculty respect during the didactic portion of the education also? I guess different strategies work for different students, but I'd stand by my statement that the vast majority of students will stay on pace better and gain faculty respect by attending the course lectures. Lab attendance also goes without saying; highly visual and hands-on material simply has to be experienced first hand.

    Barry records almost all lectures on mp3 and makes them available as a helpful review. I sometimes review the audio from lectures if I didn't take good notes, I missed a session, or the subject matter is particularly difficult. However, it's extremely hard to follow the PowerPoint pace while simply listening, though - especially in highly visual subjects (derm, radio, path, etc). The university policy is that attendance is mandatory (although this is seldom enforced). Many professors do not take regular attendance, but some do it simply as a recourse against failing students claiming that the exams were unfair. A student who fell grossly behind and failed will have little ground to stand on if the professor can show that they attended less than half of the lectures, labs, etc. Random extra credit or non-extra credit quizzes may also be given in some courses if stated in the course syllabus.
     
  8. funfeet

    funfeet Member
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Podiatry Student
    This is just from my undergrad, but my campus is going "global" (online). So one of my classes is offered online recordings if you dont want to go to the 8am lecture. Unless people are VERY disciplined, you will fall behind. I consider myself pretty disciplined, but I fall behind all the time and end up wasting my Saturdays watching chemistry lectures that I missed that week. I started going to class because I missed my Saturdays.
     

Share This Page