Toughest/Most time-consuming 1st year course?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by DarkenR, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. DarkenR

    DarkenR Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2001
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Recently accepted...just curious as to what some of you guys think is the most time-consuming and/or toughest course for first year of med school. (I know alot of schools are diff. and people have diff. strengths/weaknesses, but just looking for some idea).
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Sheon

    Sheon Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 1999
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    2
    Embryology.

    Conceptually difficult to visualize, seldom well explained, and clinically rather important to anatomical structure and function. Time consuming and low yeild. If it were a seperate course here it would be a nightmare.
     
  4. Becket

    Becket Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2000
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Anatomy, simply because of the sheer amount of material and how unfamiliar most of it is. The previous poster is correct, however, that embryology can be a very demanding and confusing course, depending on how much emphasis your school puts on it and what you're expected to learn. Luckily, we only had to really worry about the "big picture" and not a lot of the little details which would have made it a nightmare.
     
  5. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2001
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    1
    Congrats on the acceptance! I second the vote for anatomy. Can't comment on embryology, as we have that later (integrated into another block).
     
  6. How does biochem compare with anatomy?
     
  7. Fah-Q

    Fah-Q Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2001
    Messages:
    504
    Likes Received:
    15
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    At my school its got to be neuroscience. They go into painful detail and include information that is useless to a clinician. It is a course taught by PhD's, for PhD's. There is a lot of clinically relevant material in neuro but they don't emphasize it or test it. I actually came out of the course knowing less about the brain and nervous sytem than before the class. That's what needless detail can do to you...you completely lose sight of the big concepts. Also, we have more lecture time in that class than we do for micro, biochem, gross, or physiology. Can you believe that? Talk about misappropriation of time and effort.
     
  8. doepug

    doepug Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2001
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gotta second the vote for neuroscience. Ugh. Developmental biology wasn't much fun, but at least it was short (2 wks). Neuro was definitely toughest.
     
  9. guardian

    guardian Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    0
    So far I'm not too sure. At this point, I second for embryology. I'm glad that it was a component of anatomy at my school and not its own course. But I still have yet to take neuroscience or histology.
     
  10. we had a brief embryology unit crammed into the last part of our Cell and Tissue Bio course and I agree it was rough, especially with such a short amount of time. Tufts doesn't have anatomy until second semester; does anyone have any good tips for handling the course (other than "study a lot" or "it's hard")? I will be taking it concurrently with Histology and Physiology starting Jan. 2.
     
  11. james72681

    james72681 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2001
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Anatomy was by far the most time-consuming class for me. To maximize efficiency while studying it, 1. go through the material at least once before going to class...only then will going to class be worth it.
    2. Look at pictures concurrently while studying. Netter's and Rohen's are very good atlases, and although Moore's Clinically Oriented Anatomy is the textbook used by most schools, I found Chung's Board Review Series to be consice and clinically relevant.
    3. Repetition is key. No matter how smart you are, you can't cram for anatomy, just because of the sheer volume of information. Read read and read again.
     
  12. doctor7

    doctor7 Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2001
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've got to throw one in for Pharmacology...staring at enless lists of drugs that all sound the same. At least Anatomy refers to some you've seen or touched.
     
  13. mvalento

    mvalento Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2000
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    ANATOMY! this semester, anatomy consumed probably 75% of my study time. biochem's a distant second at 15%, embryology 10%. it didn't help that i found anatomy to be the most mind-numbingly boring subject i had ever experienced...even made embryo seem really interesting (and it is, to some extent). anatomy's over, though!!

    bud
     
  14. Yet Another MS-I

    Yet Another MS-I Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2001
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would agree that anatomy was the most work, however, physiology is requiring way more work than I first thought it would. I also agree that anatomy was very boring. The best part was digging around in my cadaver to find parts and pieces.
     
  15. whodamonkeyman?

    whodamonkeyman? Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2001
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    mvalento, how many hours would you say that you studied anatomy in a week? Was this the norm at your school or did most people study more or less? and why is it so boring... i always thought anatomy would be the most interesting subject.
     
  16. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  17. guardian

    guardian Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  18. SimulD

    SimulD Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Messages:
    1,622
    Likes Received:
    3
    I guess I'm one of the few that liked anatomy ... not lab as much, but the clinical correlates of structure and dysfunction were pretty cool. Plus, it was so beautiful sometimes ... not sure how to explain, maybe you'll see the beauty of it when you study it.

    I thought histology was very hard, because the slides all looked the same to me until just a day or so before the test. Then stuff would come together. And histology is hard because there is no clinical correlates to make you say ... "Aaah, that's why we learn this."

    Embryo is just not well done at my school. They try, but it just isn't that interesting, and everyone just starts studying just a day or two before the exams.

    All the stuff first semester is difficult because of breadth and depth, not because the concepts are difficult to understand. It is just a whole lot of facts that you have to know. The hardest thing for me in anatomy was autonomics, but that wasn't even that hard compared to some stuff I've had in undergrad.

    And, if like Bud, you don't like a certain subject, it will be sheer misery. But, the pain subsides rather quickly, and you'll be on to other stuff soon enough.

    Simul

    p.s. I think Moore is a great book for anatomy, if just for the blue boxes and the great charts. Use Netter and Rohen for the majority of your studying. Good luck!
     
  19. cpw

    cpw It's a boy !!!
    Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    13,393
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Optometrist
    I have to second the Rohen recommendation. I wouldn't have made it through Gross without it.
     
  20. BeeGee

    BeeGee Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gross Anatomy by FAR!!! Lectures were looooong, but the dissections took loooonger. Sometimes, my group would be in lab up into the night...not to mention weekends. It wouldn't have been so bad had I not had Biochemistry, Physiology, and other minor courses to study for concurrently. Congratulations on your acceptance. I used Moore's Anatomy as a primary text (many others exist that are equal or better). You'll need an atlas also: I recommend Netter's Atlas of Human Anatomy. Although there are more current and glossy atlases out there, Frank Netter does a great job drawing normal and common variations in human anatomy. If things get toooo hectic and you can't read the entire Moore's chapters before your test blocks (believe me, it happens from time to time), I had Chung's Gross Anatomy (BRS) to get me through the tough spots or provide a quick review before my block. I hope my responses have been helpful. Good luck and congrats again.
     
  21. vietcongs

    vietcongs Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2000
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    0
    Most boring: Histology. I had to force myself to study.

    Most time consuming: Anatomy. But I love it.
     
  22. DarkenR

    DarkenR Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2001
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Original Poster -

    Wow, thanks for all the feedback. You guys are great!

    I had a feeling anatomy would be up there, but had no idea about embryology or some of the others that were listed. Now I'll definitely be alert when tackling any of the first year courses.

    Thanks Again!!
     
  23. KeithKow

    KeithKow Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2000
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Histology (or Micro Anatomy, whatever) was the worst class i have ever taken in my life. i hated every minute of it. cells suck. slides all look the same. and my director was a complete dingus. hardest test i've had so far too. laughably hard, you know when of those test where you look at question/slide and laugh to yourself and say "you've got to be F'ing kidding me." you know its hard when on the practical they show you a slide and a question and the whole class just laughs at it because we had no clue. it was so hard that i didn't care that i might have gottn over half wrong because if anyone did better they have too much time on their hands. in conclusion, it was hard (did i get my point across?)
    Gross takes a whole lot of time and can be a headache, but i thought it was interesting so i didn't mind as much. as for books for that, get little moore over big moore (big moore has way too much unneeded information) and read chung over and over (and over) and you'll do fine. use that with netter and rohen atlases. with the rohen atlas (it has real pictures of dead people), you never have to go back to lab. after the midterm i rarely stayed in lab for more than 2 hours because i hated it and i had rohen...and i still did really well.
    as far as shear volume, biochem at my school was probably the most overwhelming so far just because we had so much stuff to learn in just 3 weeks. but it was semi-interesting. just way too much. hopefully most other schools spread it out more, then it probably isn't so bad.
    as for embryology, yeah that wasn't too fun either but hey it was only 2 credits, i was too busy with anatomy. it wasn't that bad because it doesn't really matter.
    but relax, you have to realize that you're still a human being while in med school and need some time off. go out, don't always think about studying. thats my advice. studying sucks, life is fun. so live it.
     
  24. puffy1

    puffy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2000
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I too disliked histology. I truly feel that it will not help me as a physician unless I become a pathologist (which I will not). Maybe it was because it was the third time of taking a histo course, but when I had anatomy to worry about, and then embryology to take care of, looking at slides gave me a big headache in the end.

    If I have any say at all, I would definitely make histo a post-medical school course.

    And one recommendation I would make is to rely heavily on old tests to give you direction on what and how to study for your tests. Strictly studying old tests won't guarantee that you'll pass, but it will give you an idea of what the faculty wants you to know and how they want you to know it.
     
  25. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 1999
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    0
    Most work/time consuming: anatomy
    Most boring: biochem
     
  26. solie

    solie Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2001
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    When studying for histology, did anyone use some of the on-line sites that are available, rather than stay in the lab with your microscope?? I HATE being hunched over a microscope, and would much rather look at the slides on-line. Just wondering if this would work as well??
     
  27. po' boy

    po' boy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2001
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    solie,

    it totally depends on how histo is tested at your school. at my school (columbia), they show slides during the written exam, and we have to answer the questions based on the projected slides.

    however, at the end of the semester we're given a histo "practical exam" where they set up 50 scopes in the lab, each set with the pointer on a different tissue/component, and we have to answer questions on a written exam based on the corresponding slide. we're given 90 seconds at each station, and then we rotate to the next station, just like an anatomy practical.

    so the point is, you can't just ignore the scope part and focus solely on the web slides, even if that's what we do for the non-practical histo exams (all of our slides are online; check 'em out at <a href="http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu:8000/sbpmd/histology/)." target="_blank">http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu:8000/sbpmd/histology/).</a> You'll have to see what format your school tests in before figuring out how to study.

    hope this helps-
     
  28. Medigirl

    Medigirl Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2001
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gross anatomy was the most time consuming class in my opinion, but also the most interesting. Histology was the most boring, as many others have noted.
     
  29. thanks everyone for your advice.. and the general consensus on Anatomy and Histology. Some days next semester we have 3 straight lectures in Histology in a row; don't know how I'm going to get through that without becoming comatose..
     

Share This Page