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Transitioning from hand writing strategies

StudentDoGter

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Hi, I’m an incoming MS1 and would like to know what strategies people used to transition to medical school. Previously, I’ve learned well by hand writing things, which I know is unrealistic in med school due to the sheer volume of information. For those of you who also learned well by handwriting, what did you do? Thank you!
 

jurassicpark

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Actually, no. It's definitely not unrealistic to do handwritten notes. At least personally I loved handwriting my notes, helped me learn better, I knew where I was jotting down my notes and in reference to what. In fact, I think one of my MCAT essays was about the ergonomics of paper compared to computers/tablets.

If it works for you, it works for you. During medical school, residency, and as an Attending everything I do is handwritten or dictated except orders (they haven't taken dictation away from me yet). I have an iPad purely for games and Kindle. My laptop during medical school was purely for gaming.
 
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CyrilFiggis

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All lectures at most school are recorded, so if you miss something during class, just rewatch that section to finish your notes.

Handwriting is fine as long as it’s purposeful and not just some stylistic thing you picked up from some BS med school influencer account.
 
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Ho0v-man

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Hi, I’m an incoming MS1 and would like to know what strategies people used to transition to medical school. Previously, I’ve learned well by hand writing things, which I know is unrealistic in med school due to the sheer volume of information. For those of you who also learned well by handwriting, what did you do? Thank you!
Hi. I was a hardcore hand writer, too. I did it for everything first semester and by winter break my hand looked like a gnarled wizards staff. So I loaded school materials into notability and blotted out the text in certain places and made sure to be able to regurgitate it prior to an assessment. So for example, notes would say “The mitochondria is powerhouse of the cell.” Block out the last part of that sentence and regurgitate it as you review. That and anki.
 
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StudentDoGter

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Thank you everyone for your feedback. I am fine with typing or handwriting notes during lectures, but I feel as if I retain information better by handwriting it when I study. I’m glad to know that it still works for some people, and I’m sure I’ll figure it out as I go.
 

TelemarketingEnigma

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Also a handwriter, it's definitely possible! I did give up on trying to take super detailed and comprehensive lecture notes (of any kind, typed lecture notes are useless to me). But I wrote down key details and phrases that felt important. When reviewing I found that writing abbreviated study guides by hand and/or drawing diagrams/charts on whiteboards helped me a lot, both through the process of handwriting the info and spatially organizing the information in a way I could later think back to. I'm a weirdo in that I disliked a lot of the common resources (sketchy, anki) and so used them sparingly/not at all, but I made it through preclinicals just fine this way (and hopefully step soon too!)
 
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JSD2

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Hi, I’m an incoming MS1 and would like to know what strategies people used to transition to medical school. Previously, I’ve learned well by hand writing things, which I know is unrealistic in med school due to the sheer volume of information. For those of you who also learned well by handwriting, what did you do? Thank you!
People handwrote med school notes for decades before the tech existed. I know current med students who still handwrite everything, if anything it's easier now because you can always backtrack during a video to catch what you missed. From what I understand, most people need to majorly change their study tactics when they start med school, so don't be surprised if you find that handwriting no longer works as well as it once did, but there is no reason that it can't.
 
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deleted965528

Also a hand writer, though exceptionally slow. During the start of undergrad I found myself too focused on writing notes that I missed a ton of what the lecturer said. I then decided to destroy a forest and print out slides and then annotate them during lecture, that way I still pay attention while writing down the important stuff. I found that was what worked for me.

But the consensus seems to be that med school just has way too much material and printing out slides will be inconceivable. Thoughts?
 

ciestar

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Also a hand writer, though exceptionally slow. During the start of undergrad I found myself too focused on writing notes that I missed a ton of what the lecturer said. I then decided to destroy a forest and print out slides and then annotate them during lecture, that way I still pay attention while writing down the important stuff. I found that was what worked for me.

But the consensus seems to be that med school just has way too much material and printing out slides will be inconceivable. Thoughts?
I abandoned that strategy because it was so many pages/slides.

I used Notability and annotated with the apple pencil on my ipad to still make it work
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Also a hand writer, though exceptionally slow. During the start of undergrad I found myself too focused on writing notes that I missed a ton of what the lecturer said. I then decided to destroy a forest and print out slides and then annotate them during lecture, that way I still pay attention while writing down the important stuff. I found that was what worked for me.

But the consensus seems to be that med school just has way too much material and printing out slides will be inconceivable. Thoughts?

Yeah some weeks that would literally be thousands of slides. As mentioned above you can get an iPad or surface or something that you can write on if you want to keep doing that.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Super glad to hear this from everyone. Incoming MS1 and my classmates have pretty much shot me down in regards to handwritten notes over our chats.
Where my lefties at

Take what other people are doing and use what works for you. Don’t throw something out just because it doesn’t work for others. Plenty of us still hand write ****.
 
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TelemarketingEnigma

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Super glad to hear this from everyone. Incoming MS1 and my classmates have pretty much shot me down in regards to handwritten notes over our chats.
Where my lefties at

I can't say this strongly enough: don't let others (especially classmates who haven't started yet either!) convince you your study habits are wrong if they are working for you. You may decide handwriting is or isn't worth it, but let that be a decision you make yourself and not under the pressure of others.

This goes for every other resource/strategy you hear about in medical school. I did basically the opposite of all the fad strategies and I did just fine in classes and on Step. You gotta do what works for you
 
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longhaul3

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Super glad to hear this from everyone. Incoming MS1 and my classmates have pretty much shot me down in regards to handwritten notes over our chats.
Where my lefties at
I'm left-handed. Handwriting is fine. The most important thing about lecture, if you're going to go or watch online, is actually paying attention. If writing notes by hand helps you stay engaged, and you like it, do it. One of my med school classmates sat with his legs crossed in the back corner of every lecture and wrote notes in a languid, loopy, cartoonish script. It looked like a 3rd grader learning cursive. He probably used 10 pages of notebook paper for every lecture. It drove me nuts and I thought he was destined to fail. I usually sat there without any notes and just listened and tried to take everything in. We both ended up AOA. Meanwhile some of your classmates will make the most beautiful handwritten notes, color-coded and everything, and struggle because they're paying more attention to their notes than to the material.

I hardly wrote anything by hand after I graduated high school. Nowadays my handwriting is so bad that I ask my wife to write out my checks and addresses on envelopes. I still can't even write an 8 that closes properly (and cruelly my phone number has 4 of them).
 
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Detective SnowBucket

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Meanwhile some of your classmates will make the most beautiful handwritten notes, color-coded and everything, and struggle because they're paying more attention to their notes than to the material.
Oh yea, I've known since high school that there's a correlation between number of highlighter colors used and likelihood of failing a course
 
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StudentDoGter

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Super glad to hear this from everyone. Incoming MS1 and my classmates have pretty much shot me down in regards to handwritten notes over our chats.
Where my lefties at

Another lefty here!
I know what to mean about others shooting down the idea of handwriting; hence, why I started this post. I used to print lecture slides, annotate during lecture, and then compile everything into handwritten study guides in undergrad/grad. While I know this is too timely (and terrible for the environment) I’m definitely going to continue utilizing handwriting to some degree. Good luck!
 
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