Trying to master OMM but "just trying to pass" everything else in medicine.

bawkbawkcluck

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I've noticed an interesting attitude at my school and I was wondering if this is a common theme among all DO schools:

Nobody wants to be labeled "gunner." So much so, that most of my classmates openly "just want to pass" every other preclinical class, yet there's this incredible motivation amongst the majority of the class to put in hours and hours with tutors and study groups to master the minutia of OMM. If you say you want to get Honors in OMM, everyone in earshot will ask if you want to practice techniques. If you said the same about any other class, they would tell you to get a life. I guess it just doesn't really make sense to me because statistically speaking most of us won't ever use OMM in practice, but we all need to have a basic understanding of basic medical sciences.

Any thoughts?
 
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Never heard of such a thing. Who the heck wants to master the minutiae of OMM? For what purpose? All you need is to pass that class and move on.
 
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NeuroLAX

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You definitely do not go to my school.
 

michigan1212

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I've noticed an interesting attitude at my school and I was wondering if this is a common theme among all DO schools:

Nobody wants to be labeled "gunner." So much so, that most of my classmates openly "just want to pass" every other preclinical class, yet there's this incredible motivation amongst the majority of the class to put in hours and hours with tutors and study groups to master the minutia of OMM. If you say you want to get Honors in OMM, everyone in earshot will ask if you want to practice techniques. If you said the same about any other class, they would tell you to get a life. I guess it just doesn't really make sense to me because statistically speaking most of us won't ever use OMM in practice, but we all need to have a basic understanding of basic medical sciences.

Any thoughts?
Who cares what others think? Your goal should be to pass the board exam. Just getting by now could hurt you when preparing for step 1. Avoiding tutoring because of what others think is foolish. Its your medical education, don't let others perceptions dictate what you do (your paying for it). Studying hard and wanting to do well doesn't make you a gunner, at least I hope not because I want to do well in medical school.
 
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bawkbawkcluck

bawkbawkcluck

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First, just to set the record straight on where I stand and why I'm posting this. I don't let the opinion of others dictate what I do, but I do care about their attitude. Why??

Because these are the future doctors that are going to be treating our friends and family. Do I expect everyone to ace every test? No, but the attitude of being mediocre is what concerns me.

I posted this question to see if this proudly stated attitude of "as long as I pass" is rampant in most schools. I always envisioned future physicians as being very ambitious and self-disciplined students, and I just don't see that. Is our education becoming very watered down? The students refuse to learn the detail that our professors demand, so we get a HUGE curve at the end of a course just because our school can't logistically accommodate remediation for, and financially afford to fail, 25% of the class.
 
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I posted this question to see if this proudly stated attitude of "as long as I pass" is rampant in most schools. I always envisioned future physicians as being very ambitious and self-disciplined students, and I just don't see that. Is our education becoming very watered down? The students refuse to learn the detail that our professors demand, so we get a HUGE curve at the end of a course just because our school can't logistically accommodate remediation for, and financially afford to fail, 25% of the class.
I don't know what school you go to, but most med students I know are ambitious and self-disciplined.

Incidentally, I'd say 25% of the minutiae you learn in med school can be safely ignored after you pass boards, and another 25% after you match. The brain can only hold so much crap. In the long term, there is no point in obsessing over stuff that can be easily forgotten unless it's something you'll have to deal with in your specialty. Learn the big picture and the methodology. Look at the forest, not the leaves on the trees - which can be looked up in 30 seconds on your iPhone.

Can someone pass boards without memorizing the minutiae? I dunno - never did it that way.
 
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Apoplexy__

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Yeah, exact opposite attitude at my school. My school has a rigorous GPA system and a PBL curriculum, where PBL is one class worth more than ten times as much as OMM and Clinical Skills when factoring into your GPA.

Everyone crams OMM and Clinical two days before tests, and complains exuberantly about how they're wasting their time they should use studying for preclinical classes (PBL) while doing so.
 
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elftown

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Anyone who says they are "just trying to pass" is just trying to pass you in class rank.

"Just trying to pass" and "I barely studied" are the marks of the gunner.
Some schools don't have GPA or rank.
 

stlrams22

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Some schools don't have GPA or rank.
That's the school I will be attending. I like it that way, I just want to focus on doing well without the distraction of my rank.
 

Trogghunter

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nice troll? the majority of people at osteopathic schools dont go in for the omm and even fewer leave with the desire to use it. you're probably not a little exceptional flower. not understanding the other basic science courses in great detail is the worst thing you can do. that is what separates physicians from mid-levels and chiropractors...on top of the 13000hrs of clinical training from m3 to pgy-3, and yes...you will use the basic pathophys and pharm mechanisms in every day practice to sufficiently understand what you're doing--otherwise you're a midlevel following a protocol. i am contradicting myself now vs m2 because i did not see the need to know biochemical pathways until i got to m3 and recognized that understanding what drugs and interventions that i oppress my patients with will decrease morbidity that i cause them as an intern making orders. ie) you shouldnt v-dil a person with 2* Pulm HTN because of the unique properties of the lung to vasoconstrict hypoxic areas...if you were to give sildenafil to a pt with PHTN from CHF, then you'd vasodilate the parts of the lung that have no O2 supply, and you would cause further hypoxia...and a possible stiffy. most people that dont know the lung phys sufficiently would not be able to think through why their patient is crashing while covering the hospital one night.

if you ARE being serious about not learning, then get it together. even if you only do omm, you still have a DEA#, and if you cross over into the acgme world, you will realize how foolish you were.
 
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bawkbawkcluck

bawkbawkcluck

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nice troll? the majority of people at osteopathic schools dont go in for the omm and even fewer leave with the desire to use it. you're probably not a little exceptional flower. not understanding the other basic science courses in great detail is the worst thing you can do. that is what separates physicians from mid-levels and chiropractors...on top of the 13000hrs of clinical training from m3 to pgy-3, and yes...you will use the basic pathophys and pharm mechanisms in every day practice to sufficiently understand what you're doing--otherwise you're a midlevel following a protocol. i am contradicting myself now vs m2 because i did not see the need to know biochemical pathways until i got to m3 and recognized that understanding what drugs and interventions that i oppress my patients with will decrease morbidity that i cause them as an intern making orders. ie) you shouldnt v-dil a person with 2* Pulm HTN because of the unique properties of the lung to vasoconstrict hypoxic areas...if you were to give sildenafil to a pt with PHTN from CHF, then you'd vasodilate the parts of the lung that have no O2 supply, and you would cause further hypoxia...and a possible stiffy. most people that dont know the lung phys sufficiently would not be able to think through why their patient is crashing while covering the hospital one night.

if you ARE being serious about not learning, then get it together. even if you only do omm, you still have a DEA#, and if you cross over into the acgme world, you will realize how foolish you were.
Thank you everyone for your comments. Regarding the above quote:

I think you missed my point because you're echoing the same thing I said in my original post. My point is the attitude. Students openly talk about excelling in OMM because it's easy to do. Meanwhile, they openly talk about barely passing other classes that actually do matter in the long run. (and they're not lying. the class avg is usually right around 70%, which is failing.)
 

NurWollen

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I'd pretty much say that the amount of time I spent 1st quarter on each class is inversely proportional to the grade I got in each class.

Which isn't to say studying makes you worse, but rather that I was most concerned with the most difficult classes.
 
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I don't know a single person at my school who has this attitude. Even the few students who are really into OMM put way more time into our systems classes. And while there are a few students with the "just trying to pass" attitude about all of our courses, the vast majority are hard workers who take school very seriously.
 

babdoc

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Med school is a far cry from what you have to do in practice. Even my friends in FM/OMT residencies spend the majority of their time working in the realm of what they learned in non-OMT classes. Once done with med school, we all find that we have to relearn much of what we did in med school.

OMT is a treatment in the toolbox, even docs that work primarily with OMT will need to understand the underlying diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Remember that whole body as a unit thing? You need to understand all of what else happens in order to effectively use OMT. Otherwise you're just popping joints.
 
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Dharma

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Stop riding OP's ischials for being down with OPP. I know a few who are hardcore and want to learn it well… who also take their systems classes pretty darn seriously as well. Just because you or a majority of the herd have a certain perception does not mean it is either correct or warranted. Nothing wrong with wanting to improve and do well regardless of what the pack's opinion may be.
 

FrkyBgStok

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Personally, I have no problem with the "just pass" mentality. I am a father, a husband, and a person outside of med school. I do ok but definitely the bottom half of my class. And it doesn't bother me. I don't think it makes me a bad person nor do i think it will make me a bad doctor. Yes anatomy is important, but if I am on my own and I need to know the origin, insertion, and innervation of one of the various calf muscles, I can look it up. If i look it up enough, i will eventually commit it to memory. Same with pharm, biochem, etc. I learn enough to pass the tests and focus on boards, but I am not about to take time away from my wife and kids in order to master an item that i can forget about later. i don't fault the people who focus all of their time and energy into learning the minutia of a given class, but i sure as hell don't envy them.
 

hallowmann

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First block I was focused on passing and keeping my head above water, especially through anatomy. At that point, 70=DO. I had a lot going on family-wise (and still do to some degree).

That said, now that I at least have an idea of what it takes, I'm aiming for higher. First I want the GPA that won't restrict me to certain rotation sites, then I want one that will let me participate in clubs, volunteering and networking opportunities, and then I'll aim for something less important like class rank in pre-clinicals. The thing is though, that my primary goal before any of that is to learn the most useful material and do well on the boards, while still having some semblance of a life.

Not everyone wants to do well at all costs, and not everyone has the ability or even luxury of only having to worry about school. Because of that, some people will be OK with just passing, and honestly that's fine with me, because if they pass, that means they have at very least the knowledge (or even more simply the ability to have the knowledge) required of every physician.

As far as OMM being the only course focused on, that's weird. People studying extra for OMM here are doing it because its somewhat complicated, requires a lot of practice to actually know what you're doing (especially on different types of patients), and doesn't really come easy to them. PBL on the other hand is all encompassing, so any other course is simply worked in to PBL study time.

I also find it weird that your school curves things a lot. I can't imagine everyone is an underachiever, so maybe your exams are just excessively difficult. There aren't really curves here beyond dropping at most a handful of questions (I think the most dropped was 5 from a 150 question exam early on) due to either problems with the questions or the fact that the majority of professors couldn't get it right. Our averages are usually steady ~75-77%.
 
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cabinbuilder

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Med school is a far cry from what you have to do in practice. Even my friends in FM/OMT residencies spend the majority of their time working in the realm of what they learned in non-OMT classes. Once done with med school, we all find that we have to relearn much of what we did in med school.

OMT is a treatment in the toolbox, even docs that work primarily with OMT will need to understand the underlying diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Remember that whole body as a unit thing? You need to understand all of what else happens in order to effectively use OMT. Otherwise you're just popping joints.
Totally agree with this. I use OMM every day in practice since I work in low income areas and it can be beneficial for mild back issues, and certain types of headaches. However, I need to know my medicine because I have NP's and PA's who think OMM can fix every headache and any type of back pain and patients get referred to me for the "miracle cure". Have to recognize and understand the underlying causes of a patient's complaint.
 
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MedicineMike

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This is opposite at my school as well. OMM mastery gets you nowhere. Mastery of medicine gets you everywhere.
 

preDoGuy24

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I'm surprised more people aren't calling BS on a "25%" curve...no offense dude but that's ridiculous, if 25% of your class can't pass with a 70% then they should fail and your school is doing you guys a disservice by not failing/forcing remediation. We had no curves and had occasional questions thrown out due to improper keying etc (maybe 1 question in a 200 question test). The board exams will not take it easy on you and anyone who is floating by on the curve has a tough road coming and a potential career ending board failure (if you have any desire for a surg subspecialty/road specialty).

Oh and anyone who thinks it's a good decision to "just pass" the clinical sciences and "master" OMM is a moron, you will use very little OMM on a day to day basis during rotations while your clinical science knowledge is considered a prerequisite and you will look like a moron if you don't have a decent grasp of anatomy,phys,path,pharm etc. Not to mention the fact that OMM is not nearly as clinically relevant and any doctor I have been around that uses it does so as an adjunct to clinical medicine, not a replacement.

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kami333

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I also think some people like practicing OMM since it's pretty much the only "treatment" we know and are allowed to do during the first 2 years and it's exciting to be able to actually do something when family members and friends come to you.
 
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bawkbawkcluck

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I'm surprised more people aren't calling BS on a "25%" curve...no offense dude but that's ridiculous,s


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That's because I never said a "25% curve." I said a relatively huge curve (~5%), so that we don't fail 25% of the class. Relax, and please read before being an A$$. If the class avg is around 70% with a tiny standard deviation (~5%), then a 5% curve will bring a large number, maybe even 20%, of the class out of failing.
 
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bawkbawkcluck

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I also think some people like practicing OMM since it's pretty much the only "treatment" we know and are allowed to do during the first 2 years and it's exciting to be able to actually do something when family members and friends come to you.
Fair enough :)
 

preDoGuy24

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That's because I never said a "25% curve." I said a relatively huge curve (~5%), so that we don't fail 25% of the class. Relax, and please read before being an A$$. If the class avg is around 70% with a tiny standard deviation (~5%), then a 5% curve will bring a large number, maybe even 20%, of the class out of failing.
A class average of "around" 70% with a "small" standard deviation means "around" half the class is failing. I stand by my statement, curving so people don't fail doesn't help anyone, now maybe there is issues with question writing and teaching but honestly it puts students in a aweful spot of possibly failing boards if they aren't passing classes and just being curved to move on and keep collecting tuition $. This is the kind of crap that gets posted and makes people look down on DO schools, most schools I know people at/interviewed at don't pull the number magic.

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hallowmann

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25% of the class not capable of passing? Again, never heard of such a thing at any school I know.

OP: Name your school.
My guess is that OP is speaking in hyperbole. Maybe the average on exams is closer to 73%, and because of double keying/throwing out poorly written questions, the average comes up to 77%-78%. Now like I mentioned, my school tends to have an average of 77% (after throwing out questions) and the usual "curve" (throwing out questions) is like 1-2% (and only on one exam did it reach ~3%). From what I hear from people at other schools is that that is pretty typical, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was like that at OPs school, maybe with slightly harder or more poorly written questions.

Also, OP if your classmates were really poorly prepared, they'd have trouble passing boards, which is not the case for the majority of DO schools.