Qweras

2+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2015
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Well, it's only my first week of med school and I already feel very uncomfortable with the work. I know lots of people probably feel this way at this point, but I've heard how bad it is to fall behind so I thought I'd solicit advice from others who have been through this. I think I have two main issues:

1. I have no idea what to study.
This is my main concern. For example, we're doing glycolysis in biochemistry and I just have zero feel for how in-depth I need to know this stuff. The one thing I'm clear on is that we're supposed to learn by understanding, not memorizing, but this could be taken to ridiculous extents (what regulates the regulators? What regulates the regulators of the regulators?) and I'm just not sure where to draw the line. The final exam for the class is an NBME exam so luckily I don't need to study both for professor-style questions and board-specific questions, but I'm still quite lost. I've been told that board review books are not thorough enough for a first pass of the material but I assume the grad-level textbooks we are assigned are too thorough.

2. I have no idea how to study.
What worked in undergrad is clearly not going to cut it in med school. I know this one has been hashed through many times, and when I get a chance I'll search through the threads to find help on this front, so no need to address this now. It's just quite unnerving at this point.

ANY advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

Pacna

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Jun 2, 2013
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1. However in-depth you have the resources to go. Stand-alone regulators are rare in biochem, and learning how regulators communicate is a big part of the course.

2. Med school is mostly memorization, but I'd say biochem is a rare exception. You only need to memorize so much as it helps you to understand. Memorize the TCA cycle, surely, but that is only a place to start. You'll need to connect the process with what is happening on a cellular level.

For me, drawing the different pathways out on a whiteboard (including +/- regulators), then erasing the names and trying to fill them in from memory, helped a lot. I also used Anki to pound certain factoids into my head that seemed important.

Most importantly: Don't panic. Talk to your peers. They feel the same. Find out how they're studying, and consider incorporating their methods if they sound better than yours. Nearly everybody gets through biochem.
 
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Mountaineer12

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Jun 17, 2011
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I wouldn't go into too much more depth than your lecturers. Just focus on what's presented in class and keep drilling that over and over.
 
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TBV

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They say don't learn by memorization but learn through memorization and then understand what you have learned. In many cases they are experts and forget that you don't know the pieces that they want you to put together.
 
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OnePunchBiopsy

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2. I have no idea how to study.
What worked in undergrad is clearly not going to cut it in med school. I know this one has been hashed through many times, and when I get a chance I'll search through the threads to find help on this front, so no need to address this now. It's just quite unnerving at this point.

ANY advice would be greatly appreciated!
I used notecards throughout college and thought that i would have to change my study methods in med school. I tried changing my study methods a few times and nothing worked for me. I tried Anki flashcards, which were faster to make than paper notecards, and have used them during all of first and second year.

So, i recommend to study the ways that have worked for you in the past, and not to reinvent the wheel.

That being said, now i have realized that notecards are not the best for studying in third year. So, your methods will have to evolve over time.

Best Of luck to you!
 
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