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What is medical school like?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Kovox, Sep 30, 2002.

  1. Kovox

    Kovox Going Places
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    What is medical school like and how did you handle the stress of it? What was it about your school that made medical school more manageable?

    I just wanted a heads up as to what to e xpect from medical school and what to look for when applying for a school.

    Thanks.
     
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  3. Amy

    Amy Animal Lover
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    Wow, this is a VERY broad question. :eek: I'm sure if you browse around SDN, and use the search function, you'll learn a lot about med school. Do you have any specific questions??
     
  4. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
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    Medical school is like a 6-liter beer bong of non-alcoholic beer.
     
  5. tBw

    tBw totally deluded
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    It's like warm apple pie....
     
  6. eagle26

    eagle26 Senior Member
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    Medical school is like summer school on crack
     
  7. drdaizy

    drdaizy Junior Member
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    Someone told me before I started that it was like studying for undergrad exams every single day. I've found that to be very true. If you have a good support system and don't let yourself get overwhelmed or far behind, you do fine.
     
  8. phllystyl

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    two of my favorite comments from 2nd years during the beginning of this, my first year:

    1) "It's like preparing for a new MCAT that you take at the end of every month" (which ive found to be pretty close to true so far)

    2) "There is a reason they are handing out jars of KY outside the auditorium, folks"

    ;)
     
  9. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    There's great comradarie amongst the students. The drawback? Classes suck up lots of time. I am currently feeling burned out on anatomy because it's been 7 straight weeks of it. I think that might be the drawback of those programs that are block schedules. Soon I will be back on a regular semester schedule, so I'll let you know how that compares.
     
  10. dknykid1980

    dknykid1980 Senior Member
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    all the above are certainly true about med school. LOL the KY analogy especially!

    but yes, it's very fast paced. we covered all of biochem in 1 month!!! crazy!!!

    stress....thats an understatement. hmmmmm i think how i just recently acquired my alcoholic addiction :) :)


    But on a serious note. It's a lot of work. Be prepared. No matter what anyone says about the BS of taking the summer before this M1. TAKE BIOCHEM!!!!!!!! Just take it and completely slack off and get an F in it (it wont count against you). regardless take it just to familiarize yourself with terms and names of stuff.

    Later
     
  11. FrankMD

    FrankMD Ophthalmologist Wanna Be
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    I would compare it to running a marathon...
    You have to pace yourself continuously and see how you are doing. There are times you have to speed up to pass someone (exam times), and there are times you can slow down a bit to enjoy the run (that few weeks between exam times). However, like a marathon runner, you can't stop. If you stop, you fall WAY behind and you lose...so you keep on running even if you're tired and hope that you see the finishing tape in the next corner...
     
  12. imtiaz

    imtiaz i cant translate stupid
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    it's awesome.
     
  13. Resident Alien

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    Its better than i expected. I think its because of the clinical stuff we get to do early on.
     
  14. KyGrlDr2B

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    My bf had a funny way of putting it today when we found out the universty gets out of school tomorrow for a break and we have to go. I said, "wow, med school is its own world" and he said "Yeah, med school is its own sh!tty little world."

    It's a mixture of everything--fun, interesting, stressful, demanding, hard, tiring, etc. So far I think it's worth it.

    After our midterms everyone was in a mild depression and no one could do anything. I'm not studying near as hard as I was before, did anyone else do the same thing??
     
  15. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
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    Resistance is "futil"
     
  16. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
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    See what med school is like kids? Even the unflappable and irreverent Moleculo gets stressed out by it.
     
  17. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
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    Aye, but you're rarely flapped or revering on SDN.
     
  18. WSUreds

    WSUreds Senior Member
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    Medical school is fun. Where else do you get to study biochem for 24 hours in 2 days for an exam that counts towards 25% of your grade. After this exam, I'm 1/4 of the way finished with biochem forever!!!
     
  19. Dutch Doc

    Dutch Doc Junior Member
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    It's like a really long journey to a place that seems fantastic in your mind but while travelling, you wonder whether it's still worth visiting...

    Dutch Doc
     
  20. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we choose medical school.
     
  21. MD2b06

    MD2b06 Senior Member
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    Um, technically, you'll be re-learning all this stuff for Step 1, so try not to flush it. Perhaps I should follow my own sage advice. :laugh:

    As far as what medical school is like, it varies from person to person. Your perception really depends on why you entered the field. I hate medical school during exam week, but I love it when I'm seeing patients and actually being able to relate what I'm learning in classroom to real life. Seeing patients is the key, even if it's only for a couple of hours a week. If you go to a school where you get early patient contact, it'll definitely motivate you to learn as much as you can during the pre-clinical years.
     
  22. Doctora Foxy

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    Med school is like high school: lockers, colored pencils, gossip (all the good stuff).

    It's also like you're running a marathon in hell with 100 of your closest friends. It's great. :D
     
  23. Mystique

    Mystique The Procrastinator
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    Med school is like a roller coaster ride. It has its highs and its lows. I'm experiencing the lows right now. Unfortunately, I have tests coming up, and I SHOULD be studying. The best part is post-exams when you go out and celebrate w/ your class and do all sorts of whacky things and then the next day the rumors spread like a wildfire. You can laugh together and complain together. Everyone else in the class is in the same boat as you. If you feel stressed, chances are so does the majority of the class. I feel like your medical school experience will be partly based on class dynamics. If you have a great class, then you're in for a tough but fun and interesting first two years that will fly by. I can't believe more than a month has flown by. Time flies when you're having fun (err...I mean studying)

    I honestly didn't anticipate studying so much. I feel like I do it all the time, yet there still aren't enough hours in the day for it. Everyone tells me it gets better second year b/c you don't have anatomy and you're used to the grind. I hope they're right. Just don't study 24/7 and let yourself get burned out. I try to go out once a week and spend time just having "fun" and giving the gossipers something to talk about. I can't wait till Monday when I reach the top of the crest....wheeeee. :)
     
  24. rotatores

    rotatores Senior Member
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    I agree with Doctora Foxy. I feel like I'm running a never ending race. There is no finish line. But I'm having a blast.
     
  25. CANES2006

    CANES2006 Miami chica
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    Aphro!!! Girl, I haven't talked to you in ages! Of course, I haven't been on SDN for a while either (too busy studying Immunobiology ;) ). I'm glad you are enjoying medical school too. Personally, I'm having a blast. My class can't be filled with better people. It's really becoming like my classmates are family. :)

    Answering the question: how is medical school like? It's like having finals week EVERY week. At least it is that way in my school for the first semester. We cover 10 subjects from August till December and then we enter organ modules next semester. So, I have a final every Monday (except one Monday) from now till December. But, surprisingly, it isn't as stressful as it sounds. Medical school is quite manageable.
     
  26. daveshnave

    daveshnave Senior Member
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    Med school is EVERYTHING... it's fun, it's interesting, it sucks, it's social, and it's depressing... sometimes all at the same time. Like I said.... it's EVERYTHING. I've never been through an experience quite like it in my life, and although I've never regretted being here, I must say that it can take on toll on your mental health at times. I've certainly been through prolonged periods of depression, but at least you're classmates are around to relate to what you're going through. It hits some people harder than others (and unfortunately some it hits too hard), but at least you know you're not the only one going through it all, and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel that gets brighter every day. I have to agree with the above poster that mentioned clinical activities early on... this is very important, not so much to hone your clinical acumen, but rather to remind yourself why you're subjecting yourself to the first two years of solid classwork.

    To all those that are first years, I have to say that second year isn't everything, but instead MORE of everything. More interesting, more involved, more memorizing, and more time-consuming (and at those select times, more fun).

    Not to be pessimistic, because I don't necessarily mean it this way, but med school is truly masochistic. It hurts to get through this place, but at the same time it feels really good to be here...
     
  27. Incendiary

    Incendiary Fantabulous Member
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    Well, I'm only just finishing up the first month of my first year, but so far medical school is pretty cool. It hasn't been the excessive workload that everyone has been saying, but then again, I haven't gotten to Anatomy yet... :p Anyways, it's actually been more fun than college, as people hang out together and go out a lot. In that sense, it's very much like high school, especially considering the gossip and rumor mill aspects... :rolleyes:
     
  28. anamarylee

    anamarylee A la grande le puse Cuca
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    Med school is like high school, except you have people of all ages in the same boat as you. It's time consuming. You have to adapt your brain to work every day. There are no sick days, few vacations, and if you are lucky, you are surrounded by people who start to be part of your family, you even spend more time with them than your real family. It's an excersice in organization.

    Like Daveshnave said, it's masochistic. You suffer, you're going through hell, you feel like screaming at times +pissed+ ... but in the end you're loving it :love: :clap: .
     
  29. souljah1

    souljah1 Attending
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    med school is interesting.
    med school is learning to work in groups.
    med school is not as bad as i thought it would be.
    med school is pass/fail.
    med school has people who will become my life-long friends.
    med school reminds me of how fortunate i am.
    med school is not conceptually difficult, but is voluminous.
    med school has faculty who have a vested interest in your success.
    med school is pass/fail.
    med school is about unlearning the neurosis of the premedical mindset.
    med school is fun.
     
  30. Silvertip

    Silvertip Member
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    I have found that medical school is not really more difficult than undergraduate science courses; there just is a hell of a lot more material.

    Day one, we were told that our undertaking can be compared to trying to drink water from a firehose. Seriously, I have water coming out my nose and ears- its a lot of information.
     
  31. 8744

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    If you are reasonably intelligent and keep up with studying, medical school is not that bad.

    A lot of my classmates complain about the long hours of studying, but I suspect it's because they often "blow off" studying and are forced to cram to catch up.

    Trust me, if you keep up and set aside three or four hours every day to study, you will at least pass easily.

    The key is sticking to those three or four hours.
     
  32. Delvonik

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    What's medical school like? Hmm...Well I don't know for certain,but from all I've heard and read,it's like this.


    You'll likely struggle and battle to get into and through medical school.What you need to first make sure of,is that you know why you want to be a doctor.So,you want to help people? If that's all you say at your interview they'll and clubs to join.ave to be a doctor to do that,fathead!" And,it is true.Politicians,volunteers,teachers and everyone can help people,perhaps in larger amounts.You'll have to elaborate on that through-out your life,especially on those long nights when you've been up for 40 hours straight,studying your brains out.If your a person with sky-high academic scores,and you've only been drawn to medicine because of six-figure income,and convinced yourself that your interested,when your really not,then wake up.That won't sustain you for long,making you jaded and empty.I've heard the first year consists of case-oriented studies,involving ALOT of paperwork and reading.The second may focus on how weird the body can become and the last years involve your clerkship and long hospital scut work.Then,you'll have to search for a residency.

    Most schools have fun extra-curricuar programs.They not only ease the workload but improve your image in the eyes of residency interviewers and colleagues.But do something that appeals to you,of course.But what do I know,I'm not in med school yet.For all I know,it could be a sham where people just drink and play ping-pong,lol.Anyway,hope I've helped a little at least.
     
  33. phllystyl

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    Newbie here has figured us out. UNLEASH THE DROIDS!

    phlly
     
  34. Nefertari

    Nefertari Undercover Premed
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    Hey souljah & everybody,

    The analogy to going thru finals week every week makes it easier to imagine. However, most of us premeds have never had the experience of taking finals pass/fail for every class.

    So what is that like? The only suicidal experience I can think of to compare it to is taking 4 orgo chem classes simultaneously pass/fail. Does it also help a bit that @ schools where the 1st two years are P/F, you no longer have GPA's haunting you (like for premed). Wish ya all well w/ exams!
     
  35. pheck

    pheck Junior Member
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    i'd say it is tough. but looking back now, it wasn't too bad. i'm a fourth of five year now, and i know things look easier in retrospect than they actually seemed going through it. i'll tell you one thing tho, clinics are so much better (for me) than classes. the clinics/wards can get old at times, but when i remember studying and studying not too long ago, i'm glad i'm here!
     
  36. KyGrlDr2B

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    Not every school is pass/fail, you know. A lot of the people on this board seem to forget that. Mine isn't and I'm doing just fine. Just because it isn't pass/fail doesn't mean you have to aim for an A in every class.
     
  37. Mossjoh

    Mossjoh Mayo Clinic-PGY2
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    Med school can have its down times....like when you have 5 tests in 7 days. It can also have its up moments when you learn some useful clinical information...for instance....and I quote professors..

    "High levels of iron in the body have been strongly correlated to heart disease. Therefore, the best way to decrease iron levels and lower your risk of heart attacks is to get into a bar fight and bleed a lot." (A biochem prof)

    "Biliverdin is a precursor to bilirubin. It has a purple color and accounts for the purple in your black eye you received after your last bar fight." (The same biochem prof)

    "The ulnar nerve is not contained within the carpal tunnel. This allows you to weed out the fakes. People with carpal tunnel syndrome should have no numbness on the skin of their 5th finger or the medial side of the 4th, the areas innervated by the ulnar nerve. Don't tell the public." (An anatomy professor)

    "I had a dream the other night. Its ten years from now and I'm in the nursing home sitting in my wheel chair. My catheter tubing gets caught under my wheel. When the nurse sees I'm in pain, she says 'Don't worry, I'll go get the doctor.' One of you walk in....this is my worst nightmare." (Same anatomy prof)

    1 month left......in first semester at least....

    Mossjoh
     
  38. Nefertari

    Nefertari Undercover Premed
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    :laugh: Mossjoh, which school are you attending? I want to go there!
     
  39. hotbovie

    hotbovie Member
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    Med school is a series of transitions.

    First, you make the transition of becoming a med student. You get used to having more information dumped on you than you thought possible, finding that you can handle it but you're maxed out, and then getting more dumped on you and you handle that too! You'll probably study more that you ever thought possible, but will still have time to enjoy yourself, and will share your misery with your whole class.

    Then, you get to the second year. You're not the peon anymore, you have first years asking you for advice and you get more information dumped on you, but it seems more relevant. You worry about and make it through step 1

    Suddenly, you are in your first clinical rotation, which is a huge transition. You have to get used to getting to the hospital at an ungodly hour, seeing patients, writing notes and H&P and being called "doc". As you do your various rotations, you start over again with new residents, new expectations and new areas of focus. And as you approach your 4th year, you find your niche and decide what you want to do.

    The you get to your 4th year. You do electives in your chosen field, maybe even some at other schools. You start to realize that, yeah, I do know some things and you find you are able to make some simple treatment decisions. And getting those first few interview invites are very exciting (in you email..."We believe you have the potential to be an excellent resident for our program"). 4th year is a blast...you acually have some responsibility for patient care, but you still don't really have any authority and rely on your residents to confirm that you are correct. Once your applications are in and you're doing the requried things that don't relate to your chosen specialty, the expectations of you are generally pretty low. And you start to think of yourself as a radiologist, pediatrician, surgeon, or whatever you will be going into. You'll learn from you classmates on your rotations...the radiology types will be able to teach you some stuff about reading x-rays, the medicine types will be up on treating diabetes and blood pressure, the neurology types will help you with your neuro exams.

    Med school can be painful on a day to day basis, but overall the experience is pretty positive.
     
  40. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    It's about being in a cohort.
     
  41. UCLA2000

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    Med school is kinda like sex....but not as fun....:)
     
  42. jlb102

    jlb102 Member
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    med school is best experienced as a fourth year watching everyone else work hard while you go home and take a nap...visualize the light at the end of the tunnel and walk towards it....
    JB
     
  43. Exene

    Exene Senior Member
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    Thanks for this, souljah. After I had this really vivid fantasy of getting an acceptance letter and actually started crying, I can't wait to get to this part.

    -Ex
     
  44. daisygirl

    daisygirl woof
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    It is so ironic that I came across this statement.

    I had been thinking a lot about how so many of my peers seem to be completely neurotic. So many of them seem to have no balance whatsoever in their lives. I can't even tell you how many of my classmates seem to spend every waking minute of the day studying for exams. Not that I think that there is anything wrong with studying and doing your best- I don't think there is anything wrong with that concept, it just seems that many of the people in med school seem to forget that they are people and that there is more to life than just grades and learning. Med school is a strange experience at times.
     
  45. Pubis

    Pubis Junior Member
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    it is a lot of work. a lot. But there is really no room for bitching about it.
     
  46. vyc

    vyc Senior Member
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    medical school, so far, is like a rollercoaster.

    but i wouldn't be here if i didn't love it. :)
     
  47. efs

    efs SDN Advisor
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    I think the best analogy I ran across that undergrads might be able to compare it to is Biochem.

    Everthing we covered in a semester of undergrad biochem was done in 2 weeks in my first year. In at least as great a detail. Nothing was left out, and all of it was expected to be known for the first exam.

    Our Biochem course lasted 8 weeks, so equate that to roughly 2 years of undergrad courses. And we were expected to know all of it on the tests.

    This was not the only course we were taking at the time, either.

    It is a lot more and a lot faster. And you are expected to understand it as well.
     
  48. KyGrlDr2B

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    Yeah, there are people in my class like this. They study all day and I literally mean all day. I ran into one guy a little before our anatomy final and I asked him how long he'd been there studying...he arrived at 7:30 (on a saturday) and this was 6 pm. He was probably there till somewhere around 10 to midnight. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that, but this guy was killing himself because he was trying to get that A that he was so close to getting. Some of the rest of us on the other hand, enjoyed studying the same amount we always do and were happy with the B's we received. It's all about BALANCE.
     
  49. UCLA2000

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    What's med school like? Well..lesse.....take your bottom lip...and pull it over your head

    It feels a lil like that!

    :D
     

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