What previous conception of yours has changed most after coming to med school?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by paisley1, Nov 24, 2001.

  1. paisley1

    paisley1 Senior Member

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    I thought it might be kind of interesting to ask those who are in medical school now this question. I guess I'm asking this question more along the lines of perceptions about medical school and medicine, more specifically.
     
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  3. florisio

    florisio Member

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    A very interesting question! Basically, for me I was under the impression that med students were pretty much a straight laced crowd. While they certainly work hard - harder than any other group I've seen - they also play hard - perhaps also harder than any other group I've seen. At least with regards to alcohol and "light" drugs, e.g. pot. Hard drugs not as much, but is still prevalent. I was actually pleasantly surprised that I wouldn't have to give up this aspect of my undergraduate life. Of course, there ARE people who don't do such things - but not many!

    -F.
     
  4. e2k

    e2k Member

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    1. There is life in medical school. I go to the beach more often than I ever did before, more parties and more hangovers.

    2. All medical students are not Albert Schietzers or Mother Theresas in the making. I've found my fellow med students to be much like my former fellow undergrads (not like grad students at all), more interested in drinking and sex than the portal triad or treatments for intracranial hypertension.

    3. Med school is more gruntwork than mindwork (at least the first two years). Memorization is not exactly intellectual. The clinical years are much more interesting, though. Being in Israel, we don't do scutwork as part of our clinicals, so it's all mindwork.

    ERIC
     
  5. Gear

    Gear Junior Member

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    This is probably the most anti-intellectual (to quote one of our professors)thing I've ever done. It's all about memorizing, then spitting it back on a test. Ours is a 'tradititonal' program (LOTS of boring lectures and handouts), so I can't say anything about programs such as PBL.
    I'm really concerned that I'm not going to remember the vast majority of this (who really cares if it's a 64 or 67 nm turn on the alpha helix?), and that I'll have to go through process again to RE-learn all this for the boards.
     
  6. lilycat

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    Wow, the first two posters have had an experience completely the opposite of mine. As for my misconceptions...

    1) Basic sciences takes up much more time than I imagined it could.

    2) When people refer to med school as being like high school all over again, that seems to include the maturity factor as well, something I definitely wasn't counting on.

    3) How uptight, humorless, and self-righteous some of my fellow classmates could be.
     
  7. kris

    kris Senior Member

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    Ditto to Lilycat's message. And I can't emphasize enough her #1. I'm studying WAY more than I ever thought I would, or could. ;)

    In addition, it really is a mile wide and an inch deep. I thought that was just trash talk. Now I know it's true.

    Also, I'm constantly amazed at the things some of my classmates have done. I find uncovering people's pasts incredibly intriguing, and I find many of my classmates did way more than just resume-padding stuff. They really went out and did some amazing things. Not that this is one of those amazing things, but several graduated in 3 years WHILE doing amazing things. It took me 3 years just to pick a damned major. ;)

    I thought I was going to find a bunch of folks from pretty much the same mold. I'm glad I didn't.

    --kris
     
  8. LR6SO4

    LR6SO4 Senior Member

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    My major misconception:
    PBL was supposed to make things easier!...or so I thought...
    We have a very PBL oriented second year, don't get me wrong, I like it a lot. But it is harder than the total lecture first year. I know that the material is that much harder, so I can't say what is really 'easier' but I thought that PBL would not have been this tough.
     
  9. Smurfette

    Smurfette Antagonized by Azrael
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    I totally agree with Lilycat.

    Also, I am shocked by how every social event HAS to involve alcohol, or else no one will show up. No one wants to get involved in anything as far as organizations, clubs, interest groups, etc. I'm shocked at how much time my classmates spend at the bars getting very trashed (where do they find this much time to get trashed? Most days of the week they do this).
     
  10. Sandpaper

    Sandpaper Member

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    #1 Not everyone in medical school is the next Albert Einstein.

    #2 You don't need to be Eistein.

    #3 There are *******es like myself who through sheer luck, will power, and a little cat nap on the side will actually graduate and become a doctor.

    #3 People still need to grow up.

    BTW, I loved PBL during second year. It afforded a lot of free time.
     
  11. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member

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    Top 10 schools are filled with super-competitive gunners (an exaggeration but at least 50% are). I was expecting cooler people but the ones who killed the mean in undergrad classes and worked their asses off to get super high MCAT scores are more likely o be at a top 10 school than someone with decent personality.
     
  12. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    I was very disappointed by the general anti-intellectualism, lack of maturity, and sheltered lives that characterized most of my classmates. Most med students are from upper-middle class backgrounds and don't appreciate what it really means to have significant responsiblity beyond academic ones. They studied well and enjoyed partying, but seemed oblivious to the larger social issues in which health care is contextualized.

    Someone mentioned that medical students were nothing like graduates students and this is very true. The PhD and MPH students I know (I'm a dual degree student myself) have a much wider worldview than the medical students. In short, medical education admissions must be reformed in order to weed-out the classic premed type and attract those with life-experiences, volunteerism, leadership, and broad thinking.
     
  13. snow100

    snow100 Member

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    a lot of things.

    i didnt realize what med students were like. i didnt think they would be so cutthroat and competetive. it seems like they have no social life or wanna be social lives. i didnt realize how much i actually hated basic sciences and i didn't realize that once you are in medical school, it doesn't guarantee that you will be able to go into what you want or get a residency where you want. AND i guess i didn't realize how much time med students, residents, and doctors sacrifice for their jobs and how much drama and dislike they have to go through. just didnt seem worth it...........well, do i SOUND like someone who dropped out? i should, cuz i did.

    snow
     
  14. lake show

    lake show Senior Member

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    snow, i'm sure your reasoning to exit from med school was with deep consideration, but i find that if i really want to be a doctor, it doesn't matter who is around me. whether there are jackasses or cool, interesting people wouldn't make a difference on how i feel about medicine.

    plus, in almost any other field, including medicine, where significant amount of income is involved, lots of time and work must be sacrificed. i'm working in a fortune 500 company and although i'm sure i don't work as hard as a med student, it doesn't mean i don't put in long hours and stressful meetings. whether you're in business, law, banking, tech or medicine, it's a tough road with lots of struggle. just a message to those who might not have had the chance to work in another field before heading off to be a doctor.
     
  15. doughboy

    doughboy Senior Member

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    I just can't believe the endless testing that has to go on. We have boards and more boards and then yearly residency exams and then licensing exams and then CME crap. It just never stops. Test after test....studying day in and day out. Its like an insurmountable mountain to climb. What did I get myself into?
     
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  17. Fix-it-Man

    Fix-it-Man Member

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    I didn't realize what a breeze first year was going to be!! :oops:
     
  18. AthensfromCols

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    I, too, am amazed at how easily I am attaining and retaining the information in medical school. My curriculum is totally PBL based and it brings everything into a relevant perspective that makes learning fun and easy. I also am in the clinics every week with a preceptor and am learning lots about patient interaction and some aspects of medicine.
     
  19. spacecadet22

    spacecadet22 Senior Member

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    #1 I am so surprised at how much medical school is like high school. Gossip, intra class hook-ups, and general ridiculous consumption of alcohol is what school is all about.
    #2 Fellow classmates have some serious not cool prejudices and bad things to say about one another sometimes.
    #3 I had no idea that the basic sciences were SO important first year
     
  20. snow100

    snow100 Member

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    corleone-

    the medical students weren't what pushed me out of medicine at all. i don't care about them. if i want to be a doctor, i will be one despite what i think of med students. and i know that to be successful, people have to sacrifice a lot. but, from my personal research, doctors put in SO much and don't get much out of it (my opinion). it is so hard to stick with medicine through medical school and residency if you love it, and if you aren't sure about it, it makes it even harder. there was nothing i was excited for about medicine, except being my own boss and i like helping people, but not at the cost of my own personal life. life is too short to not do anything for yourself. my brother is in medical school, my cousin is in residency, another cousin of mine is a doctor and i know many doctors. and their time is not their own time. i don't know what i want to do with my life, but i will find it. i just know it is not going to be medicine. i hope that clarifies it. i don't even mind working my ass off if i loved it. life is too short to spend it on something you don't love. it always bothers me when i hear people say they hate their jobs. that should be a crime. your job is pretty much your life, so you should pick what you want and that is exactly what i am going to find out: what makes me happy.

    snow
     
  21. Sonya

    Sonya Senior Member

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    wow. This has been quite interesting, and the responses have been very different.
    Can you guys in future posts tack on what school you're at.

    Thanks. :)
     
  22. Hamster

    Hamster Member

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    At medical school I was surprised to learn that

    #1) Everyone here is not a science genius.... Even though I knew while applying you are not required to have MAJORED in a basic science. Some students seem as if they have never even TAKEN the basics

    #2) Being at a predominantly primary care school, I was surpised to learn a lot of my classmates want to specialize

    #3) How helpful professors are willing to be! I know they hit you with that line when you are interviewing. But it is really true. A lot of professors, take time after 5pm, accomidating our schedules, to set up test reviews and office hours

    #4) That a lot of medical mechanisms are still unknown

    #5) And for me personally, how interesting Biochemistry can be. This was a course I was dreading...it looks like I should've been thinking about physiology instead
     
  23. Several prreconceptions that got changed in my case:

    1) How much debt that I will be in for going into a private school. Now, I just want to find the shortest residency program so I can get out and start making money to pay off loans ASAP so I don't accrude astronomical interests.

    2) My classmates: I wasn't expecting some medical students to act like frat people in high school. Lots of drinking, partying, gossiping, ...its amazing how some of them manage to pass the classes.

    3) Personality: One annoying type is those who are fresh out of college with no real life experience. Some of them need to seriously grow up.

    4) The endless, and mindless memorization that we need to do for the rest of our lives.
     
  24. I really have had none of my preconceptions changed; I didn't come here expecting to be with 167 fully amazing people who went around the world to cure cancer and AIDS and behave with perfect dignity at all times (and thank God that's not the case cause I would sure as hell NOT fit in with that bunch. :D ), and I expected that there would be at least a few immature, competitive people who feel the need to meddle in others business since people like that are everywhere. A lot of people are disappointed with the first semester med school because they come in expecting that they will have a whole class full of wonderful friends and colleagues in the first 2 days or so. Life just doesn't work that way and people need to chuck a lot of their idealism at the door when they enter med school.

    Also, I personally do not care if people in my class drink a bit too much on occasion or act a little silly; it's not my business how people choose to spend their time. I personally find the people who feel the need to brag about their grades and who believe that "P=M.D." is a slacker philosophy much more irritating than the drunk frat boy types.

    That being said, I have been very pleasantly surprised by the low levels of academic stress at Tufts thus far; I expected to be stressed out all the time but it is not in the least hard to pass classes here and we have an immunology lecturer who rocks. Just wait until next semester when I come out of the anatomy lab at 2 a.m. smelling of formaldehyde and have to get up in a few hours to sit in lecture staring at histology slides; I'm sure my attitude will change.. :D
     
  25. Hannibal Gabriel

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    Wow. What didn't change?

    1) I am one of those annoying, fresh out of college types mentioned earlier. I was surprised at how many of my classmates here (U. of Kentucky '03) were non-traditional. And while I suppose I understand people wanting diversity and all that good touchy-feely crap, it makes me rather resentful that someone suggests I won't make a good physician because I didn't get five degrees and then take 20 years and work in a soup kitchen and start a family and decide being an astronaut just wasn't for me anymore.

    2) People drink. A LOT. Many of them think they're cooler than they are. If there's one thing I've learned in 24 years, it's that no one will ever give a damn about you just because you're smart. Or because you tell them you're smart. I realize that I have little or no appreciable personality and try to limit my human contact accordingly. Most others will not be so discrete. :)

    3) In the first two years, there's still plenty of time for the important things in life, like video games and sleep.

    4) In the third year, which is as far as I can tell you, nobody has ever read the syllabus, and nobody really has any clue what you're supposed to be doing. Just like Fight Club, it seems that you decide your level of involvement.
     
  26. SimulD

    SimulD Senior Member

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    Props to the line from Fight Club ...

    I think it kind of applies to first year, in a sense. You can study a whole lot, or you can just do what you need to do to pass. And that's what I am most surprised with - the fact that I can still do a lot of the things I like to do without too much interference with school - read some books, work out almost every day, hang out with my friends, talk with my long distance friends, go to the bar once in a while, and do some community service. It isn't too bad, I don't think that being a medical student defines my identity right now. With block scheduling, I get the first three weeks of the block basically off, and then gotta turn it on for the next two weeks and exams.

    I don't really believe that someone who passes a tests as opposed to someone who honors a test is so far behind. I think all of us remember the pertinent stuff, or will get the pertinent stuff hammered into us at some point (at least that is what I'm lead to believe).

    I find that the law of diminishing returns here is in full effect. I mean, I study X amount of hours to get a high pass, and if I studied 1.5X, I'm not sure if I'll honor. I think I know my position here, and that I'll probably stumble through medical school right around th 40-50th percentile of my class. And that's cool with me, as long as I have a life and am enjoying what I study.

    I guess I just don't have too many gripes about med school, except that it is somewhat anti-intellectual, but if you did your research, I think you'd have known that anyway. I know third year will be a blast (as well as a lot of work).

    Simul
    Tulane Med '05
     

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