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Howdy all! Time to add to the never ending posts about ending the first semester of M1.

I recently finished my first semester, and although I did perfectly fine, I’m realizing my study methods are completely inefficient. Are getting A’s great? Yeah! Is studying for 10+ hours/day on top of attending all lectures worth getting A’s? No.

Now, I’ve been reading the advice of everyone here, especially with UFAPS. However, my school has completely in-house written exams over 8 weeks of PBL and lecture material and includes numerous minute details. I watch BnB, do AnKing, and watch Pathoma when applicable (because we do pathophys in M1 too). I primarily study the objectives given to us during our PBL, and our block objectives, because our curriculum is so heavy in clinical medicine. For example, in our first semester, we’ve practically done 90%+ of FA for endocrine, pulm, cardio, renal, and respiratory including all the basics AND the clinical stuff. Hell, we’re interpreting diagnoses off all types of imaging modalities, EKGs, ECGs, and labs (CBC w/ diff, CMP, UA, PFTs, GFR, Cultures, etc.) as an M1. It’s such an insane curriculum to me, and definitely what I wasn’t expecting.

Basically, how can I make my studying more efficient? I can feel myself burning out, especially coming straight out of undergrad. I don’t want to lose that passion for medicine, but I’m getting very tired, very fast. Any tips for in-house exams that are like mine? I can’t find a good bank of practice Q’s because our curriculum is so all over the place. Any tips for practice q’s? Thanks :)
 

TelemarketingEnigma

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This may be an unpopular opinion, but do you think you really need every single one of those resources? I think that's one place that people sometimes go overboard - they feel like they HAVE to watch every extra video on top of every lecture. And for some people that may be true, but if you're doing well and looking to cut back on things, maybe try evaluating which resources are actually helping you vs. just going through the motions of what you think you should be doing
 
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longhaul3

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What are you doing for those 10 hours? What would happen if you cut it back to 9 hours? Or 5?

M1/2 is exactly when you're supposed to learn minute details about lab values and connect them to clinical scenarios. You should be trucking through First Aid because you need to master everything in it, plus the details, by the time you take Step 1.
 
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BacktotheBasics

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Howdy all! Time to add to the never ending posts about ending the first semester of M1.

I recently finished my first semester, and although I did perfectly fine, I’m realizing my study methods are completely inefficient. Are getting A’s great? Yeah! Is studying for 10+ hours/day on top of attending all lectures worth getting A’s? No.

Now, I’ve been reading the advice of everyone here, especially with UFAPS. However, my school has completely in-house written exams over 8 weeks of PBL and lecture material and includes numerous minute details. I watch BnB, do AnKing, and watch Pathoma when applicable (because we do pathophys in M1 too). I primarily study the objectives given to us during our PBL, and our block objectives, because our curriculum is so heavy in clinical medicine. For example, in our first semester, we’ve practically done 90%+ of FA for endocrine, pulm, cardio, renal, and respiratory including all the basics AND the clinical stuff. Hell, we’re interpreting diagnoses off all types of imaging modalities, EKGs, ECGs, and labs (CBC w/ diff, CMP, UA, PFTs, GFR, Cultures, etc.) as an M1. It’s such an insane curriculum to me, and definitely what I wasn’t expecting.

Basically, how can I make my studying more efficient? I can feel myself burning out, especially coming straight out of undergrad. I don’t want to lose that passion for medicine, but I’m getting very tired, very fast. Any tips for in-house exams that are like mine? I can’t find a good bank of practice Q’s because our curriculum is so all over the place. Any tips for practice q’s? Thanks :)

Don't see a question here OP. Sounds like you're mastering the material. If it ain't broke don't try to fix it.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Don't see a question here OP. Sounds like you're mastering the material. If it ain't broke don't try to fix it.

Strong disagree. Studying 10+ hours a day on top of lectures is ridiculous. Not worth it.
This may be an unpopular opinion, but do you think you really need every single one of those resources? I think that's one place that people sometimes go overboard - they feel like they HAVE to watch every extra video on top of every lecture. And for some people that may be true, but if you're doing well and looking to cut back on things, maybe try evaluating which resources are actually helping you vs. just going through the motions of what you think you should be doing

Agree here.

OP, my strategy was to watch the BnB for the topic at hand, then skim through the lecture slides while searching Zanki to make sure I didn't miss anything in the lectures that wasn't in Zanki. I did not watch in-house lectures at all except in Neuro because they were excellent and covered all the stuff that was in BnB anyway.

Bulk of the learning was doing Zanki/AnKing and questions. I used Rx because it's easy to sort based on FA topic and you can find what applies to your curriculum. My curriculum was very mixed with science and clinical stuff as well (same sort of thing--tons of sessions on clinical reasoning, interpreting labs, etc).
 
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Osteosaur

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Is going to LECTURES helping you at all or is this dead space where you're not retaining anything beyond the first half-hour?

Are you concerned faculty will think you're inattentive or feel sad because the lecture hall is empty?
 
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Strong disagree. Studying 10+ hours a day on top of lectures is ridiculous. Not worth it.


Agree here.

OP, my strategy was to watch the BnB for the topic at hand, then skim through the lecture slides while searching Zanki to make sure I didn't miss anything in the lectures that wasn't in Zanki. I did not watch in-house lectures at all except in Neuro because they were excellent and covered all the stuff that was in BnB anyway.

Bulk of the learning was doing Zanki/AnKing and questions. I used Rx because it's easy to sort based on FA topic and you can find what applies to your curriculum. My curriculum was very mixed with science and clinical stuff as well (same sort of thing--tons of sessions on clinical reasoning, interpreting labs, etc).

Appreciate the advice, friend! I figured I should keep trucking on with UFAPS. Our next block is neuro everything, so I’m excited and also terrified. My only issue is that UFAPS definitely does NOT cover the level of depth that our exams expect us to know. I’m sure this is the same everywhere else, but the immense knowledge gap difference between the two (in-house lectures vs. UFAPS) was enough to warrant me utilizing everything. I feel that if I focused on one specific train, I’d spend way less time studying. Juggling the multiple resources has been, and probably is, the major time sink. I take a similar approach as you for the most part, but feel like I also HAVE to watch lectures to comprehend the exam info. How do you think I should approach this to avoid losing that time? Sorry if this is childish and something I should figure out on my own, but I’m just kinda lost and figured some upperclassmen might be able to help. Thanks :)
 
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Is going to LECTURES helping you at all or is this dead space where you're not retaining anything beyond the first half-hour?

Are you concerned faculty will think you're inattentive or feel sad because the lecture hall is empty?
I could give two, excuse my french, ****s about what the faculty think about my attendance since lecture is non-mandatory besides PBL, patient care, and various small groups/mandatory H&W lectures.

Honestly, I have really bad ADHD and have been diagnosed since I was a wee child. I attend lectures because I notice the first pass is helpful and having lecture forces me to sit there and pay attention. Rewatching the lectures at home can be distracting! But, I’ll revisit lectures 6-7 weeks down the line and go “Ah yes, I remember that.” Plus, it’s a good opportunity for me to ask questions because emails can be a hassle as the faculty at my school take ages to respond sometimes.
 
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What are you doing for those 10 hours? What would happen if you cut it back to 9 hours? Or 5?

M1/2 is exactly when you're supposed to learn minute details about lab values and connect them to clinical scenarios. You should be trucking through First Aid because you need to master everything in it, plus the details, by the time you take Step 1.
Those 10 hours are often dedicated to doing manual research for our PBL objective presentations two days/week (yes, this is mandatory and we’re graded on having primary sources too), Anki, studying previous objectives, watching BnB, reading FA, and revisiting lectures. I often have 800-900+ cards due/day. I’m just attempting to judge where I can cut back, y’know?

Trust me, I realize the value of having to learn the minute details! I just didn’t expect to be slamming through practically everything in FA before M2 starts, haha. I just feel overwhelmed and on the verge of burning out and need to figure out how to learn the minutia in a more efficient way. Appreciate the comment :)
 
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Don't see a question here OP. Sounds like you're mastering the material. If it ain't broke don't try to fix it.
Appreciate the comment! I think my question is more focused towards how to be more efficient with my time and study habits with my type of curriculum. Sure, I might have a good grasp on the material, but being on the verge of burning out due to 10+ hour study days for 7 days/week isn’t worth it, y’know?
 

IMG69

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I'll chip in since your course sounds like a UK course. The first two years really suck, you are hit with absolutely everything and all at once. I'll try give some general points.

1. Firstly is your PBL graded as P/F or is it actually graded on a scale? If P/F do the minimum.

2. In my experience; coming from a massively clinical course, first year is extremely hard to study for because it's basically a mix of step 1, basic physiology/sciences and then a few basic algorithms from step 2. I studied step 1 for my 2nd year and did pretty well but step 2 really would've been more helpful in retrospect. For first year I did BnB and then skimmed through my lectures to look for anything i'm missing.

3. After the first two years it gets much much easier as you've covered 90% of the medicine you'll see on the wards, i'm MS3 now and it's so chill I don't even know what to do with all my free time. I switched to Step 2 material now and likely won't have to study at all for fourth year hopefully outside of my daily cards.

If you have any other questions i'll be happy to try answer. You've just gotta stick it out and it gets insanely easier as you progress through the years.

Also be prepared to have absolutely no idea what you might be tested on because my whole cohort felt like that for two years.

Edit: What's your exam/test structure like? Do you have the typical USA style exam after each block? Or something like mine with 1-2 exams a year on everything.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Appreciate the advice, friend! I figured I should keep trucking on with UFAPS. Our next block is neuro everything, so I’m excited and also terrified. My only issue is that UFAPS definitely does NOT cover the level of depth that our exams expect us to know. I’m sure this is the same everywhere else, but the immense knowledge gap difference between the two (in-house lectures vs. UFAPS) was enough to warrant me utilizing everything. I feel that if I focused on one specific train, I’d spend way less time studying. Juggling the multiple resources has been, and probably is, the major time sink. I take a similar approach as you for the most part, but feel like I also HAVE to watch lectures to comprehend the exam info. How do you think I should approach this to avoid losing that time? Sorry if this is childish and something I should figure out on my own, but I’m just kinda lost and figured some upperclassmen might be able to help. Thanks :)

Yeah my in house lectures also covered stuff that is not always done in enough detail in UFAPS. That’s where looking through the lecture slides comes in. I made cards and added them to zanki for the details that weren’t in there. Doesn’t take too long and saves you the time watching the lecture because now you can just do that info in anki.
 
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TelemarketingEnigma

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I attend lectures because I notice the first pass is helpful and having lecture forces me to sit there and pay attention. Rewatching the lectures at home can be distracting! But, I’ll revisit lectures 6-7 weeks down the line and go “Ah yes, I remember that.” Plus, it’s a good opportunity for me to ask questions because emails can be a hassle as the faculty at my school take ages to respond sometimes.

Based on this, you may be one of the people (like me!) who really does benefit from actual lectures, as much as SDN likes to claim that's impossible. These were some of my exact reasons for going to lecture in person. lots of people will recommend skipping lecture to cut down on study load, which may work for many people, but I know that the modules where i went to lecture least often were also modules I did the worst in.
 
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