SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

What you wish you knew as a MS-1?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by jammin06, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. jammin06

    jammin06 7+ Year Member

    607
    0
    Nov 5, 2003
    Any advice?
     
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. jjmack

    jjmack Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    823
    11
    Mar 2, 2003
    LA
    how much a waste of time anatomy and histo are.
     
  4. RockShox

    RockShox 2+ Year Member

    225
    1
    Nov 30, 2006
    Better truth has never been spoken...

    Oh and may I add how much of the stress was a complete waste of energy.
     
  5. Biscuit799

    Biscuit799 7+ Year Member

    808
    6
    Oct 29, 2004
    How an A, B, C, P, or Y all will get you where you need to go. And that the only reason the first 2 years exist is so you can get to/through boards.
     
  6. Biscuit799

    Biscuit799 7+ Year Member

    808
    6
    Oct 29, 2004
    Couldn't have said it better myself.
     
  7. Hook17

    Hook17 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    311
    0
    Mar 8, 2003
    da South
    x
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  8. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse Administrator Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    13,201
    2,140
    Jan 9, 2006
    How many hours per day can you see yourself studying? (i.e. what's your attention span?)

    It depends on the subject and your undergrad background. For anatomy, yeah, 5-6 hours per day is normal (because you have to study for lab practicals on top of studying for lecture).
     
  9. Tired

    Tired Fading away 7+ Year Member

    3,886
    770
    Dec 12, 2006
    How many people were going to treat me like sh!t simply because I was wearing a short white coat.

    And exactly how far I could go in mouthing off back to them without getting into trouble (a lot further than you think!)
     
  10. Hook17

    Hook17 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    311
    0
    Mar 8, 2003
    da South
    x
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  11. dutchman

    dutchman 7+ Year Member

    1,106
    4
    Sep 5, 2006
    Em.. I think you are going to need a whole lot more than an hour.
     
  12. Hook17

    Hook17 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    311
    0
    Mar 8, 2003
    da South
    x
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  13. OncoCaP

    OncoCaP 2+ Year Member

    2,016
    1
    Aug 28, 2006
    Houston, Texas
    MDApps:
    Any dos / don'ts in this regard? Panda said some similar things. Seems like high-risk strategy in some respects.
     
  14. OncoCaP

    OncoCaP 2+ Year Member

    2,016
    1
    Aug 28, 2006
    Houston, Texas
    MDApps:
    I'm a pre-med but thought you might like this:

    Here's your plan:

    Study 45 mins.
    Break 5-10 mins.
    Study 45 mins.
    Break 5-10 mins.
    Study 45 mins.
    Break 5-10 mins.
    Study 45 mins.
    Break 5-10 mins.
    Study 45 mins.
    Break 5-10 mins.
    Study 45 mins.
    Break 5-10 mins.
    Study 45 mins.
    Break 5-10 mins.
    Study 45 mins.
    Break 5-10 mins.
    Study 45 mins.
    Break 5-10 mins.
    Study 45 mins.
    Break 5-10 mins.

    Repeat every normal day and increase number of study/break combinations 1 to 3 wks before test. You should wind up somewhere around average, hopefully. (I am assuming that you are only going to mandatory classes only and watching the rest on video, preferably at a higher speed than live).

    :)
     
  15. Tired

    Tired Fading away 7+ Year Member

    3,886
    770
    Dec 12, 2006
    Yeah, I've seen Panda make references to this as well, but I think he's a little more gung-ho about it than I am.

    I'm not sure I would "recommend" any kind of aggressive posture or language as a matter of habit. I have though, on a few occassions, been pushed far enough to mouth off or get a little angrier than maybe I should have. To date I have never experienced reprocussions for anything I've done, although obviously it has never gone beyond raising my voice or speaking harshly.

    Panda probably has a better perspective than I do (age before beauty, and all that). I do think though, that med students should be aware that if they are being verbally abused, they don't have to automatically take it, appologise, cry, or anything like that. You can stand up for yourself, as long as it doesn't progress to the point of actual or threatened violence. There is certainly something to be said for learning to express "professional anger".
     
  16. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse Administrator Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    13,201
    2,140
    Jan 9, 2006
    What do you mean, if it isn't a process? Do you mean that you can't retain info in a vacuum?

    Umm...adjusting to med school is gonna be tough for you, I think. Sorry. :( If you can, find a study partner or a study group - I find that I can study for longer stretches if someone is "studying" with me, even if we don't talk to each other. I think I feel embarrassed if I get up and walk around every 20 minutes if someone is right next to me.
     
  17. SnowTown

    SnowTown SNOW BABY!!! 10+ Year Member

    266
    0
    Nov 22, 2006
    I think he means if it is something like memorizing prescribing certain drugs for certain conditions straight up without reasons as to why those drugs and not others.
     
  18. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon 7+ Year Member

    2,180
    21
    May 1, 2006
    2 best pieces of advice I've rec'd so far in med school...

    1. Find a small number of upperclassmen you trust to go to for advice, don't plunk down in a group of M2s and say "so what books should I buy?" It's kosher to say "so did you struggle with biochem or breeze through it" so you can try to find someone at your level. One of the more idiotic trends I've found in med school is that all the underclassmen tend to listen to the same 5-10 upperclassmen, most of whom are in the HP/H/235+ crowd.

    2. Be careful who you call a "gunner." It is a very unflattering term. Ask yourself - "is this person actively undercutting his/her classmates, or am I just self-concious b/c they know more than me?"
     
  19. Rogue Synapse

    Rogue Synapse The Dude Has Got No Mercy 7+ Year Member

    712
    1
    Apr 11, 2006
    ...gunner.
     
  20. :laugh:

    It's good advice, though.
     
  21. Anka

    Anka Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    789
    10
    Aug 18, 2003
    I have the same problem as Hook as far as being able to study for less than 1 hour at a time, and "adjusting to med school" wasn't a "problem" for me as smq might have suggested had I aired my concerns in public. Basically, what's worked for me is sit down and study for as long as I can attend meaningfully (about 30 minutes for me usually), then get up and walk around for ten minutes or so or go get some coffee or chat with a friend, then sit down and do it again. I wound up knowing the material better than most of my collegues who were "studying for five hours straight" [largely because, if you ever sit down to watch your classmates perform this little maneuver, they're really chatting, staring off into space, and occasionally studying]. The time spent walking, getting coffee turns out to be great for consolidating information.

    In general, what I wish someone had told me before I started med school is that you should ignore what everyone else is doing and figure out your own way of doing it, that all the legends you hear about how medical students study are complete BS, and to ignore anyone who tried to foist off how I was going to have some sort of problem with X Y and Z given A B or C about myself.

    Anka
     
  22. Taurus

    Taurus Paul Revere of Medicine 10+ Year Member

    3,066
    234
    Jul 27, 2004
    How the women didn't look so good the first day, but they looked better and better with each passing day.
     
  23. Labslave

    Labslave Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    718
    0
    Aug 19, 2005
    Best advice in this thread. :thumbup:
     
  24. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Really, really agree with both. The class above us published an unofficial guide with information for each class. It was sort of helpful, but the problem is that the advice section for each class is written by the person who made the highest score in that class (or made one of the highest). Since I know that's not going to be me and since I'm more interested in knowing what I need to know to do okay rather than totally excellent, the advice really isn't all the useful.

    As for the statement above about basic science grades not being important, I'd like more info about that. At my school, we get the notion from the people in our class and the class above us that it's really important to do well. Of course, none of us are anywhere near applying for residencies, so we don't really know much.
     
  25. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    This is really true, too. :) I have trouble focusing for long stretches of time and never sit down and study straight for more than an hour if that. Once I reach the point where I'm having to reread the same sentence five times, I take a break. That usually hits after about 45 minutes of studying. :eek:

    I also agree with the second point. I've found some things helpful for me that everybody else has told me is a total waste of time. For example, I actually read textbooks sometimes because I'm a reading type of person and prefer sentences and paragraphs to laundry lists of facts to memorize. Just because it doesn't work for all the vocal people in your class doesn't mean it won't work for you.
     
  26. Timmythemic22

    Timmythemic22 Beep Beep Ribby Ribby 10+ Year Member

    1,210
    24
    Dec 28, 2004
    NJ
    Really? Details please.
     
  27. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    1,813
    3
    Jun 24, 2005
    N'awlins
    You don't have to do all five hours consecutively but yes you will have to study 5+ hours a day in totum. You can slack a bit the week after an exam but otherwise this is the norm. I study for 45 minutes (I found thru experimentation that this is the max time for my peak concentration) and then I take a break. Its lame but I use an egg timer that counts down from 45 minutes, then I use it again and time a 15 minute break doing whatever before I start up again. I skip most of my classes so I wake up in the morning and sit down to study like it was my job. I take a few extended breaks for lunch, working out and dinner and usually don't have to start up again after dinner unless I had alot of non-studying activities that day or its within a week of an exam. I'm not a slow person, my family actually called me the human sponge when I was a kid because of my exceptional memory . . . but in medschool everyone is exceptional (thats how they got here) and the volume of the workload forces almost everyone to work at least 3-5 hours a day everyday of the week to stay afloat. For some people they will need even more than that. To honor you will need more than that. Accept this reality or your adjustment to medschool will be more painful than necessary.
     
  28. Currently an MS0, but one of the things that has been encouraging to me is something a friend of mine in high school (class before me, now a second-year med student) said: yes, people study a lot, but for her, she doesn't study nearly as much as most others and still does reasonably well.

    Stories about undergrad being more difficult aside, I'm still kind of hoping that I'll be one of those people that can study less than ~4-5 hours a day, attend lectures, and be more or less alright.
     
  29. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    1,813
    3
    Jun 24, 2005
    N'awlins
    If your actually getting something out of lecture then you can attend a few hours of lecture a day and study a few more hours and have it work out to someone like me who studies for 5-6 hours a day but doesn't go to class. If your not getting anything out of class however and still insist upon/are forced to attend you will have to study more out of class. Think about full time jobs people, where you are asked to be functional for 6-7 hours of your 8 hour day (you get lunch and a few trips to the water cooler) . . . medschool isn't asking anything more than being your job, and you have the freedom to decide when you want to work and when you want to break. You can take a night off and then work harder for the next few days. Its really not that bad except right around an exam when most people have to kick it up a notch.
     
  30. TX_Longhorn

    TX_Longhorn OU sucks 5+ Year Member

    144
    0
    Apr 18, 2004
    Austin, TX
    LOL, so damn true
     
  31. Sol Rosenberg

    Sol Rosenberg Long Live the New Flesh! 10+ Year Member

    3,534
    6
    Feb 11, 2006
    Living in America
    I'd really like to hear details, both so I can know what to expect, but also because your story (stories?) seems to have Jerry Springer-like undertones and sound amusing.
     
  32. SanDiegoSOD

    SanDiegoSOD Milk was a bad choice 7+ Year Member

    2,795
    7
    Jul 5, 2004
    Sunny California
    Amen! Don't follow the flock and sit in a coffee shop for 6 hours and highlight notes like many of your classmates, studying that way because everyone else does. Figure out what works for you, and stick to it - dont worry about what others are doing.
     
  33. SelflessAct

    SelflessAct kickin' it 2+ Year Member

    394
    1
    Aug 15, 2006
    durty souf
    Same is true about some of the guys. Oh wait...no, that's just when I'm seriously drunk and can't focus my eyes on anything for more than 2 seconds at a time.

    Also, I wish somebody had told me that cramming sometimes does work, that you will start to love/need/crave coffee even if you hated it with a passion before, and that there is no such thing as TMI ever again, with anyone - medical or non-medical. Ever. And because of that, life suddenly becomes more interesting in ways you wouldn't have thought of, and you secretly smile to yourself.
     
  34. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

    1,713
    2
    Feb 23, 2007
    I would have stayed out another year and established residency in a different state. Choose your school carefully.
     
  35. Tired

    Tired Fading away 7+ Year Member

    3,886
    770
    Dec 12, 2006
    I'm reluctant to give details and specific stories, because I'm not 100% convinced that I would be giving any one good advice, and I didn't always conduct myself completely professionally. I have mouthed off to attendings and residents one or two times, a few more than that to nurses and techs. In each case I have felt justified based on the way they were treating me. In each case there were personal recriminations (getting ignored by staff, having people talk about me, and three of my evaluations used the word "arrogant" in the comments section).

    In no case did I ever fail a rotation, although on Ob/Gyn I got a "pass" grade instead of "honors" and I attribute that to conflicts I had on L&D. I will tell that story here, scroll through it if you're bored.

    [I was covering a laboring patient for a classmate who was at dinner, and of course she goes while my friend was gone. I go into the room, and the attending was already there. As I walk in, she yells, "Where the hell have you been? Don't you know your patient is giving birth?" I let that go and do the delivery with her, and the whole time she's asking me all these specific questions about the patient's lab values and presentation, which of course I don't know. She's getting angrier and angrier. Finally, as the placenta is delivering, she says, "What are the three signs of imminent placental delivery?" At this point I was no longer answering her questions, and just said, "It comes out."

    Of course she starts yelling at me for not reading enough (in front of the patient and family) and tells me she's going to pimp me more later that night so I'd better read up. I don't answer.

    Later the R3 comes up to me and says, "I can't believe you didn't know the three signs of placental delivery!" and lists them off. I tell her, "That's not signs of imminent delivery, that's what happens when the placenta comes out." She says, "You need to know this!" I tell her, "Honestly, that attending was really rude, and this is the stupidest conversation I've ever had in my life." And I walk away.

    This was only one of many problems I had on that rotation.]

    It helps when you consistently do well on Shelf exams.

    On the other hand, I have one classmate who did fail a rotation, and he swears it was because of things he said to a resident. I wasn't there, and he doesn't always do great on exams, so I can't really speak to the truth of that.

    Just remember that you don't have to be a cowering wimp on your clinical rotations. If someone is being rude to you, tell them that. If they're abusing you, call them on it. You don't have to be loud or threatening about it, but you can be firm. You didn't sacrifice your right to be treated as a person when you put on the coat. They don't want to fail you, and most of the residents don't have that power anyway.
     
  36. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!! 2+ Year Member

    1,423
    5
    May 9, 2006
    :laugh:
     
  37. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted" Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    7,620
    332
    Nov 4, 2000
    sodom, south georgia
    i wish i would have known about the breadth and pervasiveness of bullsh*t in modern medicine. it am continually amazed at the state of utter ridiculousness we operate in.

    but don't take it from me, the dean of students told my ethics small group today "don't ever lose that self-righteous indignation, we're counting on you guys to fix this."

    find the things you love, and strive to make them at least as much a part of your life in med school as they are now.
     
  38. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon 7+ Year Member

    2,180
    21
    May 1, 2006
    Well done.
     
  39. SelflessAct

    SelflessAct kickin' it 2+ Year Member

    394
    1
    Aug 15, 2006
    durty souf
    Agreed...take this to heart, people.
     
  40. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse Administrator Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    13,201
    2,140
    Jan 9, 2006
    Actually, I was also referring to the fact that he said that he can't really retain information/facts in a vacuum. I probably shouldn't have used the word "problem," even though I would say that I did have a major problem adjusting my study habits to med school. Maybe "difficulty" would have been a better word. Either way, it won't be smooth sailing, although I don't doubt that he can do it.
     
  41. Anka

    Anka Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    789
    10
    Aug 18, 2003
    Umm... yeah. I certainly can't retain facts in a vacuum. I admire people who can, though. More power to you.

    For the rest of us, though, like I said, don't listen to anyone who says you're going to have a problem with X Y and Z because of qualities A B and C. You just have to find something that works for you.

    Anka
     
  42. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse Administrator Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    13,201
    2,140
    Jan 9, 2006
    No, no, no - you misunderstand me. The reason why I initially called it a "problem" was because I have the same problem. I have trouble studying for long periods of time on my own and I don't remember things that are not put within a certain context. Which is partly why I hate pharm so damn much.

    Anyway - not important. Good luck to everyone starting med school next fall.
     
  43. leathaface

    leathaface Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    14
    0
    Feb 24, 2006
    :laugh: Good stuff
     
  44. GuzzyRon

    GuzzyRon Son of the Son of Man 10+ Year Member

    Yeah...me too.
     
  45. anon-y-mouse

    anon-y-mouse Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    1,382
    10
    Nov 14, 2005
    This is not true in general. You do NOT need to study 5 hours a day in order to do well. I made 100's on my first three tests this semester, and did well previously as well. The volume is high, but NOT 5 hours high. I'd I study maybe 14 hours a week? Maybe 20/week the week before exams? I don't consider myself particularly brilliant either. Perhaps your strategy is overkill?

    and Blaine:

    "One of the more idiotic trends I've found in med school is that all the underclassmen tend to listen to the same 5-10 upperclassmen, most of whom are in the HP/H/235+ crowd."

    Why is this an idiotic trend? Shouldn't you want to hear advice from those who did well?
     
  46. FizbanZymogen

    FizbanZymogen Guitar Hero Champion 5+ Year Member

    511
    0
    Nov 1, 2005
    D.C.
    OMFG!!! I would have loved to be a fly on the wall. I haven't laughed this hard in months (maybe its becuase its 3 in the freakin morning).
     
  47. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon 7+ Year Member

    2,180
    21
    May 1, 2006
    Because if you are shaping up to be a P=MD person who really struggles to keep their head above water what good does it do you to get advice from someone at the opposite end of the spectrum?
     
  48. JohnUC33

    JohnUC33 A Stinkin Conservative 7+ Year Member

    504
    0
    Apr 20, 2005
    TN
    I wish I would have known that going to class is usually a big waste of time.
     
  49. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    1,813
    3
    Jun 24, 2005
    N'awlins
    I think there is tons of range, but most people I know spend about 5 hours a day absorbing medschool knowledge. I included attending class in this count of time spent, I personally study on my own during class time since I don't retain well from lectures but if your someone who retains well then that time is in effect studying. If you don't go to class and you study an average of 2 hours per day then you are definitely not representative of what I've seen most people needing to do to get by with a decent grade. I know people who don't need this much time and I know people who need a ton more time but most people I know need around 5 hours of class+studying or just studying a day.

    I think there is also range between schools. 100s are extremely rare on exams at my school (I think its happened 3 times since I got here over 12 total exams for 180 kids so thats 3/2160 which is .003% of the exams) so you would be at the very top of my class with your consecutive 100s which would make you particularly brillant and not the norm by which to judge what the average medstudent would need to do to succeed. There are plenty of people at my school who double your study efforts and don't achieve what you did, so either you're brilliant or LSU is secretely hardcore or perhaps a mix of the two.
     
  50. mudphudwannabe

    mudphudwannabe Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    438
    2
    Dec 18, 2004
    I think a lot depends on your school, your motivation, and your ability to passively absorb information. You do not *have to* spend 5 hours a day studying. You don't even have to spend 1 hour a day studying. You can cram before exams and get by on that. It all depends on your style. However, don't expect to ace your classes if you choose the cramming method, even though this might have worked for you in undergrad. If you can tolerate some mediocrity when it comes to grades, you don't need to spend substatial amounts of time studying every day. You do have to learn the material, but it's a matter of priorities. For me, that was an important decision. Medical school is not my life -- yes, it's an important PART of my life, but it's not the be all and end all. The difference between a B and an A might be studying 5 hours a day, and generally it's just not worth it to me. Sometimes I get A's, sometimes I don't. I always learn a lot, though, and what I do learn tends to stick with me just about as well as it does for everyone else (even the people who spend all their free time "studying" in the library). Basically, do what you're comfortable with, and don't get too obsessive about studying. It's all about choices and priorities. You'll need your sanity -- this is a long haul, especially if you're unhappy!
     
  51. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    1,813
    3
    Jun 24, 2005
    N'awlins

    Yeah, my systems assumes not wanting to end up cramming because personally this is what drives me crazy. I do know people who pull crazy all nighters for a week before the exam, whereas I who before that week came was treating medschool like a job and studying for 5 hours a day (not going to class so this is the total out of 24 hours that I am devoting to medschool, which doesn't seem obsessive to me but whatever) am calm and cool and still sleeping when that pretest week comes along. Its all about what works better for you, but most people I know work pretty hard for medschool, whether its slow and steady like me or hardcore crazy 1-2 weeks before a test.
     

Share This Page