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  1. #1
    MD_2014 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    How to do well at MUA

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    This is to all of the upperclassmen and to those that completed M1. I was hoping you guys could help us freshmen by providing us with some tips or pointers on how to do well and succeed at MUA. Some things to keep in mind:

    How did you guys study?

    What methods worked for you and what didn't?

    What would you dp differently if you could do it again?

    What should we expect to gain from lectures?

    How/when should we start preping for boards?

    What should we expect from the M1 classes (in terms of professors, grading and overall structure of the course?)

    again, any strategies or advice you guys might provide is very well appreciated. I'm sure that my classmates and myself will benefit from this thread.

  2. #2
    don1 is offline Moderator 547 points
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    see responses below

    Quote Originally Posted by MD_2014 View Post
    This is to all of the upperclassmen and to those that completed M1. I was hoping you guys could help us freshmen by providing us with some tips or pointers on how to do well and succeed at MUA. Some things to keep in mind:

    How did you guys study?
    study every day. after class I would go home take a break for about an hour and then study at home or in the library until I went to bed. I would also try to do something active most days like going for a run or something. getting a good night sleep in important. let your social life suffer if you have to.

    What methods worked for you and what didn't?
    for some classes I would print the slides, for other I would just look off the computer.
    what didn't work is reading a slide with lots of information and believing i memorized it. what worked is looking away from the slides I was studying and recalling all the information on the slide. if you can do that, you know the material.

    do not study just to do well on the exams. you can do this and pass all the courses at mua with little problems. study to know the material. if you don't, you will have a problem passing the comprehensive exam at the end or the usmle step 1.

    What would you dp differently if you could do it again?
    i wouldn't believe what some other students said. some people think it's cool to say they don't study and they really study all the time. I suppose they do this to make themselves seem smart. focus on both memorizing and understanding the material. to understand the material you may need to do additional reading beyond what is taught in class.

    for the most part I did fine at MUA, so there isn't a lot I would change. my experience so far has been really good.

    in hind sight I would also study first aid for the boards book during classes. it has the most important information in it that you will be tested in for step 1. however, for classes if you study only first aid, you will fail for sure. mua classes go overkill on the information you need to know. I suppose they figure that if they overteach you, you will atleast know the basic information well. I think there are problems with this approach but its not worth complaining over. the advantage of looking at first aid book before med 5 is that when you study it at the end, you will know that book extremely well..which will help for step 1 and the comprehensive exam given at the end (an exam that predicts your score on step 1 and people need to pass to be allowed to write the step 1 exam.. ).

    What should we expect to gain from lectures?
    a better understanding of the material and they will tell you what they are going to be testing. it is best to preread the material before class if you can. prereading is sorta like the experience of watching a tv show a second time, you pick up so much more compared to the first time.

    i suppose the answer to this question is the same as what someone would answer for any north american school. some profs are excellent and you will understand a lot by listening to them, some are not.

    How/when should we start preping for boards?
    step 1 i assume is what you mean. you should study first aid first step 1 and usmle world questions. do not think about the boards until med 5. learn the material they teach you, because they are trying to build the foundation of knowledge that you then have to integrate for the boards. this will make more sense when you study for the boards..in med 5.

    maybe also for shelf exams that are given at the end of most classes, studying from the first aid book would be a great idea to do well.


    What should we expect from the M1 classes (in terms of professors, grading and overall structure of the course?)
    the structure may have changed since I was there. I'm in clinicals now. the impression the professors have is that you will fail if you don't study hard. most pass, very few fail. the mentality is a fear based mentality...just like step 1...just like step 2....just like much of the US medical training system.

    again, any strategies or advice you guys might provide is very well appreciated. I'm sure that my classmates and myself will benefit from this thread.
    Last edited by don1; 07-31-2010 at 07:29 AM.

  3. #3
    MD_2014 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by don1 View Post
    see responses below

    Thanks for the awesome post. Very informative.

    everyone else, please feel free to contribute. It would really help us new student.

  4. #4
    manuka honey is offline Member 511 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by don1 View Post
    see responses below
    I want to thank you don1, joe soap spodat etc and other guys and gals form MUA who always give helpful and useful advice that give truly great results .Please keep on posting as we truly appreciate your sincere advice and good sense .

    all the best

  5. #5
    wAyRadikull's Avatar
    wAyRadikull is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Board prep starts Day 1 of Med 1. Work hard through out all your courses and you'll be sitting pretty come step 1 time.

    If I were you, I'd get an old copy of FA (you'd buy the most recent one when you're in med 5), a review book pertaining to the class/subject (ex. BRS Anatomy) and lecture notes provided by the teacher. Make sure you study every single day but also make sure that you give yourself a few half days (mine were friday and saturday night) to avoid burn out.

    Don't fool your self into thinking that you can study every waking moment because at a given point in time, it becomes counter productive, your brain needs rest after all the information.

    Show up to class on time, try and pay attention so your day doesn't go to waste, I saw a lot of kids watching tv shows, movies etc. Review all the day's material after class, and once again over the weekend. That way, when block exams come up, all you need to do is review. As time progresses, you will figure out what works for you and what doesn't.

    One thing that I think NEEDs to be mentioned is, "Don't do what does NOT work for your". You should tailor your study needs according to yourself. Don't listen to other people and change your study approach because a method which works for them, might not work for you and vice versa. It's okay to hear people out and try out their methods if your methods are not getting you where you need to be. Don't be scared to change it up if you feel that you're not learning the material well. You'll know what I mean once you start studying for blocks etc.

    As far as what you should get out of lecture? You should get all your questions answered. That was my goal for my whole island experience, I DID NOT want to leave the island with unanswered questions. The teachers are very knowledgeable and as long as you show some initiative, you're going to get your answer. I would try and pay attention in lecture, go home and re-read lecture slides and type up questions I have for the next day. It worked out pretty well for me as I was never in a position to say "I have no idea".

    Last but not the least, take NBME Shelf exams seriously. They are an indication as to how you would fare against your AMG counterparts. I studied and did well for ALL my shelf exams and subsequently ended up with an above average board score, I feel as if there is a positive correlation between the two. I would highly recommend you review FA and a review book of choice in its entirety before shelf exams.

    Hope that helps.

  6. #6
    jenning is offline Junior Member 514 points
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    Thanks for the advice

  7. #7
    don1 is offline Moderator 547 points
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    thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by manuka honey View Post
    I want to thank you don1, joe soap spodat etc and other guys and gals form MUA who always give helpful and useful advice that give truly great results .Please keep on posting as we truly appreciate your sincere advice and good sense .

    all the best

  8. #8
    joe soap's Avatar
    joe soap is offline Senior Member 512 points
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    I'm gearing up for residency and interviews so will most likely be a.w.o.l. for a while....

    peace...
    Joe Soap MD Hidden Content
    Attending Physician

  9. #9
    wAyRadikull's Avatar
    wAyRadikull is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe soap View Post
    I'm gearing up for residency and interviews so will most likely be a.w.o.l. for a while....

    peace...
    Good luck on the application process as well as on the interview trails. We're all rooting for you

  10. #10
    SPODAT's Avatar
    SPODAT is offline Senior Member 520 points
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    I'll just share a few things that worked well for me.
    1. Listen for what is the "high yield" material, then do your best to understand the foundational science behind it.
    2. Use whatever methods have worked in your past for remembering lots of facts. Flashcards work well for many people. REPETITION is the only thing that really worked well for me.
    3. If you have TEST ANXIETY (blanking out, racing heart, wondering why you can't recall things you know, going over the choices to questions >2 times, sense of impending doom before tests...etc...) try to deal with this, in whichever way you need to (meditation, prayer, counseling on campus, not sure if it's still there). This ate my lunch until I learned how to deal with it.
    4. As stated above, DON'T WORRY ABOUT BOARDS until Med5. Most of the Med5 classes I had (May 2008) were a very nice amalgamation of much of the previous material. And you have to pass the cumulative shelf to be allowed to sit for step1 right? It's not as exhausting as Step 1, but it's a lot of the same material.
    5. After you've passed the cumulative shelf exam to be allowed by MUA to take step 1, and start clinicals, the DO USMLE WORLD questions. In my opinion, and I think many others, they are BY FAR the best way to test your readiness and repeat, and relearn, and get used to doing questions in the 72 seconds per that you get.

    Many good points above. If you care, and you show up, and you've arrived to where you are, and you keep asking questions, you'll do awesomely.

    Blessings.
    MUA finished.
    Psychiatry residency finished.
    Staff psychiatrist. Hidden Content

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