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  1. #1
    MD-BAM is offline Newbie 510 points
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    How was your experience? (help end my anxiety)

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    I would appreciate it if current students/alumni would share their Nevis experience with us students to be. What were some of your worries prior to coming to the island and starting school? What did you expect the experience to be like? How did it end up being? Given what you have gone through would you do it all again? What was your typical day like? (feel free to talk about anything else related) Oh and what advice do you have for us to be succesful. The majority of people on valuemd are here for help envisioning their success so all your replies would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    SPODAT's Avatar
    SPODAT is offline Senior Member 520 points
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    I guess my experience was what I conceived; constant work and very little fun. I'm older so had to apply a lot of discipline. My advice would be to avoid partying, except maybe at block end. Expect initial anxiety to be anywhre from mildly increased to raging insane. You're in an enclosed environment, away from home and relational comforts, and the pressure's on. Some people simply melted down over a week, or months. The Island is really fun, and I would reserve at least 1/2 day on a weekend to do no studying and simply relax, drive around, eat some good food, go swimming, hang with friends (or family in my case). Go to bed at the same time each night. Do not fall under the fantasy that studying when you're exhausted is helpful. Exercise several times a week so you can sleep well. Do not neglect your basic needs of friednship, exercise, nutrition, and sleep. Sounds silly but it's the baseline stuff that makes a difference. Keep a very dedicated business side. Keep yourself on track for USMLE exams, getting rotations. 99% of your time is spent studying so that's all you have to plan. But you need to be aware of the professional side of things. Keep relationships with professors and admin respectable and professional. Avoid venting frustration you'll feel at them and fellow students. It won't really be forgotten. On this small Island, in the even smaller community of MUA, your behavior is remembered and effects you when it's time to get clinical rotations, reccomendations, ECFMG certificates, and just lots of little frustrating things along the road when you need cooperation and it may be slow in coming. This includes the Cafe staff on campus, and the often negative and unnaceptable behavior of islanders who work on campus. It would never pass American standards for customer service, but its' just their way. Be respectful to Islanders, even though they rarely smile at you. That also is just their way. No mistaking, they may not like you, but so what, it's their home, not ours. These last things have little effect except the times you go to shop or dine. Just keep your head in your work, and have some fun time each week, and you'll do well. It really is a long, long road and expect panic, anxiety, and feelings of defeat at times. Feelings are not always real so feel them and ask for support and move on. Just keep studying even when you feel it's pointless. This is a whole other topic, but Learn effective study methods. Do what works for you, not what works for someone else (such as some people will say you have to read the textbook, but it may be the biggest waste of time for many students). Do what works for you on a daily basis. Don't get behind on daily reviewing the material. Take care.
    Last edited by SPODAT; 08-19-2012 at 09:56 PM.
    MUA finished.
    Psychiatry residency finished.
    Staff psychiatrist. Hidden Content

  3. #3
    the_hitman is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Could I ask, if im starting in jan13, should i do any preparatory studyin or work before I come to the island to prepare myself? Some has told me to enjoy whats here cuz when u go to the island its all studying every moment. Im worried/panic right now having some tips will be great. As well should I start buying books? or worry about that later? thanks

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    SPODAT's Avatar
    SPODAT is offline Senior Member 520 points
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    I would try to get this answered by more recent students than me. But my gut says 1.Don't study before going because you end up wasting time, increasing anxiety on stuff that may be off topic; 2. Buy books if you are a book person and that makes you feel more secure, but you essentially do not need them. The information is all given in slides, and then you make your own study notes of the main, high yield stuff.

    The book lists are there because every med school has to have a book list. But as of about 4 years ago, nobody really needed books to get A's in the courses, if you just attend and listen to all lectures, take notes, and re-study the main stuff as many times as it takes for you. Books are information overload, information diffusion, and should be mostly for refference, compared to teh amazing condensation of info thatt the prof's do. I hope this is still true today with the current batch of profs.
    Last edited by SPODAT; 08-20-2012 at 08:36 PM.
    MUA finished.
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  5. #5
    the_hitman is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Spodat very thankful for your help!!! can i pm u a few questions that I havent been able to found anyone to give me a hand on about? Im anxious to start med school, but been very worried that i will not make it through at times. Just wanna get the extra info to make myself more comfortable. Thanks

  6. #6
    don1 is offline Moderator 547 points
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    i agree with the advice given. little point studying prior to coming down to the island and starting. it is difficult to know where to start.

    when you are on the island don't think about residency or clinical rotations or usmle step 1 or 2. focus on learning the material that is presented to you in class. You're goal is to master the material the teacher thinks it is best for you to learn. in med5 you can start worrying about the usmle step 1. during clinical rotations you can worry about residency.

    also, don't believe everything other students say. what I mean is, some students in your class will say they haven't studied and upper year students may sometimes say, "oohh, that exam was a total joke and doesn't require any studying". It is so temping to take their advice as an excuse to take a break and not study for something; I have done this a few times. I don't know why people lie like this; my best guess is they feel if they say that others will think they are super smart for not studying and doing well or they want you to fail! sometimes people say this and they are not lieing and they end up failing. better to be safe and treat everything seriously.

    before you know it, you will be in the clinical rotations and not remember the island life. try your best to enjoy it. after that, you will be a resident and being a medical student will be a distant memory.

    also, when dealing with the administrative staff, like mentioned before, always be respectful. I've had disagreements, but I have said so in a respectful way. when it came time for my clinical rotations and applying for residency, the admin was amazing. I had plenty of last minute requests and they were amazing in doing what they could to help me. Always remember that for the school to look good they want you to do good. They have a vested interested in you becoming a sucessful doctor.
    Last edited by don1; 08-21-2012 at 08:11 AM.

  7. #7
    SPODAT's Avatar
    SPODAT is offline Senior Member 520 points
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    Of course you can pm me. But I'll just tell you that anxiety that you won't make it is only a sign of your self honesty. Don't ignore those feelings, just speak the truth to it, like "well, what's the evidence for that. I've made it this far. All I have to do is work". The challenges can be truley daunting. At times in the first week of a new semester I'd easily, seriously think "I can no way do this. It's humanly impossible to believe I can do this, much less all the future steps ahead...". I'd get really fatalistic. But then it would pass. By the 4th semester, I didn't think that way anymore, it just went away.

    Don1's advice above about the admin, and other stuff is right on with my experience also. I agree. Let me know, pm me if you need something else.
    MUA finished.
    Psychiatry residency finished.
    Staff psychiatrist. Hidden Content

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