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  1. #1
    DocDocGoose is offline Member 510 points
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    Advice for 2nd semester students

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    Are there any good tips for 2nd semester...

    I know when first coming here I got some good tips for first semester like to kill the first mini especially biochem part of it. and advice on some teachers and how to study for them. Also tips on how to deal with adjusting to island life.

    Anything like that for 2nd semester? I know all of it was kind of simple and sometimes obvious (like do well on the first mini) but it still went a long way in helping me. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one without "files."

  2. #2
    Phenix621 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Okay... Look at the break down for what 1st mini is going to be. When I was back in the Island, physio is worth 40% on mini 1. Make sure you study it well (know it cold!) because if you fail that part, you are most likely going to repeat the semester. Costanza and BRS Phys are key.

    Do questions, questions, and more questions for phys. Only way you are going to learn it.

    Anatomy is chill for the first mini...I took the hit on it because I needed to make sure I got the physio grade. That being said, mini II and Mini III are big for anatomy because of the practicals that are right around it.

    As for neuro, I had Dr. O, and you guys have somebody new. Make sure you understand your tracts and cranial nerves. They are key for the step. I know people who like Neuro made ridicioulously simple, but I got the High Yield Neuro, but I'll admit its very bare bones.

    First AID has a good neuro section, especially the functions of nuclei. I suggest you read that over, esp the parts for the hypothalamus and thalamus.

    Biochem i felt 2nd sem was way easier than first semester. The First Aid Biochem under metabolic biochemistry is your roadmap. I didn't care for Dr. L's lectures, and I wished I just used the FA to learn all the things I needed to know for Metabolic biochem.

    Don't worry about not having the files. Most of them are pretty crap to begin with, and you'll waste more time sifting through all the junk before you find a nuggett of gold.

    If you are having trouble with biochem, i suggest you get the lippencott's book, and look at the diagrams for it. Also, type in Biochem webpage in google and you should find links for the Indiana State Biochem site.

    Biochem animation: communicating at an unknown rate

    Another metabolic biochem website: Biochem of Metabolism

    Hope it helps. PM me if you need more info or advise.

  3. #3
    mad6russell is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    physio is no longer 40% and all the biochem and anat were worth the same % (i think like 20 an exam or something) So on the first one just try to do well. Dr. W and the new Dr. A are really straight forward, so neuro shouldnt be too bad as long as you study it. Go to the TA sessions. Bio is a lot better than semester 1. Dr. M basically gives you the questions as does Dr. B. Genetics is most of Mini3 so you should be able to do well on it. Study the head and neck hard core for anat it will pay off for practical 1. Oh and do dr. C practice questions for anatomy, he uses then verbatim. For Dr. V anatomy do michigan and BRS. Uses them verbatim

  4. #4
    AA62 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    knuckle up I say. If you did well in 1st semester, the two weeks for patting yourself on the back are over. Most alumni will agree: the proving ground for the basic sciences curriculum is 2nd semester.

    Biochem/Genetics is odd - the material is not difficult when compared to 1st semester (1st semester biochem actually covered a lot of physiology), but the questions on the minis can be downright ridiculous. What sunk a lot of people was mini I biochem, and mini II biochem was not made any easier because of the poor performance on mini I; mini III biochem is mostly genetics and pretty easy. First Aid is money for both shelf and coursework, especially for vitamins/minerals, carbohydrate diseases, lipid metabolism and protein metabolism/urea cycle. DO NOT LAG IN BIOCHEM - if you do, consider yourself repeating.

    Neuroscience - our semester got severely screwed over for mini II neuro because of the numerous guest lecturers brought in. Topics like motor systems and cerebellum were not taught well at all, and required self-learning (combination of High Yield, BRS and Wikipedia). Also mini III neuro gets very abstract (as neuroscience becomes neuropsychology). Furthermore, the shelf extensively tests neuropathology, which is only touched on briefly in this course (it will be taught in depth in pathology)
    That said, with some hard work and study, Neuro is an easy A, and Dr. W and the new Dr. A are great profs.

    Histology - an easy A. Just keep on track, and look at PPT and PDF slides once in while to keep up with the lab component. Dr. Y is the most common lecturer in 2nd semester histo, and is terrific; Dr. KC is also a common lecturer, but is good during second semester. Be wary about mini III histo (histology/embryology of the urinary and reproductive systems), as the material is very dense.

    Anatomy - students enjoy second semester anatomy a lot more because it requires less memorization (i.e.: muscle O/I/IN/F), and more clinical application (bitemporal hemianopsia will become the two most important words in 2nd semester). Head and neck are difficult in subject content, but mini I anat and the first lab exam are quite easy. Utilize TA sessions throughout the course, and for head/neck and random lymphatics, use BRS. There is some overlap with neuroscience when it comes to neuroanatomy - integrate, but do not think studying for only one will suffice for the other.

    Physiology - read the packets, know the packets and you'll do fine. Use flow charts for endocrinology and use BRS case questions for mini prep. Some find the renal block difficult, but its not as bad as you may think (more conceptual/circumstantial learning than cold memorization)...if you're having difficulty, use Vander's Renal Physio. Like Biochem, do not lag in your performance, because you will be repeating the semester. Btw, the Physio shelf is ridiculously hard.

  5. #5
    DocDocGoose is offline Member 510 points
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    Wow that was really great advice. thank you everybody!

  6. #6
    JonathanMD is offline Member 510 points
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    I agree.

    Copy/pasted that post for later use.
    2medschool.com | 4medschool.com | 6medschool.com

  7. #7
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    Laconic is offline Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by AA62 View Post
    What sunk a lot of people was mini I biochem, and mini II biochem was not made any easier because of the poor performance on mini I; mini III biochem is mostly genetics and pretty easy. First Aid is money for both shelf and coursework, especially for vitamins/minerals, carbohydrate diseases, lipid metabolism and protein metabolism/urea cycle. DO NOT LAG IN BIOCHEM - if you do, consider yourself repeating.
    Good advice. But I thought mini 1 and 2 were a lot more easier than mini 3 biochem, well genetics. More so because Dr.L's ridiculous questions on "selections" etc, which I sort of ignored due to lack to clinical relevance what so ever. My fault I guess, should have known the disclaimer of - know everything. The exam breakdown obtained by our rep for mini 3, IMO, was a lot different than what actually appeared on that mini.
    Last edited by islandthrift; 05-07-2009 at 09:57 AM. Reason: Names
    If you aint got it in your genes, sweat it out.

  8. #8
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    DEQNY85 is offline Elite Member
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    Preschool (1st) has ended and you are beginning the heavy stuff now.....a brand new class (neuro) and heavier loads from every class.. prepare yourself accordingly and kill the MINI1 so you are not left worried the rest of the semester
    Ross Graduate- 2012
    PGY1- Surgery Prelim

  9. #9
    Phenix621 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    If you are on probo coming into 2nd, I strongly advise you to repeat 1st. Final MPS will be in the 60s. You'll have to be averaging close to a 70 second semester to make it through.

  10. #10
    AA62 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    kill the MINI1 so you are not left worried the rest of the semester
    This is true - hit the ground running. If you can smoke mini I biochem, neuro and physio, then you're going to be in good shape for those courses the rest of the semester, which are the harder 3 of the total 6 courses.

    Do not rely on mini III to pull you through passing, because you're going to be out of gas by that time (15 days - 3 lab exams, 5 shelves and 1 mini).

    Do not study more than 1 day for a shelf exam - they are not nearly as bad as people make them out to be to begin with; rather, study for mini III during the final 15 days of the semester. Shelves do not test your study skills, academic discipline or your work ethic...they test your general knowledge of medical academica, and in truth, raw intelligence and problem-solving skills (and face it, some people are just naturally smarter than others). Furthermore, the shelf exams are belled twice, so don't stress too much if you feel you bombed one (i.e.: physio). There will be stuff tested on the shelves that you will not have touched (especially in physiology and neurology) - remember, these exams are designed as pre-USMLE exams. While your shelf scores do provide some indication as to how you will perform on step I, they are in no way indicative of your proficiency as a clerk, resident and ultimately physician, so don't get too depressed or excited about your scores.

    For each mini exam, take your strongest subjects (in my case anatomy and histology), and leave them for last minute studying - concentrate most of your studying on your weaknesses (which for most are biochem and physio). Never let your weaknesses lag you down, because you will end up repeating the semester.

    Some found the neuro and anat lab exams to be tough (particularly, the neuro lab exams, which are filled with secondary/tertiary questions) - take advantage of the TA sessions once in a while (come to mine ).

    I am dead serious about this part - academic discipline. I would say that for the next 100 or so days (2nd semester), you will be partying (hard) for a grand total of 7-8 days: 2-3 days during 1st week, after mini I (BEACH BASH), after mini II, a day in early March, a day in late March (POWDERPUFF) and after mini III..anymore, and a) you are pulling mid 90s to 100s in everything but should improve your work ethic, or b) tempting failure.
    Last edited by AA62; 05-07-2009 at 03:21 PM.

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