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Thread: Ross semester 1-5: what it's like & things I wish I knew

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    longtimewaiting is offline Member 658 points
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    Ross semester 1-5: what it's like & things I wish I knew

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    Hi Everybody,
    It's been a while since I posted, but since I have gone through semester 1-5, I finally have time to write about it. Now that those semesters are over, I realized that there are a lot of things I learned and wish I knew. I wish I had a guide, but that is not possible. You will learn along the way .A lot of people that I know also said the same thing. Not everybody has the same experiences, but I really hope this post is helpful to future students and current students moving forward through the semesters. I know that there are multiple posts about this, but I don't think one more will hurt. By the way, like I said everyone has different experiences so if you disagree with anything I say please don't be nasty about. So without further delay (WARNING: this will probably be very long but you can scroll to sections that are relevant to you).

    Before you get to the island: If you have been accepted then you are probably filled with joy that you have an opportunity to achieve your dream. Enjoy that moment. Celebrate, relax. All this will come to an abrupt halt once school starts. Please do NOT pre-study or look over stuff in hopes that you will be prepared for class. It really doesn't work that way and you will burn out very early in the semester. Enjoy your time with friends and family while you have it b/c homesickness settles in early while you are on the island. Every professor teaches differently and the syllabus changes each semester. Once you have made the decision to attend, I highly suggest that you look for housing early..DONT WAIT till you get there. Be proactive. Call the housing department and start inquiring about available housing. That is how I got to stay in really good housing. Actually, I thought it was better to fly down to the island early if you can swing it so that you can really see what you are getting into. I did it without regret and it worked very well for me. It was work spending the money and I got also of info that was important. Plus you can request a housing tour and you will get to know the best places to stay and how far you are willing to walk to get to class. I know that in this economy it is tough, but if you can do it. Depending on where you live prices change. Better place=more money, but I think it is well worth it. You tend to lose electricity very often (like 2X a week). A place with a generator is essential (at least for me it was). If you can swing it, visit the island early before school starts that way you can get the best pick of housing and get to see where you are living. Plus you can get a cell phone and start your bank account (you will avoid the early semester 1 hr. lines)

    What to pack: bring the essentials that you need for your everyday survival. Any face creams, specific mouthwash, toothpaste...even toiletpaper if you are particular. Girls: bring your own specific feminine products b/c they don't have a good selection and tampons there are questionable at best. Also friendly advice: ask your GYN to give you some meds in case of UTI, and antifungals and antiyeast b/c each semester a lot of girls have some problems (presumably from heat, moisture and the bathing water). Really I'm not kidding....you don't want to suffer any of that if you don't have to....For everyone: bring all medications that you need. Bring them! Don’t pack them in your suitcase and don't rely on the pharmacy on the island. Bring your own Tylenol, Excedrin (tension headache-you'll need it believe me) and a small first aid kit. Sun block and a hat, umbrella and sweatshirt b/c the school will freeze you to death – this is NOT a Joke. It's freaking cold! Oh yeah bring a flashlight...nothing cheap...invest in one...and if you want get one of those mini maglites it's worth it...buy batteries too. Your foods and goodies. Bring what you need to make you comfy. Whatever it is bring it. Candy, popcorn your fave coffee, etc... the food there isn't great so if you have something specific that you want to eat and you can pack it and travel with it frozen - Do it.. I did and I ate very well and avoided the food poisoning for the 6th time.
    School supplies: you NEED these items (no BSing):
    pens & pencils that you like to write with (school store is VERY expensive)
    dry erase markers (obscenely expensive on campus)
    USB storage key (100% necessary don't bother coming without it- you'll be sorry if you do)
    Sharpie markers
    Printer (there are small ones for 50$ out there, it is very convenient)
    Notebook (not too many)
    ANATOMY KIT (GET IT!!!!!)- You need it; if you don't have it then it's your problem!!!! Get a full kit at home it's much cheaper and better quality. Get extra blades you will need them. Absolutely!
    Gloves - I had nitrile gloves and they were great...gloves down there are expensive and crappy in quality.
    Binder, Big Clips, Stapler and hole puncher if you use them.
    Backpack - of course!
    Water bottle and travel coffee cup - very convenient to bring to class
    For semester 1 there will be a blood pressure lesson. Bring a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff. Take this opportunity to invest in a nice stethoscope. If possible, don’t by crap and then get a nice one later. You don’t need to have a 200$ stethoscope. The 75$ littman is perfect for you needs.

    When you get to the island: It's hot there!!! HOT, MUGGY, HOT! the airport has been remodeled but don't expect something like you would see in the US. Its still relatively rudamentry. Their biggest purchase was a convayer belt for lugage. when you get there the line will be long...just be patient and be polite..dominicans are friendly but they don't like people to be rude. Being polite and nice will get you alot when you are down there ...trust me. they will search your bags or just let you pass. Have your bags well marked so that you can just grab and go. Take the SCHOOL's transport don't go with someone you don't know even if they say the fee is cheap.. this is common sense. The roads are winding and bumpy-you will get carsick even if you haven't before..take a motion sickness pill you will need it. Once you get there check in, meet people, get dinner and relax.

    Overview: you will have 3 - 4 exams per semester (MINI's). I don't know about the shelf exams b/c there have been some policy changes since i left. Mini's are exams given by the school. It is composed of questions from each subject with the number of questions relative to the amount of time dedicated to teaching each subject. Due to this, each subject on the exam will count for a percentage of the total grade for that class. therefore if the physiology part of your mini counts for 30% of your total physiology grade-Study hard and do well or the rest of the semester will be a struggle. For semester 1-4 you will have PBL group once a week. These are problem based learning session where you get pieces of a case, discuss them, look for clinical findings, and discuss what you don’t know. They will ask you to create a learning objective list and do research into your learning objective and later present it to your group during the next class. They are grading and judging you as a group and as individules. They look for professionalism, team work and leadership and quality of your work. This class is required and you can’t miss it unless excused. Do you best in this class b/c it add 5 percentage points to your final grades and believe me you WILL need them. Everyone does. I could be the difference between whole letter grades.

    Semester 1:
    In my opinion, this was the hardest semester! the very hardest. So much will be asked of you and there is a lot of pressure. You will work like you never have been worked before. there never seems to be enough time. if you never cry...YOU WILL! maybe in secret but you Will cry. I found a lot of things frustrating. Stuff will be thrown at you left and right . you won't know if you are coming and going and the semester will go slowly (at least this was my slowest semester). Most of the classes have handouts given out by the department offices. Not all of them are very good but for the better part its not too bad. you can't rely on studying from them alone. You need to read your books too.
    Anatomy: the labs are one day a week either in the morning or afternoon. bring a set of scrubs and your disection kit. there are pletny of cadavers go go around. you will be put in groups of 5 people and about 1 or 2 will disect. you can take turns each week. Ross encourages peer teaching so once you disect and identify what you need and discuss with the professor (which is awsome) they will help you identify and teach during your session. Once you finish the disection the last hour will be dedicated to teaching the groups that were not scheduled to disect. you will show them your findings and such. It is really helpful in my opinion. the lab is an anatomy lab so don't expect it to smell nice. it can be down right offensive but deal with it. Books that i suggest and used the most : BRS anatomy, Rohans Anatomy (you will regret not having it), Mini Grants (Clinically orientated anatomy). I didn't think that the big grants was helpful at all, Moores was good only for the Blue boxs that discussed clinically relevant stuff . You will be tested in the class room and have 2 lab exams. The minis were difficult and they can bring your score down if you don't study. Do practice questions and review using BRS. It got me an A for the first mini. Embryology will be tested with Anatomy. To me embryology is a useless subject but nevertheless you will need part of it for STEP 1 (i know cause i just took it. the book suggested was worthless to me. Use the hand out if the british woman is teaching it. her old handouts were enough.
    Biochemisrty: I will be the first to admit that this class got a lot of people left behind and gave most people trouble. It is not an easy class and honestly it was the hardest for me. Some of the professors have very notorious reputations for crapy test questions and crappier teaching styles.My only advice is to listen carefully to what the teachers have to say and do readling on stuff you don't understand. I will also say, depsite the fact that some professor may not teach very well, I will say that they ARE helpfull if you approch them on office hours. It may be the only way to really understand what they are trying to get across. Ask them you maybe suprised some of the profs that people really hated, ended up being the most approchable and helpful. The genetic stuff was such a pain and the metabolic stuff was hard too. I used BRS Biochemisty and the another biochem book( i can remember the name, sorry) The book that they recommeded was crap!!! crap i say!!!! Dr. M's book is not bad, but i wouldn't buy it i would rent it. If you have the thompson's and thompson's genetics book then it would be an excellent supplement!!! not necessary but very helpful. i'm not going to lie and say the test are easy b/c they are not. the test were very difficult and required alot of review. In retrospect, I would have done more review. I studied with a friend on this and it was helpful to both of us. diagram things out and explain them to eachother..
    Histology: Do NOT be fooled into thinking this is an easy subject. so many people got screwed thinking that. it's not hard but it is super detailed and picky. really review what is in your packets and the review the images and the book. The Junquara or Ross (the book not the school). Both are good but you need to read and memorize. review the images on the disc AND in the book they give you for your lab test (they flash image on screen 90 seconds to answer). these are easy points to add to your grade -don't waste them.
    Physiology: Holy Crap!! there is a mixed bag. if you never took physio then it will be difficult and they go over stuff very quickly. not every teacher is the same and they all teach very differently. Some of them not very well. you have to do alot of studying and self learning. if you do not understand go ASK the professors on office hours. they Will help. They are stern, but some are really nice. Don't fall behind. if you do it will end in disaster. I like the BRS Physiology, costanzo book and the EKG book (it a paperback orange book- and it is very good. INTERPRETING EKG by Dubin. Use the handouts and know them inside out, be able to critically think and know the pathways that are discussed (feedback pathways are favorite questions for exams, they are also highly tested on STEP 1- I got at least 10 questions on them)
    Doctor, patient, society class (DPS): to me it was complete bull, but it is stuff that you need to know.. It is an easy way to get points. study and go to the class and just listen. if you neglect it and do bad then you have no one but your self to blame. besides the teacher is really cool. i liked Dr. S. he's a good teacher and he gets to the point. the subject matter has to do with legal issues, healthcare, dealing with patients, types of patients you will meet, interviewing and a lot od psych stuff. At the end of the semester, your final project is to write a mock interview with a patient. It is literally like a script. The interview will be based on investigating a patient’s symptoms. Ie..questions directed at investigating diabetes or high bp…I don’t know if this is the same but it was like this when I was there. You will also have a Blood Pressure competency / lesson session. You only need to have a BP cuff, a watch ( with a second hand) and a Stethoscope. Most people say to borrow but I just hate doing that so I suggest get your own. If you don’t know how to take a blood pressure don’t worry. They are there to teach that to you.

    Mental well being and social stuff
    Once semester one was over i was so relieved. I always had a lingering fear throughout the semester and after that I did not pass thus causing me to be expelled or having to repeat the entire semester. That was my greatest fear. During the semester, I came to see that I was on my own down there and to the school the students are just a number. no one is going to carry you. the stress level is high and so is the competition. . There were rules and policies from the school that i thought were stupid and ridiculous. the work load was frustrating but in the end you have to realize you signed up for it. There were times I thought I was going to go insane. If you make it though semester 1 then you WILL most likely survive it and it is something to be proud of . But it doens't get easier as you move up each semester has it's own challenges. My intent is not to be pessimistic but it's just not an easy road. People are competitive. it is possible to make friends but remember you are not there to be social. make friends but keep yourself under the radar. In alot of ways i found med school to be like high school. you will see the cliques form almost immediately. to relieve stress call family and friends often using vonage and skype. It will save your life. believe me. talk to them as often as you need b/c you will need a support system. the school says not to but screw them ...talk to them as much as you need. When you finish semester 1 and make it to semester 2 you will see a lot of yourself and what you felt in the incomming first semester. Some of them may even be snot noses, but not all. Try to help them. It might make you feel better. There is a gym and many sports teams organized by the students to keep you fit and sane. There are also clubs. If you want, bring down your game console as long as it does not interfere with studying..use it as a way to relax after exams or blow off steam.
    Now for some Dominica info: the island is relatively safe, but crime has been an issuse. people have been robbed at knife and machete point. yes i said machete...it is a common tool down there don't fret. Always walk with a friend especially late at night. most of the robberies happened when people left the school at 2 am and walked home in the dark- again use common sense..i won't comment...another thing is house break-ins. keep all doors locked at all times and valuables away from windows. make sure your housing has bars on windows. if you want buy a 5$ door alarm from the hardware store and stick it on the door and windows..it provides a lot of mental security when you are sleeping. The island people are nice but there are some that are out right repulsive. For the most part i thought they were very nice people but they will not hesitate to ask you to give them stuff. Be polite and they will be the same way back. there is milk like parmalot (boxed milk) they have yogurt (which is better than what we have at home lychee flavor!!!!). There are local grocery stores on the island. You can buy what you need there, but it may be pricey. Sometimes if you see something you like buy it b/c it might not be there tomorrow.There are a lot stray animals like dogs and cats..they don't attack. most of the time they are hungry and afraid of you. they beg for food. the way the locals treat them was an issue for me because some of them can be really mean. Many students care for the dogs, but the dogs will tend to follow you where you go. It’s up to you if you want to take care of them. At times, I really couldn’t resist myself…..
    Ok…now for Semester 2 : Everything is pretty much the same stuff that I said for semester 1 with a few exceptions. Books are the same. You will still need your anatomy kit. Restock your kit if you need to when you go home. Semester 2 is a very busy semester. Academically, it was the most challenging and time wise it was the most frustrating and time consuming. Why, you ask? b/c there is an extra class added to your schedule. You will be taking Neuroscience. To me it was my favorite class so I had no complaints. But more work will be added per class and the work get much harder. You will have a lot to juggle and if you stink at time management it will hurt you. Learn to manage your time..this is absolutely essential. Neuroscience books that you will need: Haines Neuroanatomy Atalas and Lange Clinical Neurology. The Haines Atlas is a MUST! I repeat you WILL FAIL without it!! You need it for the 2 lab test given (same format as discussed for histology lab). You need to know structures, and pathways. You need to be able to look at a section and say “I am located in the…whatever” if you can’t do that it will be a bumpy road for that class. Work your visual memory muscles for that class. Now, the Lange Clinical Anatomy book is not on the list of books from what I remember, but the damm thing is a TREASURE!!!! BUY IT! You need it for shelves and STEP 1. It explains everything you need especially for the circle of willis lesions (which you will be tested relentlessly on!) I don’t want to be pushy, but BUY IT DAMMIT! Teachers have changes since I was there so I can’t really tell you about teachers, but test questions never change. This applies to all subjects. The material that you are tested on are quite redundent from shelf exams to USMLE STEP 1. They will ask you a million different ways, but it is still the same question. Balance your time carefully and study hard..biochem this semester is harder, but it is very much based on metabolism and all those cycles (Kreb, Cori, Urea (urea cycle is tested on step 1- 1 question on it) and it is a favorite of a certain prof. guarenteed question! Anatomy will be systems based this semester. Semester 1 does mostly musculoskeletal. Semester 2 is gut, heart lungs, kidney ,brain (Super Fun disection!! If you get it , your lucky) ect…Things are more detailed. Know your crainial nerves, musulature, blood and lymph drainage . (KNOW IT!!! NO EXCUSES OR EXCEPTIONS) if you don’t’ they will get you on the lab exams and you will be very frustrated. Physio…same thing..critical thinking and ask for help. All the prof in that department are really helpful. FEEDBACK pathways and hormonal pathway!!! Know it or Blow it! The guy who taught us GI was a visiting prof…AWESOME teacher, AWSOME class!
    DPS: is pretty much the same. You have a big assignment at the end and you have to hand it it. I think it was actually a HPI that you need to write up. They are picky, but just do what they tell you.
    Ok..Semester 3…If you made to semester 3 then rejoice!! You are almost there… Now things begin to get intersting. Out of all the semesters, 3 and 4 were my favorite. They were not easy, but they were more tolerable and relevant to what you will need. You will have all new teachers and the detail and work load will be much more. Plus you will finally have contact with patients and get to do interviews, and learn to do physical examinations.
    Pathology: AWESOME CLASS! LOVED IT!..you need to study hard for this class. The teachers are great ( DR. JJ, Dr. M (he’s super european)) they are the best, but they test hard! You need to know your blood cell diseases (that mini killed everone). It is essential to know your cancer cell markers, genes and inducers. 100% without fail it is necessary. They are tested on Mini’s, shelves, labs and on Step 1-A LOT!!! 20 questions on my Step 1). The trick to that class was to know your images b/c there is a lab exam. Read DR. C’s handouts and focus on what he focuses on. It’s important!!! It is a gold mind for questions and he like to give even harder questions in semester 4. Just know what he tells you. Know his images and everyone else’s. DR. M (I think that’s his initials) you need to think like a pathologist to pass his test. His test had the lowest MPS so you need to know DETAILS!!! MARKERS, Genes, Inheritance., Cellular patterns (ie. Invasiveness, tumor grading, severity, what makes a tissue cancerous, what the cancer specifically causes, teratogens that cause cancer, occupational exposure…KNOW IT!!!) DR. JJ, knows what she is talking about. She is specific and direct. Know the information that she gives you cold. GO to LECTURE FOR HER!!!!! For the love of god she gives you the test questions there! Read her notes. You HAVE TO know the difference b/w apoptosis and necrosis, stages of necrosis, types of necrosis, changes in the liver (up/ down regualtion of SER) , blood disease, white cell diseases ( there is a lot and all of them are fair game for her test.. just study really hard.) Know DIC ..it is asked a million times for everything. DR. B…read his notes and review with supplement and go to class. His questions are not hard and he like to tell/ hint what will be on the exam. Books wise: there is no other but BIG ROBBINS. Don’t waste time or money to get the little/baby robbins-GARBAGE. Get the Big Robbins and READ IT>> ALL OF IT! You won’t regret it. IT is a true investment. Everything on there was on Step 1 no joke. Get the Robbins question book too it was soooo helpful. 100% worth it. You may also like to make and early investment in Goljan’s. It is an excellent review book quick to the point and really tell you what you need for STEP 1. Everybody loves this book. But you can get it for 5th semester if you don’t want to get it now. A quick review and access book is BRS Path. Loved it. Worth it. The Lab exams were hard. They cause a lot of people to lose a full letter grade. Study hard for them. Know all the images for lab sessions and in packets and EVERYTHNG about the images. Start studying early for that exam. If you have questions, all the profs in this department are soo nice and very approachable. They want you to go to ask them questions. Don’t waste the opportunity.
    Pharm….ok I’m not going to lie and tell you this class was easy. It was down right hard!! But, it was also awesome. The main prof. Dr. B is amazing. He is a walking PDR!! No joke he’s been a prof for a million years or something. His notes are golden!! READ THEM for all the pharm classes even if he is not teaching that class. He takes his questions directly from the notes Directly…even the smallest, crappiest tidbit .IT is going to save your butt. He also gives really great practice questions. DO IT ! all of it. You will not regret it for a moment. All the other teacher…are ok ..some are not what I would call good teachers and their notes are super crappy. Books: get big katzsuns or little. This is a matter of preference. The Big Katzsun book has everything and then some..alot of info..it can be overwhelming ( I had both by chance ). Little Katzsung was excellent for review and study. It had just about everything you needed. Same as the big one, but it was more concise and it has excellent diagrams and QUESTIONS. Not many but enough. There were also several full or semifull length tests. This is an excellent way to gauge yourself and where you stand to test. It is also a good learning tool. Do the questions and read the explanations. This will be especially important for the shelves. What I found really important for class and Step 1 was the sympathetics and parasymathetic antagonist and agonist. Dr. B likes those chart/experiment questions where you have to figure out what drugs were used. There were at least 2 Step 1 questions on this. Also knowing your, CYP450 inhibitors and antagonist are so necessary. HTN and diuretics are so important. Cancer drugs..JUST KNOW THEM AND SIDE EFFECTS. Mechanisms of action for these drugs are always questioned. If the little british lady is still teaching you will need to know your rescue agents. KNOW IT!!!! Also she like to ask questions on when to use leucovorin as opposed to mesna. She tells you outright that it is trick question. Listen to her and just memorize this so you won’t be fooled and then get pissed at yourself later on about missing the question. She asks it every semester. She also teaches psych drugs. I highly suggest that you get First Aid Psychology Clerkship book. This is not the First Aid book itself it is a book in their series. It will give you what you need to know in 10 pages or less with regards to drugs. It was also a excellent reference for STEP 1 and Behavioral sciences. Get a copy somehow …I really emphasize this it was a GEM! Antibiotics are a pain to learn everybody says to use Microbio Made Ridiculously Easy for this..I found this to be ok.. the Katzung book was ok..First Aid was good for this section really good.
    Micro…Ahhh..this class..i really don’t have words to describe this class…it has it’s up and it’s downs. There were days I left class or just read through the notes and aske myself “what the hell are they talking about!??!” the class is not bad but it s not good. It is another one where self learning a review were better. You need to be able to know each characteristic for each bug or each bug in that class of bacteria or virus. Unfortunatly they do ask you these things on the Mini’s and they uses these characteristic to describe bacteria and the illness that they cause in the question stems of shelves and STEP 1. If you don’t know that staph aureus is catalase +, coagulase + then you are screwed from day 1. Holding off on learning these things will unfortunately cause you to have a very hard time during Minis, Sheves and STEP 1. Trying to learning them for STEP 1 will be time consuming and a waste of time that you can use to study something else. The bugs that I found that were tested a lot are E.coli, Pseudomonas (blue-gree, sweet smell), staph, strep, E.coli (all the types will be tested especially E O57H7, corynebacteria (guillian bare’ syndrome), chlamydia (HLA B27, Reiter Syndrome, parrot fever, atypical pneumonia, gonorrhea ( what it ferments and what it doesn’t). Know your Agars and what it plates. Know what bugs are microaerophiles. Know how bacteria become resistant and to which drugs and, how the resistance to the drug developes( ie: vancomycin resistance- changing of D-Ala D-Ala residues on cell wall). It will be tested so many time you will be sick of hearing it. There are buzz words and specific illnesses that are associated with each bug…make sure that you have them commited to memory and learn them well so that it will be a reflex association during exams. This will save you so much time. Dr. K is awesome. Read her Notes all the test questions are there and she’s straight forward. DR. A is also the same. Things get crappy with Dr. D. She just likes to nitpick at her notes. Questions are frustrating and basically ridiculous plus she is not what I would say is a good teacher. DR. B tries really hard but it may be a hit or miss. Plus his materials are difficult to teach in 1 hr. He took the time to write excellent notes for the students. Use them and they will help you with his test questions which have a tendency to not make sense or be so difficult that they are often thrown out. Plus he encourages people to come to him for extra help. Do it..you won’t regret it. He’s super super helpful. Dr.H is amazing. Just go to class. Please don’t miss it. She teaches so well that you will leave with knowledge and be happy. Everything she says is high yield for mini, shelves and STEP 1. Dr. R….I love this man! He is an AMAZING teacher! AMAZING, and he has a killer sense of humor. The formula to pass his part of the exam is easy : READ PACKET+ Memorize the major issues he presents in class and in packet= PASS with VERY Good score. I know it sound simplistic and I am not mocking anyone…but for him, it really is that simple. Books…books are tricky I got the books that were recommended and the ridiculously made simple book. I also used First Aid as a SUPPLEMENT. Mostly, I used notes and never went wrong. In micro, you also learn Immunology.. The inital teaching for that class was not that great. I just didn’t understand the teacher at all. I used my book that covered everything you will need for immuno class, shelf, and STEP 1. It is an incredible book. Immunology by Parnes..its an easy read , high yield, worth every penny. Read it cover to cover, will tell you everything you need. I rocked immuno just by reading this book. I made the mistake of buying too many books for micro and just wasted the money obviously you can’t read them all.

    ICM: Ok I’m not going to lie..i really dislike all of this class. GARBAGE! Waste of precious study time. You learn to do interviews with patients (which are locals hired by the school). Some of the patients are really nice and responsive. Others don’t show up or make it very clear to you that they are there to be paid. Not every patient interview in you career will be easy but the way that the school handles this is appalling. There is note teaching of how to conduct an interview they just throw you in to do in and expect you to get all the relevant info at once. Using this information you will need to do a patient write up and hand it in for a major assignment. These write up are very time consuming and they will take up a lot of time. You will meet with a group of student and maybe a teacher to help you interview a mock patient. There was only one teacher who was really helpful on this and completely agreed that the way they throw student into the this “interview” is sad and poorly taught. After, you gather your information from the patient you are expected to “present” your case in ICM lecture/lab. Awful! No one knows what the hell they are doing , not even the teacher. You will also be visiting the local hospitals and clinics to meet with patients and do a write up on them. For third semester this will only be 1 time. For semester 3, you should have all your physical exam tools. Bring them or you will be embarrassed. You will also need to have a more professional wardrobe and a white coat. Shirt and tie for men and pants, shirt , or dress for women. There is no tolerance for forgetting your white coat so don’t forget to bring it. At the end of the semester, you will have a lab exam where you randomly choose a card which will ask you to perform an examination on a body part. Study hard for this and practice with a partner or by yourself. You are graded on your professionalism, technique and the fact that you did all the tasks. It’s nerve wracking, so try to arrange to go at a time where you won’t get nervous (ie. first or last). You will be judged in front of your classmates. Get the Bates book and the BATES video. Watch the video. It is very helpful and it is irrefutable by the profs.

    Semester 4: is pretty much the same as semester 3. All I said before still holds. But you will meet with ICM more often, do 2 write ups as opposed to 1 and you will go to Prince Margret hospital 2x. Dress professionally and expect to get home late. The ICM labs will be more in depth and you will be tested by asking you to perform an entire system examination as opposed to a body part. It’s harder and more nerve wracking. You will also be required to do harvey sessions with a group that you make up. This where you use your own time and go to listen and so a cardiac exam on a mannequin (Harvey). I have mixed feeling about this class. There is no consistency and the profs tend to grade the lab exam according to their preference and their own rules. The go against the regulations set by the department and it causes the students to suffer in the end. Dr. G is a great example of this.
    This marks the time that you are finishing your last time on the island unless you stay for 5th semester. If you made it , be proud. Really proud. You worked hard and got the job done. But things are never that simple..when you are on vacation and waiting for 5th semester you must use this time to study for the COMP which is a miniature 300 question version of STEP 1. Use First AID. Read it , know it memorize.

    Semester 5: I can only tell you about semester 5 in Miami. I did not want to stay on the island and I did not want Michigan. During my time, they did not have a lot of people apply to Michigan so they were practically begging people to go. Miami is a whole new ball game. What you learned on the island will be tossed away by the faculty there. They will have a whole new physical exam procedure and will make you relearn everything. EVERYTHING. It is beyond annoying. Just relearn and practice because this physical exam test is worse than anything you went through on the island. A lot more will be expected of you and they will not hesitate to fail you. You are going to wear professional clothes 24/7 while you are in Miami. The semester starts with orientation and scheduling. You will find things out as you go along (in true Ross fashion. You will have questions that they don’t address or maybe answer. Ask them any way. During the first 2-3 weeks you will do weekend sessions for CPR and ALS certifications. After that, you will be going to clinical site and working with doctors in the field (hospitals, clinics or offices). You will be grouped and scheduled together, but no one has the same schedule as you . It gets confusing so you need to keep track of it yourself. You may or may not have 1-2 days off a week and theses are called “Case study” basically it is a day for you to study and do “work”. Wednesday you go to the Hyatt hotel to have a whole day of lectures on vary subjects. You will be tested on them for your midterm and final (only 3 tests this semester). Both midterm and finals have MCQ and essay (but they will let you know what to study for the essay) You start at 8 or 9 and end at 4 or 5pm. You must sign in for everything and carry a clicker for the student response computer program. Please DO NOT be late, leave early, not show up, or disrupt the class. The professors there are very hard on students and they will point you out in class in front of everyone. It is not pleasant and very embarrassing. They will do it I swear it. Many people were very embarrassed and very angry because of it. You also have 1 day where you do group study or dissect a case, that you read at home, at the 5000 building. It is not bad but this depends on the teacher leading the group. The information in this session will also be fair game for your exams. You will also be required to do a proper HPI. I am warning you right now….they fail a lot of people and make them do a rewrite. It is nothing like what you learned on the island. FORGET what you learned on the island and relearn it in the class directed by DR. F and DR. C. I’m not kidding - talk to the TA’s to help. They can’t read your paper but you can “tell” what you have down and they will help you put things right. Nevertheless, your interviews at the nursing home are not necessarily good for this paper. A final few works for Miami. The professors expect a lot of the med students. A LOT! It is an adjustment. You can’t be late at all. It will get you in big trouble. They keep telling you if you are going to be late at least call the office and you clinical site. This is a must. People got chewed out so bad for this and it was embarrassing to have to go through it in front of your classmates and it is embarrassing for you classmates to watch you get in trouble. Don’t lie. If you slept late or forgot an appointment, just tell them. They know when you are lying (don’t ask me how). Many of the teachers came off as intimidating or abrasive. Of course there are people that you don’t want to piss off, but they are actually very nice people, but don’t expect them to be your best friend. Dr. F has this rep as a nasty guy. Actually, he wasn’t nasty at all. He just doesn’t take crap from his students and frankly in his position I wouldn’t either. Dr. C can come off mean and harsh, and maybe offensive. He’s not. He is one of the most helpful people there and he WILL listen to you if you have concerns. Be polite and professional with him, no anger, attitude, whining or being pissy. Talk to him like a colleague and you will be amazed. He’s also a good teacher. I was pretty amazed by what I walked away with from his lessons. He expects a lot because he believes your future clinical site will expect a lot. He’s treating you the way they will treat you. Last tidbit of advice. When you are in class with Dr. C and he ask you a question DO NOT…I repeat...DO NOT say “I don’t know.” You will pay for this dearly. He will pick on you and make an example out of you in front of everyone. Even when your turn is over he will continue to tell other students (in front of you and everyone else) “I don’t know is not an answer!” Try to answer his question. Put effort in to it and let him see you try. Tell him something even if the answer is wrong or tell him the reasoning for you answer. He will try to follow along with your reasoning or explain to you why your answer is wrong.


    I hope that this was helpful to the readers. It’s a lot of information, but looking back on things, I really would have like to have known all the things I am tell you. Like I said, this is not the easiest route to achieve your goal. It’s hard and the school and the way it handles things can be frustrating and woefully wrong. The amount of work for the amount of time and the way they divide the percentages for test grades can be really upsetting. You will realize that this is numbers games and you will be forced to play. As for choosing to go to class or not. It depends on each person. I went to class for first and second semester and it was ok but tiring. Honestly, I would have only attended certain classes. I studied at home for most of semester 3 and 4 and I kicked butt those semesters. My grades went up dramatically, but if you do that, you really have to study. As for mediasite…I didn’t bother. I did not think it was good for everyday use. I basically read notes and read my books and that make my grades go up. I don’t know why, but study space is also an issue on campus which is also why I studied at home. Group studying= FAIL (well at least in my book). Group work or better yet 1 study partner is great for anatomy lab and for the time I mentioned above.
    I finally will also tell you this. Don’t take crap, but learn to pick your battles and put up the piles of crap that a put in front of you. You will be out of there sooner that you think. Each semester moves faster than the last. Keep your eye on the prize and keep pushing when it gets too hard. It will only get harder along the way. Dig your heels in, cry, wipe you tears, and push forward. Don’t let them beat you!

  2. #2
    TEXAG is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    WOW...thanks for taking the time to write all of that!

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    longtimewaiting is offline Member 658 points
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    no problem... like I said.. these are all the thing I wish iI knew as an incoming student and as a student moving through each semester. Miami was a shock. Thank you for taking the time to read this. It was long, but I hope it is helpful. Best regards

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    DEQNY85's Avatar
    DEQNY85 is offline Elite Member
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    I never really liked Dr Cs teaching method.....its really 10% teaching and 90% quizing random facts....yes we should know the answers by now but im not paying 15k to be quizzed on... if I knew everything I wouldn't need to be there in the first place..
    פיקצטדםךש likes this.
    Ross Graduate- 2012
    PGY1- Surgery Prelim

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    Fipe071 is offline Junior Member 516 points
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    What a great post! Exactly the reason why this forum exists. Thank you very much for taking the time to type up everything about your experiences. I'm sure many students will appreciate this posts for months to come.

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    longtimewaiting is offline Member 658 points
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    DEQNY85, i agree with you on the quizing part, but his teaching part was suprisingly high yield for me...but i really did not like calling people out in public. that was my pet-peeve. but for me, he help be with some situations and did show me some understanding and heard me out when i spoke to him. for that, i respect him. But like i said everyone has different experiences. Thank you for bringing this up because it really does clarify and add more to the scope of this thread.
    Fipe071. No problem. I hope it was helpful for you and it was something that i have been wanting to do.
    Best regards to everyone

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    subalou1 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Thanks for such an informative post, great read.

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    Dr. C was like that in MERP. I think that's great he doesn't let people use the idk answer. In rotations you should never say idk to an attending, better making an educated guess and saying to your attending I think the answer is this because xyz. Also it is true, he seems hard in class but out of class he is one of the nicest people I have met at Ross.

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    Magnetix is offline Permanently Banned 510 points
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    This kind of information is really going to helpful. It's great to see something positive.

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    longtimewaiting is offline Member 658 points
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    Hi everybody,
    thank you for reading and for your positive responses. I remembered a few more things that came to mind after i posted. I didn't want to overwhelm anyone or basically go overboard in my post, but if you all are open to any of the other things that i remembered and some more of my suggestions let me know and I will try to expand on my original post and tell you a bit more.

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