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  1. #1
    huxald's Avatar
    huxald is offline Member 510 points
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    How does one study Medicine?!

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    So as the title applies, I'm would like to know how one goes about studying the various topics/subjects in medicine. I did my degree in Physics, so that basically involved learning some basic laws and equations; trying to understand some physical principals and then applying them to a myriad of different problems. However, my understanding of medicine is that you basically need to keep going over the same facts until it either clicks or you've "memorized it."

    I was thinking of adopting the method described in: What Smart Student's Know, but I'm worried that I won't have the time for it.

    So how do you study medicine?

    Do you learn to understand? (Which I think makes sense)
    Do you try to memorize everything?
    Do you copy out your notes over and over again?
    Do you approach each subject differently?


    I've read over the Guide to Grenada/SGu etc. Many have stated that it's best to come up with a routine fast and stick to it.

    So what works for you? Retrospectively, what do you wish you had known before?

    Thanks a bunch!!!

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    if you're not selling or trying to buy anything it might be a good idea to not post in the classified section.
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  3. #3
    huxald's Avatar
    huxald is offline Member 510 points
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    I don't know why I keep doing that! It's the second time!!!

    Thanks RJ.

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    cut down on the beer Homer.
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  5. #5
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    jameslynton is offline Super Moderator 48 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by huxald View Post
    So as the title applies, I'm would like to know how one goes about studying ....
    So what works for you? Retrospectively, what do you wish you had known before?

    Thanks a bunch!!!
    That is a very good question. Here is my reply and many would say I know nothing so take it with a grain of salt.

    As a science student - we seek to understand. As a medical student you seek to pass the current test in the class and pass the Step 1 exam. Class tests and the USMLE 1 exam require a different set of skills in test taking. In class a prof will give you a power point where he will lecture about a bunch of stuff that may or may not relate to medicine, the step one exam or even his/her exam. You will be assigned many medical books that do the same as the sentence before this one. In other words it is a roll of the dice as to what to study...

    You as a student have to decide which course in a low rate island school you need to choose to do! You will most of the time not understand your heavily accented professor as he/she butchers the English language - medical terminology and your finely honed since of science. They will most likely not test 100% on Their power point slides as that they stole them from some one else who they felt had greater understanding or were told to lecture on this subject by some dingbat admin. By the way this was how many of my classes in the US were. In grad and medical school you will feel like the prof opened the hopper on you and dumped a load of information that covers you up. Just take it one day at a time and read well.

    That by the way goes for my classes in grad school in the US.

    So you are left to figure out how to study to earn good grades so you pass the class. In other words play the Profs. Also it is a good idea to ask students ahead of you what is tested.

    My suggestion - go to class - do the reading - suck up to the prof - do the USMLE questions along with the class and do as many questions as you can over and over till the answer appears that matches the one in the review books 100% of the time. As for understanding - are you in research or something? Island schools train for primary care not understanding nor research.
    Last edited by jameslynton; 08-23-2007 at 06:46 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Everyone learns differently. Some are visual learners some do fine with auditory. You need to find what is best for you. In medicine, there are many things you should learn by understanding the concept. For some things, like physiology, this is the best method. It makes it much easier than memorizing. For things like pharmacology and anatomy, you need to memorize, there is no other way.
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  7. #7
    huxald's Avatar
    huxald is offline Member 510 points
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    Thanks for the input guys.

    My biggest worry is that there won't be a systematic approach to learning. In my undergrad biochem course, all you had to do was memorize minutiae in the powerpoint presentations. However, in all my physics courses, if you didn't have a thorough understanding of everything, you were definitely not going to do well, since memorization rarely worked.

    I'm not research or anything like that. I just want to make sure that I learn everything well enough so that if I come across something new/unprecedented in the future and want to explore it, I will have the necessary foundation to do so.

    Thanks again!

  8. #8
    lswiltshire is offline Permanently Banned
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    You cannot memorize everything.

    The key to learning Medicine especially is to discern what you must learn by heart, and what you need to understand.

    You cannot memorize everything. And you cant be copying lengthy notes indiscriminately.

    Read the chapters first for understanding. If you are lucky to get good teachers, they will point out to you the areas that are of absolute clinical importance, and the areas that examiners love to ask ( e.g components of inguinal canal, rotator cuff, what happens if you section a nerve at different points in the arm.) Be sure to memorize this information for all exams.

    There is stuff that you need to know for exams, and stuff that you need for life, especially if you will be in primary care.

    I usually tell my students
    1 COME TO CLASS & JOIN IN THE DISCUSSION
    2 REVIEW THE POWERPOINT OR CHAPTER ASAP and MAKE WHAT I CALL "BEAT DOWN NOTES" i.e the notes you will use to study for exams MAKE APPROPRIATE LISTS at this stage
    3 DO ANY OTHER SUGGESTED READING
    4 REVIEW READ READ READ
    5 MEMORIZE YOUR LISTS AND STUDY YOUR BEAT DOWN NOTES FOR EXAMS

    I have had students pass my class and end of term exams who only got around to doing 1-3 and got B's (some say my exams are hard!)

    All of these students passed STEP 1 easily with good scores.

    This is my system that I developed as a teacher. I was largely lost and ragged as a student. No one has a perfect system.

    JUST BE SYSTEMATIC
    IF YOU ONLY MEMORIZE STUFF IN REVIEW BOOKS YOU WILL FORGET LATER PLUS YOU WONT UNDERSTAND

    YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THE BASIC SCIENCES TO PRACTICE MEDICINE PROPERLY

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslynton View Post
    As for understanding - are you in research or something? Island schools train for primary care not understanding nor research.
    Umm...have to assume you are being facetious or something? Because you cannot be a good doctor (island or not) without a throrough understanding a lot of the science AND there are plenty of SGU doctors in academic medicine.

    As for how best to learn medicine, above posters are correct in that it depends on your personal issues. The best thing you can do for yourself is to look deeply inside and decide if you are inherently lazy or motivated (I'm lazy), good at memorizing or good at understanding (I'm terrible at memorizing, esp cuz I'm lazy), get something out of lectures or sleep through them (no point in sleeping through them if you could be studying but I'm lazy so if I didn't go I would be sleeping at home), and so on.

    Then, accept your shortcomings and work with them. I think the easiest way to learn is to attend lectures only when you can stay alert and attentive, take great notes and actively think during lectures, try to understand the clinical relevance of what you are studying, and keep your eye on the big picture of the overall topic or system. Memorizing facts out of context will get you nowhere on the Steps and in practice. But there will always be a class or classes that work against your natural style and in those cases you just have to bear down and do what it takes to do well. Perseverence, consistency, and good work ethic are traits that will pay off highly in residency and beyond.

    Oh, and I don't think there's any need to suck up to professors, preceptors, administrators. I find that pretty gross, have never done it, and have always received excellent grades and recommendations. But if that's your thing, then by all means go for it.

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    lswiltshire is offline Permanently Banned
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    Agreed

    I agree with you Sir!
    No one should have to suck up to anyone. We need to be respectfull of each other.
    As you say some issues are easier to grasp than others, and one has to modify methods to suit.

    The better you know Basic Sciences, the easier you should get through clinicals as you would understand better.

    Friend I think you would come to my classes because I give a grade for coming...........but I try to get in my power points all thatyou need to know about the subject...........and I like to have fun in class.......to break the monotony it can be dull talking about metabolic pathways to most students, even though it excites me. LOL

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