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Thread: First Termer feeling depressed and overwhelmed

  1. #1
    bicepcurls is offline Newbie 511 points
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    First Termer feeling depressed and overwhelmed

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    So I am a first termer and we've just finished Unifieds and the grades were horrible. I feel so discouraged and I am going to be going to a learning strategist session some time this week. But until then, I have tried to follow the preview/review method.

    I just feel as if it's an infinite amount of work to get done, in the time after class. So basically I have like 5 hours to get whatever I have learned in class that day down.

    I was told that I am suppose to try and commit those lectures to memory or at least some of it. Although some say just read over what has been taught, kind of try to understand it and then commit it to memory on the weekend. I am so confused on what is right because some say you can commit to memory some of the stuff but it's so little bit (tried it last night), that it feels like it's a race that will never be finished.

    Do you guys have any advice on how to actually study? Am I suppose to commit majority of the lecture notes that day to memory? I mean that's pretty hard if you have like 100 plus slides. Then the next day it's more information.

    If anyone could help guide me on a rational studying strategy, that would be awesome. I would probably end up taking that strategy with me to the learning session and present it to one of the DES individuals to see if that is something that's practical.

    I am not going to lie, sometimes in small groups, there are a few people who seem to understand the stuff so well, and I know the rest of us are lost and it doesn't really give me comfort because they took in nearly 900 of us this semester and I know a lot of us are either gonna decel, get kicked out or just leave on our own accords.

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  2. #2
    thxleave is offline Elite Member 7201 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicepcurls View Post
    So I am a first termer and we've just finished Unifieds and the grades were horrible. I feel so discouraged and I am going to be going to a learning strategist session some time this week. But until then, I have tried to follow the preview/review method.

    I just feel as if it's an infinite amount of work to get done, in the time after class. So basically I have like 5 hours to get whatever I have learned in class that day down.

    I was told that I am suppose to try and commit those lectures to memory or at least some of it. Although some say just read over what has been taught, kind of try to understand it and then commit it to memory on the weekend. I am so confused on what is right because some say you can commit to memory some of the stuff but it's so little bit (tried it last night), that it feels like it's a race that will never be finished.

    Do you guys have any advice on how to actually study? Am I suppose to commit majority of the lecture notes that day to memory? I mean that's pretty hard if you have like 100 plus slides. Then the next day it's more information. If anyone could help guide me on a rational studying strategy, that would be awesome. I would probably end up taking that strategy with me to the learning session and present it to one of the DES individuals to see if that is something that's practical.

    I am not going to lie, sometimes in small groups, there are a few people who seem to understand the stuff so well, and I know the rest of us are lost and it doesn't really give me comfort because they took in nearly 900 of us this semester and I know a lot of us are either gonna decel, get kicked out or just leave on our own accords.

    That's pretty much the thing about medical school. It may sound unreasonable, but it is doable and expected of us.

    Honestly..... If you are better study at home person, you should try it. Sonic lectures at 1.5x-2x speed. Finish lectures in 2-3 hours.... Put in in only 1 hr max for small group prep. Then you should have more free time to do the important stuff.

    Anatomy - A lot of people just do the Gray's Anatomy Review Questions. I remember post-midterm... I ended up just doing the questions, and reading the answers. No lectures, or textbooks. Just google the occasional things. Got same grade on final as midterm. As in.... I don't even bother treating it like a question book. It was just a textbook to me.

    Biochem - I memorized almost everything I guess. Though there were limits. I never learn the TCA cycle or whatever. I just remember the rate-limiting enzymes, and poisons in that chart. I don't even know the clotting cascade. I just know Vitamin K is 1972. And so on.

    Histo - It's way different now. My advice is outdated.


    It's just you have a limited amount of time per day. Make it count. Don't take my advice specifically if it doesn't work. But, man I saw some lame stuff going on 1st termers FB group.

    Stuff like:
    "Muscle insertion"
    "bone names"

    and all that random business.... if you can do all that and get an A... that's good... though if you can't... then you gotta just get the important stuff done
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    Craigslist is offline Senior Member 6122 points
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    Term 1, Term 2, Term 3, Term 4 and Term 5 are all memorizing games. You must memorize a lot. But, that's what you signed up for to become a doctor. Its understandable you are feeling this way and many people in your position have felt this way.

    Some people re-watch lectures two-three times, some people re-read lectures committing slides to memory. My best advice is repetition, you must go over your slides. However you do it by rewatching lectures or re-reading them, that is what you have to do and do practice questions from books such as BRS biochem/histology, UMICH and definitely do Gray's review for anatomy written by Dr. whatever the anatomy professor's name is, i forget.

    Also, strong name.
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    Craigslist is offline Senior Member 6122 points
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    Nice 10:17 AM posts we have here of almost the same content. Get out of my head thxleave.
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    Craigslist is offline Senior Member 6122 points
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  6. #6
    want2beanMD is offline Member 520 points
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    I think if you're trying to remember things, you're doing it wrong. My advice would be:

    #1: Go to class or sonic. I actually think class is a waste of time and typically never went, but if you do pay attention in class you will always pick up on the things that are more high yield (sometimes they tell you bluntly that something will be tested). This alone will help on the exam.
    #2: Is first term just Anatomy, Biochem, and Histo now? Do the objectives for Biochem. There aren't that many and won't take a great deal of your time. I would study the lecture. Then look at the questions and answer them and go back to the lecture to fill in blanks. If you can answer all the Biochem objectives confidently, you will get an A in Biochem.
    #3: In general, you should be reading for comprehension and just to "read" your lecture slides, not to remember. If you're trying to pick apart every detail and commit it to memory you will never finish. A decent way that seems like it may take a ton of time is to review the lecture slides again after you review them the first time that day. Not for a thorough reading, but just to make sure you understand what you just studied. Sometimes I would do my review every 5-10 slides. I'd stop, then without reading the slides, try to kind of teach to myself in my head what I just read. If you were to do this at least 3 times prior to the exam, you'll be fine. Another way of making your learning active is via highlighting. I have a mac so by 5th term my system was to highlight things in different colors according to my level of understanding. Each successive pass I would do a quick pass over the lecture, but focus on the highlighted material, unhighlight the things that I now knew well.


    It sucks, but at the end of the day everyone and their background is different so what works for one person may not exactly be the answer for you. Take the unified as an example and try to figure out where you went wrong with your studying and how to fix it. Obviously they don't give the exams back, but you should remember when you walked out what questions you were scratching your head on. I.e. were you getting a lot of questions wrong that was fine print stuff, was it stuff that was bolded but you forgot, was it a biochem pathway that you knew before but blanked on the exam? Try to be honest with yourself and figure out where you went wrong.
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  7. #7
    eastcoast is offline Junior Member 532 points
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    I'm wondering if you are getting overwhelmed by the material because you are too focused on rote memorization of the slides, and aren't focused enough on learning the important concepts. I suggest doing practice questions every day or at least every week once you've read through the material just to understand what kind of stuff to focus on. My strategy would be to read through the notes once or twice after class, and then do a bunch of review questions. I would pick up some review books for each subject and go through those. the Grey's question book, and maybe the Pre-Test or BRS series. You don't have to regurgitate miniscule facts like insertion and origin of each muscle, but you need to be able to apply that basic knowledge to a clinically relevant scenario. Okay well maybe there is stuff you have to straight up memorize like Krebs cycle but still, focus on concepts. Also by doing questions you figure out what concepts are high yield and what aren't so that way you won't waste your time learning irrelevant stuff. And you will improve your test-taking ability. There's only so many ways they can write questions about certain topics so once you've seen it all you will be better prepared for a real graded test.

    I also reccomend group study. I learned so much just by spending an hour or two with friends during the week going over stuff. You could form a study group, and each of you guys prepare one topic and you can teach each other. You learn the best by teaching other people. And maybe you can learn better study strategies from your friends.

  8. #8
    tkm2323 is offline Member 525 points
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    I spent all of term 1 depressed and overwhelmed. I'll be the first one to say it, you probably will too. Follow the advice that the last few posters gave you, its all solid advice. Just know that as freaked out as you feel, most of your classmates feel the same, they're just trying to hide it. You'll get through it, and when you get your final marks at the end of the term, the rush of relief will be monumental. All that being said, I think the only thing I have to add is listen to the biochem department when they tell you to pre read your lectures. I scoffed at the idea of reading slides before I was taught the material, but when I actually gave it a shot, I felt like I got much more out of the lecture. It can go a long ways towards helping you with that feeling of racing against the clock to learn the material.

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    Asoutherner is offline Newbie 510 points
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    4th termer here,
    Everyone feels just as stressed as you, trust me, even the smartest people who get A's on everything. I did pretty pooh poohty early on but have completely turned the page since 1st term unifieds

    For anatomy
    GRAY's questions, do each section 3x. On the weekend when you review the weeks material, Read the green/blue boxes in lucas big anatomy textbook and read only the boxes in the embryo book.
    --BRS ANATOMY. I swear by this.....after each section read through BRS and see what you don't know, it's concise with no filler...the clinical correlates are EXACTLY what will be described in exam questions, focus on the clinical correlates. Go to lab after midterms, find a clinical tutor and ask them to show you the nerves, there are too many things to just use the text book in head and neck.

    Biochem...everything you need to know is on the slides, best thing about this class. You literally need to know everything little detail on the slides, dont get discourgaged, start slow, write out the pathways over and over, then once you know those you can start adding in the details, some sections take much longer to understand than others.

    Histo...Im pretty sure they changed it since I took it but make an effort in lab to get the high points out of your clinical tutor for each slide.

    Remember everyone's frustrated on some level, even the people that act like the aced the exam.

  10. #10
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    Crispy is offline Senior Member
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    This happens to most students. You have to figure out how you learn best and stick with it. What works for your friends may not work for you. Learn to manage your time. If you are one to skype with friends or family back home, schedule a set time and length. Don't spend all night on facebook. Use your weekends to review the previous week's material. Remember to schedule some down time as well. You can't study all waking hours. Your brain needs breaks. Plan to watch some tv or movies, go to the beach, or go for hikes on the weekends too.

    Take a deep breath. You will figure it out. Don't be afraid to ask for help from DES as well early on if you are having trouble.
    Dr Crispy, MD
    Board Certified Family Medicine Physician

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