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  1. #1
    Doc's Avatar
    Doc
    Doc is offline Administrator 9367 points
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    Special pricing for VMD users

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    utorontograd:

    Congratulations! It seem that the ValueMD community has really taken to your methods. I know they appreciate the 75% discount that you gave them this past weekend, and ValueMD administration is also thrilled.

    As I understand it, you're now going to charge everyone $149 for your product. While I realize the introductory price originally negotiated (75% off) was only meant to be through this weekend, and while I still appreciate the continued discount for VMD users (50% off regular price), I'm hoping you'll consider a better discount exclusively for VMD users.....particularly those who may not have learned about the product until after this weekend.

    Being a long-time VMD user yourself, you know that we're all here to help each other. So how about some extra consideration for your fellow VMDers?

    Since you and your wife seem to be open to user feedback, why not ask the users what they think about some other price points?

    For example,

    • $149
    • $129
    • $119
    • $109
    • $99
    • $97


    Just a thought. I'm interested to see what our members think.

    Users, if he does offer a better deal, maybe you can show your appreciation by making an extra effort of providing objective (good or bad) feedback to help the project? At the very least, there should be at least one post in this forum for each user that benefited from whatever discount VMD is able to negotiate on your behalf.

    As always, everyone's input is welcome.
    Doc
    Site Administrator

  2. #2
    utorontograd's Avatar
    utorontograd is offline GPA Advisor 515 points
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    Interesting...

    Doc,

    You're suggestion does make sense. I've talked it over with Anna and
    here's what we can do:

    We can put all these price points to a vote. If users will select the option
    they like best and can explain why, we'll set our price to the price
    point with the most votes.

    To cast your vote, simply write a reply to this thread. Choose a price point
    from Doc's list and then explain why you chose it.

    In this way Anna and I can democratically set a fair price.

    If no one replies we will assume everyone is fine with $149. Does that
    make sense?

    Thanks Doc. Thanks everyone.

  3. #3
    tahaa is offline Member
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    5 dollars.

  4. #4
    FutureRuralMed1239 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    $99 Seems fair as the VMD price, one of the other price points perhaps for others if you plan to market this on a more grand scale.

    I was tempted to go with something higher, but the fact of the matter is, that we as medical students, or aspiring medical students have so many other costs related to this goal, and the path we must take to get there.

    Is your product worth more? I am not sure, I missed the time frame for the free trial, but I AM impressed by your seminar and I am only 10 mins in, so I would venture to imagine that the product is worth much more, as if used correctly, the information is priceless.

    That said, with the point above, I know in my case, and probably many others, any of the other price points would possibly lead to a cost prohibitive situation, in spite of the fact that all of the price points are, relatively speaking, quite reasonable.

    Perhaps you could market a "value MD package" of some sort. I am not sure.

    But, that is just my opinion. I am impressed, and will continue my evaluation.

  5. #5
    batsheep's Avatar
    batsheep is offline Member 510 points
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    I would also vote for $99.

    an E version of a great medical dictionary is worth $99.

    the dictionary is a great work, and I believe yours too.

    Hence, $99.
    Hidden Content
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  6. #6
    Doc_Rox@msn.com is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Study Skills

    I was very impressed by your presentation and I too would like to purchase your materials. One thing, though, you seem to suggest that studying for the test is everything; I want to point out to you that I have been a professor in a medical school for five years. In my graduate program I learned about a thing called accountability from a legal standpoint--if you test someone it must be traceable to information that it is provable the student should have been exposed to. As a result 95% of the test questions in my subject are directly taken from the text assignments. My lectures, on the other hand, often are process oriented as I teach a skill based subject and I expect my students to know the material during our lecture labs. This is a little different than what you said in your lecture. I think the organizing strategy alone is worth the $149.

  7. #7
    RfisherMD is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    As a result 95% of the test questions in my subject are directly taken from the text assignments. My lectures, on the other hand, often are process oriented as I teach a skill based subject and I expect my students to know the material during our lecture labs. This is a little different than what you said in your lecture.
    I have had professors at the undergraduate level (have not started medical school yet) that followed this same plan. What is the best way to study in this case? In undergrad I studied the lecture notes and the book but the pace was slower and less challenging so when the first test came around I wasn't completely trashed. At this level, one could get put severely behind GPA or knowledge wise if they were to try to do study everything or study only the notes and find out test day that only the minutia in the book is tested on. Do you recommend going to review books in this case, or studying the actual text?

    Cesar's method seems the most efficient and logical way to study, but will it work all of the time? Would it work for textbook based exams?


    ----
    (Did any of that make sense? I tried to edit it, but lack of sleep makes every edit more confusing to me. I may come back and edit the question if it is too hard to understand. (I use the word edit a lot))

  8. #8
    utorontograd's Avatar
    utorontograd is offline GPA Advisor 515 points
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    This is Heresy...

    Hey fish,

    Here's an important question that I think I should jump in on.

    I had this very discussion with a senior administrator at a Caribbean
    medical school just the other day.

    I told him that I vehemently denounce the approach of studying from
    textbooks and then exlplained why.

    To that he said, "Cesar, I don't doubt what you're saying. You've proven
    that your approach works. But let me warn you, this is heresy. Your
    methods directly contradict the status quo of modern day academia."

    This person happens to be a very progressive thinker and I admire him a
    lot. He didn't mean this in a negative way. He simply stated what he
    believed traditional professors would think about my philosophy.

    The thought of me being a heretic is just funny to me. But perhaps it's
    true. I guess what I'm publicly going on record and professing to you guys
    is controversial. Radical even, in an conservative profession like medicine.

    Let me welcome you to Planet Cesar. Where traditions will be put on the
    chopping block; where conjecture gets kicked to the curb; where the only
    things that matter are the following:

    1)Learning the most medical science you can
    2)Being able to prove it on your exams (and in practice later on of course).
    3)Enjoying yourself while doing it

    I tell it as it is, not as it should be. Admittedly, my advice may make you
    feel uncofortable, I may even offend you from time to time. I can handle
    that, so long as you guys, begin to think pragmatically and autonomously.

    You have complete autonomy to design or borrow systems that makes
    studying medicine easier and more enjoyable.

    If you're going to sit down and study from a textbook, do it because
    you know you have the time to, and because you want to go the extra
    mile. Not because someone's course list says you should.

    Allow me to clarify something however.

    My method does not exclude textbooks from the picture entirely. What I
    wanted to impress upon you at the seminar is that your primary resource
    should be your lecture notes.

    Your lecture notes + verbal commentary in class will not be comprehensive
    though.

    In the manual I describe in detail how to fill in the gaps. I think I even
    mentioned referencing good texts and review books in the "Three Most
    Critical Days Seminar".

    Please don't get me wrong, you should use sources outside your notes,
    but only when a topic is not abundantly clear in your notes already.

    I advise using a specific hierarchy. Reference review books first, and if
    they're good enough, then they're good enough. If not, then go to a long-
    winded, required textbook.

    On that note, if you have Access Medicine - please, please take
    advantage of it. Doing keyword searches is so much more efficient than
    flipping pages.

    Let's talk about NBME shelves, the Comp and USMLE Step 1 for a second.
    The answers to some of the questions on these tests are not even found
    in the best books on a given topic.

    I suppose these really, really detail oriented questions come from current
    research papers. Should we take it a step further then and study from
    primary research papers rather than textbooks?

    If you're an acamademic purist, I suppose the answer is yes. As a
    pragmatic student however, the answer is hell no! The real
    question is, how many standardized test questions will you face on a
    given test that are outside the scope of even the best textbooks? From
    my experience, not many.

    How many questions will you come across on a local exam that are outside
    the scope of your lecture notes? From my experience, not many.

    It is possible to get an A on every test if you study your notes as your
    primary source and fill in the gaps efficiently using good outside sources.

    This is the only way I know how to do it.





    Quote Originally Posted by Rfisher View Post
    I have had professors at the undergraduate level (have not started medical school yet) that followed this same plan. What is the best way to study in this case? In undergrad I studied the lecture notes and the book but the pace was slower and less challenging so when the first test came around I wasn't completely trashed. At this level, one could get put severely behind GPA or knowledge wise if they were to try to do study everything or study only the notes and find out test day that only the minutia in the book is tested on. Do you recommend going to review books in this case, or studying the actual text?

    Cesar's method seems the most efficient and logical way to study, but will it work all of the time? Would it work for textbook based exams?


    ----
    (Did any of that make sense? I tried to edit it, but lack of sleep makes every edit more confusing to me. I may come back and edit the question if it is too hard to understand. (I use the word edit a lot))

  9. #9
    utorontograd's Avatar
    utorontograd is offline GPA Advisor 515 points
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    Hey Doc_Rox. Thanks for your vote of confidence on the highest price
    point on Doc's list. Very cool.

    Woo hoo! Now that I know you're a prof, I'm going to attempt to pick your
    brain and use your insights against professors everywhere. If you'll let me
    of course.

    Do you teach the lab component of anatomy by chance?

    We should talk more. I think we will all benefit.

    Cesar.

    Doc_Rox,

    I have to concede one point to you. It's a very important point. My
    system is so highly focused on learning the most test relevant material
    and getting the highest grades possible that I have neglected the fact
    that each discipline in medicine is so rich, and that students will
    undoubtedly be compelled to learn outside the scope of NBME objectives
    on topics they have a passion for.

    You are obviously one such individual. I presume you were in a PhD
    program and that's why you picked up on my flaw right away. After two
    years of medical school, Anna and I have been so conditioned to think
    high-yield and as you've pointed out, it is reflected in our system.




    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    I was very impressed by your presentation and I too would like to purchase your materials. One thing, though, you seem to suggest that studying for the test is everything; I want to point out to you that I have been a professor in a medical school for five years. In my graduate program I learned about a thing called accountability from a legal standpoint--if you test someone it must be traceable to information that it is provable the student should have been exposed to. As a result 95% of the test questions in my subject are directly taken from the text assignments. My lectures, on the other hand, often are process oriented as I teach a skill based subject and I expect my students to know the material during our lecture labs. This is a little different than what you said in your lecture. I think the organizing strategy alone is worth the $149.
    Last edited by utorontograd; 01-19-2009 at 10:47 PM. Reason: Forgot to concede a point made by Doc_Rox

  10. #10
    Chopdoc's Avatar
    Chopdoc is offline Senior Member 528 points
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    First I'll say I have reviewed the materials you have provided. I wish you luck with your venture.

    Let's talk about NBME shelves, the Comp and USMLE Step 1 for a second.
    The answers to some of the questions on these tests are not even found
    in the best books on a given topic.

    I suppose these really, really detail oriented questions come from current
    research papers. Should we take it a step further then and study from
    primary research papers rather than textbooks?

    If you're an acamademic purist, I suppose the answer is yes. As a
    pragmatic student however, the answer is hell no! The real
    question is, how many standardized test questions will you face on a
    given test that are outside the scope of even the best textbooks? From
    my experience, not many.
    In my opinion and from my experience these exams test the understanding of the material primarily. It's not the knowledge of the details as much as it is the ability to think and use one's understanding that leads to success. This is particularly true for those apparently "obscure" questions but no less so for others. It seems to me that the assumption is made that the test taker for the most part knows the details. In the "old days" when the test consisted of more direct basic science questions this was not the case, but that has changed. The fact that material in some of the questions isn't in the review books or texts only demonstrates what I am speaking of. One need not ever have seen the material before in order to answer confidently and correctly by applying ones understanding of the topic. So of course, one need not have read any journal article on the matter.

    If one is lucky enough to have an excellent teacher they will address this understanding, but for the most part that simply does not happen. The review books don't address it, and neither do the most thorough texts. This has led to a tradition of memorizing and cramming for exams in medical school, all too often with poor understanding.

    I do appreciate that you fly in the face of convention because I think the conventions are flawed.

    Medical review is a high profit, non-regulated, low liability industry. It is obviously very good business. There is great opportunity in the field. One should always keep in mind that the greatest opportunity isn't just to make a buck or boost people's performance on exams but to actually remedy some of the flaws in medical education and actually help make better doctors.

    Again, best of luck to you.

    My vote is for $99.

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