Finishing up M1 vs M2 year for non-science majors.

I’m just curious what ya’all think here. I got into medical school with the bare minimum science requirements and have a major in the arts. I’ve almost made it through M1 year but it has been hard.

Will this even out M2 year do you think? I know lots of my class has masters or were bio majors and have seen a lot of this material before. I know there a lot of post-baccs or non science majors here.

I’ve asked my M-2 friends about that as well (being a psychology major and a touring musician with the BARE science reqs)…the short answer of what I’ve been told is,“Sort of.” The pros: we’ve learned how to study more efficiently, and we can consume WAAAY more material than we ever could’ve imagined last summer. Also, at least in my program, 2nd year is all the pathological stuff (path, neuro, micro, pharm, etc)…it’s stuff we’ll use every day, and because it feels so much more relevant than biochemical pathways of the Kreb Cycle, it’s easier to study it…easier to learn it. In theory.

The cons: It’s way more material, and generally harder, AND you’re studying for Step 1 like a crazy person, so…

I think the above is generally plausible for all of us, whether we had a science background previously or not. I can hope, anyway. I guess time will tell…

I’m curious to hear what students who’ve actually been through it here have to say?

So, I am nearing the end of my 3rd year of medical school, and I was an English major. I took 2 biochemistry courses beyond the prerequisites, so I was pretty much in the same position as you.

I think that how difficult 1st year and 2nd year are for non-science majors will largely depend on your school’s curriculum. My school was mostly systems based - so I was clueless for the first couple of days of a new system, but then I caught up as I learned the basic physiology and concepts regarding that system. After that, I would catch up with my classmates.

If your school has a different curriculum type (maybe more traditional based on topics such as biochemistry, cell biology, pathology, etc), then I think your experience may be different.

The first semester was tough at times (especially anatomy and microbiology). But it got progressively easier as I went through. By the end of 2nd year, I was cruising and med school had become much easier. Studying for boards went well, and I am starting to see the end of the med school tunnel.

So, take heart. Med school isn’t easy for anyone, even the science majors will struggle at times, but a lot of med students don’t really let on that they are struggling. Trust me, you are not alone and you will get through it. After 2nd year, the fun really begins and life is much better.

I’m a MS1 that took the bare science pre-reqs (no post bacc, just took courses at the local community college). No biochem. I’m finding MS1 extremely difficult.

I’m told by the MS2s that 2nd year is mostly pathology and pharm so although the volume of information increases, it’s more clinically based so it’s not as conceptually difficult.

Finishing up M2 and studying for Step 1 right now. My advice would be to spend some time over summer break reviewing any biochem/genetics/physiolo gy/immunology that you struggled with in year 1.(grab a copy of First Aid and go through the sections you struggled with) Year 2 is way more information, but is more manageable with a strong base in the basics. So at minimum, review the relevant physiology/biochem, etc. while you are learning the pathology. You will learn the path material easier by evolving it from the physiology(and sometimes anatomy) oncology and heme path has strong resurgence in immunology and genetics (know your cytokines, immuno receptors and complement system COLD). Without this base you will find yourself memorizing brute facts in lieu of applying the phys. This may work for your systems exam, but come board review time you will have an up hill battle.

I just took my 1st full length practice step 1, and I can tell you there was quite a bit of basic science on there. I was glad that I had been reviewing all along. Helped with the path, and is making board review much easier. (particularly relevant clinical biochemistry, ie congenital biochemical disorders)

Year 2 is much more fun, Cx relevant information, less lab time(at least in our curriculum) and more time to apply the material to relevant cases.

I’m 10 years removed from M2, but clearly remember how overwhelming the first two years were. I also did DIY post-bacc with only a few advanced courses beyond the basics, so I felt behind from the start. Those were grueling days of little sleep and lots of worry. I couldn’t understand how my very best was barely mediocre, while my younger classmates just breezed through. The pendulum will swing in the clinical years, when you will be evaluated more on what you are able to synthesize into assessments and plans of care rather than what you can memorize and regurgitate at test time. It’s a dichotomy that I see in my own students even today. Hang in there and do your best. SomedayDrA said it best – it starts to get fun and life gets better.