help with my study habits please

Hi y'all -
So now it's my fourth day of medical school. I need some constructive advice about study habits because I have already fallen behind (many other students seem to feel that way as well). Given that many of you had to balance med school with a significant other and children, I figure this is the best place for such advice!
Please feel free to comment on how to stay current in a class, how to study best, how to manage time, just whatever comes into your mind. Perhaps there was a previous posting about this topic.
Thanks all,

Sara, don't worry, you'll feel that way all year long. It will pass.
Try and make time to study/reveiw before class starts and after classes are over in the evening after dinner. That's about all I can tell you. Get caught up and then get a schedule and stick with it.

Thanks for replying - I’m a bit more relaxed than I was last week cool.gif . But I definitely wish I had held onto some of my undergraduate texts to help with the review of the basics (hint, hint, premeds).

First & foremost - that feeling that your a lone rice crispie floating in a huge ocean of milk all alone wil subside over time IF you pay attention to the things you do that work & the things you do that do not. The first year of med school, esp the first couple of terms, is the perfect application of the age-old addage “work smarter not harder”.
Commonly, folks got into med school cause they read a vast quantity of material and vomit it back up on the exams. That sort of thing, please forgive the metaphor, we called “bulemic learning” in med school. There will be times that it can be put to good use, but it will not work as your predominant strategy. You will have to develop your strategy yourself, but I will relay to you what worked very well for me.
To be perfectly honest, there’s is no way in God’s name that you will be able to read all of the materials assigned as “reading”. So, where did I focus my efforts?
1 - The note packs provided to you by the preponderance of your professors are a literal gold mine. If they went to the trouble to put them together & then lecture largely based upon their content…you can bet your bippie that information will rear its head on the exams. If your school is nice enough to provide them in advance, make an attempt to skim them prior to lectures. If you do not get them in advance, invest in some colored pens/highlighters and highlight the points the professors seem to dwell upon during lecture. After classes are over for the day, you have had a mental break, exercised & eaten, re-read the note packs paying special attention to the items you highlighted. Over the w/e after those lectures, quickly breeze over the highlighted things again. If you do not get something, pick up a textbook and read what it has to say only on the areas of confusion. Make notes IN THE NOTE PACK. If you still do not get it, go see the professor…again, make notes IN THE NOTE PACK. Then, before exams…review the handwritten & highlighted stuff.
2 - Do not waste student loan $$ on buying every textbook that is required or suggested. Buy board review style books instead. They provide the requsite info in a concise “down & dirty” outline format. No, it is not the depth of a full-blown textbook…BUT it will provide the info in an easily digestible at level deeper than you will need to master for the actual Board exams. AND, you will actually preparing for upir Boards from day one.
3 - If your school allows old test files, buy one. No, you will not be gaining the ability to “See” the test before it is given, but you will be able to learn what the professors deem important and imminently testable. And, you will know how they ask those questions. Be cognizant of the fact that most professors maintain large banks of questions. As such, their test questions are generally written in a manner that allows them to make small changes in the questions stems or answer choices making different answers correct. In essence, gone is the day where like in Ugrad you could easily toss out 2 or 3 of your 5 answer choices for being silly leaving only a couple to pick from. Nearly every choice will correct or could be with a minor massage…this maximizes the range where those questions can be used but makes using the process of elimination more challenging to say the least.
I hope this loooooooong post proves helpful. Feel free to chime is with suggestions of your own or questions about my strategies.

QUOTE (saralane @ Jul 22 2003, 12:54 AM)
Thanks for replying - I'm a bit more relaxed than I was last week cool.gif . But I definitely wish I had held onto some of my undergraduate texts to help with the review of the basics (hint, hint, premeds).

Hi there,
As things start to pick up and move, you will get over the feeling that you need to "know" everything and focus in on the material at hand. You will have so much stuff to pack in your brain that you will let the "review" stuff go for now. I remember one of our first lectures in Biochemistry where the professor blew everyone away. Folks were scared for days but finally settled down. Relax and have some fun! You are beginning to learn so pretty neat stuff! rolleyes.gif

Hi Saralane,
I just wanted to let you know that I’m rooting for you!! tongue.gif You will do fine and Dave and Nats advice seems like golden nuggets to me. I’ll be sure to keep my undergrad textbooks…thanks! wink.gif
See you at the “house” in a few years,

Study smarter not harder. Advice from a new MS11
I found that a good dictionary and Harrison's pocket are must to carry around all the time.
Also I found that reorganizing my notes from class into charts helped me understand the material and made it easier to study later.
Take 10 minutes every morning and evening and think memorization.
Pick at least 5 facts that you really understand to memorize every day!!
Test yourself on them for the following 3 days and then review at random times.
buy textbooks or board review books that appeal to you not recommended or required. Unless previous students say the books are brillant. I really sat down and figured out what I would like in a book. Index, questions to think about through the chaper, many subdivisions in chapter, average of 1 picture per page, case studies, book's objective is to teach for boards or medical students and a glossery of terms.