Six weeks in

Hello All. Just wanted to let you know that I’m still alive. I haven’t posted in a long time, but I’m six weeks into my first year at the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. We started 7/30 and have been going full-speed ahead ever since. Orientation lasted 2.5 days and we had Anatomy that Fri. afternoon. Then, it’s been a non-stop schedule of MGA, MFM, OPP, EPC, and FHMC.

Course abbreviations are as follows: MGA = Anatomy, MFM = Molecular Fundamentals (aka everything “micro”), OPP = osteopathic principles and practice, EPC = essentials of patient care (or “real doctor stuff” as the professors call it), and FHMC = Foundations of Modern Healthcare (statistics, diversity, etc.)

So far I’ve had 2 Anatomy lab practicals, 1 Anatomy written exam - with the 2nd one this Monday coming up, 1 OPP written exam and practical exam, 1 MFM written exam - with the 2nd one coming up this Monday, and my first standardized patient encounter is this Tues. coming up in EPC.

It’s been a big blur. I have done poorly on almost all exams and have managed to fail most of them (70 is passing) and this has been extremely frustrating. I didn’t realize how emotionally draining med school would be and how upset I would get after each exam. The classes are not that hard - there is just SO MUCH INFORMATION and I have problems organizing it. I try to keep up each day but it seems to be a losing battle.

Anyways, my professors are cool, my school is cool, my classmates are cool (for the most part), but it’s just really hard. I will keep plugging away though and hopefully I will figure it out soon. I felt better about my 2nd Anatomy practical but I don’t know my grade yet.

Just wanted to check in with you and let you know I’m still alive.



I guess everyone must be overloaded right now. I’m not in med school, & probably never will be, but I have read several blogs where 1st year med students had trouble adjusting, but eventually did. Maybe your school has some type of tutoring program that could help you out? I’m sure there are others on this site that have had similar experiences & managed to work through it, & you’ll probably hear from them soon too.

Just remember, they wouldn’t have admitted you if they didn’t think you could do the work. Good Luck



Take SWMed’s advice to heart. Now is a critical juncture for you. If a school admits you, they do so knowing that they are commiting tremendous amounts of money & other resources to your education. That means, if you begin to struggle and approach them BEFORE there is a real problem, they will bend over backwards to help you adjust & keep afloat. Seeking help prior to conditions becoming dire is a sign of dedication, maturity & professionalism - and those are typically rewarded. However, if you wait until you are in a pickle before asking for help, that is interpreted as a deficiency in those qualities & frequently yields a more harsh, less supportive response.

Yes, virtually everyone struggles at this stage in the game. Those who go on to be successful are the ones who learn how to tap into the vast quantity of resources a med school program represents. Those who do not generally do not succeed.

You have worked too hard to allow bad decisions or pride to get in your way. Go to the professors of the classes in which you are struggling and ak them for help & guidance.

Take it from me, who did not fair so well in my first set of exams. You do not want to be in a position where you HAVE to get a specific grade just to pass on the final exam. Get tutoring now.

This is not a shameful thing. Just about everyone in my class had a tutor. It helps to reinforce the material you understand and helps to understand the material that you do not.

Talk to 2nd years. They will tell you how the professors handle the exams. Maybe how you are studying is just not optimal. What do I mean? Well, when I started last year I continued using the formula that worked through graduate school: Outline the chapters. Well, this did not work in medical school. I came to realize that he books were merely there as a reference tool and the professors tested out of their notes. So when I started focusing on the notes and using the text as references and using old exams to practice on, it worked out. I am not saying that this is what you should do. You need to find the formula that works for you. Talk to your school.

good luck

Also, find a study buddy. Join or create a study group that meets at least once a week, and maybe find someone to work with on a daily basis. It makes a huge difference. Best of luck,

  • gabelerman Said:
Talk to 2nd years.

Great advice, Gabe, except that there are no second years at her school. But maybe some of the administration were recruited from other med schools and can provide seasoned advice.

OK, do not despair. I went into med school with a great academic background and still failed a bunch of exams. Many of us have been in your shoes.

The most important thing is:


Keep trying new approaches until you discover which study methods work for you. Some of us will take most of first year to find the right approach. Others click in right away. Do not feel that because your friend is doing well one way, you should do the same thing. In our class, there was the most incredible spectrum of study methods imaginable, from reading the notes over 4 times, to making flash cards, to quizzing with other classmates, to whatever you can imagine.

Find a faculty member who supports you and gives good advice. It took me 4 attempts and I was very, very miserable until I finally found the right person. Once it clicked in, I never failed another exam.

You can always retake first-year courses if you have to. Just do not get angry and frustrated and isolate! Reach out and find the friends and support you need. Do not be embarrassed!

I personally like John Pelley’s “Success Types For Medical Students” approach.

Go read his Survival Strategy; his question analysis technique saved my *ss and it can help save yours too.

good luck

So I am now 10 weeks in and my third block exam is this Friday. I am getting tutored in both of the core classes (MFM and MGA) and that has helped me, but I’m still struggling. This next test is crucial for me. My Anatomy grades improved slightly from Test 1 to 2 but MFM went down. I will post more after the block test Friday and lab practical on Monday. Thanks everyone for support!

P.S. We do have 2nd year medical students here at DCOM. They have also been helpful to me. Last year was the inaugural class. Interviews for next year’s class have also already started.