“Reading about Hematology and Oncology”
— For fun!
— For fun!
WORCESTER, MA – Local medical student Jeremy Wynn, was escorted out of his medical school library Saturday. The official police repor
William: My undergrad physiology professor pointed out that figures and diagrams are the most important part of most biology/medical textbooks, so you should focus on studying these and skip a lot of the reading. I agree. Also, I find it helpful to skim the reading and try to visualize what’s going on as I read.
Sabrina: I use my books primarily as a resource: If I don’t understand an item on the lecture handout, I consult a text. I only read a book from cover to cover if it is a very, very good book for a very, very hard class.
William: I studied for my exams by using the Q & A system described above and by also studying with my study group. A technique I used for studying a flow chart/process was to first write it on my Whiteboard (writing it large helps with memory) and then type it up in my notes. This really imprinted it on my memory.
Whitney: All-night cramming might have worked for undergrad courses, but it definitely doesn’t work in med school. There’s too much material and it’s too complex and besides, 75% of finals are cumulative. COM exams tap into higher order thinking skills, something that’s compromised when you don’t get enough sleep. Finally, when studying, you should always look for the relationships and correlations between facts. It’s not just about memorizing. Ask yourself how one subject correlates to another.
Sabrina: I use my lecture summaries (described above) to study for exams. I try to focus on concepts, reading a whole set of notes and looking for the big picture in the midst of all those installments. (It’s especially important to do this for bio chem. and neuro-anatomy.) Another way to see the big picture is to read an intro or summary in a textbook. After my individual studying is finished, I work with a study group and I also do some practice tests.
A few other tips: Mnemonics are great for anatomy. Writing things down and drawing pathways also helps. Histo Time is a great computer program to help you study. Go over computer programs for histo and for neuroanatomy again and again to help you remember. Look at an image or a heading and quiz yourself.
Sabrina: I didn’t use this study system for easier courses such as nutrition, brain and behavior, or human development (for those courses I just read last year’s and this year’s coops). But for my other courses, here’s how I like to study: For every lecture given that day, I write a summary of the lecture, following the handouts (and sometimes the coops) and looking at books to cross-reference the info. I get rid of all the fluff from the lecture and write the notes in my own words and with my own diagrams. As I do this, I’m not just trying to “get through” the lecture but to learn it (especially for a course like anatomy). I like this system because writing things out in my own words helps me learn it, and this also gives me a single source to study from (not 6 different sources). The whole process might take 1 to 3 hours per lecture and I might end up with 2 to 8 pages of notes.
Whitney: The tutorials were excellent and were an important part of my study routine. For information about the tutorials, stop at the UHP office.
William: After using the Pre-Test book for histo, I suddenly realized how helpful it would be to study in a question and answer format. So, for my more difficult classes, I started writing up question and answer summaries for each of my lectures. I would read a couple of paragraphs of the coop notes and/or lecture handout and then stop to type up a question and corresponding answer on my laptop. Then I would move on to the next section of the coops. I wrote numbered questions in a column on the left side and numbered answers in the right hand column. It would take 2 ½ to 3 hours to do this for each lecture and I would end up with 20 to 50 questions per lecture.
When writing my questions I tried to think of what would be on the upcoming exam as well as on the Boards. (It really helped my studying to think in terms of preparing now for the Boards.) After writing my Q & A review sheet for a lecture I would review it and begin to test myself on it, covering up the answer side. Later on, when an exam was coming up, I would simply review all my Q & A review sheets. This system helped me store the material in my long-term memory because I had typed the material, reviewed it right away, reviewed it 2 days before the exam, and glanced at it the morning of the exam. With this system, I was ready for both the upcoming exam and the finals; I was also partially ready for the Boards.
Here’s an example of a Q & A for anti– hypertensive drugs:
Q: How do thiazide diuretics work?
A: They lower BP by initially increasing sodium and water excretion. This decreases extracellular volume, decreasing CO and renal blood flow.
Here’s another Q: Draw a flow chart describing how blood pressure changes as a result of baroreceptor effects on the sympathetic nervous system firing.
If I want to include a diagram or chart on my review sheet, I can use Paintbrush to cut and paste a diagram from the lecture notes into both Q & A columns of my notes. On the A side, I use the eraser function to erase most of the words from the diagram so I can quiz myself on it.
Here’s a tongue-in-cheek list I kept throughout this first year of things I learned as an MS1. I thought I would share it with you all for your reading pleasure. :)
This list includes gems like:
- Pathology is snooze-worthy.
- By the end of first year, you will sleep with your copy of first aid
- Medical shows on TV will start to piss you off because you know just enough to know they’re doing it wrong.
- Some people in your class will sleep together—if you’re smart you’ll find your sexual partners places where you don’t have to see them every day if it all goes wrong!
- You will at least once walk into Starbucks still wearing your stethoscope and people WILL look at you like you’re either 1) an asshole or 2) a kid playing dress up.
as well as actual important things you might want to know about how I survived MS1 year. :)
CLICK THROUGH! :)