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Starting med school, what should I brush up on?

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I just got into med school (woooo!) and I'd like to start getting a little ready! (the med school is in french and my french isn't that good so I feel like I'll need to be more prepared than others to achieve the same level of success)

I know it's recommended that you relax and spend time with your family, but my family is busy so that is unfortunately not really an option, and I know that just reading over some books will reduce significant amounts of anxiety when I start med school, so it will still benefit me even if it doesn't make me much more knowledgeable.

I'm going to a med school with a systems-based curriculum and the exams are mainly OSCEs (not a lot of multiple choice style exams). I have very little knowledge of chemistry, no knowledge of biochemistry, little knowledge of biology (i absolutely don't remember the krebs cycle and all that stuff), don't remember anything from organic chemistry, etc. 

I did one year of undergrad in Physical Therapy (where I took gross anatomy + lab, physiology, statistics, biomechanics).

Would you recommend brushing up on chemistry/biochemistry? Or is that a waste of time?

Any must-have textbooks? I heard that many medical students read Constanzo's physiology, so perhaps reading this over the summer could be beneficial?

Thanks :D

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The best thing you can do is work on improving your French.  It seems like you have decent French already, but I'd try to make sure it's as a high level as possible - read books, chat with people, French media, etc..  I wouldn't recommend spending time on chemistry/biochemistry, since you'll see at from a medical rather than basic science point of view.  A physiology text sounds like a good idea, especially if you can read/skim through a French version - that will help prepare you.  Preparation for the OSCEs will be much easier if you're confident in French (it seems like your French is reasonably good - just to emphasize).    

 

 

 

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The level of biochemistry gone into in medical school is very surface level, I would honestly not bother reading anything before hand. Chemistry is virtually non-existent. Physiology in french maybe won't hurt if you haven't studied it before purely because you might get lost in lectures not knowing what the words are referring to on top of learning new content. 

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Learn or review your physiology and anatomy.  I wish I paid more attention to the pathophys and "patho-anatomy" behind the lecture material.  It would have helped me retain much better.

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On 6/5/2017 at 0:00 AM, codebar said:

Hey,

If you need to study to reduce your anxiety then your anxiety is likely pathologic. I strongly suggest that you work on that before medschool. In the long run, this is what will pay the most in term of both happiness and success. 

I agree, and think really everyone should work on this. If faced with the option of becoming more self-aware and minorly preparing, the former is going to give you so much more benefit in the long run. I don't think you need to worry about it being pathological, depending on how wide spread those anxious feelings go. I think for a lot of people the blinders go up and head down to just try hard to get in. Once you are in and have a few months to not push it can feel kind of scary waiting for the big year to actually start. It could be a fairly situational thing, that said Codebar is right, if you really can only control these feelings by slamming into the books, probably should work on that it'll only get harder. 

 

side-note posted @codebar posted at 0:00 nice (small things bring me joy haha) !! 

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Thanks for the answers!

Previously, I would to not listen in class, had terrible notes and crammed for exams the night before which caused pretty extreme anxiety (couldn't sleep, was really depressed, etc.).

That was 2 years ago. I have since changed my habits, I study that week's material during that week, create condensed notes (which makes reviewing during finals period much faster), and I'm usually always done studying the material at least 48h before the exam. This past year (first of university), I was able to get a 4.0 with veryyyyy little stress since I did well during midterms and only needed a passing grade on the finals to get an A.

So I guess my trigger for anxiety is: Learning the material for the first time right before the exam, not having concise tools to study from. This seems to be the only thing that really makes me anxious. I'm completely fine with public speaking, social encounters, etc. 

And the way I cope with this anxiety: Time management, good study habits, keeping on track with the material, etc. 

Not sure if this is pathologic, but I can't really do the whole "meditation" thing, it honestly makes me feel like I'm wasting time which makes me even more stressed! I assume that med school is going to be a whole other animal, so it might be a good idea to start preparing now.

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7 hours ago, 1997 said:

Thanks for the answers!

Previously, I would to not listen in class, had terrible notes and crammed for exams the night before which caused pretty extreme anxiety (couldn't sleep, was really depressed, etc.).

That was 2 years ago. I have since changed my habits, I study that week's material during that week, create condensed notes (which makes reviewing during finals period much faster), and I'm usually always done studying the material at least 48h before the exam. This past year (first of university), I was able to get a 4.0 with veryyyyy little stress since I did well during midterms and only needed a passing grade on the finals to get an A.

So I guess my trigger for anxiety is: Learning the material for the first time right before the exam, not having concise tools to study from. This seems to be the only thing that really makes me anxious. I'm completely fine with public speaking, social encounters, etc. 

And the way I cope with this anxiety: Time management, good study habits, keeping on track with the material, etc. 

Not sure if this is pathologic, but I can't really do the whole "meditation" thing, it honestly makes me feel like I'm wasting time which makes me even more stressed! I assume that med school is going to be a whole other animal, so it might be a good idea to start preparing now.

 

Sounds like you have great study methods. I was worried beforehand too. More about how i would maintain a social life. Trust me though, it sounds like you have good methods and you can do it. People start the year coming from arts backgrounds with no training in science except the MCAT and they are doing great and maintain big social lives. You will be fine trust me, you truly have got passed the hardest part. I know its a little different with non P/F tests in french school, but you got it. 

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