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40 minutes ago, dooogs said:

I keep seeing zanki, anki thrown around for medical school learning. I did google it and watched some videos about what it is. 

Wondering if it is something that current med students use? Should I be looking into learning how to use it ?

Thank you 

If you learn well by cue cards, or want to start experimenting, you can! I find it quite helpful for memorizing things for anatomy and pharm in undergrad. ^^

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Anki is fantastic for learning. Look into the AnKing deck (or make your own, but I recommend the former). In the AnKing deck, Step 1 will cover every system's physiology and pathology. Step 2 will be more clinically oriented and is supposed to be for clerkship (so I recommend AnKing Step 1 to get a foundation). It's a lot of cards (25000+), so start soon and be committed to the reviews (otherwise, you will forget things easily).

The biggest "issue" people point out about Anki is that it promotes memorizing little details that would only benefit on a multiple choice test. I agree with this *if* you just use anki as a memorization tool. So to counter that, whenever I do a card, I make sure to do a quick summary of the clinically-relevant/big picture stuff when I answer it. For example, if the card says "[blank] is a risk factor for coronary artery disease," I'll answer the question, but *in addition*, I'll quickly remind myself what coronary artery disease is and how it presents. You also have to constantly be making the big-picture connections between cards, otherwise you'll again just learn small facts without understanding the concepts. So do all the background reading needed and then go back to the cards to solidify that learning.

If you do what I say above and do your anki reviews every day, I promise you'll be a top student during med school.

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2 minutes ago, gogogo said:

Anki is fantastic for learning. Look into the AnKing deck (or make your own, but I recommend the former). In the AnKing deck, Step 1 will cover every system's physiology and pathology. Step 2 will be more clinically oriented and is supposed to be for clerkship (so I recommend AnKing Step 1 to get a foundation). It's a lot of cards (25000+), so start soon and be committed to the reviews (otherwise, you will forget things easily).

The biggest "issue" people point out about Anki is that it promotes memorizing little details that would only benefit on a multiple choice test. I agree with this *if* you just use anki as a memorization tool. So to counter that, whenever I do a card, I make sure to do a quick summary of the clinically-relevant/big picture stuff when I answer it. For example, if the card says "[blank] is a risk factor for coronary artery disease," I'll answer the question, but *in addition*, I'll quickly remind myself what coronary artery disease is and how it presents. You also have to constantly be making the big-picture connections between cards, otherwise you'll again just learn small facts without understanding the concepts. So do all the background reading needed and then go back to the cards to solidify that learning.

If you do what I say above and do your anki reviews every day, I promise you'll be a top student during med school.

Thanks! Is there anything specific to Canadian med schools or step 1 and step 2 for US are similar enough ? 

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2 minutes ago, dooogs said:

Thanks! Is there anything specific to Canadian med schools or step 1 and step 2 for US are similar enough ? 

As far as I know, we don't have one specific for Canadian med schools, but medical knowledge doesn't really change by country :). Step 1 and Step 2 will cover such a vast ground that you'll have all the knowledge needed for pre-clerkship (I can't comment for clerkship--not there yet--but I hear that step 2 + UWorld is a good combo). The Step 1 deck will sometimes cover things that are very nitty-gritty and are obviously just for the Step 1 test, so you could always just suspend those cards (i.e., turn them off and not see them again).

So, I still highly recommend doing AnKing even it it covers stuff you won't cover or details that seem extraneous (again, just suspend them). AnKing has been developed over years with many contributors and it would take a lot of your time trying to create cards. It'll provide you with a very broad and sufficiently in-depth understanding of pre-clerkship medical knowledge.

Don't worry that by following AnKing, you may not be following your school's curriculum. A good compromise would be this: Imagine you've started cardiology at your school. Look through the AnKing Step 1 Cardiology deck and compare it to your school's curriculum. If you find that there is a topic your school really focuses on but AnKing doesn't, then add cards just for that. Like that, you can "fill in the gaps" where needed but also have the assurance that the rest of the deck is covering everything you'd need to know.

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Just now, dooogs said:

Thank you! Felt a bit in the dark with this (apparently popular! tool)

No worries. It'll seem daunting at first, but just download the program, download AnKing, and start. You'll learn through doing it. It took me ~1 week to get the hang of it and just make it a habit. Look into basic guides on how to use Anki but don't go overboard.

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As someone who did Anki in pre-clinical, I'm not sure I would suggest anyone do Anking versus making their own cards instead. Anking was meant to be a comprehensive resource to perform well on Step 1. It also goes far deeper into certain subjects and much less deep in other areas than your school will. Step 1 is moving to pass/fail so there isn't a benefit of doing such a large deck even if you plan to write step 1 - there are significant drawbacks in the amount of time it takes.

Definitely test it out, but it sounds like even American students are shifting away from large decks like anking. Making cards is time consuming but is honestly just like regular studying

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