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How important is it to retain material long-term in order to pass the MCCQE?


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For example, should I be planning to review material from M1 courses in M2 or pre-clerkship courses in clerkship, or is studying in the months leading up to the MCCQE more than sufficient?

I'm the kind of person who procrastinates and then crams before exams. I still score consistently above the class avg but I feel like I don't retain the material very well long-term because of my poor study strategies. People have told me that you refresh a lot of the pre-clerkship material as you study for each rotation during clerkship, but just wondering if this plus some dedicated studying in the months leading up to the MCCQE will be enough.

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2 hours ago, zxcccxz said:

For example, should I be planning to review material from M1 courses in M2 or pre-clerkship courses in clerkship, or is studying in the months leading up to the MCCQE more than sufficient?

I'm the kind of person who procrastinates and then crams before exams. I still score consistently above the class avg but I feel like I don't retain the material very well long-term because of my poor study strategies. People have told me that you refresh a lot of the pre-clerkship material as you study for each rotation during clerkship, but just wondering if this plus some dedicated studying in the months leading up to the MCCQE will be enough.

Are you a CMG? Assuming you are, you need to be diligent studying for the MCCQE. I would recommend studying 2 hours a day specifically for this test in yrs 2-3 and then when you're a 4th year, start writing practice exams. I recommend practicing with the written royal college exams for each specialty (esp pathology IM and surgery!). Once you're hitting near perfect on those exams, you should be ready. 

In all seriousness, no dude, do what most people do. Study for 2 weeks and maximize your time off before residency. There's a reason why they call the MCCQE a tax on poor medical students. It's a pretty garbage exam. 

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16 minutes ago, hero147 said:

Are you a CMG? Assuming you are, you need to be diligent studying for the MCCQE. I would recommend studying 2 hours a day specifically for this test in yrs 2-3 and then when you're a 4th year, start writing practice exams. I recommend practicing with the written royal college exams for each specialty (esp pathology IM and surgery!). Once you're hitting near perfect on those exams, you should be ready. 

In all seriousness, no dude, do what most people do. Study for 2 weeks and maximize your time off before residency. There's a reason why they call the MCCQE a tax on poor medical students. It's a pretty garbage exam. 

I was getting angry reading this until I got to the second paragraph.

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Unrelated to the MCCQE, I don't think cramming is very effective for medical school. Sure you may do well on tests, but patients generally do better when their doctors know the stuff they are supposed to know.

Do right by your future patients and try to study in a way that allows you to retain the knowledge long-term.

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19 hours ago, Redpill said:

Unrelated to the MCCQE, I don't think cramming is very effective for medical school. Sure you may do well on tests, but patients generally do better when their doctors know the stuff they are supposed to know.

Do right by your future patients and try to study in a way that allows you to retain the knowledge long-term.

You're absolutely right. I always tell myself I'm going to have better study habits when each new unit rolls around but I'm afraid it's just become positive reinforcement at this point where I've been able to get away with doing this sort of thing for all of undergrad and now into my second year of med school so the threat of negative consequences hasn't really sunk in for me.... It's also been fairly tough to motivate myself when all I get to do I stay in my apartment and listen to podcasts.

But I'm hoping that with clerkship coming up soon, the "realness" of things will force me to stay on top of things more.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/16/2021 at 11:32 PM, Redpill said:

Unrelated to the MCCQE, I don't think cramming is very effective for medical school. Sure you may do well on tests, but patients generally do better when their doctors know the stuff they are supposed to know.

Do right by your future patients and try to study in a way that allows you to retain the knowledge long-term.

Except a lot of what you learn in pre-clerkship is useless once you enter clinical rotations. Take a suspected acute coronary syndrome, for instance:

What you'll learn in pre-clerkship: A ton of shit

What you'll actually be using in clinical rotations: Basically ask at what time the pain started so you can interpret the troponins, read the ECG, look at the troponins. Done. Sometimes it won't be clear if the pain is cardiac in origin and you'll have to use a bit of SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) to decide but that's not something you learn in books.

Another example is neurology. Being able to perfectly pinpoint a lesion is somewhat useless in the golden days of the donut of truth (with or without contrast) unless you want to be a neurologist (as long as you can roughly differentiate the rough level, ie: peripheral, cord, brain). In an ideal world, everyone would be able to locate a lesion but the real world is oh so different.

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