Day 173: Updates and admitted student Q&A

Today’s inane image of the day:

This has been my baby for the last month or so. Hopefully it survives until May 20th!

Dear lovely readers,

I am alive and well but ridiculously busy with trying to 1.) keep up with school; 2.) keep up with my other blogs [more on this later]; 3.) keep up with my Step 1 study plan; 4.) stay healthy and calm. So far, so good but I anticipate that the worst will come after April 15th when our preclinical classes come to an end.

Most of my updates have been at the Kaplan and MedScape blogs Рconsider checking out the following  posts:

And finally, I received a couple of questions from an admitted student that I thought could help other admitted students make their final decision:

1. Do you think your worries about step 1 are normal across all med school students? You mentioned that you didn’t feel that you had learned basic science well enough and it made me wonder whether traditional curriculum (like Wayne State) might be better.

Definitely. No one ever feels prepared for Step 1 because there is so much material and so little time to learn it all in. My friends at other established medical schools feel the same way. I really believe that performance on Step 1 correlates with both how well you do in your preclinical years AND how well you prepare for the exam. If, for example, you didn’t do well in your preclinical classes, but then you address your shortcomings prior to taking Step 1, it’s very possible that you’ll blow it out of the water. But that’s my speculation… I’ll know more after I actually take the exam.

2. If you had to pick all over again, would you still pick OUWB?

Absolutely! The little bumps and frustrations here and there do not overshadow the welcoming community, continual feeling of support and enthusiastic faculty/staff. Furthermore, some of the opportunities I’ve had here wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else. I thrive on feeling like I’m a part of something bigger and would hate to just be one of a couple hundred.

3. Do you think mandatory attendance results in less free time? I know students at many other schools watch their lectures at 1.5-2x time to get through it faster.

Our attendance policy is only 70% [I’ve heard that 90% has been implemented at least one other medical school] so it actually isn’t that bad. A lot of time we have to attend mandatory classes like labs or TBLs or case studies, so those classes contribute to a pretty significant portion of the 70%. It kind of depends on whether you are the type that would stay at home and stream lectures – while convenient and nice in theory, it doesn’t work for everyone’s learning style. When I had my first class at Michigan that was recorded, I skipped the second half of the semester and put off watching lectures until the last minute – that was disastrous for me! So, I learned from that experience that streaming from home probably wasn’t going to happen, at least in my case. If you think you will be more successful at a school that allows for streaming, then you should seriously consider that school.

4. Overall, do you like the TBL? It seemed fun to me but wondering if maybe it’s more fun in theory than execution.

Administration has been tweaking TBL for us and I think with the recent changes they’ve made [to our class], it has been much more of a beneficial experience. Indeed, there are times when I feel like it is running a bit slow, but that can happen with any group activity. I still think they break up the week nicely and that they can only get better each year since our M2 and M1 classes are providing plenty of feedback.

How have you all of you been as of late?