Monday, October 15, 2012

A Weekend in the Life of an M1

This weekend was full of studying, minus Friday. I must agree with Wife, Friday was great. As for Saturday and Sunday, I finally got close to caught up with reviewing lecture notes; I'm only six lectures behind on Phys now. To those of you that don't know how I roll when I'm catching up on weekends, I shall enlighten thee:

I watch lectures. I take notes in the coursepack. I share my notes online with my med school class, just in case anyone missed a lecture or a blank. I then go back through every page of every lecture's notes, creating digital flashcards using Mental Case, just like when I studied for the MCAT. I then share all of those flashcards online with my class as well.

The thing is, this process tends to break down when I'm preparing for exams. I tend to get just a tad behind - like when preparing for this last set of Biochem and Anatomy exams, I didn't go back through any Physiology lecture notes. Nor did I go back through any of the newer material for Biochem or Anatomy that wasn't going to be covered on the exams.

Granted, it could be worse. Some students not only don't go over the new stuff when preparing for exams, they don't go to lectures at all. I know a lot of people spent this week streaming lectures like mad trying to catch up. I'm sure that'll happen to me at some point, but so far I'm treading water in that area.

So, I went through something like 160 pages of lecture notes to create 318 flashcards in Anatomy and Biochemistry. I didn't quite get to Physiology, but that's what tomorrow night is for... That, and the other four hours of lecture that we'll get in 7.5 hours from now.

Oh, the roaring life of an M1...


Rodney said...

Will you please be my doctor some day? :)

elisabeth said...

That is EXACTLY how I study! Huge time commitment, but huge pay off. I mean, for thorax/abdomen I have 600 cards-- more than I had for head and neck!! I have improved significantly since studying that way, and I love it.

Also, I never would have had a clue about how wonderful Mental Case is if not for your posts! So thank you!

OH, quick question-- do you back up Mental Case? If so, how?

Justin said...

@Rodney - Gotta graduate first... :)

@Elisabeth - That's great! As for backing up, yes, I do. As I go through each subject, I create cases based on subtopic. For example, Upper Limb is divided into 1 - Osteology of the Upper Limb, 2 - Arthrology, 3 - Fascial Compartments, etc. I then export each of those cases as a separate .studyarch file. These can then be backed up onto Dropbox (which I do) and/or an external hard drive (which I also do... Twice.). I'm a little extra-protective of my notes and flashcards, but the worst case scenario is that I lose my iPad or laptop. I'll never lose the whole semester's work, unless my house burns down I guess... Does that help?

elisabeth said...

Great, thanks! That definitely helps!

Not sure if you use PDF Expert, but it has been crashing like crazy since the updates and after losing about 6 hours of work (never used to back things up).. I want to be a little extra-protective as well :)

Justin said...

@Elisabeth - I actually use Notes Plus, which has been incredibly stable throughout the update. Thanks for the tip on PDF Expert though - I definitely won't be making a switch anytime soon.

Kate said...

Quick question: I really want to purchase your flash cards for the MCAT BUT I don't have any apple products. Is it possible to use them without apple or no?

Justin said...

Sorry Kate - unfortunately, Mental Case (the software I used to create and view my flashcards) is only available for Apple products.

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