I don’t consider myself as a top doctor because I was a below average student at my medical school (Duke). And psychiatry is not exactly that difficult of a residency to get into after you graduate from medical school. But here is what I observed in my classmates.
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Since there is a lot of international audience on Quora, I should provide some background.
In the United States, pre-university education is pretty easy. I think people would agree that every high school does its best to pass all the students (hey, no child should be left behind!). Therefore in you are seriously considering a career in medicine in the U. S., you don’t need to try hard until you are a first year university student (i. e. when you are around the age of 17 years old or 18 years old).
This is in contrast to the education systems in most other countries in the world where the students have to study hard to gain admissions to the faculty of medicine straight out of high school. After that they may afford to slack off just a little bit.
So to talk about how much you have to study in medical school you would need to start with how much you would study during the undergraduate years (the premed years). I think most people would agree that you should shoot for A’s in all classes, science or non-science. That means you have to be meticulous in writing your paper for, say, a sociology class too. Revision after revision. Therefore I would say 68 hours a day Sunday through Thursday. 23 hours a day Friday and Saturday.
Then between the summer of third year and fourth year of university, you need to take a standardized test called MCAT to get into medical school so that summer is basically ruined. You probably spend about 89 hours studying every day for 8 weeks before you take the MCAT. Let us hope your score is good on your first sitting and you don’t have to retake. If you have to retake, you have to study more.
Finally your fourth year of university comes and you are getting interviews. You HAVE to fly to the various campuses to interview. Flying around may sound glamorous but it is not. When you are sitting there for a whole day, trying to navigate the maze called hospital to find your interviewers’ offices, it is pretty nerve wracking. I personally flew or drove to NYC (twice), New Haven, Philadelphia, Montreal, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Houston, St Louis and Durham. I was lucky to have gotten into Case Western Reserve by early Nov so I could turn down some interview invites. Otherwise add another 58 cities to that list, easily.
Finally you get your acceptance letter so you are in!
We are now finally ready to discuss how much time you spend on studying in medical school. Duke is a bit crazy in packing all the preclinical materials into one year. So during the first year, you have to attend lectures and labs (such as dissecting the cadaver). That is about 8 hours a day. Then pretty much you spend another 8 hours to 10 hours studying every day (so yes you are sleeping about six hours a day max) for 11 months straight.
Then during the clinical years, you have to spend 1218 hours a day in the hospital and try to fit in about 68 hours of studying while you are in between seeing patients or looking up lab works/imaging studies. In the U. S., it is important to note that medical students do not “”shadow.” On each rotation, once the team has gotten used to or comfortable about you (that you are not a nut case and are semi-intelligent), by the third day, they put you to work. All the teams are super busy. They don’t have time to have a guest (i. e. the medical student) shadowing them and entertain the guest. No, you are there to work even though you are paying the school $60,000 a year in terms of tuition.
Therefore, if a patient arrives in the ER, and the team is slammed, the upper level resident physician may ask the medical student to do the initial consult in the ER alone and then have you come back to present the case to the rest of the team. You better not miss something important. Regardless you do a good job or not, the residents and interns will basically make you go back with them to do a second consult on the same patient to “”teach” you how they do it. And if the team is on call overnight for a 36-hour shift, you, the medical student, stay with them overnight.
During my time at Duke and UCLA (where I did my residency), we had visiting medical students from Taiwan and Sweden. It sounds like most medical students in other countries are shadowing for the most part when they are in the clinical years. They don’t become part of the team until they receive their medical degrees. But in the U. S., I did my first lumbar puncture on my surgery rotation and my first arterial blood gas on my internal medicine rotation, obviously under supervision by an upper level resident. No, the attendings did not have time to supervise me. I apologize in advance if I got that part wrong about medical training in other countries.
Then on top of that during two summers in the middle of medical school you again spend 1012 hours a day studying for 8 weeks to pass USMLE step I and step II.
Now I am not going to put down any details about how much studying you need to do during residency and fellowship.
As for if you are referring to top doctors as in famous doctors, then it is all about marketing yourself after you finish all the training.
This answer originally appeared on this Quora question on Studying.
Study Schedule Of A Medical School Student | How I Study In Medical School
When it comes to studying in medical school it’s all about having a strict study schedule while having flexibility at the same time. Building a habit and spreading the concepts that need to be studied over the course of the week instead of cramming when the exam is close.
It is also to your benefit to use other resources to help you study in medical school. For example I use firecracker, anki and sketchy to help me further understand and grasp the necessary concepts.
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hi guys so today I’m going to be hearing a little bit more about my schedule as a second year medical student so I’m going to be going through my personal study schedule with you guys so the important thing in making your schedule is to be as specific as possible but also leaving room to be flexible so if you need to move something around you shouldn’t feel too bad about doing that so I’m going to start from Monday Monday through Wednesday I pretty much have the same schedule so I’m going to be waking up sometime between 6: 00 and 6: 30 and getting to do and going to do cardio at my home at my apartment gym and while I do cardio I’m going to be doing firecracker and firecracker I’ve talked about before it’s basically like a flashcard based learning tool online and I found that the flashcards while walking is a very good way because if I were to just sit and go through 160 firecracker questions I would get distracted and I would start doing something else but if I’m actually walking on the treadmill it actually really helps me focus and I can get through all the flashcards that I need to do in one day just from walking in the morning and from 8: 00 to 9: 00 I have breakfast and whatever firecracker questions I haven’t finished and from nine to ten I have Anki which is another flashcard learning tool but it’s different from firecracker in that you can make your own Auggie cards so you can make it really tailored to your class materials so from 10 to 12 I have lecture and small group and small group is mandatory so I usually do have to go to school if we have lecture I might just stay home and listen to it on online 12 2 want to have lunch and one two five I have a mix of review lecture and small group and that’s because I don’t know week to week my school schedule changes so on the days when I don’t have lecture or small group I might be going to resources like pistol MA or firecracker or doctors in training and kind of reviewing the materials that way if I have lectures Mulgrew ball I’ll do those and then from six to seven I have dinner and sketchy and sketchy is basically a microbiology learning tool online and they make these fun videos about each micro each microbe base of these material varus or fungus so those are good to review and I’m starting to slowly review for step of so I’m trying to review the things that I learned earlier in the year as well and actually from six to seven I might also go to the gym and get a workout in again so I might push this to seven to eight but that depends on the day and then from seven to nine I have lecture review write notes and make conky so this is what I’m going to be reviewing the lecture that I had earlier that day writing notes basically preparing for the following day and making Anki so that I can do it in the morning times so making unki might entail making a table and then blocking out the table so that I can make flashcards out of them so on Thursday mornings I usually have off site so I usually go to the hospital or clinic and then in the afternoon on Thursday so I have PCM which is a required course so I need to go to that and then after PCM I’m usually doing write up for the hospital and eating dinner for about two hours or so Hospital write up means I’m writing about the patient that I saw earlier that day at my off site so Friday is pretty much similar to Monday through Wednesday where I have I do cardio and firecracker unki and working on some school stuff Friday afternoon is usually free so I don’t have any classes so that’s when I might be going through any lectures that I’ve met in doing resources like Potomac doctors in training doing Anki and just reviewing the week in general Friday nights I have dinner and sketchy and honky and some grocery shopping Saturday morning I had Bible study and I’d leave the day free to do whatever I need to do that might just be taking the day off or I might be studying for an exam if there’s an exam coming up Sunday morning I have I have it blank for church and then I have grocery shopping in the afternoon if I didn’t get to do a Friday night and then when I get home from church I have just some school stuff formative is a basically like that self quiz thing that my school provides for the material that we learn during the week so I might do formative and do some on key to like a cumulative review and then cook food for the week and that concludes my week so I hope you guys enjoyed the video and if you guys have any questions please leave it in the comments below and thanks for watching and I’ll see you guys in the next video bye..