Monday, May 31, 2010

Surviving Medical School Tip #1: The 90/10 Rule

Medical school is like drinking water from a fire hydrant. Way too much information! And the worse part is that, without any clinical experience, trying to separate the wheat from the chaff is nearly impossible. Is memorizing lipid metabolism important? Will I ever needs to read an electron micrograph of the basement membrane in the future? Will I ever need to know how many ATPs are produced by 4 rounds through the Kreb Cycle? In a word... no!

If you are a medical student, remember this: 90% of the stuff that you learn in the first two years of medical school, you will eventually forget and never use again in clinical practice (this is assuming, of course, that you are going through a 'traditional' program). The other 10% will be drilled and pounded into your brain ad nauseum until you learn it. Your clinical rotations during your third and fourth years (and your residency and thereafter) will provided that "pounding". 

When I was a medical student (a long time ago), I use to get stressed out because I couldn't retain all the information that I learned in my basic science courses. But as I moved from medical student to resident to attending, I slowly realized that almost everything that I needed to know was reinforced over and over and over again—and I didn't need to learn and retain everything with the first try. So take heart, take a deep breath, and do your best to enjoy learning about the wonders of the human body.


Post a Comment