November 22, 2011


Filed under: Med School and the MSTP — sanguinemare @ 10:47 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

In some ways, med school is easier than undergrad, or even high school.  In high school, we had classes from 8am to either 2 or 3pm depending on the day, and we had at least 6-7 completely unrelated courses.  And in undergrad, especially if you double majored and minored like me, we’d also be taking 4-5 different/unrelated classes at once, with different testing schedules for each.  I also went to an undergrad where we had semesters rather than quarters (thank goodness), so testing would come in waves after 4-5 weeks instead of 2-3… although now that I think about it, with the wide variety I had, it was kind of similar to what it is now.  Anyways.

Right now we have tests every 2-3 weeks, which is very short, and we cover a lot of material.  Today’s test, which I am about to take in 2 hours, is on Immunology.  I would venture to guess that we have covered at least 1-2 undergrad courses worth of material in the last 2 weeks.  That’s basically condensing half a year or a year into 2 weeks.  On the other hand, we are focusing (almost) completely on this topic for these two weeks.  Thus, many of the classes have overlapping themes, materials, and numbers/letters to memorize, although each focusing on different things. 

I find that makes it easier when studying at the end, because you can integrate different lectures and be like “oh, this goes with this,” and “oh that’s what that random receptor is for!”  Sadly, you have to kind of cobble together stuff on your own from different lectures, but I think it’s still better than having multiple unrelated classes.

For this test, what really is saving my butt right now is that a group of us started a system where we each made summaries for 2 class hours worth of class, and we made a dropbox account so we can upload and share them with each other.  I love that about our class, that we are so willing to help each other out.  And the funny thing is, a lot of us all haunt the same floor at the same times when studying!  I find that amusing because everyone in the class has their own study schedule and habits, so you end up rarely seeing many classmates, but most of the people in our summary-share group seem to study in the same areas.  We rarely all study together in the same room – usually it’s done individually in the study carrels – but it’s nice to run into familiar faces so one doesn’t feel like such a hermit.

Anyway, I highly encourage you to make study groups or things like this summary-sharing thing when you get to med school.  It is extremely helpful (and you get to bond with your classmates :P!)

For your information, if you’re curious, here’s a list of all the classes we covered in the last 2 weeks for this test (2 hour classes are denoted by “1 and 2”, and labs/quizzes are done outside of class, taking about 2 hours each). I’ve semi-sorted them out into topics for easier organization while studying:

Innate/Adaptive Immunology
Cells of the Immune System 1 and 2
Antibodies 1 and 2
MHC Class I/II
Modulation of the Addaptive Immune Response
Lymphocyte activation
Transplant Immunity
Antigen-Antibody Interactions
Autoimmunity 1 and 2
Immunity and Infection
Overview of Immunology

Hemodynamics + Lab/quiz
Inflammation and repair 1 and 2 + Lab/quiz
Immunodeficiencies 1 and 2
Childhood disease + Lab/quiz
Immunopathology + Lab/quiz

Opiods and Pain Management
NSAIDs and Gout

Lab Medicine 1 and 2
Lab Medicine Case Reviews 1 and 2



  1. Hey! I’m a pre-med, currently in my fourth year and soon graduating! I’ve applied to med school and hopefully will get in somewhere, but just wanted to say, it’s great to find current med students and read their posts. I especially like that you’re not regurgitating the thing everyone says: “med school is extremely difficult”. I understand there’s a lot of subject matter to study, but like you said, these are all inter-related and they work for the common goal of learning medicine. Dropbox is awesome!!

    I’ll be keeping up with your posts. Cheers!

    Comment by Dawn — November 23, 2011 @ 4:30 pm | Reply

    • Hey Dawn! Thanks for subscribing! And that’s great! Best of luck to you! I just went to your blog and the pics just crack me up haha! And you sound really interested in the medical field, so I’m sure you’ll do awesome in your application/interviews. If you have any questions about the process or anything, just let me know! 🙂 I’ll try to be more consistent with posting 😛

      Comment by sanguinemare — November 23, 2011 @ 6:51 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks! Yeah hah, blogs are a really great way to unwind, and actually learn new things about other people! I will for sure be keeping up with yours, and hopefully taking some tips in for myself in the future too! Thank you for the encouragement sanguinemare 🙂 It really means a lot!Good luck with studies!

    Comment by Dawn — November 24, 2011 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

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