Oh, so THIS is where the frantic studying happens.

Hey, remember when I complained about all the random alpha-numeric memorization in pharm?  That was cute of me.  Next time I try to complain about pharm, maybe I’ll remember how much worse embryology is.

So, right.  I’m in trouble right now – the test is on Thursday, and if I took it now, I would fail decisively – not because I haven’t studied enough, but just because I’ve been studying wrong.  I spent the bulk of my time trying to understand untestable general concepts – and I didn’t memorize any details, so it turns out that I never magically absorbed that knowledge.  And if I had done the practice problems ahead of time, I would’ve realized that those are the details they’re actually testing us on.

In other words: … Damn.

Pharm had a fairly 1:1 correlation between ‘diagnosis’ and ‘appropriate drug class’ – but embryology uses the same 5 signaling cascades for every possible thing that you could ever want to pattern your body for, with no apparent regard for whether these things intuitively go together, which is just unwieldy and ridiculous.  You can force yourself to memorize ‘diagnosis – drug’, but it’s hard to write a flashcard for the 200 different developmental pathways FGF is involved in.

After the uncertainty of the first test, I’ve never since felt like I might fail one.  But this one will be touch and go.  (I have to admit, I still don’t think I’ll fail it – but that’s only because I do my best studying when under pressure, and I’m worried enough to know I can hammer out a marathon day tomorrow.  Still, I will need that marathon day.)

Frustrating.  Sorry for the whiny post.  Here goes.

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4 thoughts on “Oh, so THIS is where the frantic studying happens.

  1. I’ve yet to understand why embryology is so important in med school. Unless you’re researcher, or *maybe* a pediatrician, that information is utterly useless. Ditto for the drug pathways; as a clinician, aren’t you more concenred with simply the interactions which could be found, and not necessarily the intricate pathways they take to get there?

    Hang in there!

    • Thanks. Yeah… The sad thing is, I’m usually pretty optimistic about details that might be clinically relevant, but I just know that I’ll forget all about FGF/Wnt inhibition of Lefty in two days, so why bother? It’s depressing.

      I’m glad to hear you think it’s mostly useless. I feel better knowing that my hatred of embryology will probably only steer me away from pediatrics. Especially since I have no desire to go into pediatrics…

  2. I do NOT like Embryo, but I found Pharm much harder. Maybe because they crammed a large percentage of our Pharm into a short period or maybe because Embryo had a little bit of sense to it and not just route memorizing….I don’t know. I empathize though. And I hate them both. A lot.

    • Yeah, it’s probably just the way our curriculum is set up. We go through abbreviated versions of the major subjects to learn the basics + some non-system specific things, then we hit everything else later in system blocks – so embryo ended up being heavier on memorization than pharm for us. I can see how it would normally be the opposite. Thanks for the empathy!

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