I hate it when “wasted time” and “med school” overlap on the venn diagram of my day.

Today sucked, and every attempt I’ve made at writing why has just ended up just being whiny.

So instead, I’ll just tell you that when I was in undergrad and a med student told me their day sucked, I always pictured them studying like crazy – spending 10 hours reading large books, eating entire meals from the library’s cart so they could stake out a corner and study medical concepts all day.

Honestly, while I empathized, that image never really bothered me.  I’m a nerd.  That pretty much sounds like my ideal week day.

But now I realize that med students are all pretty nerdy, and most of us would be happy with the day I just described – thrilled, in fact, if we got a lot done.

So today sucked because we had no time to study.   It’s that terrible feeling of being behind, realizing every day will be like this, wondering how many days you can possibly catch up on in 1 weekend, realizing that you’ve already passed any reasonable estimate of that number, and that every minute the clock ticks is a minute off of your sleep tonight – all because you’re sitting in a classroom being asked to break into small groups* and delve into deep and meaningful epidemiological concepts such as “cholera = bad” and “John Snow = good”.

Tomorrow I’m going to skip class and study yesterday’s immunology lectures instead.  I mean, it’s either that, or stay up so late that I can’t pay attention during tomorrow’s lecture anyways.  It’s a pretty guiltless decision.

*  “Break into small groups” is my least favorite phrase in the English language.  I don’t mind working with other people – it’s just usually a sign that we’re going to be spending 2 hours doing something 1) unimportant, that 2) could have been accomplished in 10 minutes.

6 thoughts on “I hate it when “wasted time” and “med school” overlap on the venn diagram of my day.

  1. Agreed on all accounts. I despise breaking into small groups where I learn nothing but still do a lot of work.

    And if it makes you feel any better my day was totally off today as well. I’m now behind on my classes and my step 1 schedule. Hmph. Tomorrow will be a long day. Thank goodness for weekends….not for a break, but to catch up with no new material added. Only a med student thinks like that. 🙂

    • That’s one of the reasons why I’m very wary of schools shifting towards PBL. In principle, working together in groups or discussing a particular issue / concept is useful, but in my experience, it’s typically a waste of an enormous amount of time, an exceedingly rare quantity.

      • I totally agree. Actually, one of the reasons I came here was because they didn’t require attendance at anything – labs, small groups, lectures.

        … turns out that was only about 80% true. Oh well.

  2. As I put it bluntly to our student council president: “I didn’t pay 20 grand a year to get taught by fellow B Sc’s”

  3. I actually like the small amount of team based learning my school has. I find large groups about ICM topics, however, to be completely useless. I’m not sure how they find the worst possible way to teach something relatively important.

    Danielle – I haven’t even started my step 1 schedule yet. I may be the biggest ms2 slacker ever.

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