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Learning in PreMed - WTF

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I'm taking pre med courses - gen chem 2, physics I, bio, calc, anatomy and have realized that the degree of conceptual learning is minimal. I don't know if this is because teachers are required to blow through material at a fast rate or if it's because they learned in that way or what. If I do not read every detail of my textbook and conceptually integrate everything on my own I literally walk away with nothing. I forget the equations, which are presented like memorized hieroglyphs with a near mystical origin. There is next to no passion for conceptual integration from what I've experienced apart from the occasional non relevant aside given by the professor, which they always seem to enjoy giving most (maybe because they are relaying this information in a more conceptual manner).

I guess it's my own responsibility to form the concepts on my own time, though I can see very clearly why many doctors are resorting to tablet PCs with symptom drop down boxes for their patients and computer prescribed treatments.

Maybe I'm just cynical for the fact that I literally have to do all the teaching myself. Some other kids appear to readily absorb the hieroglyphs and readily forget them with undaunted repetition, though my intellectual needs seem greater than that.

Can anyone else relate or advise? I hate to take a class just to forget the material - so total immersion is I guess the only solution (in my own time).

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I'm taking pre med courses - gen chem 2, physics I, bio, calc, anatomy and have realized that the degree of conceptual learning is minimal. I don't know if this is because teachers are required to blow through material at a fast rate or if it's because they learned in that way or what. If I do not read every detail of my textbook and conceptually integrate everything on my own I literally walk away with nothing. I forget the equations, which are presented like memorized hieroglyphs with a near mystical origin. There is next to no passion for conceptual integration from what I've experienced apart from the occasional non relevant aside given by the professor, which they always seem to enjoy giving most (maybe because they are relaying this information in a more conceptual manner).

I guess it's my own responsibility to form the concepts on my own time, though I can see very clearly why many doctors are resorting to tablet PCs with symptom drop down boxes for their patients and computer prescribed treatments.

Maybe I'm just cynical for the fact that I literally have to do all the teaching myself. Some other kids appear to readily absorb the hieroglyphs and readily forget them with undaunted repetition, though my intellectual needs seem greater than that.

Can anyone else relate or advise? I hate to take a class just to forget the material - so total immersion is I guess the only solution (in my own time).

Your observations are spot on, and this is the source of the ideological corruption that exists in medicine today. Most of medical training consists of tedious memorization rather than problem solving, critical thinking, or conceptualization of any kind. As in other academic fields, the philosophical component has been totally lost. I recently read "Philosophy: Who Needs It" for the first time and was shocked to see how accurate some of Rand's insights were, even though she knew nothing about medicine and wrote without any intention of predicting anything. She simply soliloquied that irrationalism in medicine might take the form of "treating the hospital instead of the patient" and studying disease without reference to what consitutes a state of actual health, and those two things are exactly what have happend in medicine. This is why it's now considered "normal" for people to be on a handful of prescription drugs by the time they reach their 20s, and why the medical community's perception of what constitutes "normal" weight has changed as the population has gotten fatter. Acadmic medicine is as prolifically irrational as contemporary philosophy, economics, political science, etc. and and the world's health is going to shit while the doctors sit there inventing new diseases like "ADHD" and giving statins and blood pressure meds to patients in the name of "preventative" care, and the nation goes bankrupt spending trillions to treat infirmities that could be totally avoided or cured by nothing more than simple diet and exercise.

I spend a lot of time on the studentdoctor.net forums, which is the world's premier site for people pursuing the medical profesion. It's utterly shocking to read the things that supposedly intelligent medical students, residents, established physicians, and educators have to say, and then to realize that these are the people who will be responsible for healthcare in the future. Many of them simply don't know how to THINK, and should be mowing lawns and digging ditches for a living instead.

Just to let you know what you're in for.

Edited by cliveandrews
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Thanks, I am glad my observations are not unfounded. They are treating the symptoms of disease rather than basing their ideas on what constitutes total health.

My experience with doctors as a patient has been borderline absurd. Had I actually believed anything a doctor has ever told me about an ailment I had, I probably would still have that ailment and be taking drugs with multiple side effects. This has happened to me from the use of antibiotics, which I have countered with iodine supplementation. It boggles my mind how a doctor could think that taking in empty calories and not exercising have no relationship to disease. Talking to a doctor today is almost like talking to an animal with no cross conceptualization ability. (I say this with respect for the few doctors that actually seek to treat the patient and not the disease)

I have seen the doctors that maintain their conceptual ability/philosophy of understanding problems, and this is why I am going to continue with it. One glance at the average MCAT scores (which encompass all of one's premed studies) shows that the average score for most medical schools is 50%.

Though I must say, it is physically impossible to retain the massive amount of information beyond test day without devoting much time to establishing context that is not considered by my teachers.

Edited by MoralParadise
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I got my degree in physics, and I can attest to this. You get almost no conceptual understanding, either in the higher courses or in the lower ones (where it's most important, to get a solid foundation). At least at my school, the professors seemed more interested in their own experimental research than in the courses they were teaching. It also didn't help that the head of the dept. structured the curriculum incorrectly, and placed one of the physics courses a semester before one of the prerequisite math courses (it wasn't listed as an official prereq, but the math that was covered was required for the physics course). We came into the physics course during the first week, and the professor started reviewing eigenvalues and eigenfunctions, and over half the class (myself included) had never seen them before that point. We let him know, and he was a little disturbed by it, but just shrugged and moved on with the review.

And don't even get me started about quantum mechanics. It reminds me of the Simpsons episode where they have a math class for girls - "How do numbers make you feel? What does a plus sign smell like? Is the number 7 odd, or just different?"

Edited by brian0918
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