× Women Medical Students

Need help dealing with "sub standard" performance

14 years 2 months ago #28027 by Cindy
So here I am an M1 with 2 boys 9, and 7. At the end of the first semester I made it through but not with the grades I would like and know I am capable of. Before med school I was close to the top of my class as almost all are who actually get into medical school. My rational brain says you did just fine (low 80%ish in everything) you have many many more responsibilities than anyone else in your class etc. and work hard at being there for my family and husband. My irrational brain has a hard time dealing with having the lowest grades in my study group and being in the middle of the class or below. I also worry about not being competitive for a residency because family commitments make my grades lower. I knew this would be hard and that I don't have the time that other students do, and that I am just lucky to be where I am. But that stupid little voice is still there sometimes, and I don't want to carry it around anymore. Any advice from those who have taken a similiar path?

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14 years 2 months ago #28028 by efex101
Hey join the crowd girl! and btw you are doing really well if you are in the 80% percent or more! many many folks are not even that high regardless of how much they study! this is the biggest adjustment of medical school...from being top 1% in undergrad now suddenly you are average or below... :eek: not what you envisioned. The truth of the matter is that ALL medical students came from the top of their undergrads and now all of a sudden someone has to be top half and the others bottom half but who cares? we will all graduate with the MD/DO and become practicing physicians and trust me your patients will NOT care about what your class rank was. REsidency directors for the most part care about clinical grades, usmle, lors, and then somewhere low is grades (if your school even has them) for the first two years. With so many schools going pass/fail for the first two years most directors are looking beyond that. Also, how to compare the first two years btw schools? some might be more rigorous others not so, some have exams others not, etc...so this is why then board scores become important as well as performance during clerkships. Please give yourself a break and realize just how much you HAVE accomplished! mother/wife and medical student and you PASSED the first half of the first year :yes: I know what you are feeling been there and done that...and still sometimes :banghead: get all irked about not doing as well as I "think" I should but see this "think" is from undergrad which as you know is NOTHING like this..hence our thinking is way off. Now we are in another whole environment and were we were at the top (4.0) in undergrad the classes were so much easier and the material was much less...again congrats and have fun these holidays. Second year is pretty tough IMHO much more so than first year...so enjoy.

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14 years 2 months ago #28029 by Med4Mom

I'm dealing with this issue too. It is very tough to go from top 5% of your class (undergrad) to "below average"... :confused: . But I am encouraged by feedback from preceptors and other physicians I know, who are very positive about the maturity, empathy and other qualities we more mature students bring to the clinic. My school is pass/fail, so luckily I don't worry too much about the actual grades - only a Pass shows up in terms of residency applications and such. But it is still hard to swallow personally.

No advice really, just wanted to say you are not alone. :rolleyes: :goodvibes:

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14 years 2 months ago #28030 by maverick
Dear Cindy--

you know what they call the guy who graduates at the bottom of the medical school class, right?


Or, as someone pointed out to me when I failed anatomy class my first year of medical school: P=MD.

Try not to obsess about this stuff. You've got to maintain a perspective and a life. You can, actually, do it all: you might, however, have to lower your standards a bit.

I'd point out, too, that you're in for a process of lifelong learning here. After medical school you've got graduate medical education (residency) and continuing medical education (in practice); you'll have plenty of exams to take, and depending on specialty these may include written and/or oral boards; and every day in practice you'll have to know some things by heart, or at least know where to get the answers--and sometimes in the clinical world the consequences of not knowing are much worse than getting a B. If you take these grade issues too seriously you will find yourself crushed by the weight. Learn to let go. Do the best you can, and keep going. Learn your limitations and your learning style, and play to your strengths.

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14 years 2 months ago #28031 by TexasRose
Like everyone else has said, you are not alone! :grouphug:

I've dealt with all the same feelings and frustrations. I will say this, though, my grades did take a slight upturn with my 2nd year. Nothing amazing, but as the classes focused more on pathology and diseases and less on basic science, my overall performance inched up. It gets better with practice, it really does.

Also, those qualities of maturity and the ability to juggle multiple commitments IS worth something to attendings and residency programs. I've been reassured of this many times by physicians and deans.

Hang in there! :D

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you."

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14 years 2 weeks ago #28032 by phillymedschoolmom
so I am doing pretty darn well in classes, but my preceptor keeps helpfully saying, "often students who do well in the first two years, really don't do as well in the 3rd and 4th years" in this lovely cheerful tone. So, go figure. you can't win either way.

I think there is a lot to be said for life experience making you a better doctor. being a parent gives you a level of relating to people that most of your fellow students simply don't have. and i think feeling frustrated is good, because it means you actually care about being a GOOD doctor. But, i think, the caring part is going to be what makes you good, not the grades.

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