A Whine about not getting to learn enough.

It’s the USMLE time of the year so a lot of the bloggers I regulary read, post updates about their studying. I always thought it was a little bit amusing – studying 8 hours in a day, who can survive that? I never study more than 3-4 hours and that’s only for the final practical exams. Usually, I study less than 60 minutes a day.

Nope, I’m not lying and I’m not an hyper-intelligent gunner – most people in my year study even less than that. Why? Because it’s not necessary. If you only care about passing the test, locking yourself up the weekend before the test will suffice. Everyone I know is able to maintain their personal lives and part time jobs etc.

And that’s it. That’s the level of medical education in the Netherlands. Other educational tracks, like biology or biomedical sciences have much more difficult tests and require much more studying. Medicine still has the reputation of being ‘really’ difficult but so far, I’ve found that that’s not true. Personally, I try to get a good grasp of the material but the problem is, I’m not required to (tests are easy) so it’s hard to stay disciplined.

In one way, it’s nice – regulary studying 8 hours a day sounds bit insane. However, I lack a lot of knowledge that US and apparently also Irish doctors will eventually have. Of course, a lot of the medical stuff they learn won’t be applicable but it feels a bit stupid that an US first year knows twice as much as I (third year) do.

Still, the level of medical care over here isn’t much different from that in the aforementioned countries. I assume I’ll learn a lot when specializing – but still I feel a bit left out. There’s so much to know and the pre clinical years are the only years you’ll have enough time to get to the bottom, and we’ve barely scratched the surface…

(good luck to all of you taking the USMLE or a difficult test!)

(and I didn’t have any good ideas for the title so I’ll leave it like this. It’s a whine, I’m blessed I don’t have to sacrifice too much etc – but I think you US/other people will be much better doctors! 😦


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