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    I had two offers for 2010 entry, one from a PBL uni and one from a lecture based Uni (although still early patient contact, some integration etc). I chose the PBL uni and at the end of my first term I am very much aware that this was a mistake.

    I know that there is nothing I can do about it now, I've made my bed I just have to accept it, adapt and get on with it.

    I was just wondering if anyone had ever been in the same position and if so how did they adjust/deal with it?
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    Unfortunately, I don't think there is much you can do about it now. As you already know, Medicine is an overpopulated course, and the chance of finding a Medical School with any free spaces, is almost impossible!
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    Email the university you turned down explaining that you held an offer and would have met the grades (presuming you would have) and is there any way to transfer, either into the relevant year or into year one.
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    (Original post by mummyperson)
    :absinth:
    Are you sure its the pbl approach getting you down? Many many medical students find the first term different to expectation and feel low. I would say stick with it, persevere with the work and the making of friends and the societies. Dont waste energy trying to change medical school at this stage. The natural time to change if you still feel the same would be at the beginning of the fourth year. Relax over Christmas.
    Why the beginning of the fourth year? For most 5 year courses with a pre-clinical/clinical split the logical time is the beginning of third year, at the start of clinicals.

    OP you may find that PBL gets easier as the term goes on and you work out how best you learn. Could you speak to a tutor about what you are struggling with?
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    Thank you for the replies.

    To clarify, I don't think I want to change medical schools. I have made friends here and 'the grass is always greener'. Although I dream about transferring to the Uni close to my home or the one I was rejected from when push came to shove I don't know if I would want to move, just because well I'm here now?

    I have the 'usual' issues with PBL in not knowing the level of detail needed, failing to grasp the more complicated concepts which are not covered in lectures, and generally feeling that I'm on a DIY medicine course but these problems decrease as time goes on and are things I could deal with. Although they do cause significant concern.

    But my main issue comes with the lack of structure a PBL course gives in my day. The university I rejected had a pretty much 9-5 timetable every day. I have had depression before and have always been far worse during long school holidays or when I do not have structure to my day. Here I do not have structure and I can feel myself getting more and more miserable... I have tried getting myself structure but I just can't... if I don't have to be in Uni until 3 I just can't make myself get out of bed before 2. I'm pretty miserable and I don't like being miserable.

    In reality I know that I just need to deal with this but I was hoping I wasn't the only one who had ever regretted their decision
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    It's funny, I don't regret my decision, mainly because I didn't have one. However, I'm growing increasingly fed up with the didactic method of teaching, with the exception of a few lectures I feel as if I could learn more at home with my books. I'm hopefully going to a pbl based school after my third year. Maybe it is just a case of the grass is always greener.
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    (Original post by Oxidative Phosphorylation)
    Thank you for the replies.

    To clarify, I don't think I want to change medical schools. I have made friends here and 'the grass is always greener'. Although I dream about transferring to the Uni close to my home or the one I was rejected from when push came to shove I don't know if I would want to move, just because well I'm here now?

    I have the 'usual' issues with PBL in not knowing the level of detail needed, failing to grasp the more complicated concepts which are not covered in lectures, and generally feeling that I'm on a DIY medicine course but these problems decrease as time goes on and are things I could deal with. Although they do cause significant concern.

    But my main issue comes with the lack of structure a PBL course gives in my day. The university I rejected had a pretty much 9-5 timetable every day. I have had depression before and have always been far worse during long school holidays or when I do not have structure to my day. Here I do not have structure and I can feel myself getting more and more miserable... I have tried getting myself structure but I just can't... if I don't have to be in Uni until 3 I just can't make myself get out of bed before 2. I'm pretty miserable and I don't like being miserable.

    In reality I know that I just need to deal with this but I was hoping I wasn't the only one who had ever regretted their decision
    To address a couple of your concerns:
    (1) Detail: too much/too little
    That just comes with practice. You're by no means on your own there. Plus, you must get some lectures. You can base it on that. I tend not to, I tend to go into my own level of depth depending on interest and perceived importance etc. It's served me fairly well thus far. Plus, it's a good skill to learn as time goes on, how to decide what an appropriate level of depth is.

    (2) Complication in topics
    In my opinion, lectures don't really help with this issue. In fact, if you can't grasp something on your own with a myriad of resources (web, many books, friends, etc.), then the chances of grasping it from a 1 hour lecture are pretty slim indeed. I actually find most of my time sat in lectures is a waste. Most of the time, you can cover a topic in a lecture in either more detail or much quicker than the same time you'd have spent in the lecture.
    Also, nothing in medicine is that complicated. Sure, there can be a lot to learn, but complexity isn't often an issue.
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    This has become about something else other than helping the OP, maybe we can focus on that?

    Do you know what OP? People do regret their decisions sometimes. They may not voice it though because they feel as though they're meant to be having the time of their lives at medical school.

    I really understand what you mean about structure. I would have struggled with a PBL type timetable because I manage much better when I have a routine. Even if that routine is sitting in lectures. So you know what you need in order to do well which is great. Is there a way you can create a timetable for yourself that fits around the PBL? It doesn't have to be rigid but just a framework. Or even a ticklist of things you want to achieve each day might help guide you.

    Its good you know you don't want to leave, you just want to feel more comfortable with the curriculum. That will come in time honestly
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    You're right - my apologies.

    It's funny, I don't regret my decision, mainly because I didn't have one. However, I'm growing increasingly fed up with the didactic method of teaching, with the exception of a few lectures I feel as if I could learn more at home with my books. I'm hopefully going to a pbl based school after my third year. Maybe it is just a case of the grass is always greener.
    I actually sort of agree with this guy/gal. I'm a lot more discerning regarding the lectures I go to this year - if I feel I could make much more efficient use of my time, then I will (made somewhat harder by the fact that all our lectures are technically compulsory...). Essentially even in a lecture-based course, then, you can learn to create your own structure, and adapt your own learning style.
    On the latter point, just know that everyone takes a while to adapt a learning style that worked at A Level, but probably won't work when cut-and-pasted into med school. I'd imagine this might take more time (re. school leavers) in a PBL setting :yep:
    Good luck anyway.
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    (Original post by Kinkerz)
    To address a couple of your concerns:
    (1) Detail: too much/too little
    That just comes with practice. You're by no means on your own there. Plus, you must get some lectures. You can base it on that. I tend not to, I tend to go into my own level of depth depending on interest and perceived importance etc. It's served me fairly well thus far. Plus, it's a good skill to learn as time goes on, how to decide what an appropriate level of depth is.

    (2) Complication in topics
    In my opinion, lectures don't really help with this issue. In fact, if you can't grasp something on your own with a myriad of resources (web, many books, friends, etc.), then the chances of grasping it from a 1 hour lecture are pretty slim indeed. I actually find most of my time sat in lectures is a waste. Most of the time, you can cover a topic in a lecture in either more detail or much quicker than the same time you'd have spent in the lecture.
    Also, nothing in medicine is that complicated. Sure, there can be a lot to learn, but complexity isn't often an issue.
    Thank you, and I find these both get better with practice/time.
    I am different I think in that I find lectures vastly helpful, I have often had lectures on subjects I've just not been able to get before hand and come out with a complete understanding.

    As I said though these are really minor concerns, the main one being that I am struggling with the lack of structure and essentially borderline depressed.
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    (Original post by Sarky)
    This has become about something else other than helping the OP, maybe we can focus on that?

    Do you know what OP? People do regret their decisions sometimes. They may not voice it though because they feel as though they're meant to be having the time of their lives at medical school.

    I really understand what you mean about structure. I would have struggled with a PBL type timetable because I manage much better when I have a routine. Even if that routine is sitting in lectures. So you know what you need in order to do well which is great. Is there a way you can create a timetable for yourself that fits around the PBL? It doesn't have to be rigid but just a framework. Or even a ticklist of things you want to achieve each day might help guide you.

    Its good you know you don't want to leave, you just want to feel more comfortable with the curriculum. That will come in time honestly
    Thank you for your advice. I have tried for years to set my own timetables for the day/scheduals up and for years I've failed.. I just don't think it's something I'm capable of doing. But I am so miserable at the moment (keep crying, I'm sat in the library now just dreading going back to my halls because it's always worse when I'm alone, just lacking motivation and generally sad) that after christmas I will give it another go and put in a lot effort. Even if it is just trying to make sure I get up every day at roughly the same time / go to bed at roughly the same time.
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    (Original post by Oxidative Phosphorylation)
    Thank you for your advice. I have tried for years to set my own timetables for the day/scheduals up and for years I've failed.. I just don't think it's something I'm capable of doing. But I am so miserable at the moment (keep crying, I'm sat in the library now just dreading going back to my halls because it's always worse when I'm alone, just lacking motivation and generally sad) that after christmas I will give it another go and put in a lot effort. Even if it is just trying to make sure I get up every day at roughly the same time / go to bed at roughly the same time.
    I have never suffered with depression so perhaps my advice won't be much use to you, but I can definitely relate to feeling really down when I have a lack of structure. I wasn't too bad during PBL, but when we had SSU in year 1/2 we sometimes only had 3 hours timetabled over 3 weeks, the rest self-directed learning, and I used to go a bit mad. I also went a bit nocturnal aswell which made things worse cos I didn't see anyone for ages, because they were all asleep when I was up.

    Your idea of waiting and trying again after christmas is a good one. It's so near the end of term now and I think most people are very ready to go home, just get it over with and relax and sort yourself out over christmas. I am sure you'll feel so much better when you get back. Your plan to try to sleep at the same time every day is also a good one. I've never been very good at that, but it is much better to be up during the day when its light and everyone else is around than to stay up all night.

    Do you have many clubs/societies at your medical school? Either medical or non-medical ones. We have a lot that organise lectures and small group things you have to sign up for. I found stuff like that really good in years 1/2 because if you've signed up you feel obliged to go, and so that adds some structure. I also think any extra teaching you can get when you first start with PBL is really useful. Also any revision courses etc can be good if you want more lecture style teaching (probs not for a first year though I guess). Try and find something non-medical to join too if there's anything you like the sound of. The start of second term isn't too late to join most things. You could also try getting a job if you want one. Anything that makes you busier. You might be different from me, but I find that being busy makes me organise my time better, and I can get much more work done in less time.

    I agree with Kinkerz that the PBL will get better. I don't know what your medical school is like, but at mine we got much busier in second year, both in and out of the timetable, which helped a lot. Also you will probably get used to PBL style of learning. I really thought in 1st year that I would have been better off at a lecture based uni. We will never know which would have suited us more, but PBL definitely got so much better for me in second year so hopefully it will for you to. By then I got the idea of what to learn and having time to myself did seem more useful to me than hours of lectures. And of course in 3rd year, if your course has a preclinical/clinical divide (most have some, I can only think of one that doesn't seem to) then your will be really busy from 3rd year onwards and probably miss the times when you had nothing to do!

    I hope you have a lovely relaxing christmas and feel a bit more optimistic when you go back. You've only been there a term, its bound to take time to settle in, and I think PBL is hard to get used to.
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    (Original post by Oxidative Phosphorylation)
    I had two offers for 2010 entry, one from a PBL uni and one from a lecture based Uni (although still early patient contact, some integration etc). I chose the PBL uni and at the end of my first term I am very much aware that this was a mistake.

    I know that there is nothing I can do about it now, I've made my bed I just have to accept it, adapt and get on with it.

    I was just wondering if anyone had ever been in the same position and if so how did they adjust/deal with it?
    I'm slightly different in that I had no choice over which uni I ended up at given my other rejections but I did have a lot of trouble settling into a PBL course and numerous times over the first year I thought about leaving (ended up visiting my advisor every 2 weeks or so for a chat and support).

    I have the 'usual' issues with PBL in not knowing the level of detail needed, failing to grasp the more complicated concepts which are not covered in lectures, and generally feeling that I'm on a DIY medicine course but these problems decrease as time goes on and are things I could deal with. Although they do cause significant concern.
    I had exactly these problems and was frequently known to refer to the course as DIY medicine (sometimes do still :p:) - I wasn't the only one either and we were told it's something you get used to rather than finding ways to deal with. Going through A levels, you have the syllabuses to look at to find out exactly what you need to know and just nothing like that exists at this level. My way of handling it tends to be to do as little as possible and hope some of it gets into my head one way or the other :o: definitely not a method I'd recommend. But similarly, trying to learn all the minutaie of a topic is not a good idea as you get so bogged down in details, you don't have time for anything else. As far as PBL topics go, I always try to restrict myself to 2 pages - this seems to be enough to cover what we need to know.

    But my main issue comes with the lack of structure a PBL course gives in my day. The university I rejected had a pretty much 9-5 timetable every day. I have had depression before and have always been far worse during long school holidays or when I do not have structure to my day. Here I do not have structure and I can feel myself getting more and more miserable... I have tried getting myself structure but I just can't... if I don't have to be in Uni until 3 I just can't make myself get out of bed before 2. I'm pretty miserable and I don't like being miserable.
    This is where my experience differs somewhat though - our PBL course is fairly structured. We have self directed learning, but we have more contact time than some PBL courses I think and this helps though I definitely know what you mean about the lack of structure during holidays and there were definitely times when I've been very low. If you think you're depressed at the moment, all I can suggest is to see your GP and see if they can do anything to help with that side of things as it could be part of a self perpetuating circle and having a bad influence on your thoughts about the course. I agree with everyone saying to give it a try after Christmas though - as I say, by Christmas of first year I was in a very similar place to you but stuck it out and things improved (I still had my moments of wanting to given up throughout the years, particularly around exam times :p:) and I'm now a final year so it can work out even when you feel this bad this early on!

    That's probably not been of any practical use at all, but hopefully will at least help you see that you're not alone here.
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    where r you studying, OP?
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    I can definitely sympathise with you OP. I'm on a PBL course (didn't have any choice about that) and struggle with it at times. Have you tried getting into a study group? I find they help in either consolidating your own learning/ someone can teach you what you didn't understand. As well, you may not be able to get into a daily routine, but a weekly one might be possible Personally, I need something to look forward to each week and a longer term thing such as a holiday. It's lots of little things, but when they're absent, it makes a difference to me at least.
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    Ok, if it puts your mind at ease - particularly in clinics - even "traditional" courses are a bit DIY medicine. So stay strong
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    Thank you for all the advice. I was feeling pretty depressed towards the end of term but I am a lot happier now. Hopefully when I go back the break will have helped.

    I would rather not say what medical school I am at.
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    Cheer up. At least you're already in a medical school. There are thousands of students who are dying to get a seat here.

    Human beings are adaptable species. My school's famous for the PBL structure, which I absolutely despised in my first year but now I wish more courses are set this way.
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    (Original post by MacSci)
    Cheer up. At least you're already in a medical school. There are thousands of students who are dying to get a seat here.

    Human beings are adaptable species. My school's famous for the PBL structure, which I absolutely despised in my first year but now I wish more courses are set this way.
    I realise this but it doesn't mean I'm not allowed to be unhappy.
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    Things have reached breaking point now. I want to go home. I cannot transfer to my other University or any University near me so this leaves either drop out or ask if I can leave and come back to re-do year 1 in September or just stick it out.

    I no longer have friends here; my friendship group & I drifted apart from January and now we don't really speak. I wouldn't say I have "no friends" and if I were to say that to anyone in my year I'm sure they would strongly disagree too, I know a lot of people but I'm no longer in a group. Having people you go out with and say hey to around is very different from having a group of friends. I have no one to live with next year, for example, now I no longer talk to these people.

    I'm in quite a bad state, head-wise.

    Irony is that I've been in the top 5% for every coursework and exam so far.
    Although in the last 2 weeks I've lost all motivation and have done no work (including PBL).

    I wouldn't know how to go about telling the medical school I want to leave or how to go about justifying it -- is just being very very unhappy a reason?
 
 
 
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