The following is a list of resources to supplement classes and make your academic life a little easier:
- Upperclassmen —Start with your mentor, but feel free to ask any one of us second-years about whatever you don’t know about studying, tests, or teachers. We might be your most valuable resource for knowing what to expect from a class. Also, we have books we can let you borrow or buy for a lot cheaper than anywhere else. I’ve never asked an upperclassman a question and not had him or her give me a thorough and honest answer. Plus, it gives us warm-fuzzies when someone wants to know our opinions.
- Lecture recordings: Audio and Video — The audio and video recordings an extremely popular way to review lecture material. In fact, you may want to make as many friends as you can during the first week of school because you may not see some of them until test time rolls around. Lecture recordings often make the first two years of medical school more flexible. If people learn better late at night, they may skip class and watch lectures later in the day. If this is you, just make sure that you actually keep up with your lectures! This is very important. You never want to get to the point where you have 20+ lectures to watch in less than two days before a test (this has happened to several members of the Class of 2011, and it is a very scary time, to say the least) Some students have decided that it simply takes too long to read the transcribed notes, and would rather listen/watch to the lectures instead (you can also play the lectures at an increased speed if the pace is too slow). All of the lectures are recorded and posted online via Angel. It is a good way to catch up if you miss class for any reason or if you find it helpful to listen/watch to them again!
- Old exams — This is the only thing that we will tell you to absolutely buy. Invariably some questions are repeated and they also help you to gauge whether you can sleep or not the night before the test. These are available for purchase at the beginning of first semester and tend to cost about forty dollars for the entire packet. They are often good study aids. Some classes post past tests on the web (Angel), but they tend to be only from the previous year and the answers are not always available (Test packets usually have three years worth of tests with the answers provided). As always, it is probably a good idea to ask your peer sponsor or an upperclassman to have/borrow their test pack.
- Books on reserve — Don’t forget that many of your textbooks can be found in the library or the Daly Center. It may be a wise way to save money if you are willing to use them there!
- Appointments with Professors — Your professors are very willing to help you and can be an invaluable resource for students. Take advantage of this opportunity. This is also a good resource to help you save time. See your professors with questions rather than getting frustrated and confused on your own. They are good people to know!
“Medical school? It ain’t that hard.” –Louis Pastuer
Places to Study
Medical Student Lounge and Daly Center
- The Daly Center has twelve rooms, each with a white board and wireless internet access that can accommodate small study groups. These rooms are very popular with students and may be reserved for the use of classes and conferences, so it may not always be easy to find one that is available. The Daly Center also contains the large medical student lounge that is conducive to individual study for those who prefer to study alone or those brief moments you find during the day to sneak a quick review of a recent lecture. Medical Student Lounge and Daly Center are open 24 hours daily.
Many students prefer the quiet, individualized environment of the many campus libraries. The Ruth Lilly Medical Library is one of the favorites due to its convenient location next to the Daly Center. The Law Library is also popular among students for its unique atmosphere. Studying at the Law Library is great, except access is limited to Law students during finals.
Ruth Lilly Medical Library: The library is located in the Medical Research and Library Building. For information about the library and its services visit http://library.medicine.iu.edu or call (317) 274-7182 and ask to speak with a medical librarian. Many libraries have a no food and drink policy, but as long as you are discreet and dispose of trash and leftovers properly, no library staff will bother you. Let the staff know if you spot anything in the facility that is a problem or that needs to be fixed.
Library doors are open to all for study and research during library hours, until 5pm. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. the doors are locked, but use your JagTag or IUSM I.D. to open them using the card reader located on the pillar to the right of the entrance, or use the call box to request entry. After 9pm, medical students have 24 hour access to a computer lab, group study rooms, and study space via the 2nd floor entrance.
Printers are located on each floor of the library. First year students receive a printing allowance, courtesy of the IUSM Student Technology Committee. Need an article from a journal and can’t find it on campus? The Interlibrary Loan (also known as the Document Delivery) Department obtains copies of journal articles, and borrows books not owned by the library. The Library pays for the service, so you don’t.
Helpful Library faculty and staff are available to answer any of your questions regarding access to library resources or assistance using library resources. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the literature or on the web, or - if you want to get a start on some research for a presentation, publication, or other professional interests, give them a call, stop by, or send an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Rarely, an email will stray, so if you don’t hear from them in one business day – send another email. Seriously, they love to hear from you.
The Library is staffed:
Monday-Friday 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
Saturday 8:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
Sunday 12:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Check the Library Blog for news and holiday hours.
Miscellaneous Academic Items
All first- and second-year students are assigned lockers. Students supply their own locks- you’ll want to bring one with you the first day. The lockers are convenient for storage of stinky scrubs and gigantic CHD books that aren’t fun to drag around.
Each student is assigned a locked mailbox for campus mail. To receive a key, a student must sign a form agreeing to return the key by the date specified by the Office for Student and Curricular Affairs. Failure to return a key will result in withholding the distribution of grades, financial aid checks, transcripts, graduation certification, and diploma.
Intracampus mail may be deposited in the mail drop in the door to Room 159, Medical Science Building. The campus post office is located at 536 Barnhill Drive and offers the services of a regular branch post office.
Medical Bookstore in the new Campus Student Center
The University has its bookstore in the Barnes and Noble in the Campus Student Center. Most of the review books and textbooks are on the first floor, but some of the notes and other resources are in the basements.
It is also a good idea to compare bookstore prices to those of online book sellers- Borders (www.borders.com), Ebay (www.ebay.com), Half.com (www.half.com) and Amazon (www.amazon.com ) often offer the same textbooks at lower prices.
Review books (USMLE review guides, and the “Made Ridiculously Simple” series) are useful study guides, and many students find them to be extremely helpful when studying difficult concepts.
Consult your peer sponsor or another upperclassman you know to see if they would be willing to part with old texts- this could save you a lot of money.
All students will be provided with an e-mail account. Many computer clusters around campus grant student access to various computer applications and networks. These are serviced by Integrated Technologies at (317) 274-4357. Additional computers are available in the locked computer lab in the basement of the Daly Center and in the Ruth Lilly Medical Library.
Although it is possible to get through first year without a computer, it will make your life easier. It’s not as mandatory as it sounds; they only make it appear mandatory so that you can get loan money for it. It is not necessary to go out and buy a new PC. If you decide not to buy a computer at all, be assured that there are computers available in the student lounge and the library. There is one 24-hour-lab in the basement of the Medical Sciences building.
If you live relatively far from campus, you might find it more convenient to have a computer at home rather than having to rely on the school for computers. On the laptop versus desktop issue, only get a laptop if you personally want a laptop. Aside from wireless connectivity most places on campus, there are no special benefits to having a laptop in medical school versus having a desktop.
Many Mac students had problems with the Mac version of Windows Media Player (which is the program set for the audio/video for viewing the lectures online). Most ended up uploading Windows Fusion onto their computers and watched the videos from here. Other just used their Mac for personal use and went to on campus to watch the videos.
If your computer doesn’t have the needed software on it, don’t buy it right away. Either ask your peer sponsor or an upperclassman to borrow their copy. The library and bookstore also sell the software. It’s much cheaper (to the tune of $10 versus $200) than purchasing it elsewhere. Also, check IUware Online which has many software programs available for download for free from their website. For more information, see Medical Student Affairs: Technology.
Medical Instrument Sale
Budget around $600-800 (some students spent more than $800) for the second-semester medical instrument sale. You will be able to purchase stethoscopes, ophthalmoscopes, otoscopes, doctor bags, coats, name tags, and sphygmomanometers, among other instruments. Since this is a large school, the supplier will give a volume discount (typically 40 percent) when students order en masse. Plan for this because it’s an opportunity you do not want to miss. You will have a show and tell demo day early in the second semester, where you will get to try all the new gadgets. Some students find it necessary to buy extra ID tags and extra white coats so you may want to consider this as well.
Be advised...the instrument reps will try to sell you many things you may not actually need, since many items are found in clinics and all you need your own set for is ICM II (especially otoscope/ophthalmoscope sets). Many upperclassmen say that you will have no need for a diagnostic set following ICM II in 2nd year. Talk to upperclassmen and find out what is really necessary for ICM II and what are just extra “toys”. They may even have some of their old equipment they are willing to sell much cheaper than the new items.
**Important note! The money you spend on instruments will be coming directly from your loans, i.e. you won’t receive extra loan money for them-- so figure this in with your expenses for the semester.