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Old 07-28-06, 11:40 AM   #1
jdaher
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any med students out there?

i am in the process of applying to medical school and was wondering if there are any med students on this forum that can give me an idea of how much stuff they haul around with them on a daily basis.

i'm going to get a new bag soon for the commuting and occassional grocery shopping i do right now (need something bigger and waterproof), however, next year i'll hopefully be hauling books around, too, and i'd rather not have to invest again in a year because i bought something too small this time around. i was thinking something around 2,000 cu inches, but am not sure whether that is too big.

also, i'm a fit 5'6" female, so i'm not working with a huge (body) frame...
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Old 07-28-06, 01:23 PM   #2
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Most keep books at home. Notebook or computer for lecture (if you are one to attend, that is). First two years, you will need diagnostic instruments only for physical exam labs, until you are on the clinical rotations.
Usually you have a locker to keep stuff in when not at home. You may get lockable storage for your microscope in histology and pathology labs. The only exception is if you are bringing your books into the library to study, then you will have weight to haul.
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Old 07-28-06, 07:24 PM   #3
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My wife is a doctor and went through all that. I asked her how many books they carried: Most of the stuff these days seems to be on CDs/DVDs, but there can be a number of large text books (Her anatomy book was huge apparently). Also, she had to occasionally carry tools and scrubs.
She reminded me that some of the students work/study long hours, so you might want to think about nighttime stuff as well (lights, etc).

Speaking as a husband of a doctor, residency is the real torture
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Old 07-29-06, 12:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mr_H
Speaking as a husband of a doctor, residency is the real torture
Speaking as the daughter of a doctor, I agree with this.

As far as the bag goes:
I'm not a med student, but I am a 5'6" female with a small frame so I figured I would relay my bag experience. I used to use a large backpack (Ogio fugitive, 2050ci) but found it uncomfortable on the bike and my entire back would end up covered in sweat. And it wasnt waterproof. Now I use a Chrome Citizen messenger bag (1200ci). Less of my back gets covered in sweat, it is waterproof, and it is more comfortable on the bike, but less comfortable off the bike. I don't notice a huge difference in how much it will hold.

I got the citizen because I was nervous about anything larger being too big for my frame. Having used it for a while, I think I could get away with the Metropolis (2000ci).

Nothing is great for carrying a lot of weight though. I can deal with one textbook + my u-lock and other stuff (lab coat, notebook, bike tools) or my laptop + the misc stuff but I can't do a big textbook and the laptop + the other stuff without it being uncomfortable.

If it's a long distance or it's going to be more than a couple of textbooks it might be worth looking at panniers.
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Old 07-29-06, 04:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdaher
also, i'm a fit 5'6" female, so i'm not working with a huge (body) frame...
Consider the messenger back back packs instead of the bag, a bit more comfortable for the heavier stuff. Some messenger bag straps are "uncomfortable" for females anyway, and I can only assume its worse if a messenger bag is loaded up.

Bailey works and Reload are probably better bags to look at, just as cool as the chromes but deeper so you can get some more crap in. And you dont get that buckle, which would get uncomfortable as it digs in.

Im guessing as a meds student you are gonna have a laptop. General advice get a small one! One of the new apple macbooks are really nice and are light. If you're a windows fan get a 12-13inch one, the smaller the better. The less weight you're carrying the better. Its damn hard to get up hills with a loaded bag, not to mention its bad for your back. Check out the laptop section of the bag before you buy, you want a lot of padding on the bottom corners, trust me on this.

Ive carried 4 or 5 text books over a 5km hilly commute, even at that distance the bag is heavy so make sure you get a good bag.

Heres a link to a geek show http://dl.tv/blogs/digitallifetv/arc.../20/14106.aspx that does a bag special. It is definately worth the download these blokes know what they are on about.
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Old 07-29-06, 06:20 AM   #6
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A little off topic, but could one split school and work to become an MD?
Right now it's just driving trucks, but I've recently wanted to slowly work towards becoming a Medical Examiner. You know, that guy who does all the autopsies and determines causes of death.
I don't really give squat about how old I'll be when I'm finished if I take this route.
I'm 23 and as long as I keep my physical routine consistent, I see no hampering.
It's just that I need to keep a moderated income flowing to keep things afloat at the same time.
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Old 07-30-06, 10:06 AM   #7
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I'm a law student, but I figure I can chime in since I have to carry books/laptop to school.

I had a Chrome Citizen (1200ci) prior to law school. It is too small for a laptop (in a laptop sleeve) plus my books, notes, etc. It is OK for cruising around town picking up some stuff, but is a bit small for school.

I got a PAC messenger bag (2400ci I think). This thing is a) way too expensive, b) will swallow everything you need, c) is indestructible. In terms of size, it is perfect. I can put my books, laptop, and a spare sweatshirt in it and it is still comfortable on my back. I have been able to carry 60lbs of books in it, but I am a 6'0" guy, and that load probably would make most spinal doctors cringe.

You don't say where you live, but usually bike shops around you may carry a 2000ci bag you could try out. Try it on and off a bike, messenger bags are awesome on a bike, but off a bike they aren't as great.
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Old 07-30-06, 10:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentstrider
A little off topic, but could one split school and work to become an MD?
Right now it's just driving trucks, but I've recently wanted to slowly work towards becoming a Medical Examiner. You know, that guy who does all the autopsies and determines causes of death.
I don't really give squat about how old I'll be when I'm finished if I take this route.
I'm 23 and as long as I keep my physical routine consistent, I see no hampering.
It's just that I need to keep a moderated income flowing to keep things afloat at the same time.
A pathologist is what you're thinking of, and requires going to med school for 3 or 4 years and doing a 4 year residency. Thats the old guy with a limp on CSI, Las Vegas. Or you can be whats called a "diener". That person does all the prep work for the pathologist. That's the young chubby bald guy on CSI, LV. A lot less training, and pays about the same as being a nurse.
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Old 07-31-06, 06:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdaher
i am in the process of applying to medical school and was wondering if there are any med students on this forum that can give me an idea of how much stuff they haul around with them on a daily basis.

i'm going to get a new bag soon for the commuting and occassional grocery shopping i do right now (need something bigger and waterproof), however, next year i'll hopefully be hauling books around, too, and i'd rather not have to invest again in a year because i bought something too small this time around. i was thinking something around 2,000 cu inches, but am not sure whether that is too big.

also, i'm a fit 5'6" female, so i'm not working with a huge (body) frame...

I biked starting in 2nd year, and I didn't carry much at all. My strategy was to keep textbooks at home. For the times when I studied in the library, I used books from the stacks if I needed them (the starving med student's method!). Also, kept my diagnostic kit, white coat, nice shirt and tie in my locker for the once a week clinical experience. Most of your course notes, histology slides, etc will be online, so your best investment will be for a small laptop and just bring that in every day. Good luck! You're in for one of the best times in your life!
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Old 07-31-06, 07:16 AM   #10
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Just to add my $0.02, even though I've never been in any vague way related to a med student... If you're small and need to be able to carry a lot of weight, I'd suggest getting a rack with something like a grocery bag pannier. You can keep your stuff in a regular backpack that's comfortable to wear to class, then put the entire backpack in the pannier for biking around.

I am a big fan of making the bike do the work .
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Old 07-31-06, 02:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentstrider
A little off topic, but could one split school and work to become an MD?
Right now it's just driving trucks, but I've recently wanted to slowly work towards becoming a Medical Examiner. You know, that guy who does all the autopsies and determines causes of death.
I don't really give squat about how old I'll be when I'm finished if I take this route.
I'm 23 and as long as I keep my physical routine consistent, I see no hampering.
It's just that I need to keep a moderated income flowing to keep things afloat at the same time.
Med school anywhere is a full-time commitment; it just isn't possible to have much of a job and complete the work, nor is there a pathway for those who only want to go part-time. It may be possible to have a small part-time job during the pre-clinical years, but during the clerkships, you will be working long hours in the hospital. Do you have a college degree and have you done pre-medical coursework? In general, the minimum is one year inorganic chemistry, one year organic chemistry, each with labs, one year calculus, one year biology with lab, one year physics with lab and in some cases a year of psychology.

If you are serious, read the threads at www.studentdoctor.net.

Medical examiners are medical school graduates (physicians) who complete a pathology residency, anatomical and clinical, and who usually do a fellowship after residency in forensic pathology. It is a high-level civil-service type job in most cities. Some have also collected law degrees along the way.
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Old 08-01-06, 10:47 AM   #12
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Well, thanks for the input.
I guess I was just trying to look into general career options that didn't involve either travelling, or having to console persons.
Right now I'm only qualified to perform armed security and drive 18 wheelers.
18 wheeling pays well enough, but depending on what/who you drive for, there's no one place to call home.
The medical school route seems to require all the time and resources you're able to muster.
Not to mention I never got into college-level coursework right away.

Now back to what this thread was originally emphasizing.
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Old 08-01-06, 01:13 PM   #13
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I am a foreign trained Forensic Dentist currently doing research at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa. Several Medical students ride their bikes to class. I ride a folder, otherwise I would have a hard time finding "parking".
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Old 08-01-06, 02:46 PM   #14
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I'm in medical school and I never take any books to class. From day to day, I usually carry a 3 ring binder and a couple of spiral notebooks along with my personal effects. I don't see any reason to get a 2000 ci backpack unless you also need to carry a change of clothes and other items. My backpack is 20" x 11" x 7.5" and it holds quite a bit. Unforunately, I'm not sure of the internal capacity so I can't really help you there. Will you have an office? If so then you could keep a change of clothes there, as well as your books.
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Old 08-01-06, 03:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentstrider
A little off topic, but could one split school and work to become an MD?
Right now it's just driving trucks, but I've recently wanted to slowly work towards becoming a Medical Examiner. You know, that guy who does all the autopsies and determines causes of death.
I don't really give squat about how old I'll be when I'm finished if I take this route.
I'm 23 and as long as I keep my physical routine consistent, I see no hampering.
It's just that I need to keep a moderated income flowing to keep things afloat at the same time.
You can do undergraduate university part-time because you can take fewer courses at a time, but it's pretty unlikely you could do medical school part time, because it's a more integrated curriculum. You might be able to negotiate to take a year off part way throug to earn money and then go back, but it's unlikely you could keep doing that because medical knowledge is continually updated and you'd be out of the loop too much.

Once you get to residency you are paid a decent salary, although much less than what a graduate physician earns.
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Old 08-01-06, 05:14 PM   #16
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I'm in medical school and I never take any books to class.
I dont believe that.
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Old 08-01-06, 05:37 PM   #17
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I dont believe that.
Why? He is probably telling the truth. Except for a dissection or histology atlas, which is now available on disc, there isn't much need to haul books around. Most students leave them at home. You don't need them in lecture.
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Old 08-02-06, 03:21 AM   #18
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Why? He is probably telling the truth. Except for a dissection or histology atlas, which is now available on disc, there isn't much need to haul books around. Most students leave them at home. You don't need them in lecture.
so, he does no work between classes? Its great to be at the bar and all, but I prefer to have my weekends most of the time.
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Old 08-02-06, 05:44 AM   #19
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I dont believe that.
If you don't believe that, then get a load of this: A significant minority of medical students don't even go to class! There were times when I went maybe twice a week for required clinical things, otherwise I studied at home. Lecture notes, reference materials, some texts, and even lecture recordings themselves were online. It was awesome! Of course, that all changes starting 3rd year
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Old 08-02-06, 09:05 AM   #20
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Also husband of a doc (actually resident + three year old = fun). No end to the amount of stuff she had to lug around as a student, Anatomy texts etc, but she almost always skipped lectures because studying time was at a premium. She went straight to school library with them.
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Old 08-02-06, 12:12 PM   #21
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so, he does no work between classes? Its great to be at the bar and all, but I prefer to have my weekends most of the time.

My classes are arranged so that I don't have much downtime between them, and when I do, I have plenty of notes to study off of. Why would you question the truth of what I say? I have no reason to lie about it. Other students may have a different situation, but that fact is I don't carry books to school. I find it offensive that you would feel the need to question my post. Other students may have different experiences, but I was telling the thread starter about my particular habits.
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