Summer Pre-Matriculation Course

July 19, 2015


My school, Rocky Vista University, offers a Summer Pre-Matriculation Course (SPC) for first year students that I decided to take advantage of. The SPC was from July 13-17 this year and I was really pleased with the course. Here's a brief overview of what we accomplished:

  • METACOGNITION
    • "Thinking about thinking"
    • Learning to recognize our own cognitive biases 
    • Analyzing what you know and don't know about yourself, academic material, etc.
  • LOGICAL REASONING
    • Took practice exams to learn how to identify arguments and logic
  • LECTURES
    • Had the chance to sit through a few full length lectures to help understand the amount of material presented, structure of the lectures, and how to stay focused for long periods of time
  • READING FOR COMPREHENSION
    • Participated in activities to help develop the skills to read for valuable information, use objectives to frame study time, and take notes efficiently
  • STANDARDIZED PATIENT INTERACTIONS
    • Interacted with our first standardized patient in an exam room and had the opportunity to be evaluated based upon our interpersonal skills
    • Watched a video of our performance to self-reflect and think about our perception on how we interact with patients vs. their opinions about our interactions 
  • ANALYZING TEST QUESTIONS/ANSWERS
    • Learned methods to approach exam questions and predict answers
    • Practiced working with clinical vignettes on exams (much different than the straight-forward questions in undergrad!)
  • PRACTICE EXAMS, EXAM SOFTWARE, AND POST EXAM REVIEWS
    • Took a few short exams to see how well we would do with the clinical based questions
    • Installed and learned how to work with the exam software we will use all throughout school (all exams are taken on our personal laptops- - the software locks you out of all other programs)
    • Post exam reviews allowed us to see how we will review exam material with our faculty after test day
  • SELF-REFLECTION
    • Wrote on several different occasions to reflect upon our fears, hopes, and goals about starting medical school
The course as a whole was a very positive experience for me. Just about 40 students chose to take this optional course, and I appreciated getting to know a smaller group of people before I'm introduced to all 162 students at orientation this week. I am truly impressed with the faculty and the school and couldn't be more enthusiastic about my decision to attend Rocky Vista University. There were several points when I thought, "I AM SO LUCKY. THIS IS AMAZING."

Because, really, HOW COOL? I get to become a doctor. And there are so many incredible people - including faculty and my peers - eager to help me become the best doctor I can be. It's pretty freaking rad. I'm so excited! 

But, also.. let's be real. I have my work cut out for me. It's gonna be tough!
Orientation is next week, which should be fun, and then the real work begins.

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