The STATMed Study Skills Class: Frequently Asked Questions Part 2
When you’ve spent a semester — or even years — struggling in medical school (or a related field), it can feel like a huge step to ask for help. Maybe you’ve tried to reach out to tutors or peers or switch up your study habits on your own. And the results were less than satisfying, which can make committing to something new seem intimidating. The STATMed Study Skills Class teaches how to mix and match skills to create the study system that’s right for you. In this multipart video series, we dig into the most common questions we hear from struggling med students.
This video outlines class expectations, including participation, schedules, and more. We dig into seven more frequently asked questions like:
- Can I take the STATMed Class while taking other courses?
- Can I miss days of the STATMed Class?
- Are class sessions recorded in case I miss?
- Can I be a non-participant in the Class?
- Can I just buy the on-demand videos and PDFs?
- Can I be in a Class with people in my exact situation?
- Can you GUARANTEE the Class will work for me?
Don’t miss Part 1 of this series, where we explore why students may choose to take the STATMed Study Skills Class and who can benefit the most.
This is part two of frequently asked questions about the STATMed class. So carrying over from the first five FAQs from part one, we’ll pick up with number six. “Can I take the STATMed class while taking other courses?”
This means can I take the STATMed class while being currently actively enrolled in med school, in vet school, in PA or pharm D classes? The answer is no, you can’t. Why? We can’t change the tire on a moving car here. Look at the schedule. Here’s an example. Every class is its own schedule, roughly shaped like this. It spans about 10 days depending on the specific class session. But being in the class is an intense learning experience where you have to allow yourself to slow down and struggle and make mistakes. This requires and warrants your full attention and that can’t happen when you have other pressing assignments hanging over your head. And how would it even fit when looking at the schedule? It just doesn’t. So when do people take the STATMed class? Well, they do it when they’re not actively enrolled in ongoing classes. This might mean over the December semester break or it might mean over the summer between semesters. I know it’s tight for a lot of people. Those might be the only breaks a certain student has. Or, of course, if the student is on a leave of absence or if they haven’t started school yet, then there might be more time and that’s when you put STATMed class into your schedule. It’s gonna depend on when we run classes and when you individually have the time if you have any time. You can always ask us and we’ll let you know. So what are some caveats to this? I’ve had many students take the class over the summer while doing research if the research is flexible, I’ve had students take the class while on rotations if it’s cleared with their program director, I’ve had, say, veterinarians take it while working, but their bosses at their clinics knew they were taking the class and gave them the time because they needed to pass their boards. So that leads us into, can you take the class while prepping for boards? Of course. That’s a whole different situation than being enrolled in active classes. But you can’t do the class while enrolled in an intensive board review program. If you’re gonna do an intensive board review program with a rigid schedule, it’s likely best to do the class before going and doing that program so you can apply the study and management skills learned in the class to that content that’s being disseminated in that review program. I can always talk to anyone about their specific situation and make a recommendation based on what we find out.
Okay, so on to number seven. “Can I miss a day of class? Again, no. Definitely not. Look, it’s a handful of days. Look at the calendar. You know the schedule when you sign up for the class, so you know you have to be there. If you know you have a conflict in your schedule before the class starts, like say you’ve got a trip already planned and paid for or you have a surgical procedure that can’t be moved or what have you, then that might mean you shouldn’t take that session of the class. I’m always, again, happy to talk about this before class starts with any individual on an individual basis. But lemme tell you, having done a version of the STATMed class for nearly 20 years at this point, it’s historically super rare for someone to miss. But a warrant’s being said. We don’t reteach missed lessons or catch people up if they have to miss. It’s just not possible. And the class builds on itself lesson by lesson, exercise by exercise, day by day, so you can’t miss. It’s just not built like that and you can’t start a day late. That’s just how it is. The key is knowing this upfront for any prospective student.
Then, related to this is number eight. “Are the live portions of the class recorded?” The answer here again is no. Nope. We do not record the live sessions of the class. We do this for a variety of reasons, mainly because, of course, what we’re teaching is proprietary, but more importantly, people don’t need to be recorded while we’re in the class, the live class meetings. It’s personal, it’s confidential, it’s private. That’s just how it is. Some aspects of the class are pre-recorded and watched on demand as part of the homework, part of the curricular design. So those can be watched and re-watched. But the time that we’re in class, the time that’s blocked out here on the schedule are definitely not recorded. Again, this is never an issue instructionally, but it’s important that people know this before taking the class. Then that takes us to number nine, which asks, “can I be a non-participant in the class?” This is rare, but I get asked this sometimes. It means they’re asking, can I just sit back with my camera, off not participating, not doing homework, just sorta soaking it all up passively? Uh, no. Part of the agreement when you sign up to do the class is that it is a participatory experience. That’s how we work, that’s how the system works, that’s how I built it. You gotta interact, you gotta do the work. And of course, participation runs a wide spectrum. Some people are gonna be more engaged in others and that is totally fine and understood.
Then every now and then I will also get asked number 10, which asks, “can I just buy the on-demand videos and the PDFs and go through it on my own?” No, you can’t do this. Sorry. That’s not how we work. If you sign up for the class, you’re all in all the way. And again, that’s great. That’s how it should be. Then number 11 asks, “can I be in a class with people who are in the exact same situation I’m in?” The answer, again, no. But I think this is a little more of a nuanced answer. Someone might say, “I just failed first year at my MD program, so I only wanna be in a STATMed class with people who failed the first year of their MD program.” Or they might say, “I’m taking the class because I wanna learn better study methods between first and second year. So can I have a class with people just like that?” Or, “I have ADHD, so should I be in a class with only people with ADHD?” And that stuff doesn’t matter, okay? No, you would most likely not be in a class with people just like you in that sense. But here’s the thing, everyone in the class, for the most part, has extremely similar issues and needs and there are many common threads that unite all of the students in the class, regardless of specific learning profiles and the programs they’re in and their standings in their programs or their degrees and where they are in their career. It’s actually pretty cool seeing people from all different phases and specialties, see how they have shared issues and struggles regarding studying and learning through the speed, volume, density equation of medical and board’s education, shared issues with how to be more active when we learn the challenge of managing and maximizing time and building workflows and offloading cognitive burden, and of course, showing what you know on board exams. Here are two lists from two different STATMed classes. No two classes look the same, yet the experience is always very similar because our students are all coming into the class with the same array of issues that they’re looking to solve regarding studying, timing, and testing in medical school, on board exams, and in related fields. And they always look to the person earliest in their career doing the class and they always say, “I wish I did it when you’re doing it.”
And then number 12 asks, “can you guarantee the class will work for me?” When people ask this, they’re often really asking for things like, “can you guarantee that if I take this class, I’ll achieve a certain grade level in my classes when I return to medical school? Or can you guarantee I’ll score in the 85th percentile on my boards after I take the class? Or even though I failed last year, will taking the class guarantee that I pass all my classes when I go back?” Look, I appreciate these questions about guarantees, but the answer to all of them is no. No, we cannot make any guarantees about any of these things. This is not a magic wand we’re dealing with. The people taking this class, they’re taking it because they’re trying to run one of the most challenging academic gauntlets ever created in our society. Med school’s hard, passing boards is hard. Veterinary school, pharm Ds, PT/PA programs, they’re hard. Passing is never guaranteed. People will fail out of these programs all the time. That’s just how it is. And I mean, I guess I’m sorry to be the bearer of that news, but I’m not sorry to say it because it’s true. But I can guarantee that we are great at what we do as weird as that is to say, maybe. But what we’re teaching in the STATMed class is a scoped and sequentialized set of skills and tools that I’ve meticulously built over almost two decades. Methodology matters when it comes to learning in med school and boards. These methods are tied to medical education and they’re based on how we understand where things break down pattern wise for our bandwidth of students. You can see this spelled out more clearly in part one of the FAQs. But the class is designed to unlock each student’s potential to give them their best shot at making it through med school, through boards, or their related field. I think we’re the best at what we do.
Now, I can guarantee we are very good at this and the overwhelming majority of our students will agree with this, but if someone were to get into the class in the first day or two and say, “This isn’t for me, or this isn’t what I thought it was for whatever reason,” we’d give them their money back with no hard feelings and tell ’em good luck. And we’ve seen a variety of outcomes for all of our STATMed class students from over the last 10 or so years from the good, to the sometimes things not working out, to the amazing, to everything in between. Because our students come into the class with a wide variety of strengths and weaknesses that each of them is trying to uniquely streamline into an effective system for themselves. And the STATMed class is designed to help them do that. But it’s not magic. It’s work, it’s methodology, and that’s real, but there can never be a guaranteed outcome in this line of work. And that’s something to always keep in mind. So, that wraps up part two of our frequently asked questions about the STATMed class. There’s more to come. Thanks for watching.