How to decide if to attend class

With this entrance I hope to finish off this subject that does not trouble too much to the present university students, but who that seems it clears the dream to me€¦ I promise it, is the last time 😉

Perhaps it influences in my spirit that I am professor and who is to me still startling that attends class a 15% of the registered ones. In my hospital, that supposes about 8-10 students of the total.

In an occasion I was with 16 people in the classroom and I was scared. €œWhat has happened? €, I asked to them. Perhaps it dreamed about which they responded that my educational talent had attracted the masses€¦ €œThe professor of the previous class has requested the complete names of those who were in class and we have warned by whattsapp the companions€, it was the answer. In aim. They remained to the class, but the following day they returned to be 8 in the classroom€¦

The key of this situation resides in two factors:

  1. The abundance of the information and the resources. With the notes of the commissions of notes, also called €œtochos€ in the UAM, and manuals MIR, the provision of study material are resolute.
  2. The pragmatism of the students. If the professor is bad speaker, he loses students. As simple as that. Andres of yourmedlife very clearly expressed it in its entrance on the skillful Medicine classes.

YES or not


When I began the race (1989) was Internet no available for individuals, and the reference books were encyclopedic (Testut and Ruviere in Anatomy, Lehninger in Biochemistry, Farreras and Harrison for the clinics€¦). They did not exist either portable. Academies MIR still were small and they did not sell his manuals in the bookstores.  Therefore, to attend class was the only form to have some decent summaries. Our material of study was notes by hand completed after the classes, also by hand.

Still nowadays Medicine faculties exist (and I suppose that of other sanitary degrees) with obligatory attendance, as some of Latin American countries. To thus my residents across of the Atlantic are it me counted. There the schedules are, in addition, very extensive. In Dominican R. they attended practices in the hospital during all the morning, and received the classes in the evening. In Ecuador, after home the classes to 7 in the morning, many of the classes they took place at night (that was when the professors finished their work and went to the university).


Returning to Spain and the 21st century, and at least my Faculty (the Independent one of Madrid), the reality is that the attendance is voluntary. The educational guides of the UAM €œdemand€ a reduced percentage of attendance (60% in basic and 30% in the clinics), but almost no professor calls roll, reason why there are tens of students who never attend the theoretical classes.

Even so, some of these students grasp them rather well to approve the subjects, and to even remove to the principles notes from their group. Others have more problems to approve, and they even suspend.

Any student, goes or she does not go to class, she must follow a basic process cognitiv to learn the essential knowledge of a subject and pass. Its mind passes through some inescapable steps:

Processing for examinationsThe initial contact is a very important part, because if you realise it through a good professor or some structured notes good, it will facilitate the later study to you.

The work of personal study of reading of the material, reflection on the same and comparison with other materials, is the key that determines your degree of understanding of a subject, and your facility to remember it in the future, as much in the examination as in the practices.


Accepting the fact that with a manual MIR and tocho organized well it is enough me to prepare an examination correctly, we happened to the following point: for which lack to the classes?

I already know that I seem boring, but this is important.

  • Because it costs to you much to rise early and to arrive in the morning at 8 to the first class of the day?
  • Because you have verified that costs to you to assimilate concepts presented verbally, although there is support of slides?
  • Only lack to the classes that seem to you of bad quality?
  • Change the classes to have left do you in different Services of the hospital or the Center of Health, seeing patient?

This is important because you must make sure that not going to class it adapts to your mental capacities. That is to say, if the classes usually are to you useful, but you have stopped going by laziness, you are being in danger. One hour of lost class can suppose in your case a pair of hours of reading by your account to arrive at the same degree of familiarity with a new subject (already we spoke of this in this entrance, in which I tried to give reasons you to go to class).

If the classes of good quality are to you useful, you stopped going to classes one season because they were of bad quality, but in the following fourth month period the classes are good and you continue without going by laziness, moan to tell you that you undergo a problem of will force.

In this entrance I explain to you that the will force is limited, and every day we rose with reserves of the 100%. Unfortunately, throughout the day those reserves go away consumiento through all type of decisions that we must take, by innocents who are. What clothes I put myself? I take the portable one to the Faculty? I go clinical rotation today or I recover another day? I remain to study at home or I leave to the library of the hospital?

If to go to class it depends on your force of will, it will be more difficult than you obtain it. If you are able to turn it into a habit, you will invest less energies and you will be able to use them in taking care of in the class and home to assimilate concepts, and so the later study will be easier to you.

That is to say, you do what you want, but makes your decision for strategic reasons and not by laziness.

If finally you go to class, you will be able to choose between taking notes, or taking care of the chat, or to be making annotations in tocho previously printed. But that already is subject for another post€¦ (if you want to read more envelope how to take notes, you can find out what science says to take notes in portable, and techniques manuals that turn your notes into a file of questions of review with a view to the examination).



Almudena Trinidad

I am otorrinolaring³loga doctor in a hospital of Madrid and Professor Asociada de Medicina in the UAM. I help Medicine students to develop more effective techniques of study to obtain better notes, to remember during more time and to feel like more happy insurances and with its studies.

9 Commentaries
  • Miguel
    Published to 13:39 h, 07 February To respond

    Thanks for the Almudena entrance!

    This year has been first in which I have not attended any class except for obligatory seminaries. In 4º I went to very few and thanks to the recommendation of several companions of 6º this year I cut completely with the attendance.

    For me the experience has been very positive, and cuatri has gone me very well this. I have studied of the manuals of CTO for almost all the subjects, and few were the questions that could not be responded with these. For the €œtaking of contact€, did or a schematic reading or used the video CTO classes, that have been very useful.

    The reasons for which I do not go to class and use this approach are the following:

    €“ I relax with much facility, and requires much effort for me to follow the rate of another person explaining a subject that I do not know during 1 hour whole. I prefer a reading by my account or video classes, that are divided in maximum fragments (each of a subject) of 10-15 minutes.
    €“ The quality of the classes in a 80-90% of the cases is or bad or mediocre. It is not a profitable use of my time when I can approach the material by my account and to stop to me where I want/I have more doubts to spend time more or less to him.
    €“ I have seen that attending classes I am not able to have a very good yield in examinations, not only approving but removing good notes (of notable for above). The energy and time reversal is not worth the trouble to be able to respond 5 questions more in the examination.
    €“ The constant changes of classes and the entregables works/that there are to realise cause that he is not feasible or at least easily accesible a study €œto the day€. If subject were a single matter/that agreed with the rotation of that moment would attend, it would study the agenda soon to me and it would try it to apply in the rotation. As they are the things now, I must realise entregables of passed rotations, to try to take advantage of the present rotation (when often nor I have the theory given in that fourth month period), to prepare presentations of clinical cases, delivery of seminaries of different subjects€¦ The educational schedule as being able is not designed at the moment to take advantage of and to review the classes of each one of the subjects.

    The only negative aspect that I have noticed is that I leave with deficiencies in the physiopathology of some diseases, since usually does not occur to much importance in the manuals and video to him classes. For this fourth month period I will try to compensate by means of other resources, as the video so good American classes of physiopathology of Goljan or other professors.

    Thanks for the entrance!

  • Mar­a ngeles
    Published to 14:31 h, 07 February To respond

    The truth is that I am of those to which they like to go to class. Attempt to go because, mainly if the professor is good, it is truth that later facilitates much the later study. To fourth month period principle ground to practically attend the 100% of the classes unless there is a cause of greater force, but it is certain that often, according to class advances the fourth month period I begin to need. Thinking I believe it that lacking essentially for these reasons:
    €“ When it advances the fourth month period you know that professors are good and which are bad, and the classes of €œthe bad€ professors remain without students.
    €“ Often the professors lack to class (at least in my hospital) without previously warning of the change, and to end of fourth month period when you have just a short time this finishes €œburning€ a little to you, since soon it is necessary to recover the class in another hollow and in the end you lose enough time hoping professors.
    €“ The classes finish €œbehind schedule€ in comparison with the date of the examinations (although this is not a critic, it is not really possible to be done of another form) and if for example you have one week that is rotation to no end of fourth month period I prefer to remain at home to study instead of to go to the hospital.

    A kiss and thanks for the entrance.

    • Miguel
      Published to 18:50 h, 08 February To respond

      It cheers knowledge to me that is people who yes take advantage of them. Almudena, you have had to the luck to count on the two visions: D!

      • Almudena Trinidad
        Published to 20:32 h, 08 February To respond

        And as much that I have had luck! Thus it is pleasant to write.

  • Iratxe
    Published to 18:09 h, 08 February To respond

    Hello! 😉

    What good entrance 😀
    Then yes, in my class it happens what accounts; in the years previous nobody went almost to class, mainly when they were in the afternoons or in a moment in the morning. Now in 4º we only go more, but at the home of the course; when it goes being necessary to study plus people lacks very many.
    I practically go always because I like much and because lame good notes, but is certain that several times I have considered if would not spread I more to have left at home studying. I suppose that for that reason people do not come generally to class.

    But to read your entrance animates to me to continue going jaja
    In addition this cuatri me concentrated south wind more and I believe that I am being useful plus the classes, so I am happy 🙂

    A greeting! 😀

  • Johnny
    Published to 02:05 h, 09 February To respond

    also it costs to me to follow the thread of a class without losing the attention in her. And clear that there are differences between the skillful classes of those of before and those of now, but I believe that behind the notes, the obligatory character of the attendance and the availability of the information, there is something also has a great weight in this question. And it is Power Point. I have had the advantage to attend classes without PowerPoint and can assure that you center plus your attention in the class that when you have a projector ahead illuminating on the wall all or almost all the words that the professor is going to tell you next.
    I do not want to put much cane with this, but the PowerPoint I rather do not believe that it contributes an extra help to the student, just help to the educational one as chuletilla and contributes to foment the distraction of the listeners. Attention, I do not mean that the professor who uses ppt not knows the subject, but is the sensation that it gives you: To greater amount of text than it has a slide, major is the insecurity sensation that to you a professor generates on the handling of that subject (I finish It now patenting €˜the equation of the amount of text of a slide on the quality of the same). And that is what partly I believe that has contributed to that 80-90% of mediocre classes that Miguel mentioned.
    But good, not, they are the 3 in the morning, they are wanderings mine and perhaps me this mistaking and PowerPoint it is perhaps the brilliant invention but of the history of the technology. Although good, removing the subject from the technology, yes that is certain that Jobs (the one of the expensive computers) I declare myself at the time enemy staunch of PowerPoint.
    There I leave it 😉

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 18:08 h, 09 February To respond

      Good€¦ it is that to use a Power Point to write parrafadas it is a loss of opportunity. It does not have sense to read what it is written. As source of images and videos to show in a chat is necessary.
      I give the reason you in the one of using Power Point as cutlet€¦ I have done it, only who treatment to reduce the text and to put clarifying images, but the fear to one hour of chat without visual support€¦ uf.

      Perhaps it will be my challenge for the next course in ORL. And perhaps he would have to try now in the Optative one, what you tell me? 😉

      • Johnny
        Published to 20:34 h, 09 February To respond

        Clearly! the text in the PowerPoint in its measured joust, a general scheme of the class, summarized key concepts in very few words, images, animations and videos. And if a cutlet is necessary, it never is of having a paper more than you only can read your and nobody more, not to send spoilers to the people of your class.

        I would try in addition to make with the Prezi a combination between some slides and a Mind Map, breaking with the static, boring and monotonous character of a PowerPoint. Perhaps he will sound to you already by some academies MIR that are using it in their presentations, if no, I leave an example here you:
        Only the bad thing, is that to do one of these it has the dot of being something very laborious, but is fun! 😀

        • Almudena Trinidad
          Published to 18:28 h, 12 February To respond

          I have seen presentations of Prezi in congresses and sessions of residents. This that leaves in the connection is especially well done because it from the home makes clear the structure of the chat and does not navigate too much 🙂

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