With recent concerns over and attempts to address issues regarding medical students processes of learning and development of lifelong learning habits, a question often asked is: how do medical students learn in the present medical curriculum? In this study, the authors directly attempt to answer that questionthey assess the learning behaviors of 254 students in two medical schools, one with an objectives-based mastery and one with a traditional curricula, and discuss whether the students adopted behaviors are conducive to the development of effective, analytic, and independent learning. Most students of both medical schools reported very similar effective and ineffective learning behaviors. The students behaviors were found to dispose them more to analytic learning than to independent learning. Suggestions to restructure the curriculum for better development of students independent learning habits are proposed. 1983 Association of american medical colleges.