Tips For Medical School SuccessJune 25, 2013
Becoming a doctor isn’t an easy task. If you have planned on going to medical school, you have to be prepared. These four years are going to be sleep-depriving, exhausting, stressful and humbling – but at the end, they will be tremendously rewarding. There will be times when you doubt whether you will make it through, but with a lot of determination and some help, you will.
Here are a few tips for medical school success:
Tip 1: Stay Focused On Your Goal
At medical school you will need to dedicate all your time and channelize all your energies into learning and studying to be a doctor. Any vacation time you get while in medical school should be used to do more research, shadow doctors in clinics or study for your boards. When it all gets too much, remember that you have a goal at the end and that is to become a qualified doctor. All your hard work is not for nothing; you will be hugely rewarded at the end of it all.
Tip 2: Minimize, Or Better Still, Get Rid Of All Distractions
Medical school is about study, study and more study. Avoid social networking as that is a definite distraction, as are Netflix subscriptions. Obviously some ‘chill out’ time will be needed but your main focus should be your goal to become a doctor, and you should let nothing or nobody distract you from this.
Tip 3: Learn To Manage Your Stress
Stress and medical studies are synonymous. Attending classes and passing exams will take over your life completely. Do not neglect sleep, eating or exercise. Very importantly, be in touch with those you love. It can help in easing stress levels. Spend time with people from outside the medical field. It can prove to be therapeutic and give you a different perspective on life.
Tip 4: Structure Your Learning To Suit Your Strengths
Exams tend to motivate some students whilst others will just get stressed by them. Stress is not going to help you in any way, so get rid of it and find different ways of structuring your learning. You know your strengths, what works for you and what doesn’t. Use this to create a study schedule that works best for you and does not stress you out.
Tip 5: Seek Out Collaborative Learning Opportunities If That’s What You Need
Collaborative learning definitely has its pros and cons. Some students learn better through debate and discussion. If this is the case with you, find like-minded students and learn in the best manner possible. Set up deadlines with peers and tutors. It will help you in reaching your goals better.
Tip 6: Maintain A Professional Attitude At All Times
Always look professional. That’s how a doctor is expected to be. There are times when students are graded down specifically on the basis of their attire or demeanor. If you want others to believe you in a particular role, you need to look the part.
Tip 7: Use Practical Applications To Compliment Your Book Work
If patients and practical application of knowledge works for you, the bookwork involved in medicine might be rather difficult to digest. Think about possible practical applications. Look at case studies and shadow senior doctors. See as many patients as you can and then research about those conditions. It will help in linking learning and understanding.
Tip 8: Network With Other Medical Professionals
Make an effort to network during your time off. Meet doctors and eminent people in the field. Volunteer at their clinics and shadow them. The letter of recommendations that these doctors give you will prove to be invaluable in your fourth year. In medicine, the people you know and their opinion about you matters a lot.