October 17, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Learning so many new things every day in medical school can be exciting and enriching but trying to take in all of that information and learning so many new techniques and procedures can also be very exhausting. These few tips will help make your medical school years a bit easier:
When it comes down to the wire, there are two ways that you can study. You can either spend all your time memorising the words that are in your text book or you can spend time understanding the concepts. While both strategies will help you pass the exams, if you spend all your time only cramming without understanding the basic concepts, you will have limited success during and after the exams. As you go to the next years, you will find it increasingly more and more difficult to get a grasp on more advanced concepts and well, cramming will also begin to get more difficult. In the end, there is a limit to how many words you can memorise. However, when you understand the concept, it paves the way for smoother progress and the potential is unlimited.
With huge strides being made in the field of medicine almost every day, there’s always going to be some new development that has not made it into the text book. The thought of any more reading may seem daunting at first but a few minutes spent reading reputed medical blogs or the latest journal articles on topics that you find interesting will help bring together all the facts that you are studying about and show you how to apply them in real life. There is a huge difference between book knowledge and practical application. Both are equally important for success.
While social interactions are important and it is neither advisable nor practical to shut yourself off completely, there are times when you need to do just that. When you are studying for the upcoming exams, unnecessary distractions can be disastrous. It is absolutely crucial to stay focused. If you find yourself constantly checking your phone for messages, do yourself a favour and shut it off. Same with your computer. Do you really need to update your Facebook status or see who’s tweeting what every few minutes? Shut down your computer and keep it away. Out of sight out of mind really works and will help you stay focused on studying.
Medical students have been doing this for years. Getting copies of earlier tests can give you a very useful sneak peek into what to expect for the upcoming exams. When you think about it, there are only so many questions that can be asked about the same topics year after year with the result that several questions are repeated over and over again. They may be worded differently but they would have similar concepts. Reading and understanding these concepts will give you a fairly good idea of what to expect in your test paper.
Studying medicine is rigorous and overwhelming. If you don’t take time to chill and relax regularly you run the very real risk of getting burned out. Spend time with friends. Take time to indulge in your favourite hobby. Taking time for pleasurable activities will reinvigorate you and help you stay energetic, enthusiastic and better able to cope with the rigors of medical school.