Shadowing a Doctor

May 5, 2015

Observing a dental procedure in Kilimanjaro The dental school curriculum is vast and can quickly get overwhelming if you are not prepared or not organised. While every student has their own way of learning and studying, developing good study habits early will go a long way in helping you get your semester off to a great start.  

Here are a few study tips that will hold you in good stead:

Tip #1- Make A Doable Study Plan

Studying on the fly is a bad idea as it more often than not leads to missed deadlines, cramming the day before the exams and unfinished projects. You will find yourself getting increasingly more stressed and eventually getting less done. The solution- make a study timetable taking into consideration your school schedule. Slot in extra study hours on days when you have fewer classes and keep lighter study loads for those days when you have extra classes. Don’t get stressed if you can’t stick to the timetable 100%. Be flexible within reason and keep updating your study plan every week so that you can assess how much you have finished and how much is left to do.

Tip #2- Disconnect and Find a Good Study Space

The two main components of a good study space are comfort and quiet. Find a place that is comfortable and earmark that as your study space. Once you have found your ‘place’, eliminate all distractions from that area. If there is a TV nearby, ensure that it is switched off when you are studying. Keep your phone, friends and laptop far away so that you are not tempted to check it every few minutes.

Tip #3- Practise Summarising Your Work

The first thing to do when you start studying is to lay out all the work in an organised way. Even though you may initially feel that it is a waste of time and you’re just creating more work for yourself, you’ll find that once the groundwork is done, the learning part will be very quick. It will also help you revise a lot more easily. Go through all the notes that you have got as well as your reference books. From these, pick out all the necessary information and make your own notes so that you can understand the matter easily. If you do this, you won’t be hunting for the meaning of difficult terms and words later. Then, convert the most important information into a form that will help you the most. This could an audio recording, flash cards, diagrams or mind-maps.

Tip #4- Keep Reviewing and Revising

Once the groundwork is done, keep reading and reviewing the matter. If you come across something new, update what you have already recorded. Then just read, re-read and revise again. Do it as often as possible. Regular reviewing and revising helps keep information fresh in your head so you won’t need to cram desperately the night before the big exam. 

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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.