Becoming a successful student in the medical field is certainly a Herculean task. The challenges faced by medical students can be quite daunting due to the long hours split between training and studying, and dealing with the complex medical cases of different patients. Working as a doctor, although highly rewarding, is no easy feat. Patients’ lives and health are dependent on the quality of your medical education and training, and the pressure that entails can be insurmountable. No doubt, the impact you have on a patient’s life is immensely gratifying and makes the struggles worth it. Which is why it’s important to ensure you study well to become a highly-skilled medical professional.
That being said, it is common for medical students to feel lost when it comes to studying during their college years. Many need a few tips for studying medicine to help them get started. Here are some expert study tips for medical students to help them learn more efficiently and make the preparation worthwhile.
Make studying a habit:
Studying to become a doctor involves dealing with vast amounts of information, which is nearly impossible to remember all the time. Therefore, studying every day and refreshing your memory on a regular basis will make the large volume of information accessible at your fingertips.
Flashcards and notes help in retaining information:
It simply is not enough to just read and memorise information from a medical textbook. Making notes and highlighting essential information while studying helps reinforce what you’ve learned through the textbook. Using flashcards, drawings, and other tools further enhance the brain’s information-retention capacity.
Challenge yourself with short quizzes:
After reaching every learning milestone, test your knowledge with a short quiz that covers the highlights of the topic. You can even do it with a friend to reinforce what you’ve learnt.
Choose an optimal study environment:
Do you find it easier to study when you’re alone in your room, at the library or at a cafe? Whichever you choose, ensure that the location brings out your most focused self to enable maximum learning.
Memorise with mnemonics:
Use mnemonics to help you memorise complex pieces of information. Mnemonics as a memory tool works well on people of all ages, as it is easier to remember things when they’re associated with a mnemonic.
Get comfortable with getting visual:
You don’t need to be skilled at drawing to draw. Feel free to draw, sketch or doodle your notes to help you understand and remember the lesson better.
Listening enhances learning:
Another useful study technique for medical students is the use of auditory tools. Listening has been known to help some people retain information better than reading. An audio lecture or an audiobook will help you understand the topic well. You can also record yourself taking audio notes and listen to them later. You can listen to these audio notes and lectures while driving or jogging so that you’re learning on the go.
Form study groups:
Learning alongside students in the same boat as you works as a great motivation if you find studying alone difficult. Members of the group can quiz each other and fill in the knowledge gaps if any member forgets something. Ensure, however, that the study group is small and includes those who are as committed to the purpose of the study group as you are.
Extra-curricular social activities help with soft skills:
A good doctor has the soft skills required to deal with patients, patients’ families, nurses, administration officers and other hospital staff on a daily basis. Engaging in social activities helps you develop the necessary soft skills to maintain healthy professional relationships with the people you will come to work with.
Don’t forget, sleep is important:
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential because it gives you the energy you need to study. Studying with a fresh and well-rested mind boosts your concentration and keeps you motivated. A good sleep schedule is also necessary for the overall well-being of your mind and body.