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7 Tried and Tested Ways to Retain 90% of the Information You Learn in Medical School

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Getting accepted to a medical school and pursuing an MD program is one of the biggest achievements of your life. Once accepted, you need to put your best efforts into improving your medical concepts, polishing your clinical skills, preparing for licensing exams, completing clinical rotations and getting a perfect residency match.

Medical students are provided with a sheer amount of information in medical school. They are advised to take notes, attend lectures and study the course material deeply to develop a better understanding of the subjects. Learning complex pharmacological theories, anatomical terminologies, and physiological concepts is easier said than done. Many students in medical school are overwhelmed by the massive amount of information they are required to learn to get impressive grades.

Studying in medical school will become easier if you know some tried and tested learning strategies that promote long-term retention of theoretical and procedural knowledge. Many students are unaware of the learning strategies and find it difficult to memorize the important information.

In this post, I have listed some proven study tips for medical students that help you learn effectively and improve your ability to retain 90% of the information you learn in medical school.

  1. Review Course Material Regularly

It is one of the most important learning strategies for medical students that help them memorize important information for long. Reviewing what you have learned in the class strengthens your memory and ensures long-term learning. By regularly reviewing the course material, you can transfer important information from short-term memory to long-term memory. Adding this important study habit to your medical school routine can help you retain information for long and keep information fresh and clear.

  1. Writing It Down

Reviewing course material on a daily basis is not enough. You have to write it down to put new information into practice. It is the most effective learning strategy for students looking for how to study in medical school. You can write important keywords or bullet points or simply draw a flow chart or diagram that gives you an overview of the topic and important areas covered within it. By writing the information you learn and taking notes will further cement the medical concepts in your mind, and eventually, make you a successful medical student.

  1. Taking Practice Tests

According to several studies, self-testing is a proven technique that helps medical students to retrieve information and better memorize what they have learned. Taking practice tests is a retrieval practice that boosts long-term memory of medical students. It is an active learning technique that helps medical students learn theoretical knowledge.

The internet is filled with question banks, such as UWorld, Quizlet, Lecutrio, 4Tests, ValueMD, PassMedicine – to name a few. You will find questions on multiple subjects with in-depth explanations, allowing you to review the right answer. Figure out subjects that need your attention and take practice tests to uncover gaps in the knowledge and reinforce your learning. Repeated testing along with repeated studying will result in higher long-term retention which will enable students to succeed in a medical school.

  1. Harness the Power of Mnemonics

There is no denying the fact that memorization is the most important aspect of medical education. Medical students are always looking for memory boosting tips and tools to learn and remember information effectively. Medical mnemonics is one of the best ways to improve your retention ability while studying in medical school. Mnemonics is a fun way to learn and memorize concepts that make remembering things easier for medical students. Many doctors, residents and professors recommend medical students use this strong memorization technique for scoring a good GPA.

  1. Use Visual Content

Many medical students are visual learners. If you are one of those, it is advised to subscribe to medical YouTube channels to watch informative videos. You will find many interesting and informative videos to clear your concepts. Whether you want to understand drug metabolism, anatomy of a reproductive system, pathological or hematological concept, you will find videos on almost every topic you want to learn. Using visual content will definitely help you digest the most complex medical information in an effective manner,

  1. Listen to Podcasts

Some medical students are auditory learners and they only recall information if they listen to it repeatedly. If that is the case, it is advised to listen to medical podcasts, it allows you to absorb a lot of information in a fun way. You will find a number of informative medical podcasts that you can add to your study plan. Listening to podcasts is the most effective learning strategy to study in medical school. If you haven’t tried this technique, give it a try.

  1. Create Study Groups

Studying in groups and reviewing course material with your peers is another great option for medical students to learn and memorize information. Keep in mind, this study habit is not workable for everyone. So, make sure you feel comfortable with your fellow students, create a group of students who are studying the same topics or subjects. Keep the study groups to three or five to minimize the chances of distractions. By creating a study group, you will learn different effective memorization and learning strategies that will help you retain information and improve your GPA.

Concluding Thoughts

Studying in medical school will become easier if you are well-equipped with all the effective learning strategies and memorization tips. In order to become a smart medical school, you will be able to absorb complex information and retain 90% of the information. Hopefully, these learning tips will help you study in medical school, perform at your best during USMLE exams and become a competent doctor.

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