Gaining admission in a medical school is a great accomplishment. Students who worked hard, attained impressive college grades, participated in extracurricular activities and gained physicians shadowing experience landed the spot in an MD program. Being a medical student is entirely different from being an undergraduate student, as you have to memorize a sheer amount of course material, prepare for the USMLE Step 1 and 2, and perform clinical rotations. Students need some effective study techniques and time management skills to perform at their best to pass the board exams and become a competent physician.
Staying on top of your studies is important to succeed in an MD program. If you are wondering how to memorize the huge amount of complex medical terminologies, learn important information, prepare for clinical rotations and board exams. Here are some study methods and preparation strategies to prepare yourself for how to study in medical school and succeed.
Review Course Material Regularly
Studying regularly is one of the best learning strategies that every medical student should follow to keep up with the massive amount of information. You need to build a better understanding of information and solidify the concepts so that you can apply your medical knowledge and skills in real-life healthcare settings.
Leaving things for the last minute will increase your chances of forgetting information, which will eventually have a negative impact on your GPA. Reviewing your lectures on a daily basis helps you build a solid understanding of complex topics that students need to grasp in order to perform well in board exams.
Furthermore, reviewing the previous content can strengthen your ability to retain information. It makes it easier for your brain to recall information when you need to. This strategy greatly helps during your examination and make your exams less stressful.
Take Effective Notes
It is impossible to memorize everything you learn during the lecture. Taking notes makes it easier for students to learn important information. Good note taking can help you achieve academic success as it improves focus and attention to detail. According to different studies, information that is present in notes has 34% higher chances of being remembered, compared to information not found in notes.
Taking notes encourages students to be actively involved in the learning process while increasing memory retention. Your brain carefully decides what is important and what to discard by keeping your mind actively engaged. Good note taking allows you to prioritize and organize content accordingly. By improving your organizational skills, you can become a successful medical student.
Embrace Visual Learning
In this technology obsessed world, students can find a variety of visual learning techniques that make it super easier to understand complex medical concepts. Interestingly, visual learning is the most effective learning process that allows the human brain to retain information for a longer period of time compared to other learning processes.
Flow charts, graphs, pictures, drawings, and videos are the easiest way to comprehend the concept. Whether it’s physiology or anatomy, visuals can help students understand the organ systems, normal function and related disorders.
Use Practice Questions
Taking practice tests is an effective strategy to master the course material and find the gaps in your studies. Test yourself frequently to solidify your concepts and highlight the topics/subjects that need your immediate attention. Adding practice tests to your study schedule is a sensible strategy as it can prepare you for the rigors of board exams and achieve better results.
USMLE Step 1 and 2 take multiple hours to complete. Taking practice tests allow students to build exam endurance and give you more confidence to perform at your best during the actual test day. Taking multiple tests can confirm that your concepts are cleared and retrieve information during the actual exam day.
Create a Group of Like-Minded People
Study groups can be helpful for medical students. Create a study group and include people that are ready to discuss the concepts and clarify difficult topics. Students provide encouragement to each other, prepare for quizzes, complete assignments in a timely manner. You can discuss different concepts with your group members and test your knowledge.
One of the major benefits of study groups is that they encourage students to speak up and build strong communication skills. Students who actively participate in study groups are more confident and motivated to reach their academic goals.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Medical school is an exciting as well as challenging journey. You need to physically and mentally fit to deal with the academic challenges you come across during the four-year MD program. The pressure of studying and scoring stellar marks in USMLE have a negative impact on your mental health. Protecting your mental health is critically important to perform at your best in medical school and become an excellent doctor.
You should be aware of all the stress management techniques to deal with medical school stress and reduce anxiety and depression. For instance, you can set aside time for your favorite physical activity, eat healthy foods, hang out with friends, and practice relaxation techniques to deal with the stress.
Are You Ready to Stay on Top of Your Study Game?
Studying in medical school may seem a daunting task. Many medical students find it difficult to deal with the challenges of intense coursework, board exams, assignments, and working in different hospital settings. Proper planning, learning strategies and better time management skills can help students to tackle all the challenges they come across during their medical school journey. Pay attention to the study techniques and you will definitely find it easier to become a successful medical student. Happy studying!