The Best Time Management Tips for Aspiring Doctors to Excel in Medical School

Undoubtedly, getting an MD degree is no easy feat. A rigorous course load, copious homework assignments, socializing, and multiple extracurricular activities make it a bit difficult for medical students to stay on the right study track.

Even if you are investing your every possible effort to keep pace with your studies, the pressure of trying to manage multiple activities, meeting your assignment deadlines and securing a good GPA all at the same time can leave you feeling drained out and overwhelmed, with long-term severe repercussions on your physical and mental health.

As a medical student, managing your time and maintaining your academic performance at par is important to succeed in a medical school. If you are applying to medical school, here are some effective time management tips for prospective medical students to perform well in medical school without skimping on all the joys that life has to offer.

Let’s delve into them.

  1. Devise a Schedule 

You will be more efficient and perform outstandingly if you stick to a schedule. Medical students have to indulge in a plethora of responsibilities and it’s quite easy to overlook certain activities if you don’t have a planner or scheduling app helping you along the way.

Regardless of what type of schedule you prefer – paper planner or an online scheduling app, the ultimate goal is to stay organized and meet your goals. Planning your daily and weekly tasks helps you set aside time for completing your assignments, making notes, preparing for the USMLE step 1, watching your favorite TV show, working out, and engaging in your personal hobbies.

  1. Stick to Your Schedule 

Once you have fabricated a schedule that caters to your needs, it is advised to stick to it. Though medical school is usually packed with loads of activities, strictly following your schedule can help you stay more focused, energetic and efficient.

When your body gets into a rhythm for waking, sleeping, eating, studying, and exercising at the same time daily, it becomes much easier for you to stay focused and perform better.

  1. Attend Lectures Attentively

Believe it or not, it is one of the best time management tips for undergraduate and medical students. Reading a handout or lecture slide is not enough, you have to attend lectures in medical school to understand important medical concepts that professors discussed during the lectures.

Skipping classes may seem tempting, but it makes it challenging to understand the concept and figure out the study material the professor emphasized on. Attending lectures will help you understand the material presented during the class and polish your note taking skills and memorize the concepts which will eventually prepare you for board exams in advance.

  1. Avoid Study Distractions

It’s completely a bad idea to study with your cell phone anywhere in your vicinity. It is advised to turn off your cell phone or keep it out of your arm’s reach, as frequent text notification pings or calls can prevent you from staying focused.

Shutting your mobile device, laptop or tablet off, unless you aren’t using them, is a great idea to ramp up your concentration. Try to commit to memory intricate anatomical terms, mind-boggling molecular mechanisms of drug action or completing piles and piles of assignments when your phone pings of your phones keep inciting you to reach out for your phone just for a split second , resulting in missed deadlines and poor academic performance. Therefore, you should be vigilant about things that waste your time and wreak havoc on your study time.

  1. Prioritize Your Tasks

Many premedical students find it a bit challenging to master every piece of information presented during the lectures. When you study in medical school, this task is nearly impossible. Learning what matters most is one of the most important skills that will help premedical and medical school students.

However, prioritizing items on your to-do list can make things simpler and more manageable. Review your schedule carefully and create a list of things that need to be done first. Categorize your tasks in order of importance and urgency. Complete the most important tasks first and then start working on the least important ones. Be realistic when it comes to prioritizing your tasks, if you can’t handle more than five tasks per day, don’t schedule them.

  1. Take Breaks

No one can just study round the clock and attend classes day in and day out without refreshing their minds. To deal with the medical school workload, you need a break every now and then. You are more likely to feel overwhelmed by your course material and study schedule if you don’t take some time for fun activities. Hang out with your friends, go out for a leisurely amble or a quiet lunch, binge-watch your favorite TV show or do whatever you enjoy. Invigorating your mind and body is necessary to avoid a burn-out.

  1.   Create a Strategy for Exams

While taking lectures, highlight all the important concepts and material that are emphasized by your professors. Before your exams, focus exclusively on material that is highlighted as it has the highest chances of appearing on the exam. This saves you a lot of time and maximizes your study efficiency.

  1.  Use Popular Study Resources

It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the massive amount of information that medical students are required to learn in medical school. However, there are some review sources that you can use to lighten the medical school course load and learn information in a faster and effective way. Using these review sources not only helps you identify the material that will be tested in your current course, but it also prepares you for a standardized exam, USMLE Step 1.

Over to You

Successful time management is incredibly important for every student to not only succeed in their medical school but for the future profession. Effective time management is crucial for medical students who want to excel in their studies and help them efficiently cope with medical school challenges. A careful approach, effective planning, and effective time management tips can help you perform well in a medical school and become a brilliant doctor.

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