Getting selected for medical school is a memorable milestone for all aspiring doctors. You’ve likely dreamed about becoming a doctor ever since you can remember. Also, you’ve spent sleepless nights and days studying for the admission tests. Not to mention, the effort your family must have put in to help you reach where you stand today.
But here’s the thing – getting into med school is only the first step to becoming a successful medical practitioner. Once your classes start, you’ll soon realize that you have to work even harder to get through your course in flying colors. Most often, your course curriculum is going to be extremely intense and fast-paced. As a new student, dealing with all this can be both physically and mentally exhausting.
Nevertheless, fulfilling your dream of studying medicine doesn’t always have to be so painstaking. You just have to find the right tactics and techniques to study and ace your exams. Also, you need to strike a balance between devoting your time to study and exploring the joy of pursuing non-medical activities.
In this blog, we’ve curated a few essential tips that’ll come to the rescue of all first-year and second-year medical students. Let’s take a look.
1. Always Avoid Cramming
Blindly memorizing your lessons a night before a test might help you score good grades. But rote learning isn’t going to be useful in the long run. If you want to become a good doctor, you must develop a good understanding of important fundamental concepts.
Having said that, your med school curriculum is often going to be overwhelmingly vast. Delving deep into every concept is going to take time. That’s why it is recommended that you set aside dedicated study time for each day. This is going to ease the pressure of grasping too many things before a test. Also, this practice will let you learn at a comfortable pace.
2. Find a Suitable Way of Learning
While some students prefer to record their lectures, others might use colorful illustrations to understand complex topics. Likewise, some students will want to study in a group after their classes. The important thing is to find a style of learning that you’re comfortable with instead of succumbing to peer pressure.
For instance, while your batchmates know how to leverage a study group, you might find it more useful to study on your own. Likewise, just because all the other students in your class are reading a particular reference book, it doesn’t mean you have to use the same.
3. Read More Than Just Books
Textbooks and course notes will only take you so far on the journey of becoming a doctor. If you really want to succeed at it, you should regularly check out medical journals and research papers. It’ll help diversify your knowledge and learn about the latest developments and trends in your field.
4.Type Your Notes
If you’ve attended even a few classes in med school, you likely know the huge amount of notes you need to take every day. Now imagine the number of notes you’re going to accumulate over the course of one or two years! That’s why it is always a good idea to type your notes every day and save them in a single document.
This will make it easier to search for notes from a specific lecture. All you have to do is hit Ctrl + F (on Windows) or Command + F (on Mac) to find the right lecture. It’s a quick and hassle-free way of organizing and accessing your notes.
5. Check Out Old Tests
Question papers from previous years will give you an insight into the topics and subjects that are more important for tests. This, in turn, will help you efficiently prepare for your upcoming exams. Most likely, you can get access to old question papers in your college library. You could also ask your seniors for help.
6. Don’t Hesitate to Get Help
Whether you’re preparing for a test or completing an assignment, it’s only natural that you’ll get stuck at some point or the other. It’s important to not beat yourself up and ask for help instead. Start by approaching your professors after your class to clear your doubts. You could also consult your seniors for help with assignments and practical classes.
If your professors aren’t particularly friendly, you can consider joining an online class. You can also use a service like HomeworkMarket’s homework helper to connect with specialized online tutors who can help you solve complex assignments. Another wise idea is to look for online study groups. It’ll help you connect with students from other med schools. This, in turn, will help expand your knowledge and learn the best practices in different places.
7. Prioritize Your Mental Health
When you’re involved in the rigmarole of med school, it’s very easy to ignore all other aspects of your life. If you find yourself getting obsessed with grades, lectures, and assignments, it’s time to take a step back. It’s important to not let the stress of med school affect your mental health.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle, get proper exercise, and eat a nourishing diet. Also, try to get adequate sleep and take a day off from your studies now and then. Make sure you stay in touch with your family and friends as well.
Do you have any other tips for new medical students? Share your views in the comments section below.