To be a doctor is a life-long commitment to medicine, service and never-ending learning aimed at patient care.
Therefore, studying medicine comes with an expectation to work and study harder on average compared to students in other fields. Getting into medical school is just the first step of the marathon because studying medicine, pharmacy, or dentistry is nothing less.
But that shouldn’t discourage you!
You already know that you will need to spend plenty of time reading medical books and going to lectures. But you don’t know how to manage your time or stay focused and productive during your studies.
In this article, you will find proven study tips that will help you memorise any subject, save time, and make your life as a medical student a lot easier and enjoyable.
1. Time management
The definition of “time management” is the process of organizing and prioritizing your tasks and specific activities. Good time management guarantees you to study smarter so that you get more work done in less time. In addition, it relieves stress and improves your efficiency.
Creating a schedule is one of the best practices to organize your day and set future goals. Be sure to mix the tasks you need to do with those you want to do. You should include daily activities as fitness, cooking, listening to music, etc.
As a result, you will end up with very balanced and productive schedules.
Remember, time management is not there to harm you or pressure you. Yes, your day is supposed to be productive, but the most important thing is to enjoy Free Time Hobbies.
How exactly does it work? Here we give you an example:
- 7:00 – 8:30 Wake up, have breakfast, prepare for med school
- 8:30 – 9:00 Travel to your university
- 9:00 – 16:00 Attending classes
- 16:00 – 16:30 Get home
- 16:30 – 17:30 Free time
- 17:30 – 18:00 Workout/ Fitness or another task you enjoy
- 18:00 – 18:30 Take a bath
- 18:30 – 19:00 Eat dinner (you can watch or read something while you eat)
- 19:00 – 20:30 Review your notes, study the medical materials
- 20:30 – 22:00 Free time
- 22:00 Go to sleep
This is an example of a highly productive yet enjoyable routine some students have. You can do something similar. Give yourself time. Experiment, and you will find the proper schedule for you.
2. Create an effective study group
If you managed to assemble a group of people who genuinely want to study medicine, you could do wonders. Having others around you will keep you motivated to achieve better results in your studies. For those of you who do learn well when collaborating with fellow students, a study group is a must.
What is so great about study groups is that you can always discuss concepts and ideas with others. This helps everyone get a bigger picture of the subject and clear misunderstandings if any occur.
Another benefit is quizzing each other. It will help you go through challenging topics.
Recommendations to follow when forming or entering a study group:
- Keep study group up to 4-6 students
- Pick a format for your study sessions that works for everyone
- Be sure to have the same goals as the other students in the group
- Always show up prepared
- Stay focused
- Do a quick “review” or “wrap-up” at the end of every meeting.
3. Build habits
Some people say that to develop a habit you need to repeat it for approximately 60 days. However, neurologic studies have found that you need anywhere between 18 days to a whole year.
But in reality, for how long you repeat doing something has nothing to do with building a habit or discipline yourself. All you need is a reason.
What is your ultimate goal? It’s to be a qualified and successful doctor. How can you achieve it? It will become a reality by devoting yourself to graduating with high exam results.
In university, you have more independence, but you will have more responsibilities too. If you are an international student studying medicine abroad in English, it could be even harder to find the balance. So we listed for you essential study habits that you need to implement in your new life as a student.
- Don’t cram all your studying into one session
If you want to become a successful student, you need to be consistent in your studies and have regular study periods. Don’t forget about time management and its power.
- Set a specific goal for each study session
“Big journeys begin with a small step”. That is true for your exams too. Set a small yet particular target (e.g. read and write notes on the first 3 Human biology lectures ).
- Study first for the most difficult subject
Once you have completed the most difficult assignment or subject, it will be much easier to complete the rest of your work.
- Always review your notes before starting an assignment
It is self-explanatory that to review your notes, you must have ones. So always make sure you write down the most important parts of each lecture and add as many details as you can.
- Make sure you are focused while studying
Before you start studying, find a place where you won’t be disturbed or distracted. Leave your phone for a few hours. If you prefer to study in silence then maybe the library is a good option for you. For others of you, studying with a bit of background noise works better, so make sure to listen to some relaxing music.
4. Get a Hobby
That’s a general lifehack, but it will assist your studying.
You see, sometimes medical studies can get boring and monotonous.
5. Have enough sleep
We spend a third of our lives sleeping for a reason. During sleep, our bodies form memories that we accumulated throughout the day, build muscle, release the proper amount of hormones, strengthen our immune systems, and remove toxins from our brains.
Some of the benefits of good sleep are:
- Enhanced focus
During sleep, our brains remove toxins which helps a lot with our reaction times.
- Making better decisions
It will be easier for you to keep the bigger picture in mind and go for your medical degree with confidence.
- Improving your memory
As mentioned before, while we sleep, our brains process various information that we have accumulated throughout the day. Having a healthy seep ensures that everything has been appropriately processed and you have got plenty of room for new memories.
6. Always ask questions if you don’t understand something
No one will expect you to know everything. If you are struggling with a topic, there are tons of people who are available to help you.
Ask your professors right away. This will indicate that you are listening to them and you pay attention (which they love).
If you don’t feel comfortable asking questions in front of everyone, write them down and ask the professor after class.
Don’t wait until it’s too late for you to benefit from your professors’ or fellow students’ assistance.
7. Don’t get distracted
Distractions not only prevent you from focusing on studying, but they also contribute to procrastination.
Some of the most common distractions are our phones, social media, and even friends. They prevent you from listening to the lecture and essential medical details. If you are studying medicine abroad, doing it might be even more challenging because everyone has different accents, which you are not used to.
As a result, you often have to study more in the evenings, or worse, take additional classes to catch up with the material.
To avoid being distracted, you should mute and put away your phone and ask your friends to not speak with you during classes.
Only in a couple of months you will see a significant improvement in your grades and ability to retain information.
Implement these fundamental study tips and strategies and become the doctor you desire to be.
Don’t forget that there isn’t a perfect unified approach for learning and studying. Work around our suggestions and find the best ways which serve your goals.