If you’re currently attending or about to attend medical school, you may be feeling anxious about the challenges that lie ahead. Luckily, you’re not alone! That’s why we reached out to trusted physicians and current medical students to uncover their best tips for surviving the stresses of med school. Keep reading to hear from successful medical professionals like Dr. Menaka Pai, and more!
1. Perfect your study methodOur first recommendation is to find the best study method for YOU by testing various approaches and sticking to your optimal one. You can find ideas for ways to study with a simple Google search, such as the one we found via The MDJourney called “brain dump,” where students who feel comfortable with class material attempt to recreate the lecture on a blank piece of paper. We recommend browsing YouTube channels and blogs such as The MDJourney to find your preferred method of hitting the books. Generally speaking, physicians and current medical students recommend reviewing class material regularly. It has been said that you should review material up to four to six times a day over a few days to retain it fully. In addition, make sure to translate the material into your own words, because studying a topic you don’t understand is pointless. Once you’ve grasped the material, it’s a good idea to test your knowledge on your own time before a graded test or examination.
2. Create an effective learning environmentStudies have shown that working from bed is one of the worst ways to increase productivity when studying at home. Instead, students should aim to create a learning environment in their living space. This can be done by investing in a suitable desk and chair, designing a home office, or relying on a quiet space such as a library. Aspects such as lighting, ergonomics, air quality, greenery, and clutter all play an essential role in the quality of a learning environment. Ultimately, investing in your learning environment = investing in your studies!
3. Consider forming a study groupStudy groups may not be for everyone, however, collaborating with peers is a functional way to learn effectively and efficiently. Students enjoy this learning method as it allows them to ask questions, explain concepts, and work jointly with others. This method has even been recommended by Dr. Inna Husain, Larynologist at Rush University Medical Centre. In an article, she notes that study groups are beneficial for reviewing clinical cases but recommends that study groups follow these parameters to ensure success:
- Study groups should be no more than four students
- Ensure students in the group have similar academic goals
- Divide the work equally among the group
- Avoid socializing with friends rather than studying