In medical university, students spend most of their time on getting knowledge. They read numerous books for different disciplines and learn a lot of material. Then, they should pass the exams to check that the learning process was successful.
Students usually feel depressed and nervous about the amount of information they have to learn. They believe that memorizing the information is a bad part of the learning. The worst one is forgetting it!
What do you feel it will take for you to succeed in medical school? To make your learning easier, we created this guide. We will teach you how to make success in medical school.
What to Study before Medical School?
If you have already decided for yourself that you will enter a medical school, then you need to:
- Read literature on your preferred specialization.
- Pay attention to biology and chemistry textbooks.
- Start learning Latin.
Top 11 Learning Strategies for Medical Students
People have always been learning. For so much time they have accumulated different techniques to memorize a large amount of material quickly and for a long term. We have reviewed the most interesting ones. Test them and choose what works for you!
Regardless of what methods you choose, practice them regularly. Thus, the productive training techniques will become a habit. Once you get used to using them, you will find out how much they increase your efficiency.
- Flash cards
- Mind map
- Self-explanation and explanation to another
- Marker + synopsis
- Testing, including creating tests
We will tell you in more detail about the most interesting methods.
This is one of the basic ways to help in the early stages of learning in medical school. The method is very useful in complex subjects, such as anatomy and physiology. Moreover, you can use it in Latin classes, where there are many new words and terms to remember.
The design of the card is very simple. On the one hand there is a question, term or picture, on the other – an answer, translation, explanation.
The essence of the method is to create cards and then repeat them according to categories. Select three main ones: simple, medium difficulty, and very complex.
You can repeat Simple Cards not so often, because they are easy to learn and do not cause much problems. You need to pay special attention to cards of Medium Difficulty and High Difficulty. Spend time every day to repeat them – it will help you with memorizing the material faster.
According to this method, you need to put the main topic of the paragraph in the center of the sheet. Then, you should line out the subtopics and other information from it. Finally, you will get a scheme which looks like a tree. When you use this method, it is important to follow a few rules:
- Less text, no need to rewrite the entire paragraph.
- If you can draw something instead of writing, then do it.
- Add more color. Do not worry about the markers and colored pens.
The map should contain as much information as possible for you. It should be functional for repeating the material, and be fun for creating. This is a universal method to study any subject at medical school.
This method is quite popular among students. You can use it to learn anatomy or to memorize pharmacology with funny associations. For example: How do I remember “pronation” and “supination”? Soup carry (palm up, supination) soup spill (palm down, pronation).
Self-explanation and explanation to another
You can explain it both to yourself and to others. The ability to reproduce material and to listen to it is not the same thing. The explanations “open up” gaps in what you have already studied. It helps new information to integrate into the existing knowledge system better. Choose any topic and, without peeking anywhere, start explaining it to yourself.
Remember that this method is not suitable for all disciplines. Logical chains are best explained, which is logical. The brain loves algorithms. You can use this method for physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and other “logical” sciences.
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After reading the text, you need to highlight the most important information and write it on a piece of paper. Here you have 2 options – to make a synopsis or a summary.
When you make a synopsis, you list the main points of the material you have learnt and add your comments.
The summary is usually much smaller, and highlights the general idea only.
Nevertheless, there is a serious disadvantage of summarization. You may lose some important details of the material while trying to compress it. This method is not suitable for the exact sciences, where there may be long narratives. For example, you can try this method in history and philosophy.
Marker + synopsis
First of all, you read the material. Then you make a synopsis. And here comes the color! Use as many markers as you can.
Make the synopsis look informative and logical. The colored sentences and words will help you learn the material better. As we have already understood, you need to add more color to the notes.
Top 5 Tips on How to Be a Good Medical Student
1. Don’t listen to undergraduates who will try to scare you to death before the exams.
2. Be able to admit you cannot do something by the deadline. Nowadays, there are a lot of companies, which will help you with the paperworks. Sometimes, it’s better to entrust something to a professional than to risk your place in the medical school.
3. Learn new languages and read non-medical books! Watch different interesting shows and listen to podcasts. The doctor, first of all, must be a versatile person!
4. Attend various conferences and take part in Olympiads. This is an opportunity to get a huge amount of knowledge. Especially with the current leadership, which strongly supports any initiatives of students.
5. And just love your future profession!