So you’re thinking about applying to medical school, or maybe you’ve already been accepted and are getting ready to start your first year. Either way, you’re probably wondering how to best prepare for the rigors of medical school.
Never fear! In this blog post, we’ll give you some tips and tricks on how to study for medical school. From creating a study schedule to finding a study group, we’ve got you covered.
So let’s get started!
1. Get organised
Studying can be a daunting task, but by getting organised you can make it easier. Create a study schedule and stick to it. Make sure you allocate enough time for each subject and don’t try to cram everything in at the last minute. This will help you to focus and get the most out of your education. Studying can be a daunting task, but by getting organised you can make it easier. Create a study schedule and stick to it. Make sure you allocate enough time for each subject and don’t try to cram everything in at the last minute. This will help you to focus and get the most out of your education.
2. Create a study space
Studying can be tough. long hours spent hunched over textbooks and notes can lead to a lot of neck and back pain. not to mention the mental fatigue that comes with trying to absorb all that information. that’s why it’s so important to create a study space that’s comfortable and conducive to learning.
The first step is to find a quiet place to study. This may be a corner of your bedroom, the kitchen table, or even the local library. Once you’ve found a spot, it’s time to get organized. Make sure you have all the materials you need within reach, including your laptop, textbooks, notes, and any other study aids.
One of the most important parts of creating a study space is to make sure it’s comfortable. This means having a chair that supports your back and a desk that’s at the right height. You should also have good lighting, so you can see your materials clearly.
Finally, try to create a study space that’s free of distractions. This means turning off your phone, turning off the TV, and avoiding anything that might take away from your focus. By creating a space that’s conducive to learning, you’ll be able to get the most out of your study time.
3. Take breaks
I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying, “take a break.” And I’m sure you’ve all been told at some point in your life that it’s important to take breaks and allow yourself time to relax. But what does that really mean? When you’re feeling stressed, your body is in a state of fight-or-flight. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, and your body releases stress hormones. This can all lead to physical symptoms like headaches, muscle tension, and fatigue.
Taking a break can help your body recover from this stress response. Taking a few deep breaths and going for a walk can help you clear your head and give your body a chance to relax.
In addition to physical benefits, taking a break can also improve your mental well-being. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, taking a break can help you step back from the situation and gain some perspective. You may even find that you’re able to better solve the problem when you return to it after a break.
Deep breathing is a great way to relax. Focus on taking slow, deep breaths and exhaling slowly. This will help to clear your mind and ease stress.
Walking is also a great way to relieve stress. Getting some fresh air and moving your body can help to improve your mood and reduce stress levels.
So next time you’re feeling stressed, remember to take a break. It can do wonders for your body and your mind.
4. Get plenty of sleep
It’s no secret that students often don’t get enough sleep. A recent study found that nearly 60% of college students don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. That’s a lot of people who are not getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night!
There are a lot of reasons why students don’t get enough sleep. For some, it’s because they have too much to do and not enough time to do it. For others, it’s because they can’t fall asleep or stay asleep once they do fall asleep. Whatever the reason, not getting enough sleep is a big problem.
Why is sleep so important?
Sleep is essential for good health. It helps your body heal and repair itself, it helps your brain function properly, and it helps you focus and learn. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body and your brain don’t work as well as they should. You might have trouble remembering things, you might not be able to focus as well, and you might not be able to think as clearly.
Not getting enough sleep can also make you more likely to get sick. When you’re sleep deprived, your immune system doesn’t work as well. So, if you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re more likely to get sick.
And, over time, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to depression.
What can you do to get more sleep?
If you’re not getting enough sleep, there are a few things you can do to try to get more:
- First, try to cut down on the amount of caffeine you’re drinking. Caffeine can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Second, try to create a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Creating a regular sleep schedule can help your body get into a regular sleep cycle.
- Third, create a relaxing bedtime routine. This could include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or stretching.
- Finally, try to create a relaxing sleep environment. Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool.
Getting enough sleep is essential for your health and your academic success. When you’re well-rested, you’re able to focus and retain information better than when you’re tired. If you’re not getting enough sleep, try to cut down on caffeine, create a regular sleep schedule, and create a relaxing sleep environment. Your body and your brain will thank you!
5. Eat healthy
We all know that eating a healthy diet is important for our overall health and well-being. But did you know that eating a healthy diet can also help you concentrate and give you the energy you need to study?
When you’re trying to focus on your studies, the last thing you want is to be feeling sluggish and tired. But all too often, that’s exactly how we feel after eating a heavy, greasy meal. That’s because our bodies have to work hard to digest all that food, and that can leave us feeling tired and cranky.
But when you eat a healthy diet, your body can easily digest the food and use it for energy. That means you’ll have more energy to concentrate on your studies.
And it’s not just about having more energy. Eating a healthy diet can also help improve your mood and concentration. When you’re feeling good, it’s easier to focus on your studies.
So if you’re looking for a way to boost your concentration and energy levels, eating a healthy diet is a great place to start. There are plenty of healthy foods that can help you feel alert and focused, so you can get the most out of your studies.
There are a few simple things you can do to make sure you’re eating a healthy diet:
- First, make sure you’re getting plenty of fruits and vegetables. They’re packed with nutrients that will help your brain function at its best.
- Second, eat lean protein. It will help you maintain your energy levels and keep your mind sharp.
- Third, limit your sugar intake. Too much sugar can lead to a crash in energy levels, making it difficult to focus on your studies.
Here are some of the best foods to eat for concentration and energy:
Oatmeal is a great source of complex carbohydrates, which are slowly absorbed by the body and provide a sustained source of energy. Oatmeal is also high in fibre, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Eggs are a great source of protein, which is essential for concentration and focus. Eggs also contain choline, a nutrient that helps support cognitive function.
- Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats, which can help improve cognitive function and concentration. Nuts and seeds are also high in antioxidants, which can protect the brain from damage.
Blueberries are a rich source of antioxidants, which can help improve cognitive function and protect the brain from damage. Blueberries are also high in fiber, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
- Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants, which can help improve cognitive function and protect the brain from damage. Dark chocolate is also high in healthy fats, which can help improve concentration and focus.
Eating a healthy diet is a great way to improve your concentration and energy levels. By incorporating some of these foods into your diet, you can help yourself feel alert and focused, so you can get the most out of your studies.
6. Avoid distractions
When you’re studying, it’s essential to avoid distractions. Turn off your phone and social media, and focus on your work.
It can be difficult to stay focused when you’re studying. There are so many things vying for your attention, and it’s easy to get pulled away from your work. But if you want to be successful in your studies, it’s important to avoid distractions.
Your phone and social media are some of the biggest distractions. It’s easy to get lost in scrolling through your feed or checking your notifications. But when you’re trying to focus on your studies, it’s important to put your phone away and resist the urge to check it.
There are other distractions, too. Maybe you have a favourite TV show that you really want to watch. Or maybe you just can’t focus in silence and you need to have some background noise. Whatever the distraction is, it’s important to find a way to overcome it.
If you can’t seem to focus, try getting up and moving around. Sometimes a change of scenery can help you to refocus. Or, try listening to music or white noise to help you block out other distractions.
It takes practice to learn how to focus, but it’s worth it. When you’re able to focus on your studies, you’ll be able to learn more and do better in your classes. So turn off your phone and social media, and focus on your work. If you can avoid distractions, you’ll be able to get the most out of your studies.
7. Revision is key to success
Medical school is a long and difficult journey. It is full of challenges and obstacles, and it is important to remember that revision is key to success.
There is a lot of material to cover in medical school, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. It is important to take the time to review your notes and make sure you understand the material. The revision will help you remember the material and be better prepared for exams.
But what does revision actually involve? And how can you make sure you’re doing it effectively?
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your revision:
- Start early
Don’t leave your revision to the last minute – start as early as possible. This will give you more time to focus on each subject and really understand the material. As well as help you to retain information more effectively and feel less stressed.
- Create a revision schedule
Sit down at the start of the revision period and plan out how you’re going to spend your time. Block out time for each subject and make sure you stick to the schedule.
- Learn the material, don’t just memorize it
It’s important to understand the concepts behind the material you’re revising. If you can explain the material to someone else, you know you really understand it.
- Use different methods
Don’t just stick to one way of revising – mix things up and use a variety of methods to keep things interesting. This could include making flashcards, listening to lectures on tape, and doing practice questions.
- Practice exam questions
One of the best ways to prepare for exams is to practice answering exam questions. Get hold of past papers and work through them under exam conditions.
- Get feedback on your work
Show your work to someone else – a friend, tutor or family member – and get their feedback. They may be able to spot errors or areas that need more work.
- Take breaks
Don’t try to revise for hours on end – you’ll just end up getting tired and frustrated. Take regular breaks to stretch your legs, have a snack or just take a few deep breaths.
- Reward yourself
When you’ve completed a task or reached a goal, give yourself a small reward. This could be something like watching a short TV show or going for a walk.
8. Bonus Tip: Work Smart
Three things are considered as ‘working smart’ in medical school.
- The first is getting accustomed to online question banks early on. These should be geared towards your specific exam e.g. USMLE (for USA readers). Senior students and recent graduates typically have the best tips and tricks on which question bank is worthwhile. But remember to also revise from lectures, books and clinical placement.
- The second is to avoid isolation. At its core, medicine is a social science that deals with people and the social circumstances that have brought about illnesses (or that are preventing recovery). Getting used to social interactions, and practising with other humans whilst still at medical school, will greatly enhance the quality of your experience at medical school, and your future outlook, and improve your grades.
- The third is to use visual mnemonics (memory hooks) for remembering tough medical topics, at least in the early years of medical school, before it all becomes second nature. We feel the 2 most crucial topics that warrant using visual mnemonics are microbiology and pharmacology (mostly due to their more abstract nature, when compared to visual subjects like anatomy and histology). We have already released a visual mnemonics course for microbiology, with pharmacology soon to follow, and you may click here to find out more.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to studying at medical school. The best way to study for medical school is to find a study plan that works for you and stick to it. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to studying for medical school, so find a method that works best for you and stick to it. Be sure to get plenty of rest and exercise, and to eat healthy foods to help you stay focused and energized.
All in all, medical school is a lot of work, but it is also an amazing experience. You will meet new people and learn new things. It is an incredible opportunity to make a difference in the world. With hard work and dedication, you can succeed in medical school and become a great doctor. We hope to you on the other side.