Medical school has a reputation for being intimidating. However, your schooling up to that point will help you prepare for the rigors of medical school and many study strategies you honed before will be helpful too. Here are 3 tips for studying in medical school.
1. Use Mnemonics
2. Start Studying Early for Your Medical Licensing Exams
You are required to pass the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) to practice medicine in the US. This is a three-part exam that is taken during and after medical school, which means you’ll be taking parts of the exam alongside your other studies. Beginning preparations for your USMLE early in your medical school career will give you an advantage when the time comes to start taking the exam between your second and third years of study.
3. Use Your Undergrad Major to Your Advantage
It’s important to find a major you’re interested in while you’re an undergraduate. This will help you build your strengths and prepare for the rigorous curriculum of medical school. You don’t need to be a science major to apply to medical school, but it will better prepare you for success in school and your career. For example, Rachel Tobin Yale grad has a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, as well as experience in fields such as physics and chemistry. A solid foundation in scientific education is very helpful.
4. Form a Study Group
Study groups can be a great boon to medical students. If you’re going over clinical scenarios, like how to treat a hypothetical patient with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, collaboration can help you work through the material and be better prepared for exams and eventual practical experience. Keep in mind some guidelines for forming a study group. Don’t study with your close friends because it will be easier to lose focus. Limit the group to four or fewer students who all have similar courses and goals. This will help keep the group from losing track of its collective study goals. If there are too many people involved or if the topics are too different, there can be confusion and you might end up not completing your studying.
Like any educational institution, medical school requires discipline and good study skills. If you create a strategy that works for you, start studying early and seek help when you need it, you can make your medical school career much more manageable.