How do you survive medical school? Here are seven important points that need to be taken very seriously!!
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2. Take care of yourself: A healthy mind, requires a healthy, well nourished body! Staying away from your parents, as often is the case, the lack of nutritious home food leads to adopting of negative food habits and behaviours! This may lead to long-term detrimental consequences to your health. Do not deprive yourself of healthy, fresh food. Do not ruin your health by eating fast food and avoiding exercise. Do not pull all-nighters and deprive your body and brain of sleep; the consequences are too severe for what may be only 15 minutes of productive studying. Your brain needs fresh food, water, fruits, and vegetables. Your body needs exercise and sleep.
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4. Answer practice questions while you study: "Studying my notes 10 times is probably the best way to prepare for exams." Wrong! The only way to test your learning is to do practice questions. For example, after studying your Ganong physiology textbook, make sure you complete the questions at the end of each chapter. This will help solidify the concepts you just read. Studying the same thing repeatedly does not make you smarter, but getting a question wrong will teach you quite a bit. Professional educators will tell you that it is statistically proven that students who do more questions perform better on boards, and that the only time you should go back to the big books is when you consistently miss questions on a certain topic and the answer explanations are insufficient.
5. Learn the big picture: You will likely start your first day in school delving into biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, or histology. From the start, instructors talk about columnar cells, impulse transmission, and glycolysis in fine detail. The next day, you are learning about brachial plexus and cardiac output. This is an enormous amount of information overload and students are often not prepared. As you memorize, learn the big picture.
6. Study with groups: "I am going to study on my own because I don't need anyone's help." Wrong! Medicine is all about teamwork and sharing information. You have to be able to cooperate with others. Even when you apply for residency, it is important to keep this concept in mind. The moment the residency directors feel you will not be a good team player or that you might have "issues" with your colleagues, your application goes in the shredder. Find a small group of people who share the same healthy habits as you, meaning they like to exercise, they do not like to discuss grades, and they have a positive attitude. Once you find the right group, arrange to meet weekly for several hours to ask each other questions about concepts you do not understand. Even better, ask each other questions on little details you think your friends might have understood. Arrange for a review session the night before the exam for last-minute tweaking of your knowledge.
Finally, and we cannot emphasize this enough, remember that we are joining a great profession. Be passionate about what you are learning! Medicine is a treasure and an art.
As Henri Amiel said,
"To me, the ideal doctor would be a man endowed with profound knowledge of life and of the soul, intuitively divining any suffering or disorder of whatever kind, and restoring peace by his mere presence."