12 5 / 2012
Well, year 1 is over and I have absolutely nothing to do.
My goal for this blog was to record everything I did in school and my experiences, but that definitely did not work out as expected. As it would so have it, time caught up with me, studies and lectures started piling up, and I became so engrossed in learning vast amounts of information in a very short limited time that I neglected the very outlets I wanted to use to maintain my sanity and also share with other medical students experiencing their first year.
Lesson has been learned. What I did learn from my first year in medical school is that time management is everything. If you don’t keep up along the semester or during block, you’re faced with an almost impossible challenge of remembering a lot of facts to prepare for a block exam that is only a week away.
Here are some tips that I believe will be very helpful for the rest of my years in medical school and this goes out to everyone now starting as well. Pease feel free to contribute :)
Tip #1: Always attend lecture
Now this may seem like a no-brainer but there will be days where you feel you can’t wake up for an 8am physiology lecture, but with all your might - go to class! The one thing I’ve noticed with my professors here is that they will teach for over two hours, and in the end they want use to grasp only 2 - 3 concepts that for sure we will be tested on. Professors will give tips on what you need to focus on and this in turn will help narrow down your studying topics.
Tip #2: Revise your lectures daily
Most medical students end their day around 5pm. Usually in my case I will come home, take a rest, have dinner around 6 or 7pm, and I will start studying from 8pm to about midnight. Everybody’s studying schedule will be different, but it’s important to try to study everyday, revise your notes, and become familiar with new terms and concepts. In my school, we have a small class once a week called PBL (Problem Based Learning), where we receive a medical problem generally based on the lectures for the week. PBL forces me to study but at the same time I neglect other topics I should be focusing on as well. It’s better to study new material early versus waiting to the last minute which can be very daunting.
Tip #3: Visit your anatomy lab
I’m a visual learner, so the best way for me to learn anatomy is by going to the lab and studying specimens and models. For others it might be suffice to study from a book, but using actual models or even checking out YouTube videos gives you a better impression to learn new systems and you can view them from different angles. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to the smell in lab. Again - try to visit your lab early!
Tip #4: Get a study buddy
I’m not a huge fan for study groups, I generally study on my own, but somedays I will study with a close friend and wenwillnhave short discussions on topics. Talking through what you’ve learned is a great way to text yourself on how well you understand topics in physio, Biochem, and even anatomy! Quiz each other and make it fun.
Tip #5: Stay fit and healthy
The best way to relieve stress is by eating healthy and going to the gym. Usually my breakfast will consist of oatmeal, a small cup of coffee, a fruit or yogurt. Drink lots of water!! Throughout the day I snack on granola bars, yogurts, almonds, and fruits. Eating healthy will give your body the appropriate energy for studying and feeling great. Start taking vitamins as we,k, such as multivitamins and the omegas as well. I’m a pro veggie and fish kinda gal to keep myself going, so eat the foods that make you feel good but won’t slow you down. Try to limit caffeine to once a day and again drink water and green tea - it helps keep you awake to study minus the coffee crash.
Tip 6: Be social
Have fun!!nhaving fun and laughing with friends is a great way to stay sane and stress free. Do the things and hobbies that keep you happy, whether it’s shopping, going to the beach, reading a book,or cooking. The most fun I have here is going to the mall and going to the movies once a week. Make you give yourself at least one day week for fun! A happy YOU makes a happy brain!
So those are my tips for now. The school year is over, so enjoy the summer and yes I might be studying over summer or at least get a little taste of what I’ll be studying in year 2. Hello, nervous and muscular system.
Happy Summer Vacation!!