How to be an excellent medical student?
Students who choose medical as a stream needs to pull up their socks as the journey of medical studies is not an easy ride. The time you enter the door of the medical college you realize there is only motive that can lead to success i.e. studies. How much ever you try, the syllabus never gets completed. This leads to frustration and many students find it difficult to cope with the schedule.
To quote “Micro” in microbiology is actually a misnomer” Though the subject name contains micro, but the syllabus is not really micro. With subjects like Anatomy, Physiology where you must memorize the entire anatomy of the body with the names of 206 bones. Students also need to understand and memorize the 11 important organ systems which include circulatory, respiratory, nervous, excretory, reproductive and endocrine system. These all together with muscle and skeletal are responsible for the normal functioning of the body. Each system comprises a separate entity and takes lots of days of hard work to complete the syllabus. Moreover, it also includes the study of lot of bacteria and drugs. Everyone is aware of the names of bacteria like E-coli, Staphylococcus etc. which are so difficult to memorize. Hence let’s just understand that the syllabus of medical is not a cup of tea.
Students who pursue pharmacy also must go through the rigorous syllabus where they must have a thorough knowledge of drugs, antibiotics, composition of drugs. To remember the name of the drugs of different genre is not a cup of tea.
Physiotherapy, Nursing or any stream of medical involves learning hands on techniques. It is very awkward to touch the hands and fingers of patients. So, they need to get rid of this awkwardness. Students need to constantly think about their topics and keep a positive attitude. The serious approach is what is necessary. The extensive syllabus and practicals are what differ them from all other fields.
Let’s talk about tips which will make life easy for you as a medical student
1) Planning your topics: As already known the vast syllabus is not an easy task to be covered. If you do not plan your topics properly you may end up in a mess. Prioritize your topics. Spend some time for prioritizing topics so that when you sit for study you understand how much time you are supposed to allot that topic.
2) Stick to Timetable: Mark these words and post them in your room. If you don’t stick to a time table, it’s going to be a tough job for you to crack the medical exams. Make a habit of studying every day, as per your schedule dedicate few hours to study every day. This will help you cover your syllabus and during the exam time you remain stress free. If you are reading for the first time or second time, always make sure you make your own notes. This will help you revise better. Try to set up a rhythm or set a practice of reading everyday so if one or two days you try to skip study, time table will remind you of them
3) Pump up study with audio / video: It is not possible to study everything manually. You just cannot be ready every time. Your mind gets saturated. That is the time when you can play some audio clips of topic or some videos of the subjects. Concentrate on these topics precisely and learn it better so that you make an optimum use of time and cover the topic by making notes and at the same time listen or see the videos. This different approach will build an interest.
4) Flashcards: As there are lots of topics and with that lot of names to remember, it becomes impossible to recall all of them if you don’t practice it every day. So, with the help of the flash cards you can recite those lists of names every day. Like if you want to remember the names of bones you can use flashcards and practice every day.
5) Visual Aids: Visual Aids like black boards, white boards, graphs or charts when placed in the room will be an advantage for a medical student. They can jot down the topic or few words which they find hard to memorize so while coming and going or getting up early in the morning they will come across those words.
6) Models: It is always said that when you see the things practically it is always easy to remember, then simply imagining the topics. You can take help of skeletons or models like anatomy models, joint models, muscle models, nervous system models, and dental models. These models are readily available online. This type of practical approach will help you in many ways.
7) Practical Matter: Stay alert and be aware every time. If you pay proper attention in your practical session it will help you in your studies. Wherever you are, always make an optimum use of resources, that’s what is the need of medical studies success.
8) Medical Apps: For medical students there are various Apps which help you organize your topics. Apps like Anki help you organize your flashcards and prioritize on how many times you want to see them. The other Apps are PEPID, EPocrates, and Medscape etc.
9) Have Study Groups: We always come across people saying you should skip study groups but with medical it may be of help. If you have a very good buddy you can actually split the topics and then teach each other, so that while teaching your topic gets revised once again and for your buddy, he gets a review of the topic. You can also have interactive sessions which will clear your concepts.
PS: Make sure you have good buddies and they are focused equally for studies.
10) Develop interest: Visualize topics and then learn it will help you effectively. Just as when you want to learn about the insertions or joints and want to recollect about the same you can visualize as patella is the triangular knee cap bone which articulates femur bone. This is how you can visualize and remember the anatomy of body. This is how you find any topic interesting then look for some more information on the Google and try to connect with the other topics. This is how it will create a sequence of events.
11) Stay Motivated: It is said that the life of medical student is full of sufferings but after the hard work when success leads to happiness, everything is worth it. There will be times when you will feel demotivated as your non-medical friends might have started their profession and you feel that you are still studying with less hopes. So, avoid such thoughts because you are attaining a degree of “Dr.” The degree of doctor is an esteemed one which everyone respects.