ellanaundomiel asked: Hey! Hope you're fine! Do you have any advice to how to prepare yourself for med school since the high school? And is it true that you don't have any social life once you're in med school? And what's your work method? Thanks you so much!! And sorry if there's any mistake, I'm from France! xoxo
Hi there, ellanaubdomiel! Ça va?
Oh gosh, when I was in high school, I wanted to draw comics for a living. Medicine was the LAST THING on my mind! But in regards to high school, work hard, play hard, and don’t listen to the haters. Being a teenager is hard. Do everything you can to create a foundation such that, whatever you end up doing in life, you have a good launchpad to jump off from. Whether that means medicine or not! Because you never know if you’ll change your mind about medicine.
I have to say that, before studying for boards, I actually had a decent social life. Not as rambunctious as when I was in undergrad, but I still had one. Learning what it means to be personally balanced and fulfilled is one of medical school’s greatest challenges. If well-being in med school means no social life? That is up to the individual. As for me, I liked seeing friends and spending some low-key, quality time with loved ones.
And what’s my work method? I’d call myself a visual and kinesthetic learner. If I don’t see it or do it myself, it is as if I never learned it. That’s why I like using colors, drawing (I’ll memorize the hand movements; down in gross lab I HAD to cut or touch the organs), or acting things out. I have a study group of three amazing classmates. I take breaks and exercise when I can. I try to eat well and drink lots of water. If I’m stressed, I’ll take a drive or a walk, sing, or talk to a friend.
Hope that answers your questions! :)
Anonymous asked: So I was wondering if you were by any chance studying for Step I? And if so (or if you have taken it already), what your strategy was for studying for it?
I am currently preparing for STEP 1! Hartmd had a good post recently about his study strategies, and mine are very similar.
- Study with others so I don’t feel lonely or disheartened
- Try to switch between reading, watching lectures, and doing questions to keep myself engaged.
- Exercise, eat well, sleep enough.
- Be present and attentive during class. Doing well in class gives me the impetus to stay on track
- Try my very best to stick to my schedule. I have a color-coded calendar with all the subjects I want to hit every week. I’m behind right now but I will catch up eventually!
- Keep it interactive and fun. Draw colorful diagrams or sketch out anatomical structures. Draw pathways in chalk on the sidewalk. Make up silly mnemonics. Teach it to my Iron Man action figure. Watch a medical show (Scrubs, House, Monday Mornings, etc.) and see how much I know or DON’T know.
- Stay positive. I try to surround myself with positive peers, friends, and family. I’m seeing a psychologist for personal issues I haven’t addressed in the past so that I can gain skills to better handle issues and feelings that have hampered me personally, emotionally, psychologically, and academically so I’ll do well in life AND in my profession. I reward myself when I’ve done well. Take time-outs when necessary.
- And on the other hand, don’t let myself slack off! :)
Hope that helps! Friends, what have your Step 1 study strategies been?
noworriesandyetsome asked: Hey! Saw your study guide post :) Could you recommend any prof podcasts? Love the blog btw!
The prof podcast that all med students go to is Goljan, which you can bootleg from any upperclassmen. ;) Otherwise, I have some tech-savvy profs who podcast, but they’re school use only and password protected. Hope that was helpful, thanks for the question!
Addendum to Study Strategies Post
So I just remembered a few more things I do! Clearly, med students do a LOT of studying.
- study guides: First Aid, High-Yield Neuroanatomy (only one of the many study guides starting with ‘High-Yield’), other guides give you nuggets of wisdom without having to dig through giant textbooks
- Podcasts: If I’ve been staring at the computer for too long or I’m very tired but still have things to learn, I turn to podcasts. I have a collection of Goljan, recordings made by classmates, official podcasts made my tech-savvy profs, and things I find on the internet.
- Writing and diagramming all over blackboards and whiteboards. Then, erasing the diagram and doing it all over again.
- Talking to Darth Vader. I’m a comic book dork. I like to cement my learning by talking things out. There’s not always a friend around to talk at in the early morning or late night. So sometimes, I’ll talk to the Darth Vader poster in my room. It works for me ;)
Man, this question now has me curious:
What are some of your study strategies, everybody?
sweetlittlefairytale245 asked: Hi, if you don't mind me asking, what are study strategies/plan do you find effective for you? Sorry for taking your time and thank you for creating such a lovely and inspiring blog! :D
sweetlittlefairytale245, nice to hear from you again! And thank you for the compliment, it means a lot. :)
Don’t apologize, this is a great question. Because as you can imagine, everyone’s got their strategies and skills when it comes to studying!
I’ve talked ad nauseum about my preferred study environment, which is one of my study strategies for getting into the zone. :)
Since getting into medical school, I’ve changed my study habits several times. I have to say that what works for me now is somewhat different from what I used to do in undergrad. Nowadays:
1. I go to class and listen. I don’t take too many notes when in lecture. Notes I do take are in flowchart, brainstorm, or outline format.
2. Sometime later in the day, I go back to the notes I took in class and transfer them to my catch-all notebook. This notebook contains only synthesized information (ie. charts, venn diagrams, compare and contrasts, pictures with labels) from lecture, notes, and internet. If I do use a textbook, it’s either because I want to copy the table or picture they have. I don’t use textbooks much. This takes up the bulk of my study time. I want to create (med student terminology alert) high-yield notes through which to study. High yield=most testable, important info in the least amount of time.
3. Review. I take my small notebook from Step #2 everywhere. I add to it, read it in while I’m waiting, etc. Because it’s very portable, I force myself to review constantly. That’s really the hardest thing. We’re given so little time in med school to digest information that any time you can spare has to be given to preview, view, and review of material.
4. Study buddies. I am a part of multiple study groups. I know who I prefer studying with late at night, on weekends, casually, seriously, when I’m not motivated, when I need to talk, when I’m getting serious, or when I really need a friend and study-buddy combined (each situation? different person).
5. Take care of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. This was the best study strategy I adopted. Why? Because everyone has the brains in med school, but not everyone is healthy, which takes you all the way. This includes: exercise, eating healthy, taking breaks, relieving stress appropriately, spending time with loved ones when you can.
Seriously. As I learned, if you don’t treat yourself, no one will. And don’t feel guilty when you do it! I learned how to relax without feeling like I was a bad person for not studying. Very important. :)
Hope this helps, thank you again for the question!