Well into my second year, I am starting to get a good grasp on “how” to study for certain subject and “what” material to use. Keep in mind that these resources worked for my learning style and to fully benefit from study resources I encourage you to find your learning style: visual, auditory, verbal, kinesthetic. There are plenty of “surveys” online that can help lead you in the right direction! I am a very audio and visual learner, therefore I tend to gravitate towards resources that cater to my needs. So let’s get to what I used for some of the common difficult subjects medical students battle with…
Physiology: For this topic, I used TONS of videos and practice problems. I felt that listening to someone explain the pathway was helpful but I also needed practice questions to see how those concepts would be tested.
Biochemistry: A difficult but interesting class requires keen attention to detail. For this class, I find myself just taking my whiteboard and drawing the pathway over and over again. This class is a lot of memorization BUT get in the habit of learning the root names for enzymes which can help decipher the reactions.
Pharmacology: This class was difficult for me at first but what helped me was learning the normal physiology of various systems and figuring out where the drug fits into that. I also began to get comfortable with the drug stems because they would often state the mechanism of action or help classify the drugs. Repetition is KEY here so making flashcards and practicing spaced repetition can be very helpful.
Pathology: Charts, charts, charts. I have so many pathology charts because they are essential in helping me categorize the information with a few words and images for each. I also think that making flashcards for each system and understanding the pathophysiology can help with those difficult topics.