Medical school can be both an exciting and daunting time. You’ve worked hard to get where you are, and now you’re inundated with even more information. Don’t panic. Figure 1, the knowledge-sharing platform for healthcare professionals, has tens of thousands of real-world cases that can provide clinical context to your textbook learning. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of Figure 1 so you can focus on being the best you can be.
- Follow cases from a variety of specialties. Planning on specializing in cardiology? Although you’ll want to practice reading ECGs, don’t limit yourself to one specialty. Following cases from a variety of subspecialties will help you better understand the scope of medicine and prepare you for your various rotations. You may even change your mind about the residency you want to pursue.
- Create a visual library to supplement your study materials. Create collections of cases around specialties or organ systems that you’re learning right now. Real clinical cases can provide important context to your textbook learning.
- Follow the teachers and The Merck Manual. Figure 1 is home to some of medicine’s best teachers. Follow people who regularly post cases about topics that interest you. Soon you will have a community of supporters who are willing to provide invaluable clinical insight and guidance when you need it. Here are a few to get you started:
- Read the discussions. Alongside an enormous reservoir of cases are hundreds of thousands of clinical insights. Be sure to read through the discussion to get the most out of every case. It’s particularly helpful to follow the comment history of some of our best teachers, as you can learn what they bring to difficult cases.
- Take quizzes. Follow @Figure1Questions for weekly case-based medical quizzes. These real-life cases are a fun way to test your knowledge and prepare for the USMLE.
Best of luck in medical school. Study hard, keep your eye on the prize, and remember there are lots of resources to help you along the way.