A question I am posed with often is, “How should I study for medical school?” This question comes with a complicated answer. When I first started medical school, I was frustrated and asked students in classes above me what the best method to tackle studying for preclinical courses is. My peers would share their study strategies, but they would also say that it’s dependent on how you learn. They said that just because a certain method works for them, it may not work for me.
Although I knew they were right, I was still disappointed since I wanted to believe that what worked for them would always work for me. The truth is, everyone is different and how we learn, as a result, will be different too. I remember having to do some soul-searching and really pick out my strengths and weaknesses. I had to understand which classes I excelled and struggled in and, most importantly, why. Understanding why I studied, how I studied, and what I could have done differently allowed me to learn more about myself.
In learning about myself and asking my peers about how they study, I was better equipped to develop a study strategy that would work for me. Your personalized study plan may not always be perfect, and that’s okay. Throughout this process, I learned that it’s okay to change my strategy as I go, as finding a plan for each class can be a trial-and-error process.
Each year throughout training is different in how we need to approach studying and learning new concepts. Therefore, throughout my training, I would always be open to new experiences and study habits. In doing so, I’m able to understand that nobody is perfect and everyone experiences similar thoughts and frustrations.
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