I was cleaning out my desk, and embarrassingly, this shows you how long I can hold onto things. I found a list of helpful tips and advice I made for a future blog post—well I found it, and guess what? Better late than never! After reading through the tips I provided, I realized I still believe all of them hold true today. So, for my second-year medical student friends, I hope you find this helpful!
- Stay motivated! Keep the fire going. Remember why you chose to pursue medical school in the first place. The second half of the year will be tough as you begin studying for USMLE Step 1.
- Maintain health, wellness, and sanity. I know this is much easier said than done, but take care of yourself. What’s the point of this journey if you’re always miserable?
- Connect with your community. Balance is so important, so put yourself out there and find things you enjoy. Having support from your community is really helpful!
- Manage the advice given to you. Many people will share their advice on how to succeed. You will find that rarely is there a right answer. We are all so different, so weigh all the advice that has been given to you. Find what works for you.
- Manage your time. Time management is an important skill to learn while in medical school. For studying purposes, take 10-minute breaks every hour or 15-minute breaks every two hours. Again, find what works for you.
- Find the right study method for you. If you haven’t already figured this out, now is the time. You’ve got USMLE boards coming up, and they’re not here to play.
- Study tip—SKIM. Skimming can be a helpful study tip if utilized well in advance. It allows you to start digesting the material you’re about to learn without wasting time. It requires discipline and can be frustrating. Look over headings first, figures second, tables third, key paragraphs fourth, and then lecture time and/or in-depth reading. I found this method to be effective, but I wasn’t consistent due to frustration. However, when utilized correctly, this method was very effective.
I hope you find these tips helpful, and best of luck with your second year of medical school!