Getting into medical school is itself a big challenge and surviving and thriving in it is an even bigger challenge.
- How can a med student stay afloat in med school?
- Have students developed a wrong method of studying?
- Is there a way for med students to avoid burnout?
- What are some of the best studying methods students can use?
- Can med students ever have free time?
Graduates from a well reputed Caribbean medical university have compiled a list of things which are practical tips that can make or break a medical student:
- Never skip sleep.
- Averting cramming up knowledge.
- Learning from the best in a small environment.
- Developing an understanding with the faculty members.
- Having time for mental and physical well-being.
- Learning to manage finances wisely.
- Keep in touch with loved ones back home.
- Making new friends at school.
- Getting involved with the medical school’s community.
- Looking for a mentor and being one too.
Now let us have a look at the most important tips.
No need to skip sleeping
As simple as it sounds, it shouldn’t be taken for granted. Without the needed rest, the body and brain will eventually crash and burn. The student won’t perform. The Center for Diseases Control (CDC) states that individuals over the age of 18 need at least 7 hours of sleep each night so they can perform their best the next day.
It means that regularly skipping sleep to study all night will not do any favor to the studies. Ignoring the body’s need for proper rest will hurt it in the long run.
If the body does not get as much possible sleep as it can, the body will eventually burn out quickly resulting in a loss of focus and the consequences are bad.
Averting cramming up knowledge
Loads of students leave it to the end to prepare for tests and exams. This showcases a lack of time management skills and this resultantly makes them cram up stuff in their head.
Cramming is always a bad idea. Medical students need to graduate to become trusted physicians and researchers. The classes they attend in medical school focus on complex topics, ranging from anatomy to pharmacology with a wide-ranging variety of subject matter, connecting all the aspects in one way or another.
Learning should be as authentic as it should be, and building upon each idea students learn upon understanding concepts is the best thing they can do. Cramming is mere memorization and it only provides a brief stint with long-term damage.
Medicine is more than memorizing things. If med students wait until the last moment to just learn stuff for an important test the next day, it will never work. Cramming for tests and exams at the last minute is a bad idea. For medicine, this does not work at any cost.
Learning from the best in a small environment
Large classrooms make students sleep at times. In many aspects, students fail to grasp hold of the lectures being given and end up getting distracted. Top-notch medical schools often keep their class size small so students can learn from lectures easily.
Other than that, if they also study in groups after classes (and that too in small groups), then they can catch lost knowledge back easily. They can even learn new topics easily in small study groups, provided they do not fool around too often.
Developing an understanding with the faculty members
Medical schools having a smaller faculty-to-student ratio will be the best one. This helps students know their faculty members with relevant ease. It also proves that the faculty invests deeply in the knowledge and intellect of their students.
Getting to know faculty members on a personal level gives students access to a base of knowledge that is far more enriching than anything theoretical. The number of personal attention students get from this helps create a community of faculty members and students that is well-knit and well established.
Having time for physical and mental well being
Med students need to be aware of physical and mental well-being. Medical students are victims of medical burnout. Studying too much and resting fewer results in the brain gets worn out and rising levels of stress.
It would be wise for med students to take time out, watch a movie, play some video games, dance at the club, have a little trip, enjoy some time at the beach, surf the wave, watch some TV and even get some sleep, which in short means having recreation will save them from burnout.