Thanksgiving is Tomorrow, What a Medical Student Will Be Doing

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and therefore, I do not have class for the remainder of this week. I, personally, am going home to spend time with my parents. But, I do know many people who are staying at school. While it is a nice break from everything, I probably am going to study for parts of it. I say this because I wanted to address different ways people are thinking about using this break. I know several people who are burnt out and just need a break from studying, so they are really going to relax and enjoy themselves. Now, I am not saying those people are not doing the smart thing. In fact, if they need a break then by all means they need a break so they can come back and study efficiently. I say this because I found myself in such a state about 2 weeks ago. I just could not look at a textbook anymore and retain anything.

Looking back it was actually an interesting experience. I have never reached a state where my brain actually rejected any new information of a subject. However, I just took some time to back away from studying and do some self-maintenance like going to the gym and lifting heavy stuff. I am feeling refreshed and functional again and that is probably why I am planning on studying through break. There are multiple ways to get through this, but like any other sappy Thanksgiving post you will see on the internet, it is nice to remind ourselves of the things we are thankful to have which ultimately factor in our ability to get through things (and I did just type that with a Ryan Remolds voice in my head). I am thankful for my family, friends, and SO. I am also thankful for you, whoever is reading this. This blog has been a great place for a pause and reflection which has been nice. And While it is very new, and personally I think it’s not that great of a blog, I still get a few readers who like the content and this is awesome!

Anyway, Happy Turkey day

Your friendly neighborhood student signing off.

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How I study in medical school.

Studying in medical school differs from any of my previous experiences. Mainly from the fact that it is heavy memorization. This is probably the reason people struggle. Within my brief time at school, I have seen how people struggle with their studies. Ignoring all those who just procrastinate and not study until the day before the exams, there are plenty of students who struggle to pass, at least at first. People may memorize things well, but have a difficult time connecting the dots. Others may have a better ability in seeing and understanding the bigger picture, but have trouble memorizing all the details. I can confidently say, I am the latter. There is a few who struggle with both or excel in both, but it seems a majority of the people fit in one of the two categories above.

My study methods will not work for everyone, in fact I am still fine tuning it. But it is nice to take a step back and analyze it as a whole (hence this post). Because my issue is memorization, I use the program Anki, heavily. I make each card at least one whole lecture slide. I do this because I don’t want to miss any detail that is important, but I thought different. I do this right off the bat. In fact, my notes are in the cards themselves, meaning I don’t take notes with other platforms like Onenote or pen and paper.

To be honest, I don’t like this method because I like taking traditional notes. And I see similar things with many of my peers. They avoid a certain study method, not because it doesn’t work, but because they prefer to do things a particular way. However, sometimes you have to do things differently for them to work. I noticed a huge difference in my grades when I focus on my weakness of memorizing things vs just studying notes and making concept maps to connect the details. I know this uneasiness comes from the fact I am doing things a lot differently from most of my life. However, I guess this is good practice for actual medical practice in terms of always trying to keep an open mind and doing things differently for better results even if it is out of your comfort zone.