HOW TO STUDY IN MEDICAL SCHOOL: 5 STUDY STRATEGIES
As a second year medical student, Luis Suarez, has enough years of studying under his belt that he has cycled through a number of medical school study habits and techniques that he has found work well for him. There are a number of best practices when thinking about how to study in medical school. Check out these tips from second-year AUC student Luis Suarez to see how he tackled his medical school classes and how to stay motivated in medical school
Check out these tips from second-year AUC student Luis Suarez to see how he tackled his medical sciences coursework.
1. FORM STUDY GROUPS
Wondering how to stay motivated in medical school? Meeting up with classmates to go over course material can keep you accountable. Plus, teaching others is a proven method to enhance your own understanding of a concept.
During his time in medical sciences at AUC, Luis formed a study group with three other students who met up weekly for five semesters. “We taught and helped each other; in turn, it helped us to understand and remember things well,” Luis said. “It was a fun group, and we enjoyed our group study schedules. It changed our mindset from ‘I have to study’ to ‘I want to study.’”
2. READ BEFORE CLASS
Another one of Luis’ medical school study habits is to read before attending class. Pre-reading lecture material before class can help you better grasp the organization of the lecture and focus on the most important concepts. In addition, you’ll be prepared to ask questions and participate in a way that demonstrates interest and mastery of the material. This is definitely one of the best study strategies for medical school. In addition to reading the lecture material, you may also be able to review your medical school notes online.
“When I attend classes and listen to the lectures, it becomes very easy to connect the concepts,” he said. “I would get a good overview of the entire lecture.”
3. MEET WITH PROFESSORS POST-EXAM
Another great study tip for medical school courses is to meet with your professors after each exam. Along with meeting your professor leading up to your next big exam, it’s also valuable to take advantage of after-exam office hours. You’ll get to know your professor better, gain a deeper understanding of the medical school class requirements and learn from any mistakes you made.
“It made a huge difference to know where I could improve,” said Luis. “After an exam, I would meet with the professors to see where I went wrong and get clarification on concepts.”
4. MANAGE YOUR TIME
Probably one of the most important study tips is to manage your time the best you can. Although it may seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all of your study goals, taking it day by day and establishing a routine will help secure your success. By prioritizing your tasks, planning ahead and taking breaks, you will be more confident and more effective as a medical school student.
Luis established a weekday schedule to keep himself on track. “I woke up at 7 am, attended all classes till 11:30, and took an hour break for lunch,” he said. “I studied that day’s material from 12:30 till 5 pm and then set aside an hour for dinner. Then, I studied again from 6 to 9 or 10 pm.”
5. GET QUALITY SLEEP
Pulling an all-nighter to study at the last minute is only going to hurt you in the long run. Your brain needs sleep to retain all the information you’re reviewing. Getting enough sleep each night and keeping a fairly regular schedule is vital to feeling and performing your best.
“I slept for at least nine hours every day, from 10 pm to 7 am,” Luis said. “I didn’t compromise on my sleep habits so that the following day I was fresh and well-rested, be it for a class or test.”
Now that you have Luis’ best tips for how to study in medical school, you should be feeling a lot more confident about eventually getting ready to take your licensing exams. Having some trusted and well-known study strategies at your disposal can make you feel more prepared on test day.
Want to see if AUC is the right medical program for you? Check out our medical school class requirements here to see if you are eligible.
If you need more strategies to work smarter and maximize your productivity, be sure to take advantage of university resources as well. AUC’s Medical Education Department provides individual study strategy consultations, and students can make an individual appointment by emailing AcademicSupport@aucmed.edu.