Popular Study Techniques for Medical Students

Popular Study Techniques for Medical Students

By Manhattan Institute
Posted in Students
On August 28, 2018

Studying may not be the most interesting topic to read about, but using effective study techniques can make a huge difference in how quickly you learn and how well you retain what you’ve learned. These are both critical elements of education, especially if you plan to work in healthcare, where your knowledge and skills directly affect other people’s health and well-being. Read on to learn popular study techniques for medical students.

How To Memorize Information

For easy studying on the go, there are now smartphone apps which offer modern versions of flash cards — or you can just stick with the traditional index cards. Flash cards are great for memorizing specific facts, figures, and definitions. However, it’s important that you don’t use flash cards for helping you understand new information; they should only be used to memorize concepts you’ve already grasped. (Learn the difference between studying to learn and studying to memorize.) When working with definitions, be sure you understand the meaning and definition you are matching to the word. If a definition in a book doesn’t make sense to you, research to learn what it actually means and then rewrite it in your own words. When using flash cards, don’t keep testing yourself once you know something. Move the cards you know to a review pile until all of your cards are in that pile. When they are, go back through and make sure you actually remember everything. If you do, you’ve officially memorized what you needed to. Keep your flash cards around for occasional review.

How To Take & Review Notes For Understanding

Most people take notes incorrectly. If you are just mindlessly copying whatever the professor puts on the board or screen and then frantically reviewing your notes before a test, you’re not doing it right. Instead, pay attention and take thorough notes during lectures. Write down everything you need to copy (or print out the slides ahead of time) and add your own notes to help you understand. Draw diagrams, put things in your own words, write down connections to other learning. Draw question marks on sections you don’t quite understand. Circle things that seem critical. Review your notes as soon after class as possible and fill in gaps with additional research from the internet, your textbook, a classmate, or your professor. Keep thorough notes of the additional things you learn so that you can have them for review. When it comes time to prepare for a test, go through your notes and read them as a refresher. Highlight areas that you don’t remember clearly so you can review further. Don’t waste time going over notes you already understand. Increase your understanding of hazy sections with outside research and reading, tutoring, or classmate collaboration. These are great tools for medical studying.

Preparing for Tests & Exams

The best way to prepare for tests and exams is to take practice tests and exams. You can find plenty online to choose from, and your professor or textbook may even provide some to start with. Another great preparation tool is reviewing with classmates. Turns out befriending classmates can actually benefit your education. Plan a time to get together and have everyone bring all the questions/concerns they have. Help each other, and together you’ll all reach a better understanding. Even if you don’t come with questions, helping your classmates understand the concepts will increase your own understanding.

Still need help? Check out the ultimate guide to studying.

Are you ready for something to study for? Learn more about our enrollment process or get started towards a rewarding career in healthcare today. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can finish your training.