So this is something almost nobody talks about until you are basically drowning in it:
The workload in medical school.
A lot of people will tell you “Medical school is like drinking water from a fire hose”; which is accurate.
They will also tell you “It is not that the material is difficult, we all have a base from our pre-requisite courses and already know some of the stuff, its just so much to go through in so little time!”.
I can’t tell you that I have had something extremely difficult to learn in medicine school. However, I haven’t had the appropriate amount of time to learn or understand certain topics. Thus, why I could miss one or two questions that could define my grade in the block exam. Histology
At the beginning of the blocks, everything is sunshine and flowers (at least for me). From the second week on, it turns into a storm. A storm where it keeps raining and raining and without noticing your apartment is flooded and you have got to deal with it by yourself.
That’s how it feels studying medicine. There is so much material thrown at you that you don’t even know where to start. Actually, you do. You just stress about what you still need to study for Immuno and Molecular Cell Biology (MCB) while you are studying for Cardiophys.
Now, since there is so much material, how much do you need to study?
Obviously, every student has a different schedule and study skills or methods. Also, every student has so many study resources to choose from. So we won’t get into specifics, but what I can say is what my study hours look like. Without counting the time I spend in class, I would say I study approximately 8 hours a day on a “normal week”. On exam week and finals week I would study 10-15 hours a day, approximately. I know (🤯). That is way too much time sitting down staring at a screen. But it is our reality. Like I mentioned before, the material is not difficult, nor the easiest, its just too much in too little time.
Besides spending so much time studying, another method to be successful is what people call “studying smart”. And what is studying smart? You may ask. Studying smart means studying less time but being more efficient at it. For example, using Anki Flashcards, practicing questions, and using the Pomodoro Method. In summary, doing lots of active learning and retaining more information, instead of just pasively reading the same material multiple times.
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The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. -James Clear, Atomic Habits