By: Dr. Gopikumar Shivaramaiah
The modern world has transformed to be highly competitive. There is quite an amount of struggle involved in pursuing any course or graduating in any field. When we talk about earning a Medical Degree, the amount of stress and competition is increased. We hear from many medical students that this course can be very stressful, very tiring and so on.
In reality, becoming a successful physician and surviving the competition is not as difficult as each and every medical student feels. Each and everyone joins a medical school with the dream that he or she wants to be a great physician in the future and will be highly motivated at the beginning. As they progress through the medical school their goals and dreams may start to wane and they can go off track and get lost in the vast desert of ambiguity. We as professors do not want students to lose their path and keep their dreams unfulfilled. In an effort to help achieve your dreams and to make sure that you reach success, I have devised 5 golden tips which could help you as a medical student to absorb the extra stress and make your journey of medicine relatively easier.
- PAY ATTENTION DURING A LECTURE: I have personally met many successful medical students and have asked them about what do they feel is the secret of their success. You will be surprised to know that the answer from all of them was the same and their answer was “We made sure we attended all the lectures and paid utmost attention during all the lectures!”
Advantages of lectures are
- The professor will concise the topic for you – Instead of reading 10 – 12 pages of material which will take away a lot of your time, if you could pay attention to the lecture, you have done yourself a big help.
- The professor will tell what is important in that topic so that you can concentrate on what is important, and not wasting your time on what is not needed for you!
We do understand that it is extremely difficult for somebody to sit and listen to lectures for 4 to 6 hours in a day, but remember nothing comes easy in this world.
The best way to stay focused in the class is to develop an interest and curiosity about each and every subject of medicine. Before each and every lecture ask yourself a few questions about the topic of your lecture and try to find answers for questions during that lecture. If there is an incident in your life that connects you with the topic of the lecture, remember that incident before your lecture and this helps you stay focused during lecture. Try to develop your own techniques just to stay focused during the lecture as this makes your life very easy.
The take home message is “STAY FOCUSED DURING LECTURE”.
- REVISING THE TOPIC WHEN THE INFORMATION IS FRESH IN YOUR MIND: When you listen to a lecture, the information which you have gained from the lecture goes into your short term memory! This information evaporates out of your brain very quickly if you don’t convert your short term memory into long term memory. The best way to convert any information into long term memory is by revising it multiple times. Make sure you revise the topic of lecture on the very same day and this helps to you to remember that information for a very long time. Please make sure you allocate 1 or 1.5 hours of each days reading to revise the topics what you learnt on that day.
- IDENTIFY THE BEST WAY OF LEARNING: Each and every student has a tailor-made best way of learning. The different modes of learning are
- Watching an education video.
- Reading a text book.
- Group Discussion with friends.
Identify and document which one of the following is the best learning method which suits you the best. If you feel watching a video helps you learn better, then you spend most of your time in learning from a video (from a source that gives you valid clear evidence based information), rather than sitting in front of text books for hours together and gaining nothing.
Identify the way of learning will help you to use your time appropriately and helps you to avoid wasting of time.
Word of caution: Whatever may be the best way of learning, textbooks and professors are always the best source of accurate information. Rely on them if you have some contradicting information about a topic.
- GOOD TIME MANAGEMENT:
We always keep chanting “I don’t have time!” Remember, most successful people don’t ever say that. As a medical student it is very important that you manage your time really well. If a medical student has this habit of procrastination, he will never succeed in his career.
Advantages of a good time management:
- You become more productive and gain more self-esteem and confidence.
- You reduce your stress
- You achieve balance in life
- You reach your GOALS
- IMAGINE YOURSELF BECOMING A GREAT PHYSICIAN:
There is a saying which goes this way “You will become what you think”. Always imagine and dream about what you really wanted to achieve. Write your “long term goal” in bold, about what you want to be in life and paste it on the wall in front of your bed. Keep looking at it as many a times as possible. When you tell your mind about your dream and goal, it silently keeps working towards it.