Med School and Studying

If you want to become a doctor, you should get used to the idea that you’ll spend a great deal of your time studying. Through the course of our degree we will be asked to learn, understand and commit to memory an enormous amount of material and when, finally, we become doctors, studying doesn’t stop. The medical sciences evolve by the second. Everyday life changing discoveries are made and we need to keep up with that in order to provide our patients the best resources we can find. So, even though it might not be one of the most pleasant things to do, it is something very necessary on our way to become good physicians. Since many of you have been asking for tips on how I study, here are a few tips that worked for me:

1 - Cornell Notes taking system - this is the note taking method I found most helpful to take notes in class and at home when I’m studying. It keeps things organized, it’s quite easy to use and, when revising, it’s quite simple to understand.

2 - One Page Notes - this is a tip given by Doctor Andrea Tooley on her YouTube channel, which I truly recommend checking out. Basically, the point is trying to condense one class, chapter, etc. in one page. Of course sometimes it’s a lot of material but trying to do that, even if it exceeds one page, makes us focus on the essential. 

3 - Not too much stuff at once - when studying, I don’t like to have too many things open at once. I like to keep it simple, just some slides, maybe a book and my notes. It’s not helpful to study by two books, three reviews and notes. It’s a lot of stuff and it gets harder to concentrate. What I do is to choose the materials I find most helpful and take my notes based on that. If then, if I find that another book that has some helpful information, I read it after and then I add those notes.

4 - Not let work pile up - Simple to understand, HARD to do. 

5 - Ask older students - when you don’t know how to study for some particular subject, just ask someone who already done it.

6 - Airplane Mode - when I want to focus on something, and I need to be on the PC, I put it on air plane mode. Blind yourself to distractions. 

7 - Water or Tea - have a bottle of water on the desk. It keeps you hydrated and when you’re frustrated, just have a sip of water or tea instead of going online. Hydrates and calms you down. Just don’t go on drinking litters and litters of water please…..

8 - One thing at the time - when you’re studying one subject, focus on that subject. Don’t be thinking about the other ten thing you need to do. You need to be doing that, so focus on that. Be efficient, learn to prioritize.

9 - Plan it OUT - I’m a fan of the bullet journal principal. A plane white notebook and my to do lists, exams, etc. It’s important to have a good outlook on what you have to do. I just don’t waste too much time on aesthetics. (Still looks cool though xD)

10 - Get cosy - make studying a cosy moment. It helps :D 

Good luck with everything people!! We can all do this!!! Every great doctor started out as we did: Dreamers and Hard Workers, who wanted to help making this world a better place. Now go study ;) 

In my humble opinion, sign language is important to know for anyone going into the medical field. Yes, there are interpreters, but in some situations, interpreters may not be able to make it to the patient in time for essential communication   to be held between the health care provider and the patient. Below is a list of resources you can use and add to in order to learn and gain an understanding of ASL and Medical ASL.

Websites to Learn ASL

American Sign Language University
Start ASL
Signing Savvy

Apps to Learn ASL

ASL Coach
ASL: Fingerspelling

Marlee Signs

YouTube Channels to Learn ASL

Dr. Bill Vicars
Rochelle Barlow

Rob Neilson

Dr. Bill Vicars Medical Sign Language Lessons 

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