Have you ever had a tough time remembering things in your MBBS or MD Post graduate study? Hasn’t it happened that you feel you know everything about a topic in medicine or surgery, but in a week you are back to near zero? In spite of repeated readings, why we cannot keep things in mind?
Question is , is there an error in our study strategy or a study pattern? Is it that we are missing the right timing.?
Here are 5 tips for medical students.
Memory is boosted when stimulated by multiple stimuli. Reading may be as boring to your mind as for you yourself. Mind tends to forget things that it feels are insignificant and unnecessary, else with everything loaded in your mind, it would have had a ‘Short circuit of connections of memory data’. So your prime objective while studying should be to let your mind know what is important. To remember more, you should relate it with an audio, visual or other sensory stimulus or an emotion ( joke, story, experience). By now you must have had a clue to what the article will further talk about. I have already talked about the MBBS study guide in the previous articles. First of all create the enviroment to study where you can sit back and concentrate .
How to choose a right time to study a topic?
1. When is your mind the most active and hungry, ready to engulf the knowledge you give and memorize it. Some people have their mind active at night or day, but most have their mind freshest and absorptive in the morning. Know the status of your mind, then start reading at the right time. I am sure it’ll give you the most, even in terms of memory.
2. Take the chance-
You face a patient with Meningitis- right there, read everything about the disease. Co-relate the signs and symptoms, examine the patient for findings, follow the investigations and management. Certainly this is the best time and opportunity. No book is better than a patient himself. Ask any practicing clinician, every patient teach you better than just the book.
Even when you get an illness, eg tonsilitis or enteric fever, read about it, its treatment, course and complications, mixed with the reality and your own situation, you’ll remember about the disease almost forever. Here I am being very optimistic.
So, you have a class on Pneumonia or say anatomy of heart today, going through the chapter once before going to class is the best idea and once you revise it after the class, things become clearer.
3. Solve your queries at right time
While reading you often come through term or sentence that you may not know or understand. At this right time, consult and find out and solve the query. Your mind will relate it to this event and it’ll help you remember. ” Last time i did not understand this mechanism- so i went through another reference….. ” this way you’ll probably remember it.
4. Tell your mind what is important- Stimulate it
Underline, highlight, sort out, list, copy and rewrite things that you know are important so that the mind will know it as well that it must know these things. This is not a new tip, but one that has always worked. It’ll make your readings faster on revisions.
Use pictures, drawings, audio, videos, algorithms, charts to stimulate your brain simultaneously. Read about a celiac plexus, also see the drawing of it or see a video of how to draw celiac plexus or a Duke’s criteria. Get the bones while reading anatomy and so on.
5. Recall what you read-
Recalling is asking your mind what it has saved and what it hasn’t. So recalling is a self assessment and will let you know how much you have caught things. You can always read again and add more to the store now and the missing things that you need to know can be remembered now. Do this with every topic.
Discussing it with friends and peers is the best way of recalling. Teach them what you know, and you’ll remember.
These are few points that I have written out of my own experience. Hope you’ll find them useful and you can always add up some in the comments below.