Time-Tested Methods Medical Students Should Try for Memorization

Medical Students Memory

As a medical student, your studies are an eclectic mix of broad topics that require plenty of critical thinking and research as well as narrower topics that require intensive memorization. If you struggle to memorize things, you certainly aren’t alone. Below, you can discover some of the best and most trusted methods out there for memorizing information that is otherwise difficult to retain.

Practice the Content Over and Over

Memorization is like any other form of learning in that it’s all about training your brain to hold onto information and recall information when you need it. With that being said, most students find that simply repeating the information in their studies over and over again is the best way for them to commit it to memory. One of the most effective methods for this involves utilizing a customizable question bank platform that allows you to create a study session with only the information you need to memorize. Over time, the more you go through the questions, the more information you’ll be able to retain and recall.

Start Small and Work Your Way Up

There’s a pretty good chance that you won’t be able to memorize the name of every single part of the human anatomy in a week, but you certainly can break that anatomy down into chunks and memorize it one small piece at a time. For example, imagine for a moment that you need to memorize the names and locations of 40 bones in a period of two weeks. On the first day, you can start out with a total of five bones and memorize those. The next day, add in four or five more, but continue to study the previous ones, too. Over time, you’ll find that adding in new information slowly is a great method, especially when you continue to review the old information day after day at the same time.

Write Things Down or Say Them Out Loud – or Both

Most students fall into one of two categories when it comes to memorizing things. The first category consists of students who do best when they can visually see the information on a page, and the second consists of students who can audibly hear the information being spoken. As such, depending on the method that works best for you, make sure that you’re taking extensive notes or audibly repeating the information you need to study over and over again. If you aren’t sure which method works best for you, try both – repeat the information out loud as you write it. Assigning an action or sound to each piece of information is a great way to commit it to memory.

Memorization can be tricky, and that’s especially true in medical school where so much of your career will rely on your ability to memorize everything from the names of medications to the location of even the tiniest bones in the human body. However, with some time and effort – and by following some of the tips above – you’ll find that memorization starts to come more naturally over time.

 

Feeling Unmotivated to Study? Try These 5 Things

Top 10 Medical Schools in the US

For most students around the world, winter can be a real struggle when it comes to motivating yourself to study. Between the cold temperatures and the short hours of real daylight, the season can really take a toll on your motivation. If this sounds familiar, there are some things you can do that can provide that extra boost of productivity when you need it the most. 

#1 – Get Daylight Bulbs

You probably already know as a medical student that there’s absolutely nothing that can take the place of real sunlight, but daylight bulbs are as close as it gets. If you’re finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning because it’s still dark, or if you’re struggling to stay awake past 6 in the evening because it’s already dark, installing a few daylight bulbs can really help. If you opt for smart bulbs, you can connect them to an app on your phone or tablet and then program them to come on and turn off at the times you choose. Essentially, you get to simulate the sunrise and sunset on your terms. 

#2 – The Pomodoro Method

The Pomodoro study method was developed to help students stay motivated and focused while they work. It’s basically a process that involves studying for 25 minutes, then taking a five-minute break, then studying for another 25 minutes and so on. All you need for this one is a timer and a small reward that you can look forward to during each five-minute break.

#3 – The Forest App

The Forest app is based on the principle of the Pomodoro method, but it builds upon it to turn focusing into a game. The framework of the app is an adjustable Pomodoro timer that allows you to choose the length of your study sessions and break sessions according to your personal needs. Before you get started, you’ll need to choose one of the dozens of cute “trees” you can grow during your study session and add to your Forest. The best part? If you turn it on, there’s a feature that will wither your tree if you access anything other than the Forest app on your phone! 

#4 – Music

Of all the different ways to motivate yourself to study, turning on some music is by far the simplest – especially with all the free streaming services out there. It’s important to choose music intended to help you focus rather than distract you, and that’s where Spotify comes in. Simply search for “study music” and you’ll find hundreds of different playlists curated by other students. Aside from this, you can build your own playlists with any songs and genres that help you focus. Some of the best options include lo-fi, classical, and soft instrumental. 

#5 – Reward Yourself

Most students feel more compelled to do things they really don’t want to do when they know there’s a pot of gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow. Start on Sunday evening with a piece of paper and make a list of everything you want to accomplish study-wise in the upcoming week. Then, break that down into smaller chunks spread over seven days. Write each day’s goals in your planner, then decide how you will reward yourself if you fulfill your goals for the week. Make sure it’s something you really love and make sure that the goals you set for yourself are challenging, but not out of reach. 

Millions of students worldwide dread studying at some point or another, whether it’s out of boredom, burnout, frustration, or something else entirely. However, with the right music, the right lighting, and the right technology, it’s entirely possible to find your motivation – especially if there’s a reward waiting for you once a week when you’ve met your goals.