Study Tips

How to Stick to a Strict Study Schedule in Medical School Using Osmosis

Veronica Danquah
Published on Apr 9, 2019. Updated on Sep 24, 2020.

Get tips on how to stick to a strict study habit to be successful in medical school and the boards.

The pressure of the reckless flow of water from the water-hose gushed down my throat hours upon hours without a slight moment to catch my breath and then, I woke up! Eager as ever to start my first day of medical school, I quickly got dressed and walked out the door without the slightest clue of what the day’s lecture had in store for me.

“Phew! That wasn’t too bad,” I thought to myself. “The first day of medical school, just like undergrad.” But as the week progressed, that notion started to quickly fade. I found myself drowning in the pool of information I was expected to learn. The water-hose dream suddenly became a reality. I was drowning in information.

Dealing with the stress

The amount of knowledge to be acquired seemed nearly impossible given the short amount of time to learn it all. Very quickly, I realized the #1 factor of success that I could control the most in medical school was staying organized! Learning the best way to stay organized in medical school was a frustrating task of itself. Then, Osmosis came to my rescue. This online study tool created an enjoyable learning environment while helping me stay organized with my studies! Below is a quick snapshot of how I incorporated Osmosis into my typical day.

5:30am -Wake up, meditate, breakfast, exercise, get dressed 8:00am - Attend lectures for 4 hours 12:00pm - Eat lunch 1:00pm - Complete my Osmosis spaced repetition flashcards 3:00pm - Break 4:00pm - Watch Osmosis videos for topics I did not understand during class 5:00pm - Create and complete Osmosis flashcards and questions on each lecture topic 6:00pm - Eat Dinner 7:00pm - Continue with Osmosis flashcards and questions 8:30pm – Briefly read First Aid, corresponding to the lectures for the following day 9:30pm - Prepare for bed

Read how you can use Osmosis's spaced repetition tool to study more efficiently in medical school. Read more 

By following this schedule, I was able to study my professors’ lecture notes, correlating them with high yield concepts in First Aid, as well as getting exposure to integrated USMLE® Step 1-style questions from the question bank provided on the Osmosis platform.

Tips I learned to stay organized

If you find yourself drowning in information like me, here are some tips to help you stay organized throughout your basic science years of medical school using the Osmosis platform.

Tip 1: Get a planner

Use this planner to make a schedule every weekend of the topics that will be reviewed that week. This is the first step for staying organized with your study topics.

Try Osmosis's Study Schedule tool to help you stay organized in medical school. Totally customizable schedule to match what you’re studying in class or catch up from day-to-day to make it even easier to follow your perfect schedule. Try now 

Tip 2: Organize your studies

To help guide your study time, use an online platform like Osmosis. I used the lecture analysis feature on Osmosis. With this feature, I was able to quickly review my lectures and challenge what I had just learned in class with flashcards and an integrated Osmosis question bank of USMLE® style questions relating to each lecture topic. I also found that this was a great way to keep all my lecture slides and notes in one place for easier retrieval during exam study time.

Tip 3: Pre-read or Pre-watch

Each night, download the following day’s lecture slides on the Osmosis platform and briefly read through the slides, noting down and searching for the meaning of any unfamiliar terminology. The goal here is not to understand the information, but to get familiar with the content to be presented. If reading is not your forte, then you can watch the short osmosis videos instead. Treat this as a more relaxing activity that will allow you to get more out of tomorrow’s lecture.

Tip 4: Take breaks

Remember, time is of the essence, so make the best use of your time. This includes break time also. This might not be the best time to jump on Netflix and start watching the next episode of Grey’s Anatomy, because we all know how much discipline it takes to watch only one episode. If this is not an issue for you then all the power to you! But for the majority of us, one episode is just not enough. Instead go for a walk, grab a light snack, exercise, or use this time to get in touch with family and friends. Studying for hours on end without any breaks is not managing your time well.

What works best for you? Did you find a great study tool during medical school that kept you organized? Please comment on your own experiences and helpful hints. We’d love to know where you are in your medical school journey!

About Veronica

Veronica is a 2nd year medical student at the American University of Antigua. She has a passion for health, wellness and pretty things. When she’s not studying, she is usually reading healthy living blogs and testing out new healthy eating recipes. She loves to dance, laugh and travel. She hopes to use her medical education combined with her passion for health and wellness to help shape the future of medical policies in Canada.

USMLE® is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). Test names and other trademarks are the property of the respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Osmosis or this website.


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