Useful Life Hacks for Medical Students

Javed Iqbal
Published on Jan 25, 2021. Updated on Jan 25, 2021.

Life in medical school is not always easy to tackle. In today's Osmosis blog, medical student and Osmosis Medical Education Fellow, Javed Iqbal, shares his experiences and life hacks he thinks every student needs to know.

Study hacks & memory techniques 

Medicine has always been among most respected professions. But there are hardships on the road to becoming a doctor: an unending curriculum, endless medical terminologies, health issues stemming from stress and anxiety, and more.  But don't worry! Hard work and sacrifice always pay off. I always say to myself, "Trust in God and give your best." Here are a few ways do to just that!

Find your study sweet spot

Some students learn better in a quiet environment. Others thrive when learning with others. You should know what works for you. 

Get organized & plan your time effectively

Break up the information into parts and subparts and put related things together in a meaningful order. Personal relevance makes things stick, so relate anything you're learning back to yourself and your own experiences. 

Avoid bulky study strategies and schedules. Instead of cramming and reading long notes, it is better to streamline your studying with Osmosis lectures, visual explanations, and diagrams. 

Spend 80 percent of your time on effective studying. Don't try to learn everything. Your focus from start to finish should progress in a logical order, starting at the top and working your way down:

  1. Master the high-yield.

  2. Understand medium-level details.

  3. Memorize the small details.

Work on your weaknesses from the start. Make short notes of the hardest topics. 

Pick effective resources

You will require several cycles of studying to learn effectively. Use flashcards, mind maps, and review past papers to revise what you learned. Last but not the least, test yourself with high-yield resources

Conquering the stress demon

Emotional exhaustion, lack of sleep, and the burden of studying can lead to stress, which, left untreated and ignored, can cause serious problems. The first strategy is to understand the reason behind the stressor. Once these reasons are known, try to manage your stress in your own way, or seek help from your friends and family, or whoever else you consider part of your support network

Create a balanced schedule. All work and no play is a recipe for burnout. Do the things that make you happy. Start an at-home workout, head outside and enjoy a sporting activity, listen to some music—whatever makes you happy. 

Avoid negativity and negative people in your life. Limit the amount of your time you spend with such people or end the relationship. After ending the relationship, forgive them because we live in an imperfect world and humans make mistakes. 

If a situation is stressing you out, take a step back to give yourself perspective. Ask yourself how important this situation will be in the long run. There are certain things you can't change. Accept things as they are. Analyze your positive traits and appreciate them. Don't try to bury your emotions. Expressing your emotions will be a source of catharsis. 

How to be a star in medical school 

If you want to be a top performer in medical school, try to be an all-rounded student. Excelling in your studies is the cake and excellence in extracurricular activities is the icing. Cake without icing is acceptable but icing alone is of no use. 

Choose your friends wisely

The foremost duty of a medical student is to focus on your studies. Try to get distinctions in subjects. A person is known by the company they keep. Be careful when you are choosing friends. Always make those friends who help you in the hour of need, support you as you work to achieve your goals, and guide you on the right path. 

Remember there's more to life than First Aid

Don't be a bookworm (not all the time, anyway!) Take part in social activities. There are many organizations and groups that work for a better world. Some societies promote education, some help the needy, and many more noble causes. Association with any of these societies will help you understand the true meaning of a doctor.

Find what motivates you 

I haven't completed my journey yet—I'm a second-year medical student. For me, medicine is not about cramming long notes and bulky books. It's about discovering your inner self and cultivating your personality. Medicine is all about feeling the pain of humanity, and working to ease it.

Thank you for reading. I wish you a beautiful and successful life ahead!

About Javed 

Javed is originally from Multan, a city of Pakistan. He is a second-year medical student from King Edward Medical University, Pakistan. He aims to do specialization in neurosurgery. In his free time, he likes spending time with family, writing poetry, and listening to music. 


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