Learning medicine is not like learning any other subject, because in medicine what matters most is not brilliance but hard work and dedication. Memory and intelligence both counts, but interest in the subject is the deciding factor which guides a student through the hardships he/she faces while learning medicine.Many students ask, how can I remember all these facts, it is a lot of information. Genuine interest in the subject help to memorize the points, because these points will save the lives of many people,maybe even you own.
Making mistakes is very essential in learning,because only if you make mistakes can you remember the correct answer.Practice makes perfect,reading and revising have equal roles in the life of a medical student.Associating a newly learned fact with a fact learned earlier or by making absurd and vivid associations you can remember better.
Nine Steps in learning any subject
1. Have genuine interest in the subject
This is the first and the most important step of all. This is the step where most of us fail, having genuine interest in the act of healing is an absolute prereuisite to learn medicine. Some guys(including me in my college years)studied medicine, yet, they are interested in a lot of other subjects too.
So don’t be like a worm which causes creeping eruptions,stay in the environment where you belong and study what you are destined to do,let it be medicine, stock trading,teaching or cricket.
2.Comprehend what you learn.
Learning without understanding is the 2nd most important cause of a failing memory. So try to understand the exact meanings of medical terms, and do clinical procedures.
3.Correct your misconceptions on the go.
Most of us have many false beliefs and concepts which need to be corrected. It is essential to make mistakes, but correct them as you get the right information, whether it be from a friend,book or even the internet.
4. Brush up your previous knowledge.
Before reading a topic, try to memorize what you already know about the topic and write down what you know.Let it be wrong or incomplete, but write down what you know and then read the topic.While reading the topic correct the mistakes you made and correct the misconceptions you had before reading.
Always associate a new information with something you already know. When you associate you hold a better chance to memorize at a later date.
6.Have the need for remembering the subject.
If you have to remember a phone number, definitely you will, so having a need to remember is an important step in learning anything new. As a medical student or as a doctor you have to remember most of the things you learn, for your medical practice so you have the need, but remind you everytime you forget this fact.
7.Club identical topics together and make a list
Learn topics based on their similarities and differences.Haven’t you felt it easier to remember the differences between two topics when you write it neatly in two columns? Most of the time you have to learn only one column and the other column will be the exact opposite.
8. Make a strong first impression
As you have heard “First impression is the best impression”, a strong impression and vivid images of the topics you learn is a very important step in learning. Use mnemonics, absurd images,make notes,read on the internet, watch videos in short use what ever resource you have, to make the first impression very strong so that it stays in your mind for a very long time.
The last step is the best step for recalling what you learned for an exam. Without revision recall is nearly impossible.Revision converts short term memory to long term. So try to revise at regular intervals.
Once you have learned a topic try to set the revision at following intervals to ensure you don't forget =
After 24 hours
After 1 week
After 1 month
After 6 months
Following these strategies will definitely help you surge forward to a perfect learning experience.