By: Jessica R
Why is studying so important in our Residency? Unless you have a photographic memory, you must do it. Finding time to study on little sleep, endless scut and rounds seems impossible. Free time is little and precious; therefore, we must do it more efficiently. Planning can make the most of this time:
1.) Get Organized
2.) Set Goals
3.) Create a Study Area
4.) Choose the Right Study Guide
5.) Active Listening
6.) Positive thinking
7.) Plenty of sleep
Getting Organized – Where are your notes? What books did you learn from? What do you need to study? These things need to be laid out and organized in a way that is quick to access with a system that makes sense to you. Be it file folders, binders or notebooks. Customize what will make it easier for you to navigate.
Set Goals – Decide the grade you want to aim for. Calculate what percentage of questions you need to answer correctly to achieve that. Calculate the number of days or hours until your test. Break down the study guiding, setting a goal for how many subjects or chapters you need to cover per session.
Create a Study area – I realize this is not always an option. Sometimes we must squeeze 5 minutes of reading in between patients or tests. When you can designate a productive quiet place where you can think and reflect with less distraction.
Choose the right study guide – There are numerous textbooks and How to books to choose from. You have to find one that breaks information down to its barest format and speaks to the way you learn. Books, videos or audio depending is you are auditory or visual.
Speaking of auditory – Active listening - fully concentrate, understand, respond and then remember what is being said. Learn to do this to further your goals.
Positive thinking – Remember how a patient’s attitude can affect the surgery. Why placebos are even a thing? Positive thinking know you have it and remind yourself.
Plenty of Sleep – The elusive joy we remember fondly from kindergarten. Sleep resets us. Sleep helps us retain info and move it from short term to long term. Find time.
Why all these things are important, I found the thing that helped me the most was my choice in study guide. ABSITE Smackdown is both a book and video tutorial guide that helps you study regardless if you are a visual or auditory learner. The book is the perfect size to carry and even has good margins for notes. Direct and to the point, broken down into easy to review sections. How you study matters.