Hello, all. I can't believe its already Week 13 of the
trimester. Though the break between trimesters doesn't affect us in
the clinic, because we work through the break, it does mean we are
that much closer to graduation. It's not just patient numbers we
need to hit while in clinic, there are also blood chemistry and
urinalysis, SOAP notes, patient narratives, and community service
hours that need to be completed also. It seems monotonous at the
time, but these other requirements really do prepare you for real
life practice. Needless to say we have been busy trying to knock
out all these requirements before December rolls around.
While we've been busy in the clinic, everyone else has been busy
preparing for finals. Since finals are around the corner and it's
been a few trimesters since I wrote about how I study, I thought
it'd be pertinent for this week's blog. The first part of the plan
is to realize that cramming is not the way to go. I had to learn
this the hard way during my first trimester. Studying really should
be done each day to stay current with your material and keep the
topics fresh in your mind throughout the tri. The best way to learn
something is by repetition, like Malcolm Gladwell wrote about in
his book The Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours of practice
to master a skill. Once you are in the proper mind set for
studying, the next step is to get into the material.
Hopefully, through the trimester you have been reading and
highlighting pertinent material in your books. This is the first
step. Our professors do their best to give more attention to more
difficult topics but there is just not enough classroom time to hit
every topic so it will be your job to read up on everything else.
While reading the book, it helps to read aloud and highlight as you
go. This feeds information through several parts of the brain,
which helps with retention. With this same principle in mind, the
next step of the plan is to transcribe book notes and class notes
into a consolidated form. This not only makes you look at the
material another time, but also gives you a compact study guide to
read over as much as you can.
Remember there is no substitution for rest. If it comes down to
getting a good night of sleep or cramming, take the sleep. While
you sleep, your brain continues to review information you
introduced to it before you hit the sack. A solid 8 hours of sleep
will do wonders for retaining information as well as help with test
To recap, read the book aloud and highlight, transcribe your
book and class notes into a solid study guide, and try to get some
sleep. Endurance is the name of the game, if you put in the work
through out the trimester, studying for midterms and finals is
extremely manageable. Don't let the exams stress you out, prepare
as best you can, go into the exam confident and relaxed and you'll
I hope this helps settle some test taking anxieties out there.
After finals are over there's a two-week break waiting for you, so
let that be some of your motivation. Once you hit clinic and your
number of tests drop, you'll have some free time on the weekends to
finally have a social life again.
This past weekend was 2 of my best friends' birthdays, so we
celebrated on the beach. Family and friends got together for some
beach soccer, domino tournament, and a few drinks to top it all
off. It was a killer weekend, and I feel like I need another
weekend to recover from this last one. Study hard; there is a light
at the end of tunnel.
Catch ya later,