Diagnosis. Treatment. Prevention. Simple?
Medicine is often thought of as the hardest and most demanding university degree, and with good reason. For one thing, a medical degree is nearly twice as long as your typical degree. Even after you finish as an undergraduate there are many years of study left ahead of you until you can you’re yourself “fully qualified”.
However, like any degree succeeding in medicine is all about three things: looking after yourself, studying hard and being prepared. Here is some helpful advice to help you handle the intense workload of a medical degree – much of it doesn’t involve study time at all!
Looking after you is a big part of finding success as a medical student (as it is in any walk of life). Keeping yourself happy, calm and well balanced can help you to manage your energy levels and concentration. Here’s how to do it right.
Let yourself be selfish
When you start studying medicine, your free time is going to be precious, so use it the way you want to. You’re not a robot, so a bit of downtime every now and then is going to be vital.
Getting enough sleep will help you be healthier, feel happier and study more efficiently. There are a lot of challenges within a medical degree, so don’t add mental sluggishness to the list. Of course, the odd late night is expected at university, but make sure you’re getting your eight hours when you’re training or studying the next day.
Improve your diet
Similarly, your body is only as good as the fuel you provide it with. Start improving your diet now and learn how to cook a few healthy staples in time for university.
Stay positive and focused
When things get hard, keep reminding yourself what you’re studying for. In the long run, a medical degree is a fantastic asset, and this thought will help you stay positive.
Of course, getting the result you want from your medical degree requires a lot of hard work, but there are ways to make this hard work a little easier.
Find out how you study best
Generally speaking, there are four steps to studying effectively. These are:
- Identifying important information
- Organizing the information
- Memorizing the information
- Applying the information to context
Try to find out which areas you find easier and which ones you struggle with, then get practising.
Create a study plan
An effective study plan should start with picking out the key information, then creating a rough draft of the material available and forming them into lists and diagrams to organise them in your head. After this, memorise the information and apply it by practising quiz questions.
Before you even start your university course, there are plenty of things you can do to make your university experience less stressful, more enjoyable and — crucially — more successful.
Get a head start on reading
Even while you’re still in the process of applying for university, you should start getting used to intensive medical reading. This will give you a base knowledge you can draw on later.
Do your research
Research everything about the course you want to study, including what modules you’ll have to choose from. This will give you a chance to decide what areas to focus your reading on. If possible, arrange a meeting with an admissions consultant who can help you with your application.
Enrol in a summer programme
Summer programmes are a great way to make sure you go into your course with some experience already under your belt. Cambridge Immerse offers two-week programmes in medicine, during which you’ll have the chance to get familiar with the subject itself and get a taste of university life.