I just thought I would add another post about the way of studying that actually DOES work for me – and yes, it is making sure that I understand how things work and find them interesting.
Memorising lists just doesn’t work any more as a sole method of study – not that it ever really did, it is just that in undergrad when you have 5 exams, with one exam per subject and several days in between each exam, you have time to go over, memorise and revise your little lists. It won’t get you great marks, but you will pass.
In medicine, that just doesn’t happen. Sure, there are lists to learn. But they generally need to make sense so that you know what you are talking about, otherwise you will not understand what you have learned or how to apply it, or in the worst case just forget what the list is completely.
We have to memorise and learn so much in medicine that the only way to really get it to stick is to understand it well. That way, if you forget a little part of the entire situation (which is me all of the time!), you can logic it out to a point where you recall what it is that has slipped your mind.
And another thing – Diagrams Are Your Friends. Particularly simple ones. If you have a complex one, either make it simple, or break it up into lots of simple diagrams. Unless you are a freak with a photographic memory. I’m not. I need simple.
I love arrows. I love diagrams. I used to love prose, poetry and lengthly, interesting phrases. Now, if it is short and has pictures, it is the best thing in the world. Oh, how things change!!!
How much more things are going to have to change when I get out there and start studying for specialist exams . . .