February 26th, 2010 admin
Well my honey is making his way through the first year of med school, and I do NOT envy him his workload. But at least his study techniques are useful! Check them out:
So when the hubs came home from school on Monday he casually asked me, “Have I told you about pimping?” You can probably imagine the look I gave him after that weird question, but he quickly explained that it is an actual term med students use for one of their study techniques–explained to him by his 40-something class moderator (and she is a serious and respected ER doctor who just finished her second residency).
The basics of “pimping” are simple: You go over your notes and study alone, and then get together with someone you work well with and take turns firing off questions at each other, one after another. It is fast paced and intense, and really gets your synapses firing.
The way my sweetie and his study comp do it is to simply say something like, “Tell me about keytones.” The questioner lets his partner start off with a simple description, and then fires off questions until the discussion continues. They spend hours doing this, but hopefully your major doesn’t require that much “pimping.” 😉
Become the Teacher
Another method that works really well for a lot of the study groups is to take turns being the teacher. One of my sweetie’s study groups gets a small room in the library and each take a topic they’re familiar with to re-teach to the group. They discuss problems, hypotheses, and questions together, go over anything confusing from lecture and of course mess around cracking jokes and stuff, which helps them all stay sane on full-day study dates. Then they swap teachers.
The group gets the benefit of going over notes again, while the teacher gets to really focus on wrapping his or her mind around their teaching topic.
Solo Study & DIY White Boards
While group and partner studying are both awesome ways to dig deeper into material, you first need to have the foundation of solo-study. For tips about how to study on your own, check out these memory tips and consider these thoughts on how to kickstart your study habits. (Still not getting anything done? Time for some ridiculously easy ways to kick distractions.)
A new tip we picked up from a second year med student this year was to DIY a whiteboard (shown above!). It is really easy and ridiculously cheap. We found a huge sheet of whiteboard at Home Depot and cut it down to fit on our desk (they have a saw available for free there). We got four desk-sized pieces for only 10 bucks, so the extras got passed on to other students. Now the hubs slaps down his computer and notes on the whiteboard, and writes down chemical reactions, internal processes, and all kinds of things I don’t understand, like the stuff he wrote in the photo you see up at the top there…
Bonus points if you know what’s going on in that photo. It is a super-intricate process of creating ATP… And such. Haha.
Even if you aren’t a science student, this could be a great tool for brainstorming essay ideas, diagramming sentences, time-lining historical events, and making a note-to-self so you retrieve laundry before it gets stolen. 😉