Let's be clear about the situation ahead. Med school as we know it may look different, but this is not the time to take your eyes off the prize. Moreover, exams will be here in no time. So what can we do to prepare ourselves for all the changes ahead?
Let's look at athletes, for example. They continue to train to maintain peak fitness during this time because they are aware of the importance of keeping their fitness. They recognize that when sporting events resume, they need to be in peak physical condition. You won't find them procrastinating every day because they know what they do now impacts their future.
Similarly, now is the time to give your best and study. Here are some quick tips to help you get there.
● Boost your study skills
Focus on becoming a better student, and thus a better doctor in the future. Learn how to write notes more efficiently so that you can remember them better. Organize yourself better so that you work at peak times when your mind is clearer, and you blend studying with completing assignments.
● Catch up on what you've missed so far
Students start the semester with the best intentions, but these can fall by the wayside when we get overloaded with the syllabus (coronavirus pandemic, anyone?!). Use any extra time that you have to catch up on readings or lectures that may have fallen off your radar.
● Focus on subject-specific skills
Depending on the specialization that you are interested in, there may be specific skills that are helpful to build during this time. If you want to get into pathology, you may want to get into the headspace of mastering your knowledge in microbiology. If you're completing a thesis, it can help immerse yourself in scientific journals to get into the headspace of academic writing.
● Maintain your physical health
As medicos, you may be well aware of how exercising can strengthen your immune system. It's also amazing to boost your mood throughout the day.
● Watch for distractions and procrastination.
This time of self-isolation can be particularly challenging if you're prone to procrastinating and getting distracted. You may have to learn on phones and tablets, so it's easy to have distractions open. Take extra care to set firm boundaries around this - try disabling certain apps or setting timers, taking off email alerts, or setting time limits for self-care activities. Download one app to help you study your subjects.
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