Studying for medical school can be one of the hardest things to endure when you first start your journey toward becoming a doctor. As exciting as medicine is, med students get bored with studying sometimes.
We have tips to help fix that.
With lots of terms and facts to memorize and cases to research, some content may be very interesting while others may put you to sleep. There are times when studying seems like a chore. And you wonder what to do when you get bored with studying.
11 Tips to Maintain Motivation & Avoid Getting Bored with Studying
Motivation is key along with the following steps. Use these 11 tips to bring the fun back into learning and help you succeed in your medical studies:
1. Plan Your Study Time
Determine what content is the most important on a certain day? Or what is important to cover before an exam or taking the USMLEs? These are questions that you must address in order to plan your study time sessions.
Make a study checklist daily to keep your studying on track. Do it daily or weekly. This will ensure you’re heading in the right direction for a class or an exam. It also brings down your stress level if you have a plan when it comes to studying.
Plan out your studying time to help you develop a clear idea of what you want to accomplish daily, weekly or even monthly. Block out periods of time for what you want to cover daily.
2. Make a List of Goals
Your overall goal is to pass your classes and exams and learn all you can about becoming a physician. Plan out what you want, write down some goals and spend your time working on achieving these goals.
As each goal is accomplished, give yourself a small reward, like an iced coffee or take in a movie. Make it something small and not too over-the-top. And be sure to list many goals.
3. Have a Quiet Place to Study
Make sure you have a clear and quiet space for studying. It’s very important to minimize distractions like your phone, social media, other people, and heck, even music. Yes, you need to keep your music down, because it will definitely distract you when your favorite song starts to play.
If you absolutely feel the need for some type of noise, try a white noise machine or app, or even some classical music. Whatever you choose, make sure to keep the volume low.
4. Engage Seriously with Content
Be an active learner. This is so much better than a passive learner. Do something that causes you to ask questions about the study material. While reading or watching study content, write down notes, summarizing the key points.
Also, it’s vital that you take practice tests offered from class, in your textbooks, online or through mock exams. Do this to help you review your study material before taking a test.
5. Use Awesome Stationery
If you love to write on stationery, use it during your studies too. Maybe you can use a whimsical print while taking notes in class, and something more serene for taking notes at home.
Get yourself something awesome that motivates and inspires you.
6. Take Frequent Study Breaks
Taking a break during study sessions is a must. If not, you will experience burnout. Take a break after reading a chapter or two or perhaps after taking notes on the material you just covered.
Golden Rules for Study Breaks:
- 1 short 10-minute break for every 50 minutes of material you cover
- Or a 5-minute break for every 30 minutes studied
Stretch or walk around. Relax your eyes so they do not become strained. And maybe eat a small snack. When your break is over, jump right back into where you left off.
Use a time tracking app to keep track of the length of your study time and breaks.
7. Try the Hard Stuff First
This one is straightforward. Try doing the hard work when you feel fresh, possibly after one of your breaks. Save the easier stuff for the end when you start to feel tired or burned out and bored with studying.
8. Make Changes to Study Patterns
It’s okay to change what you study and how you tackle it. If a certain study pattern just never seems to work for you, then stop using it period. Come up with a better one that’s more exciting and keeps you focused.
9. Use Time Management
There is nothing to more rewarding for a medical student than putting in your time and the hours needed to study. Facilitate your time and do what is needed, even if the content seems difficult.
Practice good time management skills to help you stay alert and not get bored with studying.
10. Self-Care is a Must
You need your strength and well-being to be up to par when studying medicine. Make sure you get plenty of rest. A tired body and mind will most definitely make your mind wander while studying.
Eat a healthy balanced diet. Stay away from tempting junk food and fatty foods. They make you feel tired and sluggish, which leads to boredom during study time.
You must keep your mental health in check. Many med students, residents and even doctors suffer from physician burnout due to the long hours that they put in during med school, studying, clinical rotations and residencies.
Take a few minutes per day to meditate. About 3-5 minutes is all you need to clear your head and relieve some stress. If you have room in your schedule, take a yoga class to learn breathing techniques that also help reduce stress.
11. Seek Help
If you’re having any sort of trouble studying or not understanding the material, talk to your professor or another student and ask for help. Take on other resources or hire a one-on-one tutor.
There is no shame in asking for help. If you don’t, you risk the chance of failing and postponing your dream of becoming a doctor. So, get help when you need it.
Get Help Studying for the USMLEs
When you start your medical school journey, it may be necessary to test different approaches when it comes to your studying technique. Getting distracted or bored while studying is not the end of the world.
However, if you don’t do something about it, you risk the chance of falling behind or worse failing your classes and getting kicked out of medical school.
Stay motivated and incorporate the steps above into your studying routine. Now you know what to do when you get bored with studying. You have the tools needed to help bring the fun back into learning and help you succeed in your journey toward becoming a physician.
Need help studying for the USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK or Step 2 CS? MedSmarter offers one-on-one USMLE tutoring online or on our Suwanee, GA campus. Get the tools you need to pass your US medical exam as you strive to become a doctor in the US.
Click the link below for more details.