- Block dedicated study periods on your calendar and set clear boundaries and expectations.
- Set up a study plan and stick to it.
- Use active learning techniques like summarizing, teaching, flashcards, and hands-on practice for better retention.
- Collaborate with peers to enhance learning—try discussing complex topics, quizzing each other, and providing additional perspectives.
- Get enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly, and engage in relaxing activities.
- Set small milestones and reward yourself when you achieve them. This will make studying more enjoyable and keep your spirits high.
What do medical students do in the summer?
Summer break is a time for relaxation and rejuvenation for many students. BUT, not always for medical students. For medical students, it's usually a time to dedicate yourself to studying for Step Exams or you might be in clerkships, and not really have a summer "break" at all.
The specific structure of the summer break may vary among different medical schools and programs. Some schools may have shorter breaks or may require students to participate in specific activities during the summer to fulfill program requirements.
6 tips for medical students to stay on track over summer break
If you are spending your time studying this summer, this blog post is for you! We break down 6 tips to help you stay on track with your studies over summer break (or any break time!) Throughout these tips, we refer to valuable insights from the StudyWise guide, which you can get now for free!
1. Protect your time
You don't want to come to the end of your break and realize you've spent most of it doom scrolling. One key strategy for success as a medical student is to prioritize your time effectively. By blocking dedicated study periods on your calendar (and switching your phone to focus mode), you can create a structured routine to make sure you get in some concentrated and uninterrupted study time.
Defending your time also means setting boundaries! Communicate your availability to others and establish clear expectations.
2. Follow a study plan
Now, you don't have to spend any time during your break creating a study schedule yourself. With the Medical Student Core and Qbank+ content tailored to the MedStudy Method, we have eliminated all the guesswork and done it for you. Our goal is to make your learning experience seamless, ensuring that you acquire, retain, and effortlessly recall all the essential medical information you need. How? By introducing you to our Personal Trainer, a learning tool that adapts to your unique requirements.
To get started with the Personal Trainer, you'll start with an "interview" or a set of questions to customize your study plan according to your specific goals. Through these brief interview questions, we'll gather information about your study objectives, preferred start and end dates, and desired pace. This allows us to curate the perfect study plan that aligns with your individual needs and accommodates your schedule!
No more wasting time figuring out how to structure your study sessions or feeling overwhelmed by the vast amount of content. Our Personal Trainer will do the heavy lifting, providing you with a personalized study plan designed to optimize your learning journey.
3. Use active learning techniques
Passively reading textbooks is not the most effective way to retain information and might lead to “fluency illusion,” which is the false sense that you have a much greater grasp of the material than you do— simply because the information has become more and more familiar. In fact, re-reading, re-highlighting, and re-underlining have been proven to not improve test scores at all—no matter how many times you do it.
Incorporate active learning techniques such as summarizing concepts in your own words, teaching others, creating flashcards, and engaging in hands-on practice whenever possible. These techniques promote deeper understanding and better retention of information.
4. Join a study group
Collaborating with peers can enhance your learning experience (and is another example of active learning!) Discussing complex topics, quizzing each other, and explaining concepts can deepen your understanding and provide additional perspectives.
5. Focus on a healthy lifestyle
Staying physically and mentally healthy is essential for optimal learning! Make sure to prioritize self-care during the summer break. Get enough sleep, eat nutritious meals, exercise regularly, and engage in activities that help you relax and unwind.
6. Reward yourself for your hard work!
Maintaining motivation during the summer break can be challenging. Set small milestones and reward yourself when you achieve them. Treat yourself to something you enjoy after completing a challenging study session or reaching a significant goal. This will help keep your spirits high and make studying during the break more enjoyable.
Summer break provides medical students with a valuable opportunity to stay on track with their studies and reinforce their knowledge. By implementing these tips medical students can make their summer study plan effective and rewarding. Remember, consistency and dedication are key to success in medical school, even during the break times.
- MedStudy StudyWise Guide for Medical Students
- How to study for Step 1 USMLE exam
- 8 tips to crush your goals during stressful times
- Personal Trainer is here to guide you through medical school
- 6 ways to prioritize self care before boards