Invest in building your network. It will pay dividends in the future.
I see it in all of you. You will all make great doctors because you care about your patients. It is in the way you behave and talk.
You will be great doctors. I know you are all struggling to find what is true and right. But hear me: do not let this schooling system rob you of your sense of self.
I remember one of the first students I was training here. He was a journalist. Was a journalist for nearly thirty years. He well could have been my father at his age!
But he was still learning.
This is a profession where even the old dogs learn new tricks, where the learning does not stop until the day you stop working.
A third year medical student, a specialist does not make.
Do not be embarrassed of your right to learn, to practice, and to be wrong. It is why we are all here and why we get better.
The fact that you are willing to admit that you do not know and that the amount of knowledge you still do not have scares you already shows me that you will make a great doctor. It is not a weakness.
You will feel like you do not belong. You will have moments when you question your choice to be here. You will feel incompetent. You will see, hear, and do things that will challenge yourself in this profession. Simply put, third year is hard. You will feel miserable. The year is a systematic destruction of the soul.
But in the end, you are rebuilt.
No matter how much you may schedule and plan for contingencies and delays, there is no way that you can predict everything that will happen.
Today, the attending physician made an effort to reschedule part of his day for some expected delays. We still ended up with a lunch well into the afternoon and only ten minutes to eat.
Everyone has different studying tips. I have written a bit about this and you could search for it here under “study habit.”
My general advice is to take breaks when things are not sinking in, refocus, then restart. This goes for regular studying or when you’re cramming. Your brain does not have unlimited stamina; it needs rest.
The other advice is to use multiple approaches, and not just repetition. Your brain generally learns best when the message is reinforced through different modalities. Try some flow charts, make tables, or flash cards. If something is not working, discard it for a better method.
Next, set some goals for yourself. Decide what you need to focus on, what you can accomplish, and do as much as you can. It is alright to sometimes bite off more than you can chew, but always know your limits and keep pushing forward. Even if you only review a bit every day, in the long run you will have read through the material quite a bit.
Lastly, review often. The freshest material is always that which is covered most recently. Go back often to freshen up older material. The subsequent passes you will get a feel for what you have forgotten, what you have remembered, and focus yourself appropriately where you are struggling.
I hope this has been helpful to you. Good luck and take care.