4 Challenges Medical Students Face and How to Encounter Them

Medical school is tough. Being a college student is entirely different from a medical student. It needs a lot of hard work and high levels of dedication to succeed in this new academic journey. The amount of course material you need to master in medical school is larger than a high school. You need to learn some new study techniques to memorize the information.  

To succeed in this new stage of life, you need to polish your time management skills. Learning how to better create lectures notes, complete assignments, and perform extracurricular activities will help you become a successful student. You need to remember a lot of important information to stay on top of your studies.

For many students, it is quite challenging to deal with the heavy workload, assignment deadlines, exam pressures, and other complex situations. From diligently following the classroom whiteboards to acing the practical exams the journey of a successful medical student is riddled with challenges. Here are some challenges you might encounter in a medical school and their solutions.

Challenge#1: Unable to Absorb Complex Course Material

It is one of the most important challenges many medical students face. You need to absorb the large amount of information and learn complex terminologies. Many students find it difficult to memorize the information, which will have a bad impact on their academic performance.

Discovering some amazing learning methods is the key to prepare yourself for the heavy course load. Knowing some effective studying methods can help you memorize the information and experience long-term retention.

Solution: Spaced Repetition

As a medical student, you are expected to become a human medical encyclopedia. You need to memorize all terminologies and thousands of bits of knowledge related to medicine. You can’t afford to forget any critical piece of information as it can badly impact your academic performance. Most importantly, it can harm your patients.

Spaced repetition is an effective learning technique that allows you to revise the information more often. Revising the material from time to time is the trick that can retain information longer. Plan your study sessions in such a way that you can easily find the time to revise the material. By organizing your study time and studying smarter, you can store information in your long-term memory and better apply the knowledge to real-world scenarios.

Challenge#2:Not Aware of Active Learning Methods

Unfortunately, many students are unaware of active learning techniques and don’t know how to review the material. Many students think that they re-read the book and skim through their lecture notes and they will memorize the concept. However, it is exactly not the case. Instead of passive studying, focus on active learning methods.

Solution: Take Practice Tests

Taking practice tests is a great idea to test yourself on the material. The test-enhanced learning or retrieval practice is a proven way to build a deeper understanding of the topic you want to learn. There are many online practice tests that you can take to check your knowledge regarding the specific topic. It allows you to actively engage with the topic by improving knowledge retention. According to several studies, taking practice tests can help you recall the information, which can strengthen your memory. Basically, testing is based on the dynamics of recalling. You push your brain to come up with the answer and search through the memory to retrieve the information.  

It is a great idea to incorporate practice tests into your study schedule to actively engage with the material. Don’t wait for exams to assess your learning. After attending a lecture, make sure to take a practice test to check what you have learned during the class.  

Challenge#3: Change in Mindset

Following the same study schedule that you follow in your high school is not going to work in medical school. You need to change your study schedule, make new habits, and make changes in your mindset. You need to transform your academic life and implement some positive behavioral changes for better output.

Solution: Follow the Gamified Learning Style

You need high levels of motivation to study new material and review the previous topics on a daily basis. As a medical student, you need to perform well in classes and medical school board exams. Following a gamified learning approach is a sensible idea to make learning more engaging and fun. Add gaming elements to studying, such as competing for points, role playing, game show style quizzes, achieving tasks to secure badges.

Gamification can boost motivation among students, encourage them to study more diligently, which leads to higher achievement. Many teachers in a st.kitts medical school have found that incorporating gamified learning style into the curriculum can improve student’s academic performance. Encouraging friendly competition in a fun way can help students to engage in brainstorming sessions. It also encourages other team building activities and motivates learners in different ways.   

Here is a list of following a gamified learning approach.

  •         Promotes different learning styles
  •         Healthy competition boosts student’s motivation levels
  •         Improve confidence
  •         Foster community
  •         Improve problem-solving skills
  •         Improve creativity and innovation

Challenge#4:Financial Hurdles

Many medical students experience financial difficulty throughout their academic journey. From paying tuition costs to living expenses, training costs, and becoming a certified doctor, finance is the biggest challenge for medical students. Without proper financial planning, completing an MD program and pursuing a career in medicine seems impossible.

How are you going to pay the tuition fee for medical school? How will you be able to afford living expenses and learning resources? Every medical student should be aware of their financial situation to make a well-informed decision.

Solution: Strong Financial Planning

It is also advised to create a budget and estimate all your expenses. Look for some personal finance resources to take financial decisions. There are many organizations that offer scholarship programs and help students to pay for medical school. Many medical schools also offer scholarship programs, you can check with schools that offer financial aid and student support programs.

 Are You Ready for Your Medical School Journey?

These are a few challenges every medical student faces during their medical school journey. Whether it’s intense coursework, exam stress or financial hurdles, you can deal with every challenge. Stay positive, increase your motivation and follow this easy guide and you will be on your way to become a successful student. 

October 23, 2023

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