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Be Naturally Impressive: Tips for Medical Students (Part 4)

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Today I’m continuing our email series on how to be naturally impressive on your medical journey!

If you missed the past few emails in the series – you can check the previous issues in our newsletters here. ​

Today I’m going to share a simple way to improve your mastery of medicine without having to study every waking hour.

I’m going to share my retention & collection method that keeps me on top of the clinical knowledge I’m weak on without forcing it.

The Second Brain Method

I’ve share the idea of a second brain before. ​

Basically you want to have a digital hub of everything you wish you could know but don’t want the extra pressure of “hoping” you remember it.

In medicine – it’s less about knowing something immediately and more about how quickly you can access the info you need to help a patient.

Having a second brain is thus critical.

So here’s my process:

1. Pick a collection tool.

There are many out there. My two favorites currently are Notion & RemNote.

Both having a learning curve involved but are great for creating a database of information you can easily access at a later date.

​(I share my Notion template & our entire med school playbook here fyi)​

But even if you don’t want to get fancy – a simple Google Doc, OneNote folder, etc. all would work just fine.

2. Keep it simple & organized.

My collection system for example has a section of things I need to look up, things I’ve learned, and a “board prep” folder.

This way if I learn something new -> goes into my learned folder.

If I find something I’m confused about -> “need to look up” folder

If I’m doing practice questions and miss something -> “board prep” folder.

Nothing more, nothing less.

3. Make review easy to say yes to.

Early in med school studying will take most of your day and time. That’s normal.

But as you progress through rotations, residency, fellowship, etc – studying will not feel like a “mandatory” thing to do.

Thus it will be easy to do anything but study.

This is why it’s important to make the “review phase” of your collection system easy to do.

For me – if I can do 5-10 minutes a day – I’m golden. Anything more than that is cherry on the top.

“5-10 minutes!?? That’s it?”

Keep in mind that as of this writing I’m a busy cardiology fellow and have a baby at home. It would be easy for me to not study at all. So I plan for just 5-10 minutes and often will do more based on the day.

But you have to make it easy.

4. Keep adding to your collection system

It is better to store more than it is to assume you’ll remember something.

Any learning pearls you receive on rounds -> store them.

Any greater analogies you learn in lecture -> store them.

Anything you got wrong on rounds or via a pimp question -> store them.

Better to store now vs. wish you had.

5. Repeat

Fill the bucket and review the bucket.

Make it easy to say yes to adding and reviewing.

imagine what will happen when you spend days, weeks, months, years of doing this process while your peers only do spurts of “cramming”….

… you my friend will naturally understand more just because you’ve done more reps.

And that my friend is another simple way to be naturally impressive.

Hope this helps!

Hope you’re enjoying this series! If so let me know with a quick reply!

Now two quick announcements:

Hopefully we were a little help to you on your journey today. Thanks for being part of ours.

Until next time my friend…

Lakshya Trivedi, M.D.
TheMDJourney.com
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Whenever you’re ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

1. The Med School Handbook:  Join thousands of other students who have taken advantage of the hundreds of FREE tips & strategies I wish I were given on the first day of medical school to crush it with less stress. 

2. The Med School BlueprintJoin the hundreds of students who have used our A-Z blueprint and playbook for EVERY phase of the medical journey so you can start to see grades like these. 

3. Med Ignite Study ProgramGet personalized help to create the perfect study system for yourself so you can see better grades ASAP on your medical journey & see results like these. 

4. Learn the one study strategy that saved my grades in medical school here (viewed by more than a million students like you). 


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