High yield study techniques for medical school

High-yield Study Techniques For Medical School

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Having high-yield study techniques for medical school is essential since medicine, as mentioned by some professionals, is considered one of the most challenging careers. It’s reasonable because the responsibilities inclined with it are on a serious note.

The number of subjects to focus on could be pretty overwhelming. But with the appropriate and valuable tactics I have prepared, you can learn conveniently in your comfort!

Stay with me until this post’s end to learn more about the study techniques you will need for your clinical journey!

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Bonus: Want to learn how I got a 3.9 GPA in med school using a simple-to-follow study strategy? Get access to my exact study method from med school for free here. 

How Essential Are High-yield Study Techniques?

The study of medicine involves the use of science, practicality, methodology, personality, patience, and empathy. Even for the brightest students, medicine is perceived as a demanding and exhausting journey requiring commitment and hard work. Indeed, it’s broader than you could ever imagine.

But what makes medical school challenging? Let’s take a glimpse at some matters you may face along your clinical journey.

  •     Extremely complicated topics
  •     A great deal of information and specifics
  •     Superior standards
  •     A lot of pressure
  •     Drastic competition 

It makes sense why medical school is not for everyone. You might even think if it’s even worth pursuing at a certain point.

However, if you execute the right procedures and follow a well-established study plan, you won’t just make it through medical school; you’ll surpass your academic goals!Step 2 CK Study Plans From Successful Test Takers

Compilation Of High-yield Study Techniques For Medical School

Your ability to apply high-yield study methods will have a massive impact on how well you do performance-wise, so try to find the ones that work best for you! Worry not, for I have gathered the most helpful techniques for more effective and efficient learning.


Memorization, by its nature, teaches our brain to recall information and aids in preventing cognitive decline. Additionally, memorizing is a crucial aspect of Medical School.

There is a notion that some individuals have a better memory than others. Still, you can practice your ability to remember information by using the right tool.

Mnemonics, sometimes referred to as a memory aid, is a strategy that uses a pattern of letters, numbers, or relevant connections to help you recall a thought or phrase.

You’ll benefit from medical mnemonic devices as they will assist you in retaining medical terms, ideas, and information more easily. Some methods are as follows: 


Acronyms are the most popular type of mnemonics used in all fields of science. Each word’s first letter on a sentence or list of facts can be used to construct an acronym, to create an easy-to-think expression

The disease symptoms or the procedures to treat an illness can be remembered using this approach.

Examples of Medical abbreviations are:

  • FAST for the signs of stroke – Face, Arms, Speech, and Time
  • ASTHMA for asthma management – Adrenergic agonists, Steroids, Theophylline, Hydration, Masked oxygen, and Anticholinergics
  • RICE for treatment of sprains and bruises – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation
  • DR. GERM for abdominal assessment – Distension, Rigidity, Guarding, Evisceration/Ecchymosis, Rebound tenderness, and Masses
  • DEMENTIA roots of dementia – Drugs/ depression, Elderly, Multi-infarct/Medication, Environmental, Nutritional, Toxins, Ischemia, Alcohol
  • SOCRATES used in the evaluation of pain – Site, Onset, Character, Radiation, Associated Symptoms, Timing, Excarbeting, and Relieving factors, Severity


Chunking is a mnemonic procedure that includes breaking up and clustering random information sections. Then, choose a specific format to help you not forget about them.

For example, if you want to note your long-digit password quickly, you may divide it into smaller portions. If the password is MgH14598723ZcK, you can write as thus: MgH1-4598-723-ZcK.

It can also be used to determine an immense number of medical terminologies. Take the case of studying several antidepressants; you may begin by grouping the various types of it:

  • NASSAs – Noradrenaline and specific serotonergic antidepressants
  • TCAs – Tricyclic antidepressants
  • SARIs – Serotonin antagonists and reuptake inhibitors
  • MAOIs – Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
  • SNRIs – Serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors
  • SSRIs – Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Mind Map

Making a mind map is another beneficial scheme for studying medicine. This style allows you to concentrate on a single key concept. Then, diagram the ideas, concepts, information, and figures. 

The mind map develops an outline of data, and its associating lines serve as the links between the details.

A mind map may transform an extensive list of repetitive information into a highly ordered diagram that is simple to recall and aligns with the natural process your brain would use to organize information. 

Visual Mnemonics

Visual imagery supports recalling information employing visualized pictures or concrete sketches. You can mentally form an image from actual evidence when identifying the name.

To illustrate, you can mentally picture a tricycle to remember Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Similarly to this, you may think of looking at a hippo on campus so that you remember the Hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for processing memories.

A high-yield resource that is very effective for memorizing information using visual mnemonics is Picmonic. Learn more about it by checking out this article: Is Picmonic Good For Med School?

Spelling Mnemonics

Another variation is Spelling Mnemonics. Incorporating a pattern, phrase, or rule will help you note a word you find challenging to spell correctly.

Using this process, you may retrieve the proper spellings of different medical phrases.

Suppose you say, “A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream” to remember how to spell “arithmetic.”

Mnemonic techniques are necessary to keep track of medical terminologies, figures, and concepts. If you find yourself challenged recollecting deets, an excellent option is to try the mentioned items.

pomodoro technique

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Pomodoro Technique

Getting ready for examinations can get stressful. It frequently involves restless nights and worries that you won’t have enough time to finish all your course material.

The Pomodoro technique (PT) will completely transform your routine if you need help with time management and productivity. It is a system that will enable you to use your time wisely.

The PT entails splitting your study time into 25-minute segments and taking five-minute breaks. Every four cycles, you receive a more extended break. You receive a lengthier respite after four cycles.

If you think you have an endless amount of time to study, you’re likely to end up spending it on unnecessary distractions. But if you have 25 minutes, you’ll be motivated to do the assignment quickly.

Breaks are further vital — take 15 to 20-minute intervals and divert your attention from studying after four cycles. These pauses help you stay alert and engaged while acting as an incentive. You will lose your study rhythm and have to restart if your rests are too long.

You may arrange your study time using the PT into diagnoses, actions, and cases if you’re preparing for the MCCQE Part 1 or USMLE Step 1 tests. Give yourself 25 minutes, for instance, to go over how to gather clinical records from a case and create an analysis.

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Have you experienced reading a text multiple times and felt like nothing sunk in? Believe it or not, medical students frequently need help with this, and flashcards can be an excellent tool for assistance.

For students who prefer to break down information into smaller segments and concentrate on each topic or piece of knowledge, flashcards are perfect. They require you to come up with feedback that illustrates active learning. Techniques for passive learning, such as learning and underlining words, are ineffective.

You have to execute this study strategy correctly if you want to be successful. Creating a lot of flashcards is against you because you probably won’t have enough time to study them all, and creating a few cards with too many details is not far from reading a book.

Only high-yield subjects should be included in ideal flashcards. The difficulty level of the examination and the length of time you have to study will determine how many cards you need. Typically, students strive to produce 20 pieces for each test.

FAQs On How To Study For Step 3


You should pay attention to the worth of group study sessions, even if you are one of those persons who prefer to study alone. As another instance of active learning, looking at others is beneficial.

You can learn from others’ perspectives and encourage one another to comprehend subjects better. If you have any OSCE exams, this will be crucial so you can analyze and examine one another.

Here are some tips for a successful study group:

Create A Productive Study Group

A study group will be most functional if its members are all dedicated to getting good grades. The ideal group should consist of three to five people who meet for approximately one to three hours.

Less than an hour of study time is likely to be hurried. And if the session is too long, group members may lose focus, and production tends to suffer.

Arrive Ready

Each participant must show up at the meeting equipped. Before your appointment, you should be familiar with the content and aware of any difficulty areas.

Be Attentive And Organized

Although it may seem obvious, working as a group can make it challenging to stay focused and committed. That’s why having a group leader is recommended. The head of the discussion usually initiated the study group and invited others to join.

Choose A Format

Knowing what you want to cover in your group activity and in what sequence you want to do it will make the entire time considerably better. Here are a couple of suggestions for how to organize your study session:

  • Use the study guide your professor has provided for the class in your gathering.
  • Base your topic point on the questions at your textbook’s end.
  • If there are numerous pages to study or topics to discuss, you could designate particular chapters for each group member to present to the group.
  • Ask everyone in the room what they want to discuss or whether they would like extra assistance. While moving around the spot is informal, it also presents the structure and allows everyone to speak.

These are only a few types of strategies you can use. Pick a structure that works best for the goals you have for the group study session.

Choose The Right Place For Your Affair

Your learning routine heavily relies on where you do your work. Select a pleasant location for the study period if you want to get the most absorption out of it. Additionally, check to ensure that nothing is distracting there to prevent you from drifting.

Active Recall

Rather than underlining sentences or entire chapters when reading a text full of meaningful information, try extracting keywords. Per paragraph, pick a few phrases and then try to recall how they relate to one another.

You are attempting to remember what you learned from reading by completing these gaps. In other words, you are exercising your memory by actively recalling information. Compared to trying to recite complete sentences, this is not only easier but also less time-consuming.

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More Study Advice For Medical School Students

Using techniques is pointless if you are not comfortable with them. If you truly want to be effective in medical school, you need to prioritize efficiency while studying. Here are more factors to consider while applying the above-mentioned study techniques.

Settle In A Comfortable Environment

You often have to set up the ideal learning environment for yourself. Every student has different preferences regarding meditating on their study components. 

Some individuals need complete silence to concentrate, while others enjoy listening to upbeat music, and some prefer to study in settings with background noise, such as a café.

Be sure to locate yourself where you can be at ease. Verify that there are no interruptions, even if it is a busy or noisy location. It is essential to have a large table where you can spread out your textbooks.

Cervical pain and headaches, which are the biggest enemies of a student, can be brought on by being in an uncomfortable position for long periods.

Start Studying Early In The Morning

If you’re wondering how to balance life and family responsibilities in medical school while being able to perform well on your tests, begin your study habits in the morning. This way, you still have the rest of the day to devote to personal affairs and other activities.

Indeed, the first item on your daily to-do list should be a study session. You never know what can happen throughout the day or whether you’ll have enough mental stamina to maximize your learning period.

Even if you’re not a morning person, the first hour of the day, when you haven’t made any decisions, is when your mind is at its freshest, thus lowering the likelihood that you’ll put off studying.

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Test Yourself Consistently

A brilliant way to measure your development is to put your knowledge to the test. You can discover your skills and shortcomings by measuring your knowledge, which can help you develop better study techniques.

You can achieve this by making your tests, practicing online, and continually attempting to apply what you’ve learned to real-world scenarios.

Be Extra Mindful In Class

Only some things tackled in class can be found in your textbooks. Most of the time, professors do adlibs to explain more of their lessons.

You may learn so much in medical school by paying attention in class and during rotations and by listening to your peers and taking their insights.

Review In Subgroups

Remarkably, reviewing is as vital to learning. However, most students need to correct the error of reviewing the entire course in preparation for their final exams. When they finish their study materials, they forget all they went through initially.

Reviewing brief passages of material each week or so will help with this. Start checking the current week’s portion, then review the prior week’s review once more. Re-reading will not only help you retain the information, but it will also work well as a warm-up practice.

Establish Your Priorities

Reviewing your course material from beginning to end can be highly exhausting and unproductive, as we already discussed. If you try to study every element of a topic in the precise order it appears in your notes, you risk only knowing the first 20% of the material, which includes crucial concepts.

Learning the most necessary details will help you master the secondary information later. Pay attention even to minor things when you are sure enough.

Bonus: Want to learn how I got a 3.9 GPA in med school using a simple-to-follow study strategy? Get access to my exact study method from med school for free here. 

Developing high-yield study methods for medical school will be a game changer if you still need to do so. Even if you already have study habits from earlier in your schooling, medical school calls for particular approaches that are less common in other academic fields, such as using flashcards or mnemonics.

Remember that each learner is unique. Some people learn better visually, some enjoy studying in a group setting, and some need complete stillness and seclusion to concentrate. I recommend discovering your preferences to create the ideal study schedule for you.

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). 

I hope I helped you find the study techniques that suit you! If you find this blog useful, you might want to check out some of our other content:

Until the next one, my friend…

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