How do I remember better in medical school? What tips do you have to improve long-term memory in medical school?
These are some of the most common questions I get from my email subscribers!
Well in this post, I’m going to show you a completely different way of learning in medical school that isn’t taught enough!
This is the technique I use to remember info I learned way back during first year and still remember it as a 4th-year med student!
But first, if you do want this post in video form, check out the YouTube video below! While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to the channel!
Why Do We Struggle With Long-Term Memory in Medical School?
Before we learn how to improve our long-term memory in medical school, we must first learn why we struggle in the first place.
Ask yourself this. What’s the first thing you do when you’re going to ‘learn’ a new topic?
You likely read about it through your syllabus and powerpoint slides.
Now next questions – how much do you actually remember?
This is where we have to be honest with ourselves.
Many of us don’t learn well by just reading the text. Yet a majority of medical student begin this way!
I can recall the thousands of pages I read during my first two years in med school. I don’t, however, recall even 10% of what was written inside.
That’s countless of hours wasted!
So now it’s time for a change.
P.S. If you’re struggling with your study method, check out mine for free by clicking here. You will get a step by step guide and video course!
How Does A Brain Form Memories?
Think back to the last time you told a funny story.
Did you have any issues remembering it well? Probably not!
Now think back to what you did 10 days ago. Does anything come to mind?
Unless 10 days ago was something spectacular, you likely have to work to come up with something.
Why is this?
Our brains are honestly terrible at remembering facts. It takes too much energy to hold on to one mundane piece of info, let alone thousands of them.
But our brains are fantastic at remembering strong connections we make!
Going back to our example of telling a funny story. We remember the details well because not only do we remember what we saw, we also remember what we heard, tasted, touched, and emotionally felt.
This is the blueprint on how to improve your long-term memory in medical school. Tell a funny story!
Creating Funny Images in Medical School
Now you may be asking yourself what funny stories and long-term memory in medical school have to do with each other.
But creating humorous mental images are one of the best ways to learn in medical school!
Take for example one of my favorite drugs to remember – tiotropium.
Tiotropium is a COPD medication that you may see used in the hospital. If it’s the first time you’ve seen it, you may not remember it later.
But now instead let’s try to create a fun way to remember tiotropium!
Whenever I think of the drug I envision an uncle (tio = uncle in spanish) who is wearing a tropical shirt (tropium). On top of that, we’re going to make him coughing and holding a cigarette pack in his hands to represent COPD.
Boom! Now we don’t have to think about tiotropium the drug, we just have to think about tiotropium the sick, COPD, tropical shirt wearing, cigarette holding uncle!
This method is so much more enjoyable to learn with. But more importantly, your long-term memory in medical school improves.
You’re not stressed to learn information via bullet points or charts. You just remember by connecting ideas and making funny images and stories.
This is one of my favorite techniques and has helped me save so much time in medical school!
Meet My Friends At Picmonic
While it’s completely possible to create funny images yourself, why not someone else do the heavy lifting?
Meet my friends at Picmonic!
If you’re unfamiliar, Picmonic has been around for a while helping medical students learn and master high-yield information in medical school.
Just like the funny images we’ve talked about, Picmonic has a mini-movie for hundreds of topics. Each mini-movie takes advantage of the idea of using funny and memorable images to improve long-term memory in medical school.
Not only do they have a short 2-3 video for just about every major topic you can think about, they also have quizzes to make sure you remember the information you just learned!
Here is a great way I recommend to use Picmonic! Before going to lecture, watch the respective video(s). Again remember they’re short so it shouldn’t take you much time, but you’ll be sure to remember them much better vs. reading for hours!
Then go to class and focus on what information was mentioned both in lecture and your Picmonic video! These are the facts you should be sure to remember!
Now go back to Picmonic after class and retry the quizzes. Did you remember what each image in the videos was referring to?
The videos and quizzes were some of my favorite features of Picmonic but there are so many more.
For example, you can create some awesome playlists.
If you’re about to start your cardiology block, you can add all the cardiology related videos to your playlist and gradually watch them over the course!
The playlists were also extremely helpful for studying for my Step 2 CK. I didn’t need help on all the topics, but there were a few that were always a pain in my rear.
(This is an affiliate link which means I do receive a small compensation at no cost to you if you use it. But you don’t have to use my link. I still recommend you check out Picmonic!)
So in addition to being a great learning tool, my friends at Picmonic have hooked you guys up!
One random subscriber will win a Free 6-Month Subscription to Picmonic!
One lucky viewer will win this giveaway!
Enjoy this post?
Don’t worry, I got more where that came from.
Check out the following posts:
I also recommend you check out my free step-by-step study guide on how to study in medical school! Oh did I mention it comes with a free video course on exactly how I study?
Grab your free resources here!
Finally be sure to become part of the community! The best place you will find me besides the blog is my YouTube channel! Subscribe today for great weekly content!
Hope you enjoyed this post on how to improve your long-term memory in medical school.
Once again you can check out Picmonic for 20% off here!
Note: Want to learn how to study in medical school? Check out this post – Ultimate Guide On How To Study in Medical School.
Here are some blog posts that will also help you with your studying:
Ultimate Guide – How To Study in Medical School
How I Studied Less Than 5 Hours A Day
How To Perfect Long-Term Retention in Medical School
How To Study Effectively in Med School
My Morning Routine in Med School
Thanks for reading!
Until next time my friends…