Are You Ready to Study Pre-Med?

Written by  //  2013/03/21  //  Career Planning  //  Comments Off on Are You Ready to Study Pre-Med?

The career of helping sick people recover and return to good health can seem quite glamorous for many. The high paychecks that doctors receive also are great benefits of the profession. In order to become a doctor, however, you must first attend a four-year college and pursue a pre-med degree so that you have the prerequisite knowledge for medical school. While the pre-med degree does not delve too deeply into sicknesses and cures, it does set up a student with the skills they need to succeed as a physician.

Understand the Science

Unlike some shows that depict doctors on television who brazenly violate procedure and rules, the practice of medicine is a science and there are very strict safeguards for what a doctor can and cannot do. Pre-med students begin to understand this early on by studying science courses that train them to think in scientific terms. Courses like organic chemistry and anatomy set up the prerequisite knowledge for future determinations of disease vectors and treatments. Students need to focus on the scientific principles of hypothesis, testing, and conclusion instead of acting on instinct, since this sets them up for the examination protocol of doctors.

Get Your Memory Jump-Started

Any student who starts down the path of medicine should realize how much they will rely on simple memorization. The MCAT, for instance, the diagnostic test needed to be taken for admittance to med school, is nothing but a memory test. There are many ways to improve your memory but one of the most effective ways is to combine what you do not know with what you do know. For example, make flash cards of terms, diseases, pathogens, or treatments. Ensure that you know at least half of them by heart before you begin to memorize any new ones (for example, include ways to treat the flu or a sunburn). As you begin to memorize, you better retain information since you do not need to pile it all on at once. Slowly increase the amount of terms you do not know until it is about a 90-10 ratio. This helps your memory in both short and long term.

Don’t Tell Everyone You’re in Med School

Many people do not know the procedure of how a med student becomes a doctor. To many people you talk to, a med student and a doctor may be one and the same. The more people you know who are aware that you are in medical school, the more people will ask you for medical advice. You can’t give them the professional advice they need, but that won’t stop them from asking. So it pays to try to refrain from announcing your student status to people you meet.

Study Gradually

Everyone procrastinates and everyone crams, but this does not make it an effective means of learning the subject matter. Learning is about understanding concepts rather than the words on the page, which means coming to class with either a good understanding of the material or enough questions to clarify any confusion. Study ahead, not behind, and do so in small quantities each day. Set a time that you study every day, no excuses.

Turn the World Off

When you go through your studies, do not give yourself a way to be distracted. Turn off your Internet modem. Shut off your cell phone. Put your computer away. Do not give anyone a way to interrupt you, and do not give yourself any way to get distracted. Med students did not text their friends fifty years ago, so you too can survive a study session by keeping your phone away.

Author Bio

Ryan Ayers is a writer who creates articles relating to the field of education. In this article, he offers tips for students wishing to pursue a medical career and aims to encourage continued study with a Bachelor Degree in Sonography.

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