All medical students need encouragement from time to time; And staying motivated through the rigors of medical school is in itself a challenge.
From my experience and those of other past and present medical students, here are some practical ways to keep the motivation coming through medical school, which I’ll be sharing over the next few weeks.
1. Discover yourself.
As a medical student, you’ve likely spent most of your life in a school environment (Elementary to College); now is the time to not just focus on your schoolwork alone, but also learn about yourself- your purpose, your values and your principles. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find out.
2. Learn new skills
Medical school opens a world of other interests to you, where you can develop new skills like writing, photography, baking, video editing, or music; plus the Internet offers you great DIY resources.
3. Take online courses.
It is true that you’ve chosen the career path of medicine, but there’s so much you can learn about other fields like the arts, humanities, social sciences or technology. There are a variety of free courses online that you can look into.
Try some courses for free here: Edx.org
4. Avoid negative self-talk.
There’s enough stress to handle already with the overwhelming work load in medical school and sometimes discouraging grades. It gets worse with putting extra pressure on yourself and criticizing every mistake you make.
Volunteering especially for medical causes (health fairs, blood drives, health awareness campaigns etc) is a good way to feel invaluable while giving back to your community. You don’t have to wait until you graduate before you find some meaning in the medical path.
6. Listen to good music.
Good music is like therapy for your soul. You’ll have some low output days, and rather than allow yourself to sink into depression, why not listen to some cool beats with amazing lyrics? Music is a great tool for internal motivation.
Listen to this inspiring song: I’m a Winner(MTN Project Fame version)
7. Watch Medical Shows.
Medical shows are not only a (fairly good) source of medical information (think terminologies, procedures and diagnosis) and humor, they also fuel your passion for medicine. Grey’s Anatomy, House and Chicago med are a few of them.
8. Start your own business.
Even as a medical student you can become an entrepreneur; apart from the financial renumeration, it also gives you a sense of self-worth and personal satisfaction.
9. Keep a journal.
Having a journal helps to boost your morale when you reflect on how you overcame a previously challenging time; it also helps you to keep an account of your journey which will be relevant in sharing your experiences in future.
Read: Chronicles of a Student-Doctor (A medical school journal)
10. Keep the end in mind
“For me it was mostly the thought of being a good doctor (that kept me motivated) says Dr. Johnson, “I was always like someone’s life is going to be in my hands one day and I sure want to be able to save…I don’t want to be the doctor that doesn’t know what she’s doing.”
I hope you find some of the tips helpful, you can let me know some other ways you stay(ed) motivated in medical school.
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