GONE TOO SOON!

Over time, I’ve realized that my most profound moments from medical school had little to do with the “books” but everything to do with the “lives” especially of the patients I encountered on the ward.

Today’s post is from an experience I had as a medical student rotating on the pediatric ward.

Enjoy!


I walked into the ward that morning and noticed most of the staff were speaking in hushed tones.
Ward round went on as usual, but everyone seemed a little reserved. Soon, the cat was let out of the bag- one of our patients had passed on!

I was stunned.

Such a young, peaceful and innocent-looking boy, not more than eleven. He had been on the ward for sometime and because his diagnosis wasn’t straight forward, we kept running series of tests.

Then the doctor decided to place him on some steroids and his symptoms seemed to improve, so he was discharged.
However, he soon began to deteriorate rapidly that he had to be re-admitted, eventually leading to his demise.

It was particularly sad for me because that was the first patient I knew as a medical student that passed on.

I remember the day he asked me to pass him a bottle of water from his bedside cabinet. “Miss, Miss…” was how he began his request. After passing him the water, I watched him for a few moments before going back to what I was doing.

If only I knew that was the last time I would be able to interact with him,

Maybe I would have held one of his hands, looked into his eyes and told him not to be afraid.

Maybe I would have sang him a song, written him a poem, or read him a book.

Maybe I would have asked him to tell me about his family, his friends at school, and all of his favorite things.

Maybe I would have assured him that despite his pain, there was a Father in heaven who cared so much about him- spirit, soul and body.

Maybe I would have just taken a few minutes right there, to say a word of prayer for him. 

If only I knew…

But I didn’t.

Because I wasn’t expecting him to die, at least not that soon.

Weak and wasted as he was, we still held on to the hope that he would live.

But death gave no notice of its intentions, it came and left without restrictions.

Three years later, my heart still bleeds when I remember the incident-though I didn’t shed a single tear at that time.

The rest of my sojourn through medical school came with its own heartaches as several other patients I met passed away, but I still can’t get that very first experience out of my head.

As a closing thought, it’s funny how we take the little things for granted, especially with the people that matter to us the most thinking they will always be around.

Truth is, when it comes to those we care about, death is always too soon.

The good news for the believer though, is that death is not the end, there is life after death.

And that for me, is such a comforting thought.

***

So when was the first time you saw a patient die? And how did you react to it?

:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️

#TrueLifeStories #WardChronicles #PatientSeries

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6 Types of Medical Students

Disclaimer: This post is on a VERY light note and all characters in it are entirely fictional.

If you’ve been in medical school long enough, you’ll find out that each medical student you meet is different from the next. Knowing this provides you with a balanced perspective in approaching medical school and helps you to set realistic expectations for yourself. 

Please note that the humor and  sarcasm in the labels are a bit exaggerated and the list is by no means exclusive. 

Enjoy!

1. The Bookworm/Silent Genius

A.K.A The Nerd.

(S)he is your average Joe, who sits in a corner of the lecture room or at the very front to avoid any form of distraction. (S)he hardly talks in class unless asked a question.

Bookworms may be loners or friendly, depending on their personalities.

Credit: 123RF

The school library is usually their second home and they would often stay back after school hours and on weekends to study.
If you need someone to put you through the Kreb’s Cycle the night before your Biochemistry test, just call a friend, sorry, nerd.

Interestingly, a nerd’s life is not only about medical school and studying. Some have remarkable interests in art, photography, music, nature, or poetry.

As expected, the nerd is likely to be the class valedictorian.

2. The Popular Student/Party-goer

Every class has a Chris (or Chrissa).

That one person who seems to be friends with everybody (or who everyone says “hello” to). Like a magnet pulling objects towards its core, they can’t help but draw attention to themselves.

Chrissa is the fashionista who is up-to-date with her weaves, makeup and accessories. Chrissa would rather finish a season of Grey’s Anatomy than study for her Anatomy test over the weekend.

Chris is the cool dude with the latest ride, phone and wristwatch. He even wears designer shoes. He is also an unrepentant sports fan and doesn’t mind skipping a class or two to watch a game.

Both thrive on fun and have activities planned for every weekday and weekend. They know every interesting place there is in town and often find time to steal away for out-of-town adventures.

As a rule the popular guys are “book-smart” and manage to keep up with their studies, with some performing quite exceptionally.

3. The Activist/Politician
This is Bill.

He is on the face of every bill board in the school.

Bill participates in most, if not all, student events and plays active roles in the student government. He is eager to stand up for (or against) a cause and easily draws a large following.

Bill is also quick to point out the inefficiencies of the school administration as well as unfair student policies, and mobilizes other students into signing petitions.
If you need something done, all you need is to get Bill involved.

Bill is sometimes unlucky enough to get into conflict with the school advisory committee and may even suffer some setbacks academically.

But Bill doesn’t mind, he will do anything for the cause of justice even if it means getting expelled from medical school.


Bill
as we know, is likely to run for Global President, a decade from now and we ALL would vote for him.

4. The Nervous wreck/”Water-works” Student

Lisa is fidgety and cries a lot.

She cries at the beginning of the semester on merely seeing the class timetable.

She cries before every test, not knowing if she would do her best.
She cries after every test, not knowing if she has done her best.


Lisa
is often the last to check the score board and needs the support of a friend or two, to do that.

Credit: Quickmeme.com
She cries if she fails the test, she always knew she would.
She cries if she passes the test, she thinks it’s a narrow escape.

This kind of student needs lots of reassurance from time to time.
It’s not unusual to find her malingering and having to reschedule her tests/exams a few times.

Sometimes, Lisa needs more than a box of Kleenex and a shoulder to cry upon. If she has other psychological issues, she might benefit from seeing a therapist.

5. The Indifferent/Absentee Student

We’ll call him Fred.

Fred hardly shows up in class. And when he does, he is late and never stays until the end.

In fact half of the time Fred is in class, he is on his mobile phone texting or playing a game. And weird enough, the lecturers don’t seem to mind.

As a rule, he is the last to get to the exam hall and always the first to leave.

He never stays around long enough to strike a conversation with anybody and isn’t known to hang out with any friends outside school.

He is such a recluse that nobody really knows where he lives and whether he is a real student or a “phony student” sent in by the CIA.

To add to the mystery, Fred stops coming to school after 1 or 2 semesters.

Maybe Fred was never a student after all! 

6. The Know-It-All/Competitive Student

Meet Maria.
Maria is a smart but bossy student who likes to intimidate others with her smartness.

She claims to know everything there is to know about everything there is to know.

In every class, the Pathology lecturer tells her to wait until the next class before he answers her question- which just happens to be the next topic!

Maria chairs the table in every Anatomy lab session and believes that her dissecting skills are second only to that of the Anatomy Professor.

She dominates every group work and outshines others in every seminar presentation.

To her credit, Maria knows how to go the extra, extra mile in getting whatever task she’s given. No wonder, she’s every teacher’s favorite student.

Credit: 123RF


Maria strives to know the test scores of all the students in class and gives a cold shoulder to anyone who performs slightly better than her.

***

What type of medical student would you say you are (were)?

I would say I was almost nerdish (“almost” because sometimes I’m in class supposedly paying rapt attention, but my mind is 10000 miles away 🙈🙈).

***

:::requine:::
❤️❤️❤️

50 Practical Ways To Stay Motivated In Medical School (A Recap):

Here’s a recap of the 50 Practical Ways you can motivate yourself through medical school. Feel free to check the links at the end. 


1. Discover yourself
2. Learn new skills
3. Take online courses
4. Avoid negative self-talk
5. Volunteer
6. Listen to good music
7. Watch Medical Shows
8. Start your own business
9. Keep a journal


10. Keep the end in mind
11. Find a mentor
12. Medical school is just a phase. It won’t last forever.
13. Quitting is not an option.
14. Cultivate healthy friendships


15. Find what works for you and make it work
16. Remember why you started
17. Expectations from Friends and Family
18. Eat healthy
19. Focus on becoming competent vs just getting good grades
20. Listen to podcasts
21. Don’t lose your Passion
22. Set Priorities And Rewards
23. Don’t sweat the small stuff


24. Faith in God
25. Set simple goals and achieve them
26. Be your greatest cheerleader
27. Learn to unwind
28. Volunteer to teach others
29. Seek help when you need it


30. You are not alone
30. Play Stimulating Games
31. Stay Focused
33. Ask Questions
34. Aim For Excellent Grades
35. Enjoy the learning process
36. Think Medicine, Think Prestige
37. Believe you can make a difference
38. Financial Sacrifices And Future Remunerations


39. Don’t Quit
40. Take it one step at a time
41. Start a Countdown
42. Share Your Story
43. Have a bucket list
44. Contribute on Social Media
45. Sleep well
46. Work It Out
47. Meditate
48. Cheer as others win


49. Reflect
50. Live, Learn, Love. Repeat.

***

50 Practical Ways To Stay In Medical School (Part 1)

50 Practical Ways To Stay In Medical School (Part 2)

– 50 Practical Ways To Stay Motivated In Medical School (Part 3)

50 Practical Ways To Stay In Medical School (Part 4)

50 Practical Ways To Stay In Medical School (Part 5)



Cheers,

:::requ1ne:::

❤️❤️❤️

5 Tips To Having Better Grades in Medical School

The greatest fear of medical students in any part of the globe is to fail out of medical school. With the overwhelming workload, many students simply strive to stay above average rather than set unrealistic expectations.

While making good grades is not all there is to becoming a successful doctor, it definitely helps to get you started on the journey.

||My Story||

I remember the first set of exams I wrote in my second semester of medical school. Out of four courses, I FAILED two.

Physiology and Neuroanatomy!

And every medical student knows how important both courses are.
I was really devastated because my marks were not even close to the cutoff.
The day the results were released, one of my professors called me into his office and gave me a stern talking to.

What’s wrong with you? You’re better than this!”

It was with teary eyes and a puffy face that I left his office that day, and I couldn’t get over the encounter for the rest of the week.
Thankfully, I got another chance to make up before my finals and that was the beginning of a turnaround in my medical school journey; as far as my grades were concerned.
These are some of the tips that worked for me:

Tip 1 ||START WITH A PLAN||

A common adage says, “To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail.”

This is the first step in achieving any major goal in life and it holds true for getting good grades in medical school as well.
Success is not a function of chance but a combination of:
* Diligence,
* Discipline, and
* Determination.
Having a plan helps to build a framework for these vital ingredients.

Here are practical ways to help you prepare for a new semester:

> Get old notes, recommended textbooks and other relevant study resources. 

> Get your class timetable and make your own study timetable.

> Know the number of credits for each subject and how to calculate your CGPA.

> Write down your academic goals for the semester.

Image credit: WEB
Recommended: Picmonic

Tip 2 ||DEFINE SUCCESS AND WORK TOWARDS IT||

What does success in medical school mean to you? Is it getting pass grades in all your subjects, having a number of distinctions or making it to the Dean’s list?

Your success is your RESPONSIBILITY. The earlier you acknowledge that, the easier it’ll be to work towards it. And it all begins in your mind.

That semester I failed two subjects ended up being one of my best ever, not only did I get distinctions in 3 out of 4 subjects, I also made the Dean’s list.

I got to know later that some students in my class also failed the same subjects I did at the start of the semester, but not all of them aimed to get distinctions in the final exams.
My point is, if your desire is to get an A, then go for it. Ditto a B or C.



Caption this: Success is a marathon and not a sprint!

Tip 3 ||GO THE EXTRA-MILE||

Now that you have a plan and the desired goal(s), put in the required efforts. Make the necessary sacrifices. Burn the midnight oil if you have to.

For me that meant staying back in school late to study, attending extra classes on Saturdays, and so on.
The truth is, you can’t win the prize without paying a price.

To earn good grades, you don’t just need to work HARDER, you need to work SMARTER.

Studying in Medical school sometimes requires a level of creativity.

I remember watching lots of animated videos to really grasp some concepts in Genetics after several failed attempts to comprehend the lecture notes.
There are as many methods to study as there are resources out there to choose from.

Also Read: 7 Strategies For Studying In Medical School

Tip 4 ||QUIT WORRYING AND KEEP STUDYING||

So what if you are putting in the required efforts, and it appears you’re still not getting the desired results?
Pray.
And confess the scriptures.
As a Christian, I know that asking people to “stop worrying and just pray,” sounds cliché.

But PRAYER works.

Fear is a tool by the enemy to demoralize you and no matter how much you try to work hard, worrying will always stop you short from reaching your desired goal(s).
In prayer, you can also ask God for wisdom and he’s ever ready to show you what to do.

“But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all.”
James 1:5 GNB

Maybe you need to study earlier in the day rather than later, or you need to study with a friend rather than alone, maybe you even need to take audio notes instead of writing in class.
I have learnt that worrying about poor grades won’t make you perform any better. So why worry, when you can pray?
And after praying get right back to STUDYING.

Tip 5 ||DON’T GO SOLO||

I can’t overemphasize this.
Be accountable. It is true that your success is your responsibility, but there are people who are willing to show you the ropes if you ask them.
Learn to ask questions not only from your colleagues but also from students who are in classes ahead of you. If you have some particular difficulties, see your course adviser or school counselor.
Also, many students resent failure so much that they fail to find out why they failed the first time and how to go about it.

I have learnt that failure is an opportunity to learn and do better, so I need to make conscious effort not just to GO THROUGH the experience but to GROW through it.

I hope these tips are of help.

To Your Success!
:::requine:::
❤️❤️❤️

50 Practical Ways To Stay Motivated In Medical School (Part 5)

You can read the previous part here

41. Start a Countdown:

Like in any major event of life, finishing medical school is a big deal. Going through it can be as exciting too. One way is to have countdowns for each stage of medical school like the White Coat Ceremony, Starting/Completing Clinical Postings and of course Finals! Looking forward to the BIG DAYS was another major way I stayed motivated throughout medical school. So start the countdown now! 

42. Share Your Story:

Sharing one’s story has such a powerful effect not only on the audience but also on the individual. There’s a uniqueness to your journey that only you can talk about: your fears, victories, and everything in between have contributed to who you are at the moment. So why not take the time to share your story and inspire several upcoming medical students out there. 

No matter how many medical school blogs or YouTube channels are out there, yours can still stand out to a specific audience.

And if you’re concerned about your privacy or security, you have the option of sharing your story anonymously. 

Recommended: How to start a YouTube Channel

Recommended: How to start a blog (WordPress)

43. Have a bucket list: 


Why do I need a bucket list?” you may be wondering. Well, being in medical school is a great opportunity for you to take on new dreams and go on adventures- because whether you like it or not, you still have the time. You don’t have to wait until you’re 40 before you start living the real life.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to swim or go on a fancy boat cruise or get a massage session in a spa. Well, who says you can’t?

Just start with what is within your financial means and soon you’ll be surprised at how many things you’ve achieved before you complete medical school.

44. Contribute on Social Media:

As a medical student, you are a stakeholder in the health concerns of the communities you belong to, whether physically or virtually. Several people are on the lookout for the right information regarding their health.

So creating a Health Awareness page on Facebook or sharing health tips on Twitter, can help to promote a healthy culture among the people in your sphere of influence. Remember you don’t need to have all the answers and where you’re not sure, just ask them to see a doctor.

45. Sleep well: 

Some days, all you really need is a good night’s sleep. Make it a habit to sleep well everyday. An average medical student runs on less than 5 hours of sleep everyday, which is way below the daily requirement of 8 hours of sleep. 

Read: 11 Surprising Health Benefits of Sleep

If you have problems tracking the number of hours you sleep each night, you can try using a sleep app.

Recommended:
8 top-rated apps that can help you get a better night’s sleep

46. Work it out: 

It’s amazing how pushing oneself to the physical limit often stretches one’s mental capacity as well. A simple morning jog or rope skipping if you prefer, will make a difference in your outlook for the day. Not considering the health impact it would have on your body in the long run. So make it a habit to Work Out, your body and brain need it. 

Recommended: SWORKIT APP

47. Meditate: 
Meditation is another great way to reduce the stress that comes with medical school. Take a few minutes off to unwind and practice some mindfulness techniques each day and begin to enjoy some amazing benefits.

Recommended: 5 Mindfulness Apps worthy of your attention 

48. Cheer as others win: 
Celebrating others as they complete medical school, take licensing exams and start their residency programs, is another good way to motivate you for the remaining stretch of your medical school journey. When you see those ahead of you achieving their dreams, it boosts your confidence in pursuing yours. 

49. Reflect:

To reflect means to step out of the picture and go down the “memory lane” a few times. Reflection helps you to review the decisions you’ve made in the past, your failures and successes, your strengths and weaknesses, and to take note of all the  major contribution to your past achievements.

Knowing what has motivated you in the past, gives you some perspective in staying presently motivated.

50. Live, Learn, Love and Repeat:


Above everything else, see Life as a gift. Learn to treasure every moment of it no matter how challenging it may seem sometimes. 

Be grateful for the little things and bigger things will come your way.

Remember, Medical school is a privilege and not a right. So live joyfully, learn passionately and love deliberately. 

Cheers, 

:::requ1ne:::

❤️❤️❤️

50 Practical Ways To Stay Motivated In Medical School (Part 4)

You can read the previous part here.

31. Play Stimulating Games:

It’s amazing how overcoming small challenges, even virtual ones, can motivate us to face real life situations.
In a particular semester in medical school, I became almost addicted to “Candy Crush” and jokingly told myself that if I could beat a certain level in the game, no subject was too difficult for me to handle. Amazingly, I went on to have some of my best results that semester.
Thankfully, there are a variety of medical games that not only help students to unwind, but also improve medical knowledge remarkably.

Recommended:
ClinicalSense
Prognosis

It’s also possible for you and your friends, to make up random games on the go, for instance, naming medical conditions that start with letter A or try to play Scrabble with the medical dictionary as a guide or have an Anatomy Challenge, where you only speak in anatomically terms for a whole day. I can bet it’ll be fun.

32. Stay Focused:

No matter what happens around you, don’t lose your primary focus for being in medical school- LEARNING! 

It is easy to get distracted by other things, social media for instance, but most of these distractions are avoidable.

The rule of thumb is, if something can wait, let it wait. It takes a lot of discipline to achieve that, but soon it becomes a habit.

Distractions are like leaking holes in a pipe, too many of them will jeopardize your journey in the long run; so you must be wary.

It’s important to remind yourself each day about your Priorities/Goals and a good way to achieve that is to create a personalized Vision Board.





Recommended
: Making Vision Boards Work For You  (Terri Savelle Foy)

Also Read: How to avoid distractions in College

33. Ask questions:
Nothing is more powerful as a tool of for learning, than asking questions.”- Myles Munroe.

Asking questions, especially from those who have gone ahead, provides you with more opportunities to learn even outside the classroom. The wells of experience from senior colleagues will not only equip you with the courage to face some of your worst fears but also the wisdom to avoid some costly mistakes.

 

 

There are enough answers if only you ask the right questions – REQUINE.

 

So quit trying to figure out everything on your own. Just ask away!

34. Aim for excellent grades:

While getting good grades isn’t all there is to medical school, it certainly helps to boost your morale when you find out that you got an A in the Genetics exam, or your name was on the dean’s list four semesters in a row with a scholarship to complete your studies.

Getting an AWARD for your hardwork definitely motivates you to do more! 

35. Enjoy the Learning process:

Remember how eager you were to know the alphabets and engage in other learning activities as a pre-school toddler?

Like most kids that age, learning was fun. Unfortunately, many students lose that excitement as they get older. If all you think of is how to graduate from medical school, you won’t get the best out of it.

To have a fulfilling career, you need to cultivate the habit of enjoying the learning process. Doctors are life-long learners!

Be an active learner by applying something you’re taught in your interactions/activities each day. Let your knowledge be an investment into the future, generations will thank you for it.

Also Read: 7 Strategies For Studying In Medical School

36. Think Medicine, Think Prestige: 

We all know that Medicine as a career, is both prestigious and lucrative. Here’s what one medical doctor says, “The associated prestige from non-medics was pretty cool that I didn’t wanna lose that.”

Perhaps among your childhood friends/immediate family, you’re the first to get into med school. Think of all those looking upto you and how much value you will add to the society.

37. Believe you can make a difference:

Have you ever asked yourself if you can make any real difference in the field of Medicine? The truth is, you can.

Think of the hundreds/thousands of patients (and their relatives) that’ll come your way in the course of your career, and if you’re more inclined to research, imagine the groundbreaking discoveries you can make in Medicine. Also think of how you can inspire the next generation positively whether in the classroom or on the ward.

38. Financial Sacrifices And Future Remuneration: 

Think of medical school as an investment. Most people put in lots of money whether through student loans, scholarships, personal savings or family support into financing their medical education. In most countries, medical education is more expensive than the average college degree, so you don’t want all the money spent to be a waste. The good thing though is that you are likely going to be overcompensated for every penny you put in.

39. Don’t Quit:

Dropping out of medical school, means you’re going to start all over, whatever else you choose to do.” says one Doctor.  While quitting isn’t always a negative thing to do, the thought of losing all the time/energy you put into medical school can be really frustrating. So why not take the bull by the horns and keep at it?

40. Take it one step at a time:
One of my top secrets of passing through medical school with minimal emotional breakdown was learning to take each moment/challenge one step after the other. Before I knew it I was counting the Months/Weeks/Days to my finals. There were lots of giants to slay along the way, tests, exams and more, but knowing that one step in the right direction will take me closer to my goal, I was motivated me to keep moving. In the end, the journey was so worth it!

More tips to stay motivated through med school? Please share.

Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::

50 Practical Ways To Stay Motivated In Medical School (Part 3)

You can read the previous parts here and here.

21. Don’t lose your Passion: Passion is more than a feeling, it is a series of decisions that drive you towards your goal. When you’re passionate about something, you just don’t do it because you have to, you do it because you WANT to.


Not everyone has the bravery or opportunity to embrace their passion; in order to survive, most people prefer to be practical rather than passionate. (Singyin Lee). The difference however is always clear between a passionate doctor and an ordinary one.

Read more on10 Things You Should Know About Passion (And How To Find Yours)

22. Set Priorities and Rewards: 
“This is a very practical one for me, I set priorities for school work during the semester, and plan ahead for the holidays. I try to focus and do well during school and tell myself I’ve got the whole vacation as a reward for my hard work.” says Tinu, a medical student.

23. Don’t sweat the small stuff:

Most medical students will tell you that medical school is tough, which is relatively true. However, you’ll be doing yourself a great injustice if you see everything as overwhelmingly difficult. Rather than focus on what you don’t know for instance, do what you know and keep working on getting better with others. As long as you remain consistent with studying and observing, you will overcome the hurdles. 

It took a while for me to summon enough courage to take blood samples from patients while some of my junior colleagues were already good at it. Thankfully, I could do other things like taking patient history, physical exam, writing out discharge notes etc Eventually what seemed such an arduous task became a relatively easy skill for me. 

24. Faith in God: 

The place of faith in the medical school journey cannot be overemphasized. Like all of life’s challenges it is accompanied by risks and fears, but when you see medicine as more than a career path but a call to God’s purpose, you have the confidence that no matter what, the outcome will be victorious.

With God, ALL things (including your dream of becoming a medical doctor) are possible!*

25. Set simple goals and achieve them:
Setting goals no matter how simple they are, sets you apart as an individual. It will show in your commitment, perseverance and diligence towards a given cause. For starters, it can be as simple as- getting a better grade in the next Anatomy exam.

26. Be your greatest cheerleader: 

Everyday, get up and look into the mirror. Tell yourself where you see yourself in a few years. Encourage yourself when there’s no one else to turn to. Celebrate small victories. A pat on your shoulders, a reassuring smile and a toast after a good exam, all add up eventually.



27. Learn to unwind:

Over the years, medical students across the globe have learnt healthy ways to cope with the challenges of medical school. Sports, Entertainment and Religious activities are a few. The key is to discover the things that give you joy and do them.

Read: 5 tips to reduce stress in medical school 

28. Volunteer to teach others: 

As medical students, it’s important not just to learn but also to teach others what has been learnt. That way, you are not only helping others to know what they don’t know, you are also helping yourself to remember what you already know.

A good way to do this, is to join a tutorial group where you can offer to teach your junior colleagues (or even classmates) a subject you’re pretty good at.

29. Seek help when you need it:

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed at some point despite your best efforts at staying motivated. Times like that require that you seek help, whether from your academic adviser, professional counselor or a spiritual mentor, depending on your need(s). There are also countless self-help materials out there that you may find useful.

30. You’re not alone:

Think of all your senior colleagues and even lecturers who have been up that road and how they scaled through. The truth is, most of them probably had times of self doubts and frustrating grades too. So let their success stories inspire you.

Cheers,

:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️

*Matthew 19:26 (Paraphrased)

50 Practical Ways To Stay Motivated In Medical School (Part 2)

You can read the first part here.

11. Find a mentor.

“Mentorship is about getting to know someone and learning how he or she finds passion in his or her medical career.” writes Marissa Camilon, MD. “As young learners, we are drawn intrinsically to passionate people; whether their energy is shown through lectures, clinical work or even in simple conversations.”

Not only do mentors give advice, provide encouragement, offer insight, and connect you to a wider network; they can actually provide you with the perspective needed to figure out some solutions on your own.

Read more on: The importance of having mentors in medicine.

12. Medical school is just a phase. It won’t last forever. 

Just think of all the hurdles you’ve crossed to get to this stage, the endless tests and exams you had to take before you ever qualified to become a medical student. So is the journey through medical school, it is but a fraction of what lies ahead in your medical career. Stay optimistic!

13. Quitting is not an option. 

“I’m fully aware of how rigorous medical school is, that prepares me to face any challenge during the course of study.” says Adarju, a medical student, who is also a spoken word artiste and a public speaker. Like the famous expression, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

14. Cultivate healthy friendships.

Keeping the right company in medical school not only improves your emotional wellbeing, it also strengthens your focus. Seek like-minded friends who have a similar passion for the journey. They will not only ask to hang out with you for pizza, they will also suggest sleepovers where you can study together for your next Pathology test.

15. Find what works for you and make it work.

“I studied myself, I’m a lecture kind-of-person, I learn more in class than when studying by myself. So I attended more lectures and studied minimally.” says Dr. Popoola.

16. Remember why you started.

For some it was the admiration for the likes of famous Neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson, while for others it was simply a deep-seated desire to make a significant difference in their community. Whatever your motive was for applying to medical school, don’t allow the pressure from the workload to kill your dream.


Read Ben Carson’s story here.

17. Expectations from Friends and Family.

When you have a great relationship with those who believe in your dreams and want you to excel, not only does their flow of support (whether through uplifting words, cash or gifts) boost your morale; you also do not want to let them down, which motivates you to even go the extra mile. Your support network can be your greatest cheerleaders while in medical school, and also for a lifetime. “There’s no one in this world who believed in me like my mum did, even when I didn’t believe in myself or my performance in tests or exams. She was just exceptional.” says Dr. Tamie.

18. Eat healthy. 

It’s no news that a lot of medical students barely have enough time to grab a cup of coffee, before they hit the ground running; And because of their fast-paced schedule, they mostly survive on fast food and energy drinks. The truth however, is that it takes a healthy medical student to become a healthy medical doctor, and a balanced diet not only increases your physical stamina, it also enhances your mental capacity.

You can read: 6 TIPS FOR EATING HEALTHY ON A MED STUDENT BUDGET

19. Focus on becoming competent rather than just getting good grades. 

While good grades are important for you to graduate from medical school, you need more than good grades to become a competent doctor. So don’t be depressed because your grades are not so impressive, just keep working hard to become the doctor of your dreams.


20. Listen to podcasts.

Whether you’re interested in purely medical podcasts like EM Basic or you prefer a wider variety of topics such as TEDTalks, listening to podcasts is a good way to keep your motivation coming.

I hope these tips are helpful.

Cheers,

:::requ1ne:::

❤️❤️❤️

50 Practical Ways To Stay Motivated In Medical School (Part 1)

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.

5. Volunteer.

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.

Cake by ADESUWA (A 3rd year medical student)

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.

Cheers,

:::requ1ne:::

❤️❤️❤️

PS– If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:

– 7 Strategies for studying in medical school

– 5 Tips to reduce stress in medical school

– 7 Lessons from medical school

5 Tips to reduce stress in medical school

It’s no news that scaling through medical school is challenging. Learning how to manage the stress that comes with it, is therefore a necessity.

Like I shared in an older post, a minimal level of stress, called EUSTRESS, is required for proper functioning in everyday life. When it becomes overwhelming however, it is known as DISTRESS which is counterproductive.

In this post, I have shared some tips that worked for me in managing stress as a medical student. I hope you find them helpful. 

1. Start each day with a plan
As a medical student, I usually planned my day using both a to-do-list and a schedule.

 A schedule is like a customized calendar that highlights specific activities for each day, especially those that demand a big chunk of your time (Eg Mondays for shopping, Tuesdays for taking out trash, Wednesdays for laundry, Thursdays for cooking, Fridays for blogging and so on)

A schedule helps you to manage your tasks, so that you can have sufficient time to get each one done, without neglecting others.
A to-do-list helps you to manage your time, so you get to maximize your day and account for every important activity. 

A To-do-list on the other hand, is like a reminder, that lists out everything you want to get done before the day ends. It’s important that you do not overload your To-do-list. As a rule I don’t put more than 10 goals to accomplish on my To-do-list everyday. 
Both are important to monitor your daily productivity, stay balanced and avoid crashing. To maximize them however, you need to apply the priority scale principle. 

(PS: Check this blogpost for what a priority scale is and how to use it).

2. Practice healthy habits

It is true that you become whatever you’re becoming. Work at becoming a healthy doctor. Don’t just preach it, practice it!

You know the rules.

Sleep well. Eat healthy. Exercise. Avoid alcohol. Drink enough water. Shun illicit drugs. Don’t indulge in unsafe sex.

They are quite simple really. But you’d be surprised at how many medical students break most or all of them.

The work is demanding enough, so you can’t afford to break down, not if you can help it.

Learn to take care of your body, so that your body can take care of you.

One simple advice, have your breakfast everyday!!! It’s a great way to avoid energy drain especially during ward rounds.

3. Make time for me-time



In other words, learn to unwind, relax and rejuvenate so that you don’t burn-out.

And if possible, have a “No-Studying Policy” for at least one day in a week. Sundays are perfect! Just take time off to take care of you.

You might like to stay indoors and get refreshed. For instance, I found out that taking a couple of hours at the beginning of the month to have a retreat was spiritually uplifting.
Or maybe you prefer the company of friends, think indoor games, movie nights, beach outings or even a boat cruise! 


And if you’re several miles away from home (like I was), hanging out with your homeys on phone or skype, will go a long way to relieve any tension you might have accumulated over some days. Having your support network (friends and family) around and allowing them to pamper you for a while, when you’re having a bad day is always a blessing. 

4. Attitude is everything

In this path you have chosen, there will be some tough times but you must learn to hang in there.

Learn the 3As of keeping a great attitude: Accept. Adjust. Adapt.

Accept the things you can’t change, adjust the way you respond to challenges and adapt by doing the best you can.

Your motivation is your responsibility. Find out what works for you and use it to your advantage.

As a medical student, I started a blog, practiced meditation and yoga, subscribed to podcasts/blogs, improved on my culinary skills, and read a lot of novels and other non-medical books. There’s an endless list of what you can do too.

5. Take one day at a time.
I can’t over emphasize this part. It’s understandable to think about what’s next after medical school, licensing exams, areas of specialization, and what not. If taken to the extreme however, it does more harm than good. Whenever you find yourself getting overwhelmed, try to declutter your mind and focus on what is right ahead of you – the next class, the next test, the next semester or the next clinical rotation.

Thank you for reading,

If you’ve enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy these:

7 Strategies for studying in medical school

7 Lessons from medical school

 Best wishes,
:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️