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 Renumeration: 

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.

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:::
❤️❤️❤️