What It Takes To Be Successful In Medical School

Written By Alla Levin
September 27, 2022

What It Takes To Be Successful In Medical School

Many students dream of starting medical school. Despite this, medical school is not an easy ride. As a medical student, you can feel more confident and prepared when you have well-established study techniques. Here are some tips to help you study for medical school efficiently or if you think your current study methods could use a refresh.  

Manage Your Time Outside of Class

The best way to study at medical school is to manage time effectively. You must do so daily and establish a routine to ensure your academic success, regardless of how many hours there are in a day. You can become a more confident and effective medical student when you prioritize tasks, plan, and take breaks.

Preparing for medical school, starts with proactive pre-class preparation. Reviewing lecture materials in advance allows for a deeper understanding of key concepts, making in-class learning more efficient.

Engaging early with these subjects, possibly through study groups and additional ABSITE-focused resources, enhances both class participation and exam readiness, leading to a more effective and time-efficient study process.

Prioritize Your NotesBe Successful In Medical School

It is common knowledge that you should take notes during lectures, but are you also taking notes when reading? One challenge of medical school is that you receive a lot of information.

As you absorb the news, it’s important to note the most important points as you go. As you record the information, you will learn it, and the notes will also serve as a study guide for future reference.

You can also improve your understanding of complex material by taking notes. Furthermore, you can get other study materials like this counseling session notes to enhance your knowledge. When you explain a subject or idea to yourself in your own words, you may find that it helps you understand it better. 

Drill Until You Succeed

You might have succeeded by cramming for your undergraduate studies. But it will not help you in medical school. The curriculums require too much memorization and too much content to learn. It is crucial to make learning continuous, to test yourself regularly, and revisit the material continuously. If you don’t study, you may forget critical information weeks later when it comes time for the test.

Take note of “clinical pearls” — critical, short, and easy-to-remember items and information. Doctors use them for continuing education. In medical school, establishing daily learning habits lays the foundation for your future career as a doctor.

Test YourselfIdentify Your Study Sweet Spot

Testing yourself can help you identify areas where you are shaky, even if you think you understand the material well. Build flash cards using review questions from any study material.

It is affordable, convenient, and practical to use flashcards as memory aids. Every student will benefit from an effective memory tool with so much to learn and remember.

In addition to flashcards, you could also explore practice test questions online to put your flashcard revision to the ultimate test. From the ABSITE Exam, to USMLE, there are online sites full of questions ready for you to take and get used to how the real exam might look when you come to take it.

Identify Your Study Sweet Spot

With learning, we all have different strengths. Others learn better by reading, while others prefer lectures. Most likely, you know what your fortes are by now. Use them by adopting study methods that suit them. 

Consider recording lectures for later review on headphones if you learn best by listening. Consider sketching opportunities, such as organ diagrams, if you study visually. Even drawing and labeling a graph can be a great memory aid. Medical school students should learn in a way that suits them best. 

Team UpWhat It Takes To Be Successful In Medical School

You can make lifelong friends in medical school. Only those who have been through medical school can genuinely appreciate how intense it can be. You can receive camaraderie, insight, and moral support from your fellow students.

Together, you are stronger than apart from the right crew. It is beneficial to meet up with classmates to discuss course material. Additionally, teaching others is a proven method for medical students to enhance their understanding.

For example, you and three other medical students can form a study group that meets weekly for five semesters. You can help and teach each other; in turn, you will be able to understand and remember more. Group study sessions will be fun since you can enjoy your scheduled study time. Group study sessions will change your mindset from ‘I have to study to ‘I want to study.’


You should feel more confident about staying on course now that you understand how to study in med school. Consider how you will prepare for classes based on the medical sciences curriculum. You can start your journey to becoming a medic when ready!

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