Bart Rzepa joined Picmonic’s Ron Robertson, to discuss seven habits you can develop starting today to be successful in your second year of med school and beyond.
- The study tips and the tools he used to prepare for Step 1 (and what he is using currently for Step 2),
- His recommendations for retaining hard-to-learn topics,
- A daily schedule (including time for school, hobbies, and friends),
- Tips for maintaining the balance between academic and creative pursuits for good mental health, and
- His go-to methods for staying motivated.
HABIT 1: Start EARLY. Anki prep started for me a full year in advance.
HABIT 2: Focus your USMLE studies on what you’re presently learning in class, but go “one step deeper”.
If you’ve extra time hit review subjects (anatomy, physio, biochem).
HABIT 3: Meal prep and front load your cooking on weekends so you have enough time to study on the weekdays.
HABIT 4: Exercise regularly and get six to eight hours of sleep.
HABIT 5: Find a hobby outside of studying to keep yourself stimulated.
“Production Type” hobbies (music, art, tinkering, gardening, sowing, etc.) are better than “Consume-Type” hobbies (watching tv, movies, eating, social media, video games), although a bit of both is good.
HABIT 6: When it comes to Dedicated, treat UWorld like gold.
It’s a chance to practice taking USMLE-style tests. Always pretend like you’re in the testing facility and stay focused.
HABIT 7: Active studying is PARAMOUNT.
Just reading and re-reading has been proven to be of low efficacy. As you study, really think about the “big picture”. Tie pharma back to physio and biochem, ask yourself “why” CONSTANTLY, and always try to make multidisciplinary integrations.
Your second year of medical school is more than another year of clinical science courses. In your second year, you’ll prepare for USMLE Step 1. It’s critical to find ways to maximize your time and create school-life balance. These seven habits developed from experience and backed by research, can help you study effectively and efficiently, especially amid all your other responsibilities.