We met Brittan in Denver at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. We were fortunate enough to be able to spend the afternoon hearing her personal story about why she is on her med school journey.
She explained that when she was in high school, she had a sudden cardiac arrest while on the swim team. She experienced two different kinds of care while recovering; one team of doctors that left her feeling hopeless and lost, and one team of doctors that really listened to her needs and desires in order to help her recover. The latter motivated her to become a doctor herself, and one that understands the needs of her patients.
Brittan described to us what inspires her during times of extreme stress in med school, how she stays motivated, and how she uses Picmonic to remember the enormous amount of information being thrown at her every day, not to mention how she is studying for the monumental Step 1 exam coming her way.
Brittan’s Secret Weapon: Spaced Repetition
Brittan purchased Picmonic at the end of her first year, and she says she was surprised at how much picture mnemonics help in solidifying newly learned information in her memory, because when she first heard about the concept, she thought it was a little too “out there” for her. However, when Brittan began recalling the memorable Picmonic images in her head during exams, which then repeatedly pointed her towards the correct answers, she couldn’t deny that the methodology worked. Lo and behold, she was hooked. “Especially for drugs, ” she says, “if it says, ‘what’s a side effect for this drug,’ I can just picture the Picmonic, and I can literally just list them out.”
Brittan explained that there are many things that she enjoys about the Picmonic platform:
• The shortness of the videos
• The phonetics that are used for the characters so that it’s easy to remember names of medications
• Most of all, what drew her to Picmonic was the Spaced Repetition feature, especially when it comes time to studying for Step 1.
With Picmonic’s Daily Quiz with Spaced Repetition, Brittan can focus more often on facts that she struggles with until she has them down solid. “I can log on every day, and it can say ‘hey, you have to review these,’ that way if I get something right, it feels like I don’t have to see it as much, and the ones that I’m getting wrong, I see more, so it keeps everything fresh.” Gone are the days of her cramming information in and forgetting soon after, because with Picmonic’s Daily Quiz with Spaced Repetition, studying for Step is a little less stressful and a lot more efficient.
A Piece of Advice: Start Early
When asked what advice she has for oncoming med students getting ready to embark on their own journey, Brittan was eager to share her thoughts. “With Step 1 being so close, I was reflecting back on how I would’ve done it differently, and I wish I would’ve purchased Picmonic and Osmosis right off the bat and just used them while I was learning each subject during my courses,” she explained.
Because Brittan purchased the two programs towards the end of the semester in her first year, she realizes that things could’ve been even easier if she prepped herself with the right resources early on. “I think it would’ve helped me remember all those organ systems that I covered first year, that I’m now trying to cram before Step 1.”
Even with this reflection though, Brittan was sure that Picmonic will continue to be a staple in her routine further into her med school career. “Aside from obviously helping me succeed on exams in first and second year, I definitely think it has, like, more long-term utility; having success third year, during rounds and clinical years,” she explained. “I’ve talked to some people who’ve used Picmonic, and now they’re in their residency and can still picture Picmonics. I feel like pictures stay with you longer than just words.”