A few tips from fellow D.O. students on how to relax and reorganize yourself during the summer before the school year starts up again.
From Naveetha Nandakumar, College of Medicine 2019, 2nd year student:
- Rest & relax should come first and foremost. It is important for us to re-find our humanness and recharge for the marathon of second year/board studying.
- Set a realistic goal and stay consistent. This may be reading something for 1-2 hours a day from 1st year material or previewing for next year. This may be doing 15 questions a day from a question bank. Whatever the goal is, don’t make it so demanding that you’re resistant to follow through. Start small and build on that.
- Summer time is a great time to create a schedule for board studying (whether that includes summer or not). I would suggest making a generalized map of what you want the next year to look like and little goals to accomplish throughout the year (i.e., finish reviewing year 1 material by November).
- Try different study techniques that maybe you didn’t have time for during the school year. For example, I love making big posters/flow charts for subjects, but as the school year progressed we were more pressed for time and I had to stick to the bare minimum for notetaking to ensure I would finish in time. Now is a good time to go back and display the material in the way that I learn it the best.
- Find a method of studying that you enjoy. This may be using Firecracker, doing practice questions, or watching Pathoma/YouTube videos. I personally didn’t do any of these things during the school year in the interest of time, but now I have more time to explore these outlets and see what works for me/what doesn’t.
- If you are starting to use board review books, find the style that you prefer. There are many different kinds out there and they are all written differently. Some have more diagrams, others are dense in charts. You may prefer a different style of book for a different subject (diagrams/flow charts for biochemistry and charts for microbiology). Figure this stuff out now, so when crunch time comes, you are already familiar with the style of book you want for the different subject matters.
From Helena Prieto, College of Medicine 2018, 3rd year student:
- Rest. Catch up with yourself and your loved ones. Live your life a little. Each year is harder and more intense. You need to avoid burnout. If you do nothing else, make sure you get rest.
- Preview. You may have seen some of us post about Sidman’s Neuroanatomy. It’s a workbook that introduces neuroanatomy & function, and a great preparation for the fall neuro blocks. (But don’t study too hard. Just a few pages a day or something. Just wet your lips. Gauge yourself.)
- Review. Use Truelearn to go through all the Heme/Onc, Respiratory, Cardio, and Renal questions.
- Osmosis. Our school offers this as a resource. Now is the time to look into it and try it out. It is free for you as part of your tuition and helps integrate lecture & board studying. Go flag some flashcards (they’re from First Aid) and use them to either start previewing a bit for the fall, or reviewing if there was a topic you really didn’t get before. Take advantage of this available resource. There are also a ton of practice questions to help integrate the material. It’s available on the computer and your phone, and on each flashcard and question you can click on the links to get more info about a topic. This is an excellent resource if you spend a little bit of time to learn about it. It’s cumulative, and a great way to keep up with lecture and prepare for boards. Also, if you have tried Anki, you’re already familiar with the style. Anki was designed to learn language, whereas Osmosis is more for medical school.
- Other. There are research opportunities: some of you will be doing Global Health, there are clinical opportunities, and other on-campus events to learn while having fun. If you haven’t gone to a clinic, see if you can this summer. It’s really been one of my absolute best learning opportunities to see real illness, to practice patient interaction, history taking, documentation, and treatment with OMM. And you get to walk away having helped someone. You can’t lose. Win-win!