How to Study During Residency

Medical Residency training is an intensive, time-consuming job that leaves you little time to study. To help you effectively use the little time you have available to study during your Residency, try using some of these study tips:

Get a Group Together

Try getting a group of likeminded fellow residents together and hammer out some study sessions. You are all in the same boat and understand what is required, so split the work and take advantage of the different study techniques people bring to the session.

Review a Practice Board Exam

Reviewing a practice exam gives you a great idea of board exam content, the depth of knowledge explored and the question style you should study for. Reviewing practice board exams can provide you with a sense of familiarity which will make the actual exams less daunting.

Use Apps

When you have a few minutes of downtime, pull out your phone and quiz yourself or cover some ground by reading. Most major medical books have mobile versions. There are also lots of medical specialty and exam preparation apps on the market you can try.

Make it Your Lifestyle

You are more likely to regularly do something if it is integrated into your daily activities. Due to the ever-shifting schedule of a medical resident, it is a good idea to align your study time with activities that you complete daily which are not dependent upon your work schedule.

  • Try reading while doing cardio in the morning i.e. stationary biking, treadmill, elliptical
  • Listen to audio quizzes in the car on the way into the clinic
  • Multitask lunch breaks into reading sessions
    • Leave post-it "facts" around the house i.e. bathroom mirror while brushing teeth

Revise Your Study Techniques

Remember how fun school used to be when you were in elementary school? Some of that had to do with the fact that learning was presented in a fun, easy to understand way. Try making facts and exercises into interesting mnemonics, create songs, or visual imagery. This will help you effectively study for your medical board exams and also increase your enjoyment of the process itself.

Schedule Out Your Time and Establish Goals

Odds are there really won't be an optimal time to study so you will have to schedule time to make it happen. Put the schedule on paper along with your overall study goals (i.e. Week 1- Harrison's chapters 3-5 and 25 practice board exam questions, etc.)

Enlist an Accountability Partner

Try getting a steadfast friend, colleague or someone you see frequently at the hospital and task them with being your accountability partner. Ask them to check in on you regularly to get status reports about your study progress and provide tough love if you start to fall behind the curve.

Preparing For Medical Board Exams

As a medical resident preparing to enter the workforce as a full-time physician, successful boards are critical. Implementing residency study strategies can increase your chances of completing your exams successfully and seeking gainful employment after your training.

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