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How to Focus during 2nd Year and for Studying

by Mohammad Hajighasemi-Ossareh, MD, MBA
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    00:00 Welcome back to the 2nd Year of Medical School lecture series. In this video, we're going to discuss how you need to make sure you stay focused on your studies and your USMLE studies during your 2nd year of medical school and how you need to learn how to ignore students who are going to negatively impact your mood and mental state. We are also going to discuss how to develop a study schedule or a transition study schedule prior to you starting your dedicated Step 1 study time. We're actually then going to show you how to create this transition study schedule to your dedicated Step 1 time. Something very important that you need to learn in medical school and you also need to learn this for the rest of your career is how to balance the signal to noise ratio.

    00:53 Going through a med school you're going to hear students talking about how they're studying for USMLE during their 2nd year of medical school or early in the year or how they studied between the 1st year and 2nd year during the summer. You're even going to hear students who are going to say "You know what I have read First Aid for USMLE multiple times already. I've done the UWorld question bank already a few times. You're going to hear a bunch of this. How much of it is true, who knows, and how much of it is actually false could be a bit. The point here though is that you need to learn how to tell the difference between useful signal and worthless background noise. This concept is signal to noise placed in the concept of radio signals. You need to learn how to tune in the good music and tune out the static and the static here is those students that are going to negatively affect your mood and mental state. Unfortunately, it's very common for students to vocalize during times of stress their achievements to others. So when students come to you and they're just talking about this and that achievement they may not be malicious but that just maybe how they're dealing with their stress. Some students may just be what we call in the medical school community gunners and this is how they are a baseline, everything they do they just have to tell you, they just shoot their guns all day. Each way, malicious or not, negative people are not good for you. They're not good for your mental state. What you need to do is make an aggressive effort to stay away from these people. The last thing you want to do is be caught in the cross fires of a gunner. Even if it's awkward to ignore them or to get away from them, just do it. These people are of no benefit to you. Your mental state is almost as important, believe it or not, as the actual knowledge base you have and test taking strategy. If you're anxious, if you feel behind, if you are not in the right state of mind you are not going to study effectively. Now imagine going into test day in the wrong state of mind, you're obviously not going to perform well. One way to cope with this stress is to continue talking with your friends in school who are not negative. Keep in contact with family and friends outside of med school.

    03:06 Keep exercising. You have to surround yourself with positive and build yourself. Also, stick to a study schedule that you designed prior to your dedicated USMLE study time and stay dedicated to it. Whenever you hear someone saying how they have made all these progress or they make you feel anxious, they make you feel behind on your studies, just look at your study schedule, know that you've already well in advance designed and set the pace for this and you have a set up for success. Everyone has their own schedule, you stick to yours and you will be fine.

    03:41 Don't let anyone rock your mental state, always live by your study schedule and no one can shake you. Developing a transition study schedule is very important. You will likely have a study schedule in system that you follow day to day in medical school; however, you're going to have to make a special study schedule as you transition from the end of your 2nd year of medical school to a full dedicated USMLE study time. In the previous lecture, we discussed how to set up a dedicated USMLE study schedule. That was based on Qbank and how many days you had available.

    04:17 Now we're going to talk about how to set up that transition schedule and recall again the transition schedules from the 2nd year to the fully dedicated step time. So during your 2nd year of medical school, you will be playing with various resources that you like and then you believe are high- yield material. Alright, so you're kind of going through 2nd year playing with high-yield material, picking the ones you like, throwing away the ones you don't, and you're going to be re-reading these materials as you study for the USMLE exam. The point here is that you make sure you explore various resources that we talked about in the previous lecture and also get recommendations from upper classman at your school. The time during your 2nd year is the best time to experiment with various resources so that when you come down to your finalized dedicated Step 1 study time you already narrowed the list of what resources you like and once you know the resources you can just plug them right into your schedule. We talked about this in last video. So as a 2nd year of medical school comes to an end, you will have what are called shelf or final exams for your 2nd year courses. Now, for your 2nd year this will, at core, include pharmacology, pathology, micro, and you can have others as well. Now feel good though. As you're studying for your final exams in these courses, it's in your best interest to review high-yield board-relevant material simultaneously while studying for these final exam courses. This means you can read the relevant section of First Aid for USMLE Step 1, watch or re-watch Lecturio videos on that topic or read any other high-yield book you have while you're simultaneously studying for your final or shelf exams during the 2nd year. The point here is to start the transition, from medical school focus to USMLE focus. So, you start to then dive in to more of a high-yield topic focus, going from strict med school before you go pure USMLE. The second part of this transition schedule is to familiarize yourself again with your high-yield resources before you go into dedicated Step 1 studying time. This way, you don't waste your time dedicating studying time becoming familiar with materials. During this transition time, you're going to be going through all your high-yield materials again, the ones you've been playing with during the beginning of the 2nd year, you can make sure you've finalized them and use them during your final Step 1 study time. So let's summarize what we’ve talked about. First thing you need to do is learn how to ignore the noise and listen to the signal during your 2nd year of medical school. Stick to your study schedule and remind yourself you already had pre-planned a design schedule that has set you up for success, don't let other people's negativity or annoying comments change your rock your boat. Finalize your high-yield resources during your 2nd year of medical school and that you will reference these, read them or re-read them during your dedicated Step 1 time. Create and stick with your transition study schedule. As you transition from the 2nd year of medical school to dedicated Step 1 time is the best time to transition away from medical school focus into the high-yield world and then to go on to USMLE. Thank you.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture How to Focus during 2nd Year and for Studying by Mohammad Hajighasemi-Ossareh, MD, MBA is from the course Med School Year 2. It contains the following chapters:

    • How to Focus during 2nd Year and for Studying
    • Balancing the Signal-to-Noise Ratio
    • Developing a Transition Study Schedule
    • Lecture Summary

    Author of lecture How to Focus during 2nd Year and for Studying

     Mohammad Hajighasemi-Ossareh, MD, MBA

    Mohammad Hajighasemi-Ossareh, MD, MBA


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    Complete guidance!
    By Shivangi S. on 24. June 2018 for How to Focus during 2nd Year and for Studying

    You'll get complete guidance from introduction to planning a schedule and preparation. It's very helpful. Worth your time.