It doesn’t take long for the first year medical student to come to grips with the time consuming nature of medicine. Just when you think you’ve finally gotten it all under control another something happens to send you into a frenzy (are we all control freaks?). I guess if anything med school is a great place to practice your time management skills (mostly out of a life or death necessity). Believe me, I was and still am no guru; but that distinct feeling of a lead anchor plummeting into the depths of my stomach every time something doesn’t go as planned is no longer an everyday occurrence.

Just take a look at my situation right now. I’m 2 weeks away from either taking my step 2 ck exam or postponing it into june during a really hectic Maternal Fetal Medicine rotation and I just remembered I promised to attend a wedding with my parents tomorrow. In the midst of a 1 1/2 month nose to the grindstone study marathon that’s quite the jarring change up; especially with my test so near.

A couple years ago I would have been in meltdown mode, watching my chances of doing well on this exam fly out the window. Not so anymore. Time management is easy when you remember a few key things

  1. Always plan for the un-plannable. You’ll never be able to predict all the crazy things that life seems to cook up. Make your schedule so that you have a couple days to spare and always try and stay ahead.
  2. Focus 110% every time you work. This one is easy. Get the most out of what you’re doing when you’re doing it. Those study sessions add up, and before you know it you’ll be reciting the electrolyte imbalances of DKA like the back of your hand.
  3. If you do have to spend time with friends or family, use it to energize you. Being around people is invigorating and refreshing, use that to your advantage. Work is necessary, but play inspires creativity and being able to use that to piece together concepts is the mark of a great learner (something I’m working on myself everyday).

So those were my 3 quick tips. Have a good night, and I’ll be up bright and early to get through some more neurology (so excited).

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