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Time management advice

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ajh1995, Sep 21, 2014.

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  1. ajh1995

    ajh1995 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 26, 2014
    Since starting classes I have realized that my time management skills are not as good as they should be. What are some of the things that you have learned as far as balancing study, research, work, etc? Or something with time management that you would re-do if given the chance? Anything helps.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Strudel19

    Strudel19 5+ Year Member

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    I started putting everything into a calendar and it has helped me tremendously. If you put your class time, meetings, clubs, EC's, volunteering in it and also block out some study time and providing you stick to the schedule, you can visibly see how much time you have to play around with and it helps a lot.

    If you have an iPhone, the calendar application works wonders. I'm sure Android has something similar.
     
  4. soccerusa

    soccerusa 5+ Year Member

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    In terms of academics, the biggest thing that has helped me is studying every subject every day no matter what. Even if I am just spending 15 min to review my notes from that day, it has made an indescribable difference in my grades.

    Also just have set hours when you know you will be working. So just commit to studying to 10 or 11 each night and then goof off until you go to bed.
     
  5. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist 5+ Year Member

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    Like what @soccerusa said, I find doing a little bit each day on everything to be much more manageable than cramming the week of the exam. Pre-read on the lecture material, pay close attention during lecture while taking good notes, wait a couple hours, then review your notes that you took in lecture again. Do relevant practice problems as they are assigned.

    Even if you don't have that class that day, still go over your notes for 20-30 minutes. This strategy promotes long term retention and makes it miles easier to prepare for upcoming exams, as you will have a basic mastery over the material already. I find myself having to study significantly less than my peers in the same class. (Ex. Organic Chemistry required 2-4 hours of studying a week, Biochemistry required 2-3 hours of studying a week, etc.)
     
  6. Strudel19

    Strudel19 5+ Year Member

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    Totally agree with this
     
  7. 640936

    640936 Internally driven

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    I'm in the same boat with time management. I also have two jobs and one likes to over work me a bit as to where I don't have a lot of study time. I know I should lower my hours, but I need the money. Suggestions?
     
  8. Strudel19

    Strudel19 5+ Year Member

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    I don't know if you have workstudy or not, but if you don't and you qualify, try to find a workstudy job on campus. They should work with your class schedule more and find something that works for you. If you really need the money and you can't negotiate anything with your employer, you'll just have to shower faster, eat faster, drive faster, sleep an hour less or try to get more studying done in less time.
     
  9. 640936

    640936 Internally driven

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    Sadly I do not quality for work study and I already have one job on campus (doing medical research!). This doesn't pay for much of my necessities (bills) at the moment due to needing another grant.
    My other job is flexible with hours yet is not. Should I see if anything is on campus still even though I lack work-study?
     
  10. Strudel19

    Strudel19 5+ Year Member

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    That's what I would do. On-campus positions are typically more understanding of schedules.
     
  11. Planes2Doc

    Planes2Doc 2+ Year Member

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    Your primary concern as a pre-med are getting the highest GPA and MCAT possible. I would use the study tactics that others have mentioned above to help improve your academic performance.

    Another big part is ECs. Depending on what you want to get out of it, you can tailor them to be very efficient time-wise, yet still look good. Unless you are in desperate need for money, I would skip paid employment. It's dime a dozen, and won't set you apart. Worst of all, it requires a significant time commitment. This can bite into study time, and leave a nasty impact on your grades and MCAT. This will sink your application.

    The absolute best bang for your buck time-wise is clinical volunteering. It sucks to not get paid, but you're paying for the convenience. Checking the boxes for volunteering and clinical experience all while doing it for a few hours once per week simply can't be beat. If you find yourself spending a majority of your shift sitting around doing nothing, then take advantage of it and spend that time studying for classes. Boom! There's some extra study time right there! A lot of people meet physicians during their shifts, and end up shadowing doctors during their volunteer shifts. You can double count those hours. Boom! There's even more efficiency. ;)

    As for non-clinical volunteering, the recent changes to AMCAS no longer ask you to put in hours per week. Therefore, you can "binge volunteer" sporadically at these volunteer sites, and rack up hours when it's most convenient for you. Since you don't have to put in hours per week, you can simply do a lot of hours all at the same time, and with longevity, it will be a very fine looking activity on your application. If you're not in summer school, summers are a great time to rack up those non-clinical hours.

    I'm probably not the best person to ask about research. I only did research for one summer, and since I wasn't in summer school at the time, I didn't have to worry about studying. I'm guessing that with research, you may have some down time to do your schoolwork. And remember, unlike volunteering and clinical experience, research isn't necessarily a requirement for medical school. Unless you're applying to research institutions, you might consider skipping it in favor of better grades and MCAT, which would ultimately have a greater impact on your application.

    Good luck! :luck:
     
    mgjones527 likes this.
  12. zzxxzz

    zzxxzz 5+ Year Member

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    Don't do the things you want to do until you've done the things you have to do. Simple as that.
     
    lumpyduster and Planes2Doc like this.
  13. 640936

    640936 Internally driven

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    I am more than definitely concerned when it comes to my MCAT and my GPA. Those are my top priorities and thus studying is quite an important factor; I have at least 4 tabs up on my safari window that are over the MCAT. I'm dedicated to my studies and getting into medical school.

    Paid employment is probably going to be the death of me at the moment. I am currently weighing my options as to whether I need so many hours or not anymore. I do need the money to pay the bills but I have two jobs (one on campus doing medical research which I can get studying done during those hours (I have to wait for solution to filter through and sometimes the time frame is wide open!) which is beneficial, plus my boss is always there to coach me in the right direction whether it be for my classes or the MCAT). The other job I may drop; that's what I'm currently weighing my options on.

    Where can I sign up for clinical volunteering?! Most volunteering I've encountered is not clinical. I applied to a few hospitals and I may undergo the volunteering because I am sure that I will meet a few physicians in the process and hopefully have the chance to shadow under them for a bit.
     

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