Episode 23: Doctor Dan gives away secrets about his preparation for medical school, integration of speed reading techniques, and his major tenant of goal setting for EACH reading session. These show notes also reveal key insights into discovering your own, innate learning style.

Listen to this 33 minute podcast here…

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Where did you get your tricks, Doctor Dan?

How does a guy go from dropping out of high school and not getting into medical school to creating the most robust, customized study course for medical student on the planet?

As Malcom Gladwell would say in his book Outliers, opportunity, 10,000 hours of practice, and cultural legacy.

We all know that medical school is not easy. Clearly a certain, minimum of intellegence is required to be a competent physician. By merely reading a lot of books,  some medical students appear from the outside to have mastered the study skills necessary to beat the numbers game.

But, is that enough for you?

Here are a couple of free resources I’ve put together to sample the How To Study Medicine Course:

MEDICAL SPEED READING 101

&

INNATE LEARNING STYLES 201

Read along in the 201 Innate Learning Styles 201 lecture using these handout notes:

HOW TO STUDY MEDICINE – STEP 1:

Learning style theory will help you make a beginning to studying your own best methods for retention.

Students have different ways to take in and process information. It can be through audio, visual, reading, analyzing, and interacting. First and foremost you have to indentify first what kind of learner you are.

Different learning styles:

  • Reading

–        This is required, obviously. I don’t teach short cuts or gimicks that would mislead you into thinking you don’t have to ready your medical school syllabus 2-3 times and the text books. Just do it.

Instead, the lecture on Study Techniques teaches 14 categories of different techniques to finally let you get the most out of reading, including interactive processes to keep you engaged in what you are reading.

  • Listening

–         Increasingly, our society is getting away from reading and moving towards audio/visual learning. It’s a lazy man’s way, at least it used to be. Reading is still a powerful skill and can help you stand out among your competition, particularly in undergrad, but if you have the opportunity to access recordings or make your own this can help tremendously.

I put together a specific slide show presentation on Using MP3 Files To Study In Medical School that you will greatly benefit from.

  • Watching

–                   This type of learners prefers pictures and images. Video is increasingly popular too and many medical schools post their lectures online. I know mine did and I used them instead of live lectures every chance I could.

On disk #1 of the CD of the Month Club, I discuss how you can speed up boring professors and shave hours off your lecture time every week.

  • Kinesthetic (“Doing”)

–                  There are dozens of ways to interact with the material you’re studying, but I’ve condensed them into 14 Categories Of Study Techniques. Few people use this learning style primarily, but if you never tested yourself to see if you were among this 15%, you’d be missing out on a huge opportunity to make learning more exciting and enjoy tons more free time.

  • Discussing

–                   Study groups can help, but make sure you’re not surrounding yourself with anyone that stresses you out. Stress minimizes long-term memory during studying, however research shows that stress after a study session can be beneficial. So go for a run after a study group, then be relaxed and centered again for the exam itself!

  • Teaching

–                   I encourage you, if you have the time, to type up your own chapter summaries and share them with your friends. If you’re competitive, you can do this with people in other classes. The idea is that you try to explain the material to someone else – this fosters long-term meaning like few techniques can!

My medical school had students take turn teaching a topic to a small group. The interesting thing was that we would still remember all of the important points a year later, while the fellow students would not. People only remembered the topics they were responsible for teaching!

These learning styles don’t do you any good unless you incorporate them into an overall study plan and strategy that you know will work.

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