Study Habits and Tips for the Premed Student

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Session 90

Study Tips for the Premed Student

In today’s episode, Ryan talks with Lea, a premed student at Pitzer College in California. Today she shares with us tips for developing study habits, preparing for the MCAT, the 7-year BA/DO program that she’s currently attending, the tools and resources she used along the journey, and just a little bit of everything.

When Lea knew she wanted to be a doctor:

  • Promised herself to do healthcare delivery
  • Wanting to be a neonatologist
  • Rather be “no doctor” than a mediocre doctor
  • The importance of being informed especially about changes in health care

Finding a mentor as a premed:

Lea found her mentor and developed a natural relationship that had great impact on her journey to becoming a doctor. She also found three other mentors through social media.

  • Take initiative.
  • Reach out to them.
  • Ask and be denied, rather than not ask at all and not know what could have been.
Lea found her mentor and developed a natural relationship that had great impact on her journey to becoming a doctor.Click To Tweet

Narrowing down her majors:

At her school, they get to choose their majors by the time they finish freshman year.

Her current medical program:

  • 7 years BA and DO linkage program
  • 3 years of undergrad, 4 years medical school
  • Applying for the medical program prior to undergrad application
  • Narrowing down applicants from around 200 to 20
  • Going through an undergrad interview and a medical school interview (4 hours in total) at 17 years old

There are other medical school programs like this where you apply early, and some don’t even require you to take the MCAT.

On developing study habits transitioning from high school to college:

  • Don’t give up.
  • Save the homework problems you couldn’t do by yourself, and do them in office hours.
  • Study habits are personal to everyone.
  • Find the method or environment that works best for you.

Resources that Helped Her as a New Premed

[Related episode: How Do I Remember Material I Studied Four Months Ago?]

Studying for the MCAT:

  • Lea chose Kaplan for her MCAT test prep.
  • Take a lot of practice exams.
  • Do a postmortem of the practice test to study why you missed what you missed and why you got right what you got right on each practice test.
  • Learn different tricks and strategies to boost your score.

[Related episode: Four Tips for Memorizing Science for the MCAT]

Do a postmortem of each MCAT practice test you take. Find out why you missed what you missed, and why you got right what you got right.Click To Tweet

Study tips for premed students who are struggling every day:

  • Collect yourself and talk to your advisor, mentors, or upperclassmen to see what you can change.
  • Understand the importance of knowing what kind of study habit works for you.
  • Download a browser extension that blocks Twitter, Facebook, and all other sites that would distract you from studying.
  • Turn off your phone while studying.
  • Keep informed and understand what’s happening right now with health care
  • Listen to The Premed Years.
Premed tip: Turn off your phone while studying.Click To Tweet

Links and Other Resources