Most of us who are trying to pursue medicine fall into a specific type of student who likes to always be on top of his/her work and be in control of whatever situation we are put into. So for us, it is very difficult when we know that we cannot control something because we are usually always in control. Unfortunately, medicine is a long road of situations that we cannot control and part of that journey teaches us how to deal with things we cannot control. This is a very important skill to learn because we will always run into problems that we cannot change.

Rule #1: Distract Yourself With Something Else

If you have been distracted before you know that it is a pretty easy task to get distracted when you do not want to do something. For example, I seem to go on Facebook more often when I am studying for an exam rather than when I am having a fun weekend after an exam. So if you are studying for the MCAT and are having trouble concentrating because you keep getting distracted by anxious thoughts about how well you are going to do on the MCAT, distract yourself further with something else. I know that there are certain topics I actually enjoy studying about when I am getting ready for an exam. If I am getting easily distracted I will “treat” myself by learning about these enjoyable topics which will be a “healthy” yet very “effective” distraction.

Rule #2: Take a Break

I remember after I took the MCAT I had to wait about a month before the test scores were released. I felt so anxious for my exam results and wasted a bunch of time initially thinking about what my score would look like and what that would mean for my future. Instead of wasting time stressing, I could have spent that time working on applications and my personal statement. The best thing for me at that point would have been to take a break after my test and not even think about the test. A break would have distracted me from thinking about the MCAT and would have been a better way to spend my time.

Rule #3: Accept That You Cannot Change Some Things

Acceptance is one of the most important steps to the process because if you do not fully accept the fact that you cannot change something, then nothing else will matter. You will continue to get distracted and waste time.