At my school, second year of medical school was learning about the different organ systems and their respective clinical applications. We had blocks of Cardiology, Renal, Hematology, Gastrointestinal, Reproductive, etc. This was what I had been waiting for because I was tired of just memorizing. Don’t get me wrong, I know that medicine is all about memorizing but if I could understand the clinical application of a piece of information, then it is much easier for me to memorize it. Second year of medical school was all of that, learning new information but learning it in a very clinical setting which I absolutely loved. If I could go back and do second year all over again so that I could learn even more, I would do it in a heartbeat.
Enjoy What You Learn
Something I realized as I went through my second year was that if I enjoyed what I was learning I was more likely to be able to remember it and also apply the information. I still remember learning about the five types of Hepatitis during my Hepatology block. I spent some time trying to figure out the differences and learning which types of antibodies are present and to this day when I am asked a question about Hepatitis I am very confident in answering it. Because I took an interest in the information, I was able to better retain it. This is the same for the MCAT. Try and take an interest in the information you are studying because it is a lot easier to remember information you enjoyed learning during a high stakes exam like the MCAT.
Live In The Moment
There are many times when we had to go to the clinic or round at the hospital. As a second year, it was hard not to dread these times because it took away from “studying.” At first, I wouldn’t give it 100% of my attention because I thought I did not know enough to be able to stay on track with the group. As these sessions continued, I came prepared and actively listened and asked questions to make the most of my time. This is great advice for anyone, especially those interested in medicine. If you are taking a MCAT class, make sure you are fully engaged and that you come prepared to those classes. When you are prepared you are able to take away more from the experience.