6 ways you are making medical training harder than it needs to be


You are wasting time doing unproductive studying.

Restrict access to your phone, social media, etc during study time. Study in blocks and take 15-minute breaks as needed to reset. When your brain is fried, recognize that and do something else! No use in staring at a paper learning nothing when you could use that time to do something else.


You think in the past and future, not the present.

You did poorly on your last quiz or you are getting anxious about the next big exam you have. This energy can be refocused into productive work right NOW. The past is the past and the future is still not certain.


You are making yourself unhappy by telling yourself medical training is “taking away your 20’s.”

You have time to build relationships, travel the world or learn Spanish if you MAKE it. There are plenty of people who do these things and more. How did they do them? Making a plan, moving forward and stopping the self-pity.


You are resistant to change.

As healthcare providers, we know one way is not the way that works for everyone. Some people respond differently to treatment X but respond well to treatment Y. And both patients get better. Apply the same thought process to your journey. If the way you are studying isn’t working, stop doing it over and over again! Try something new. If you aren’t able to fit in all the things you want in one day, try another way. Reorganize your schedule, stay flexible, find an alternate path.


 You are getting overwhelmed.

Take a breath. Break things down and make priorities. All you need to do (and can do) is put one foot in front of the other. Take the next step. When you are done with that one, figure out what comes next. You can’t do everything at one time, so how could you possibly think about everything at one time? Figure out the things that can wait and the things that can’t.


 You are sweating the small stuff.

I often find myself fretting about the dishes that need to be done, that package that I need to mail or the laundry that I forgot about. In 1 week will you remember these things? Probably not. Focus on the big picture. Focus on your goals.

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