Need a little encouragement

I haven’t posted in a year, since starting med school last August. I’ve done well so far but I’m beginning to feel the strain. I’m a mom (two kids - age 2 and 8) and I never have enough time - either to be the kind of mom I want to be - or to study material properly. I’m always surviving just barely. This year though its beginning to catch up with me. I just can’t do as much as my younger, single classmates. Feeling a little discouraged today. I’d love to hear a word of encouragement from someone who has been through this (second year, medschool, parenting - take your pick).

Hi Mouse,

I can’t relate to the med school part (not yet, anyway), but as a father of two, I truly believe that your love for your children will shine through to your children. It already is in your message. My physician colleagues who went through med school with kids have deeply counseled me that sometimes you will have to sacrifice family time for studies. Other times, sacrifice studies for family time. Don’t always strive for that “A” if getting a “B” will allow you to be there for your kids special moment. Balance out the sacrifices (don’t always sacrifice family time, or study time), and you’ll do fine as a med student and a parent. Through all this, don’t doubt yourself as a parent or a student. You can do it!

I felt the same way those first two years, mostly because at my age I didn’t “learn” like my younger colleagues (i.e. rote memorization). The pendulum swings your way next year when you start clinical rotations – it’s the application of knowledge to patient care and on-the-fly problem solving that will count, not the ability to memorize/regurgitate facts. The time factor is always going to be there, through med school, residency, and even into practice. There are never enough hours in the day. I can definitely say that I learned to not sweat the small stuff during med school and residency. Bottom line…if you are happy and fulfilled with your vocation, it will reflect on your family and they’ll be happier too. Focus on your goals and getting the most out of every day. You’ll be there before you know it.

I’m a first year and getting a bit discouraged due to the time constraints on studying. Just thought I’d share a suggestion I got from our learning specialist yesterday that I think will help a little with grasping the material more quickly. She suggested apending the last 30 minutes before bed briefly skimming the powerpoints for the next days lectures. That gives you a first pass thru the material (look at the illustrations, read the major headings)and your subconcious works on it while you sleep so the lecture the next day is essentially your second pass thru the material. That increases the retention from the material as it is lectured. Then mark on your schedule a check if you understood the lecture as it was going, a plus if you understood it and you’ve already got it (not many of those) and a question mark if you didn’t get it while it was going by. That identifies where to concentrate on in reviewing.

I think this will help my triaging of my study time, so thought I’d pass it on.