Your memorization techniques?

As an MS-0 entering school next summer, I am interested in finding the best memorization techniques or suggestions from people who have been down this tough road.
From what I can discern, the amount of information in medical school is somewhat overwhelming. What is your best honed technique that allows retention of the maximum amount of information per time spent?
Coming from an engineering world where problem solving was king, I would like to improve my data recall to best succeed. I always struggled with history, memorizing names and dates. Last fall in Microbiology I had minor challenges memorizing viruses, bugs, symptoms, pathways, etc. although better since science is much more interesting to me than history regurgitation.
Thanks for you ideas and experiences.

I do better when it’s interactive - if I draw something (even if no one but me would ever recognize it) and then label structures, I am much more likely to remember it. I also like to quiz myself, and in pharmacology went so far as to make little matching “quizzes” on cards for each drug set, with things like mechanism of action, side effects, etc. For anatomy I covered the labels in Netter’s and tried to identify everything that had a line coming from it.
When all else fails I talk to myself. Ahem, that sounds a bit sketchy… well, it works. Just yesterday I FINALLY committed the $#@%! coagulation cascade to memory I THINK (as long as it stays in my head until July 25) by lecturing on it to myself, at my desk at home. Out loud. Over and over. Obviously this isn’t a technique you can use in the library, especially if there are any psych students nearby tongue.gif but it really is helpful.
Repetition is key, and it needs to be repetition over several days - when you think you’ve got something down, put it aside to re-visit on another day. (as soon as I’m done here I will be giving myself another lecture on the coagulation cascade.)
The other thing I’ve learned - the hard way - is to tackle the intimidating stuff first. It is sooooo tempting to stick with the stuff you’re comfortable with and leave the stuff that makes you nervous. I know I would tell myself, “I will review this stuff because it won’t take as long,” rationalizing that I should leave the hard stuff so that I wouldn’t get bogged down in it at the outset. This has NOT worked for me. If I start with the stuff I’m comfortable with, I enjoy it so much that I linger - and then have less time for the tough stuff. I still have to force myself to tackle the hard stuff first but I am learning that it really does pay off.
You will do lots of experimenting to find what works for you. Just this morning I was thinking about how much better I’d be at the first two years of medical school if I could go back and try again now… God forbid! But I’ve certainly gotten more efficient AND effective over time. Fortunately your efficiency and efficacy increase as the quantity of material increases, and the time to spend on it decreases - you will be absolutely amazed at what you can do.

Hi there,
Medical school has more understanding than rote memorization. If, as Mary so eloquently stated above, can diagram or associate your factoids, they become easier to remember.
My techniques for lectures was to 1. Preview the material in the syllabus 2. Listen to the lecture with an ear tuned to key words and factoids 3. Review my notes correcting and filling end at the end of the lecture 4. Reviewing the material later that night and associating it with something. On the weekends, I would review the whole week's lecture material. By that time, I had everything either memorized or in a place where I could recall it for testing.
Don't expect to KNOW everything but expect to know most everything. Don't beat up on yourself for missing a bit here or there. Relax, read and answer the question that is asked and put the test behind you when you turn in your answer sheet.
Good luck! They wouldn't have accepted you if you couldn't not do the work!