To become a successful medical student (SMS) is a dream of every medical student. However, it takes time and effort to do so. Most people will agree that being a successful medical student is a critical skill in today’s developed world. Here are some ideas to help you in becoming a successful medical student during your six struggling years. In shaa Allah, when there is a will, there is a way.

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#1 Actions are but by intentions

Why do you study? Is it because you want to pass the exams with flying colors? Or is it because you are afraid that you will fail and have to repeat the papers again? Either way, have you ever wonder that all the things you do comes from your intentions? According to a famous first hadith from Imam Nawawi R.A, it was stated that:

On the authority of Omar bin Al-Khattab, who said: I heard the messenger of Allah SAW say “Actions are but by intention and every man shall have but that which he intended. Thus he whose migration was for Allah and His messenger, his migration was for Allah and His messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that for which he migrated.” (related by Bukhari and Muslim)

From this hadith, everything you do is based on your intentions. Hence, if you study for the sake of Allah and His messenger, not only you will succeed in this world, but also in the Hereafter, In shaa Allah. So, let’s start studying for the sake of Allah!

#2 Planning and Prioritising

Planning and prioritizing is a key. A smart student knows how to plan and prioritise his or her works effectively and will not waste time on unnecessary activities such as gossiping, watching drama, or playing DOTA. To become a successful medical student, you should put studying as your first priority.

In order to do this, you shall start by planning our day ahead. For example, before going to sleep, try to organise what you want to do on the next day; when are you going to study, play, attend meetings, and so on. Don’t forget to prioritize your study, do it and avoid procrastination.

“People who make the worst use of their time are the same people who complain that there is never enough time”

#3 Trust yourself

Many of those in medical schools were top students in their school, but there are also people who were just doing fine in schools and yet, interested in medicine field. Whatever your background is, you can always start all over again. Do not live in your past glory or frustration, as medicine is entirely a new field of study to be learned.

Make your past as your inspiration to move forward. Always visualise yourself in six years to come. Remember, whatever you do today will have an impact on your life later.

“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. Therefore, I will refuse not to do the something that I can do.”- Helen Keller.

#4 Study smart study smart

It is not enough to just study hard. Studying smart is the key to success in medical schools.

Research have shown that  you remember 10% of what you read,20 % of what you hear,50% of what you hear and read, 70% of what you discuss,90% of what you do, and 100% of what you teach.

Based on the research, you need to read, hear, practice and discuss everything you learn in order to fully understand a topic. This can be done by reading lecture notes before and after the class, attending lectures and classes, and have discussions with your colleagues. You should also practice by answering MCQs, past years’ essay and others.

You can also identify which study habits suit you best. Whether you’re the types that learn better by listening, using visuals or jotting everything down, you can study better if you know your style.

“To study medicine without books is to sail an unchartered sea, while to study medicine only from the books is not to go to sea at all.”- Sir William Osler.

#5 Keep learning

The field of medicine consist of a life-long learning since you are dealing with someone’s life. You do not want to become doctors with limited knowledge in treating your patients. Therefore, you should constantly update your knowledge in this field by reading journals, attending conferences, and discussing interesting cases with your colleagues.

#6 Keep a good health.

A healthy mind comes from a healthy body. Make sure that you maintain your health by having a balanced diet, get enough sleep of at least six hours a day, and adequate exercise. Avoid skipping breakfast as it is the most important meal of the day. It replenishes your supply of energy and other essential nutrients to keep your energy level up throughout the day. In fact, it also helps people to lose weight.

Doing adequate exercise produces a lot of alpha waves that can make you study better. Having a good night’s sleep is also essential for physical and mental health. It is better to get the rest you need at night and wake up in the early morning.

#7 Have a good relationship with Allah, family and others.

This is an important component to spend time on. By enhancing your relationship with them, you seek the blessings of Allah, being the ruler of the universe will show His rewards by ensuring your life runs smoothly. So, how can this be done? It is simply just by contacting your family at least once a week, and helping others around you even if it takes some of your time. As a muslim, apart from the five prayers, ensure that you recite the Quran daily and read their translation, giving sadaqah no matter how little, make it a habit like eating and drinking and spend time with other pious people so that you can learn from them.

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Written by,

Nur Farhana Binti Zainan,
Intelectual And Language,
Unit Academic Bureau,
PERUBATAN Alexandria Chapter.

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