Don’t study for exams…

This is my single favourite bit of advice I was every given:

“Don’t study for exams. Study for when you’re the only thing between the patient and the grave.”

There’s a real ethos at medical school of ‘what’s going to be on the exam?’ which is understandable since that’s how you’re assessed and allowed to progress through the career that you would like. However it’s easy to lose sight of why you started medicine in the first place – to help make people better (hopefully), and to learn as much as you can about the wonderful science of the human body and mind. The exams are designed to measure how good people are at being doctors, so logically if you work on being a good doctor, you’ll pass the exams. Sure, focus on the exams and honing technique in the months or weeks before the exam to get the best grade, but don’t let them dictate your education as a whole. Medicine should be an open-plan world of experiences, not a single-track obstacle course of exams. 

Think Grand theft auto, not flappy bird. Explore!

Just don’t go stealing cars and shooting people.


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