Tips for making hybrid or online Med School classes work for you might determine whether you pass or fail your first year in med school. Med school is tough enough without making it any harder than necessary.
Only the brightest and most determined applicants are accepted into American medical schools each year. Nevertheless, students often doubt their abilities to succeed and make poor decisions about their study habits.
Medical students come from many backgrounds. Although they have usually proven themselves to be among the brightest in their graduating classes, they will now be competing with a tougher group of students. This has been compared to being a large frog in a small pond to becoming a small frog in a large pond.
One of the keys to remaining successful in this new academic adventure is to keep what has worked for you in the past while ditching what did not. You must know which study techniques and habits will continue to serve you well. Be prepared to replace those that do not.
Tips For Making Hybrid, Online Med School Classes Work For You
The first year of medical school is academically challenging under the best of circumstances. However, with the additional challenges caused by the pandemic forced remote learning, it is even more difficult.
Some medical schools have chosen to offer a hybrid first year, with some classes being taught in person and some online. Other medical schools have opted for distance learning classes only for the first year.
Many of the incoming first-year medical students will have had at least a few online college classes. There will be some who may have taken some time off after graduating from college before attending med school. Those students without any experience in online learning may find it challenging to adapt.
Tip # 1 For Making Hybrid, Online Med School Classes Work For You
Reach out and connect with Professors, med students, and med school support services. Knowing what to expect is critical to your success. If you know where the pitfalls lie, it is easier to avoid them. The students in the class right ahead of you are among the best resources possible.
- Making The Classmate Connections That Count
While making lasting friendships with med students in the same class has many benefits both current and long-term, the relationship you develop with upper-level students has its own values as well.
Not only can they advise you as to which professor may give the best lectures and/or references, but they may also have books to loan or sell. They may even have typed notes from last year’s lectures to pass on. Reading those notes before the lecture can be really helpful and free you up to listen more effectively.
Members Of The Same Class
No one other than another med student will be able to truly understand the sacrifices you will make over the next four years of training. (and beyond). You will need the academic, emotional, and social support that only solid relationships with your med school classmates can offer.
Medical school has always been challenging. While online learning can offer many benefits to med school education, it can make it more difficult to establish the classmate connections that are so valuable. You may have to make more of an effort to develop the relationships you desire.
It will be worth the effort to connect early on so make the initiative needed to engage early on. Zoom and other similar platforms are useful for organizing study sessions. Take advantage of social activities with other students when offered online, even if only related to extra-curricular interests.
Even is all you do is to share cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses with your classmates, it is worth the effort. Students who reach out with questions about a lecture adjust to the rigors of med school with less difficulty than those who are isolated.
Many practicing physicians still laugh and tell stories of how another med student helped them get through the “four roughest and yet best, years” of their lives. They have a connection similar to that of war veterans. You cannot fully understand unless you shared the same experiences.
Connect With The Professors
Introduce yourself in person, if possible. If not, then do so online. It is important for them to know you as an individual to some degree. This will make it more comfortable for you to reach out to them with questions or concerns if any arise in the future.
Check to see if your professors have office hours offered online. Sometimes, additional information is highlighted during sessions offered there will cue you in to the most vital skills and content you should master. Tests may include more questions on those topics than others.
Do not hesitate to schedule an online meeting to discuss any area you are finding difficult to understand or skill to master. The sooner it is addressed, the better. Many things in medicine build upon your mastering one step before you can the next. You do not want to get behind.
More Ways Than One To Ask For Help
Asking questions during class intimidates some students. If you have a question, it is almost certain that others want to know the answer as well. This gives the Professor a chance to help many more students with the least amount of time and effort.
However, if this is outside your comfort zone, do not hesitate to contact your professor outside of class. You can either email your question or set up a remote letting between the two of you. Either way is acceptable.
If you know of another student or two also struggling with the same issue, include them as well. Being able to discuss it with other students can help solidify your understanding. Sometimes, these student discussions help you see where the underlying issues occurred.
You might get the right answer for the wrong reasons. This makes you more likely to get the next question on the topic wrong. Your understanding needs to go deeper than rote memorization if you want to be able to build upon what you learn and to apply it for years to come.
Access Learning Support Services.
Imagine trying to take a drink of water from a wide-open fire hydrant. While a sip of water is life-saving. Trying to drink water from a fire hydrant could drown a person. Even without the additional challenges caused by enforced online classes, many med students need help to make it through the first two years.
The amount of volume alone makes it difficult for many students to keep up with the material. Although the medical school prerequisites help to prepare the students to succeed, they often need more. Not every student will have had the same quality of pre-med education to build upon.
It is imperative that students do not wait until they have failed an exam to ask for help. All med students should identify the contact person for learning support during the first week or so of class. Contact them at the first hint of difficulty. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE OVERWHELMED.
If you have a known learning disability that requires accommodation, you should notify them of this even before the first week of class. There are ways they can help you but only if they are aware of your need to have them provided. Ask about tips for online learning as well, if needed.
Tip #2. For Making Hybrid, Online Med School Classes Work For You
- Connect The Dots Between Online And In-Person Learning
- A few basic ways to do this are as follows.
- Examine the value of each in-person session.
- Use in-person class time to get to know peers.
- Taking What You Learn From Remote Learning Activities to Supplement In-Person Learning
Although the use of a hybrid approach to more fully immerse the med student into the course materials can be effective, it takes effort to keep the students from considering them to be separate entities.
In reality, the two sessions are not separate courses. There needs to be a way to connect the materials learned in each session. Students can update the in-person gathered information with notations from their online sessions.
Queries should be crafted to specifically relate data learned from each session. The in-person and online classes are equally vital components of one course. Each session must be designed to complement the other.
Many medical schools are offering a hybrid model of learning for their first-year class in 2020. Small class activities are taking place in a classroom setting. Social distancing and masks are typically required. Larger group activities are conducted online.
Evaluate the Value of Each Session Held In-Person
There is a small risk of being exposed to COVID-19 whenever students are in close physical contact. The mortality risk for the typical med student is less than one percent.
However, those in charge of the med school curriculum and its implementation are not willing to take any chances with the lives of the students. They will only require students to meet in person for classes whose value outweighs the risk.
It is important for med students to critically evaluate sessions requiring them to attend in person for their inherent value. What is it about them that makes them worth any potential risk?
How is their medical education enhanced by being physically present for this class? Are the takeaways lessons worth the risk? This critical approach to each class helps the student to tease out the most valuable lessons in each session.
Take Advantage Of Each In-Person Class To Build Peer Relationships
Spending time with other med students is extremely valuable. You are better off exchanging contact info and arranging potential social outings with appropriate social distancing are better done in person than online. The few minutes spent before or at the end of class to have a brief chat is more than worth the effort.
You will benefit from developing a group of students with whom to build study groups. Further, you will eventually be on clinical rotations with these same students. These will be some of the most intense and valuable experiences in your medical training, (second only to residency and fellowship rotations)
Hopefully, these simple strategies will help prepare you to begin your online or hybrid med school classes.
If you are still taking pre-med classes, you are likely to be taking online classes already. https://onlinecollegelife.info/covid-19-and-online-college-courses/
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