Section III. TECHNIQUES FOR EFFECTIVE STUDY
There is frequently a substantial period of time between the basic course and the
advanced course. During this interval, most medical specialists find little time for formal
or organized study. Those who have managed some classroom time may not need the
following section. For most others, the techniques of effective study can use some
a. Information. In this section, you will find some information and ideas that will
prove useful for students when you have platform responsibilities. Bear in mind that
some study patterns are useful for self-study while others refer to the more formal
b. Reference Books. For either type of study, there are two reference books
you will find useful. A good abridged dictionary will be a great help. If there is more
than one meaning given in the dictionary, be sure to find out which meaning is used in
the lesson. If you cannot figure this out from the lesson text or your notes, ask peers,
instructors, or writers. A comprehensive medical dictionary is also very useful for most
students. Learn to use the pronunciation guides in the dictionaries. Physicians
generally pronounce terms correctly, and you can too with a little study.
2-12. LEARNING STYLES
People differ in their learning styles as much as they differ in their appearance.
Some of us learn faster than others. Some learn faster when the material is presented
orally and some when they see a picture or a diagram. Many people prefer to know the
theory and then how the theory is used in practice. Others want to see practice
examples and then be told the theory which led to the solutions. These are some of the
reasons why each of us tends to think out problem solutions in our own special way.
a. Instructor Teaching Style/Student Learning Style. Instructors are no
different. Each instructor has his own teaching style. This teaching style is based on
the instructor's own experiences and personality. When the styles of the student and
the instructor match closely, the class seems very easy for the student. There is little or
no confusion, and generally the pace is just about right. When the styles do not match,
the class seems difficult to the student, and the student may not understand everything
the instructor is trying to teach. Even if the styles do not match, the student can adjust.
b. Adjustment of Styles. Adjustment is easier when the student can arrange to
discuss the lesson with others in the group who seem to understand better than he
does. This is a time when a peer study group is very valuable. If this is not possible,
the student can prepare a list of the points of confusion and make an appointment with
the instructor to go over these. Most instructors are quite willing to help if they are
allowed to schedule an appointment at their convenience.