Med school study time

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    I’m curious how studying with family is going. How much study time are you able to get in? Has your family adjusted well?

    I’ll go ahead and start this out:
    I’ve been studying 4-6 hours each night, but I usually take one night off. Weekend study has varied widely depending on whether there are exams coming up. I’ve been studying after the kiddo goes to bed (basically 8 pm to 2 am).

    So far my family is coping okay. My husband comments that all I do is study, but he tells me to do whatever it takes to do decently in my classes. 😀


    Hi Melissa:

    Though I didn’t have kids during my first or second years of med school, I did have a husband, a house, three dogs, and a cat to take care of. 😀 I still have all of them, and will hopefully add kids (well, kid) very soon! Anyway, it was amazingly hard to find time to study even without them. I averaged, or tried to average anyway, about 3 1/2 to 4 hours of studying per night during the week, an hour or two on Saturday, about 4-6 on Sunday, and always, always, always took Friday off unless I had something really pressing to do. In fact, I would deliberately lock my books in the car when I got home on Friday afternoons. Down time and family time are as important as study time. One of my best friends, also a med student, is a single mom to an 11 year old. She always makes time for her daughter after school; they do homework together or play around, and usually take the weekends off. She did and still does do a lot of studying after her child goes to bed at night, and is doing fantastically well. It is important to build a good foundation for yourself during the first two years, but ALWAYS keep in mind that every detail is not there to be memorized. You’re there to learn and internalize concepts that will help you on boards and such but will ultimately make you a great clinician. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you can’t make 100’s on every test and aren’t #1 in the class. I know very few people who are capable of that. Another friend of mine, a med student mom at UVA, gave me a great piece of advice before I started. Family first! With, of course, med school a very close second. 😉


    Hi Melissa! I’m jumping on your thread because the boards are so quiet lately! Looks like med school must be going well for you. I’ve been wondering how you (or any mom) gets studying done in med school with family to tend to. I’ve been trying different ways to get my homework done for Biochem and Genetics, and that’s just 2 classes or premed! (So far, evenings work best.)
    Do the 4 or so hours a day seem adequate for your classes? How many hours a day are you actually in class? Do you have study groups or pretty much work independantly?


    The 4-6 hours are sufficient, but I am having to adjust how I use them. These classes aren’t the same as undergrad and the things I did to study before aren’t all good use of my time now. I’m still figuring things out, though.

    As to my classes, here’s my basic schedule:
    Mondays: review in anatomy lab for 2 hrs in the afternoon (part of scheduled class time)
    Tuesdays: lectures 9-12, labs 1-5
    Wednesdays: lectures 9-12, lab 3-5
    Thursdays: lectures 9-12, labs 1-5
    Fridays: lectures 9-12

    On weeks when I dissect, my schedule is much longer (takes way more time to complete than they schedule!)

    I tried studying (for one night) with one group that didn’t work. I have since found a couple of people that I study well with. I find that I need to study well by myself first, though. I’ve pretty much saved group study for just a bit of time before an exam.

    I also do most of my studying at home, although there are times when it works better to be at school…or I have to be at school (ie: anatomy).

    In my class, there is a broad spectrum of study times and study habits. It’s been somewhat interesting to see what others are doing.


    Is your single mom friend with the 11 year old a member of this board? I’m a single mom and when I start med school in 2004, my daughter will be 8. It would be nice to hear more about how she manages everything.

    I’m trying to review sciences for the April MCAT while working full time (many years after taking the pre-reqs). I am trying to study after my daughter goes to bed but am usually so tired by this time I’m not sure how effective I am. And if I drink a coffee or tea to help keep me alert to study at night then of course I don’t sleep well. I am going to try switching to getting up early and getting some studying done before work. So far it’s not working too well and I’m getting a bit worried.



    I would recommend studying at the time which is best for YOU, not what’s best for everyone else. I can’t seem to study after the kids go to sleep, I’m just too tired. If I try to get up early I just end up falling asleep all over the place all day 😮 . So, I study when I am best able to absorb the material. This way, I can go to bed at a normal time, get an adequate amount of sleep (crucial to maintain health and mental status), and make the most out of my study time. Good luck everyone!


    Hi There,

    I’m just a lowly premed, but thought I’d add my two cents…I have always gotten up early to study. I just find that I am much fresher and more receptive first thing in the morning. By the time the kids are in bed I either have drooping eyelids, or am just so filled up with facts that there simply isn’t room for more! So far, as an undergrad I have been able to arrange my classes so that I don’t start until 10:00am or so, giving me a couple of extra hours in the mornings. Starting this quarter however, I will be commuting 1 1/2 hours each morning, so out of the house by 6am. YIKES! I know it’s going to wreak havoc with my usual routine, but figure it will be good practice for the med school schedule.

    Good luck to all!


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