How can we promote and facilitate effective study skills in medical students?

Shaw, Sebastian Charles Keith (2017) How can we promote and facilitate effective study skills in medical students? MedEdPublish, 6 (1). ISSN 2312-7996

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In my early years of medical school I always felt that I never learnt how to learn. When studying an MSc in Medical Education, it became apparent to me that this feeling may be commonplace amongst other medical students.

Study skills can be defined as “the effective use of appropriate techniques for completing a learning task...” These are of vital importance in any educational setting – allowing learners to tackle and absorb information appropriately and efficiently. Although study skills are recognised as an essential ability, they may be overlooked by many medical curricula. This paper therefore aims to provide insight into the self-directed learning process and the development of appropriate study skills.

The self-directed learning process is discussed – using an adapted form of the Self-directed Learning Cycle of Butler and Winne. This involves: the domains of learning; identifying learning deficits; setting learning goals; identifying efficient learning strategies; monitoring progress and strategy modification; and reaching goals. I also discuss the importance of learning style recognition, maintaining the desire to learn and possible methods for the assessment of study skills in medical students.

Effective study skills are a vital tool in the medical student’s arsenal against the vast quantity of information presented to them. These allow the learner to appropriately filter and assimilate information. When both understood and mastered, an individual can adapt these to the fit needs of various knowledge requirements.

Through the understanding of memory and the core principles of learning, educators can hope to promote and facilitate the development of such study skills. In doing this, we can help our students to become self-sufficient, effective members of the medical community.

Keywords: Study Skills, Medical Students, Undergraduate, Learning to Learn

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Division of Medical Education
Subjects: L Education
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R735 Medical education
Depositing User: Dr Sebastian C K Shaw
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2018 08:53
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2018 12:52

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