Learning to teach yourself is a skill that I believe is especially valuable but perhaps overlooked by many students. My method of preparation has changed drastically from undergrad when I was confident about a subject usually a few days in advance of an exam. Now I find myself studying from exam to exam simply because of the amount of material. With my habits, my philosophy as a student has also changed; I want to learn everything, but I can’t learn it all right now.
As my study habits have also evolved or digressed (I guess that’s a matter of opinion!), I’ve learned to find resources outside vet school that help me grasp concepts. One of the best places, and totally not peer-reviewed, is Youtube. While the scientific backing may be lacking, online tutorials can be a great way to observe a lot of the concepts we are tested on. For example, I struggle with interpreting ECGs and have found some excellent tutorials online to supplement what my instructors are teaching.
Like always, there’s a take-home message I’d like to convey. Vet school can be really challenging just because there is so much to learn. At the same time, one of the most intrinsically valuable things about vet school is that it can be a forum for students to realize their weaknesses and develop a sense of, if you will, resourcefulness. Be it study groups or peer-reviewed articles, information gathering is an important part of what vets do. I may not always study in advance like I should, but I’m truly learning to prepare well. For me, I began performing best when I realized that my style was changing and became okay with it. I’ll leave you with this. Things change. Be open to it. Now gather the resources to get the job done.