This is the official blog for Medical Student Association (MESTA) of University Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Pre-Clinical Thoughts & Reflections 1 – Study Groups? (Pt.1)

Assalamualaikum readers. Hi :D This is my first blog entry here at MESTA’s Blog. Guess I’d like to start by saying thank you, as always, for your curiosity and time to read this entry. We’re not geniuses of course, full of wisdom or anything. But I’m sure each one of us has some story to tell, and if we listen carefully, insyaAllah there’s something there for us.

 Study groups have been something strange for me ever since primary school. People (teachers mostly) were always promoting it, “The best way to study”, “Each successful student has one”, “You’ll benefit a lot”, and many other countless taglines. I never thought of it to be such a great study method. You go to class, listen to the teacher, take down notes and finish your assignments at home. DONE!! Grades were fairly good. Why would you need more?

 Well things became different in university, time wasn’t as much as it used to be (although it’s still 24 hours), subjects became more that a +/- 80 page textbook. There so much to learn. And not to mention all the weekend activities. Haihhh~  A change of environment requires a change in methods.

And I got involved in study groups....

 Here’s a few thoughts from my 2 years study-grouping, just my own personal view. Hope it helps and more than that, I hope you take into consideration other views as well. Then, shape your own decision ;)

 1. What did I get from study groups??

To begin with, I think it’s absolutely true that study groups are not for everyone. We all have our own study styles and we can’t really say which one is better. Study is an individualistic thing. But when it comes to study groups, I’m sure I can assure that....

•    More Topics Can Be Covered – I guess you would agree that studying here means a lot of revision, revision and revision. That’s what SGSs, DSLs and PRCs are for right? But doing it all alone can be tiring. Actually, it IS tiring. With study groups, I would say that the load is lessen or divided. Yes, maybe the same amount of time is needed to cover all the topics. BUT you’ll have more energy to do it. Members share the same topics, when someone is revising it in the group sessions, you are doing the same.

One module +/- 20 topics > for One person > higher risk of stress and burnout
One module +/-  20 topics > 5 topics per person (4 person in a group) > less stress

•    Different Ideas & Opinions – Absolutely true. In discussions, we can get new insights on the same idea. Better understanding. Medicine involves a lot of memorising, I know. But its UNDERSTANDING that makes memorizing easier. Trust me, discussions are always beneficial in understanding something. Not to mention all the tips, mnemonics and *spot questions* you’ll get.

  • Learn & Teach – They say the best way to learn, is to learn as if you will be teaching someone. That’s just how study groups are. Learn something in class, try your best to understand, and then discuss (teach) with others. What you just learned in class will stay much longer inside this way.


•    Organized Study – Study groups are, in a way, an organization. (Or a family, depends on your preference). You will have different experts in different fields. Some are good at PHPM or Microbe or Pharmaco, and you’ll get the benefit of it. You will have goals, shared goals, and a clear plan on how to study. What topics to cover for PT? How should we prepare for PRO? Yes, you can do this on your own, but it’s much fun doing it with friends. There’s an invisible “push” to do it. Plus if you’re good at organizing, shouldn’t you share it with others?
There’s always someone to help you, and there’s always someone to help. That’s how an organization/ a family is like.

I guess there’s more, but these are the ones I can think of right now.

Just another small point to add, study groups are great for those who are busy with non-med school stuff. Student bodies? Clubs and Association? Sports? Well you can always argue that these stuff are not important. But sometimes you’re just dragged in right? I know I was...

These are conditions where you will have an increase in work, and a decrease in energy and time... so study groups help a lot

And if you’re not involved, you can help others that are involved. Helping people is noble and great. Sometimes unrewarding in life, but absolutely rewarding in the afterlife.

And last but not least...... Study group members are FAMILY, you’ll grow close to each other. Develop trust. Learn about people. Learn about yourself even more. I guess its ala2 USRAH (but I’m not an expert on that, don’t ask me anything about it) :P

Hmmm.. I guess this is a bit too long for one entry. Hope to see you guys next time, InsyaAllah.. I’ll be sharing something on “Finding The Right People” and “Planning Tips”...

Till then.. Assalamualaikum and TQVM :D

Written by : hazelkyu



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