Medicine & Surgery
3 Principles That Saved Me 300 Hours of Revision
“Understand. Don't memorise. Learn principles, not formulas.” – Prof. Richard Feynman
When I was working as a junior doctor on renal medicine, one of the porters was incredibly sound. I saw him every day, he’d say ‘Hey Jack…’ and I could never remember his name.
He told it to me when we first met, but I forgot. He knew I didn’t know it, but I’d seen him too many times to ask.
To stop myself from doing this again, I now have a couple of secrets. Firstly, I’ll make up a weird way of remembering their name, if it’s Michael, I’ll imagine Michael Jordan dunking a basketball, then when I see them again I remember the dunk and therefore their name. I’ll then repeat it to myself multiple times. Finally, later that day, I’ll ask myself ‘what was his name again?’
Hence, the recipe to remember: Understand, Recall, Repeat.
The Forgetting Curve
We’re medics. We like science and aesthetic graphs. Your long-term retention increases as you re-review topics. The best way to review topics is through active recall.
Understand, Recall, Repeat
The key to learning more is forgetting less. The key to forgetting less is systematic review. The best way to review is through active recall.
If you deeply understand something, you don’t need to find a needle in a haystack in the exam because you’ve got a path back to finding it. By classifying and simplifying the specialities, you can reach the point where there’s no guessing in the dark. Instead, you can direct the spotlight at the information you need.
Challenge your mind to retrieve a piece of information rather than passively reviewing or re-reading it. Recall not passive review.
EPO is produced in the interstitial fibroblasts of the kidney.
- Interstitial fibroblasts of the kidney
Space out of reviews of previously learned material.
Each time you successfully recall something, your memory of that thing is strengthened, so the intervals between successive reviews can become longer and longer.
At DF*F, we build blueprints to deeply understand topics, because that means don't need to be reminded of them as often.