How I Stay Motivated To Study 10 Hours A Day

Authored by: Mandy R.

I know a large majority of medical students are driven by the fear of failure but I think that’s a shitty way to think/live and as someone who has had problems with depression in the past but is now super happy and in a great place in my life, it’s not a mindset I’m willing to have.

Instead, I stay focused on the bigger picture, not just the next test. For example, I study boards stuff wayyy more heavily than I do the school stuff. The school stuff is so pointless to me. It’s just rote memorization based competition to see who can regurgitate the most. that’s not fullfilling to me by any means. Not to mention, most people forget everything/brain dump within a couple of hours after the test. That’s bullshit. That’s not learning. So, I learn for the long-term and I am SO much happier for it. Not only that, I recall things MUCH better than my classmates. Just this past week we were getting ‘pimped’ by an attending for a small group class and I knew the answer to every question, whereas the others in my group (2 of who are easily in the top 5-10% of our class) were just looking at me like i was cheating somehow. My point is, consider not ‘playing the game’. I’m happier and always motivated. Regardless, this is just one example of keeping things in perspective.

Another thing I do is to always try to be passionate about SOMETHING in my life. It’s so easy to be single-track minded in medical school, and to some extent I feel medical school selects for those personalities. but, if you look around you, the world is FULL of people our age (and older/younger) who wake up every day working on or toward something they’re passionate about. A passionate life, to me, is a life worth living. I don’t care for money or cars or things–I care about doing what I’m truly passionate about, be it in or out of medicine.

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