The 3-Step Way To Actively Read And Study From Any Medical Textbook

Hello there!

I haven’t posted in a very long time, and I’ve been so busy lately.

Guess what- our final exams are just around the corner!

So I’ve been studying a lot and that’s how I came across these points on how to actively read and study from a medical textbook.

Hope this helps!

how to read and study from any medical textbook medical student tips

How to read a medical textbook- tips for medical students

Initial skimming


Skim through all the heading/subheadings– this will help you gain an overall idea about what you are going to read.

Pay attention to pictures/graphs/illustraitons first.

If you are a visual learner like me, then sure as hell you will remember it more than the text itself.

Make sure to practice drawing them because these are so helpful during your exams.

Look out for the bold/italicised/highlighted texts. These are the key words of the text that you are going to read.

So if you familiarize yourself with these terms, your brain will retain more information by associating with these key words.


Set a timer

If you are short on time or if you want to stay focused. Setting timer is like giving youself a deadline to complete reading.

But don’t be unrealistic when you do this, because no one can read and study half the textbook in 2 hours.

Take breaks everytime you complete a section/topic

Or you’ll get tired and lose focus.

When you feel that your eyes are getting tired or you’ve been sitting too long, just get up, stretch, go wash your face, or do something that like.

Small breaks will save you from burning out.

Or if you feel you are already burnt out, read this post to get out of a burnout.

Annotate / write down key points/ write notes

Now this is optional .

I personally can’t study without witing any thing down, so I make a lot of notes on my tab, notebooks, paper and so on (i usually forget i made them, that’s why the long list).

You can read about some note taking tips here in this post.

how to read and study any medical textbook- tips for every student


Now that you have completed the reading part, it’s time for the studying prt.

What you did until now is simply read the text.

It will soon be erased from your memory if you don’t revisit it.

So first try recalling all the subheadings, then the diagrams, the concept (however you want to).

Draw the graphs/tables/illustrations from memory. If you didn’t get them right, go back again and paractice.

Finally go through the notes (if any) you’ve made periodically.

If you are able to space your revisions, the more better.

And you shouldn’t read them passively either; it has to be an active session.

You can try these active recall mthods to make the information stick:

  • Do some practice questions
  • Try to teach what you’ve learnt
  • Flashcards

Remember, to read a medical textbook, it requires a lot of patience and dedication. So start slow, work your way up until you are able to grasp the subjects.

Now that was something!

Make sure to apply this method the next time you study and I’m sure you’ll start seeing better results.

And don’t forget to let me know if my post helped you!

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