We know it can be difficult to study for medical exams while working a demanding clinical job. Add on top of this balancing family life and it may seem overwhelming. This article hopes to show you that you can ace your exams without jeopardising your current job and can stay happy and healthy whilst you do so!
We have spoken to Doctors across many specialities to compile a list of top tips to help you successfully study whilst working:
The thought of studying while working may seem daunting but know that you can do it and get started! It will take longer to cover the content if you study while working. A 4–6 month lead time is a decent estimate of how much time you'll need to prepare. This is usually a few days before you apply for the sitting you want.
It is essential that you plan out your studies as much as you can. Cover the curriculum in roughly the proportion that each part is allocated in the exam. Identify your weaknesses and ensure you schedule enough time to focus on those areas.
Most examinations do not endorse specific courses, books or question banks. Thus, the advice given to us by doctors is to ask others who have sat the exam for the best resources. Get talking to Doctors in our Facebook IMG advisor page. Your immediate seniors will have the best idea of what worked for them. Be careful of resources you find online, always check their credibility.
Avoid cramming in lots of revision in one day and then not studying at all for a few days. On days when you have free time, spend around an hour a day reviewing. If you travel to work, you can read or listen to podcasts during this time to ensure you are doing at least something each day.
Ensure that those around you know of your situation, this includes colleagues and family. It is important that the people in your life can be understanding of your situation, having a sound support system can really help you balance working and studying. You may even have friends that are sitting the same exams, teaching each other informally is a very good way of remembering key topics.
Be aware of your study budget. Policies on study leave differ per deanery and hospital. In general, study leave should be allowed for tests, private study, and attendance at appropriate courses. Check to see if your study budget can be used to pay for test costs or study materials.
If you are an international Doctor who would like to relocate to the UK, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your relocation journey to the UK.
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