Top 8 tips to keep up your motivation during Medical school

UKMLAforums would like to present the second part of this special issue on Confidence and Motivation at medical school. Thank you Georgia Elizabeth! 

How to keep your motivation

Medicine is hard, but the hardest part is probably trying to keep your sanity whilst studying the anatomy of that one organ you particularly hate or whilst trying to memorise the names of endless lists of drugs.

So here’s some things to keep in mind when you’d really rather be binging on Netflix.

The big picture

  1. Take a step back and remember why you’re here. Re-read the personal statement you wrote. Wear your stethoscope around the house. Watch re-reruns of House. Whatever it takes to remind yourself of that feeling you had when you opened UCAS and realised that you were going to medical school.


  1. Study like someone’s life depends on it, because one day it inevitably will.


  1. Change your pattern of thinking from: “UGHH I have to study again today” to “Okay, I need to study again today in order to get to where I want to be .” You have an opportunity which most people will never have: one day you will be able to make a real positive difference in someone’s life.


Work-life balance

  1. Don’t let it take over your life. Learn to take breaks and factor in time to do things which you enjoy. Accept the fact that not every day is going to be productive and that’s okay.


  1. Try not to study just to pass your exams. Instead study the bits which you find interesting or which you think are most relevant. This will make it much easier for you to keep coming back to your studies time after time. And even the best doctors don’t necessarily know everything in the textbooks but rather follow their interests to become the best in their chosen speciality.

Manage stress

  1. Use stress to your advantage. Stop allowing it get the better of you and eat into your studying time. Instead, take a deep breath and Let stress become your best friend and your biggest motivator.


  1. Write a to-do list every morning and keep it on your desk where you can see it whilst you’re studying away. Make sure each item is a small, manageable task. And then once you complete it revel in how incredible it feels to cross that job off your list. That feeling in itself will become addictive.


  1. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Don’t listen to the person who boasts about having read Grays Anatomy from cover to cover or the person who claims to have written 400 flashcards last night. Learn to tune them out because it only matters what you are doing.


So as the saying goes: “Medical school is like a marathon. Not a sprint.” And just like in a marathon there will be days when you hit the dreaded “wall” but all you can do is grit your teeth and keep on running.


About the Author

My name is Georgia and I am currently a third year medical student. I am passionate about all things mental health related. I have an Instagram page @girlwithastethoscope which follows my journey through medical school.

What to know more about the UKMLA?

Check out our post on frequently asked questions on the  UKMLA exam, or our informative posts on the the AKT and CPSAs which will both be a part of the UKMLA exam. 

Need some more goal setting tips? Click here to read our guide on setting direct and indirect goals and how to make sure you reach your goals.

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The life so short, the craft so long to learn – Hippocrates



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