Health Professional School Survival Guide

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So, I’ve made it to third year. Amen. Two years to go before I finally get to walk across the stage in a oh-so-stylish doctoral cap. Now that I officially have over 2 years of optometry school under my belt, I’d like to share a little bit of my wisdom. Here are my top 5 musts to help you succeed in optometry school (or any other health care professional schools.)

1. Video Speed Controller 

Most professional schools have their lectures recorded so that you can re-watch them later. That in itself is great, especially when you’re like me and have trouble paying attention in class. Something a classmate recently shared with me is the Google Chrome Video Speed Controller. This magical app allows you to speed up any videos you are watching as quickly as you’d like. Saves so much time! Especially when cramming for that next exam.

2. SketchyMedical (or other related study cites) 

Let me preface this by saying, a lot of these you do have to pay for. However, I have found that some are worth it for me. Something that has saved me in classes like pharmacology and microbiology has been a video learning system called SketchyMedical. This company has created a way to really enhance your ability to remember the large amounts of material you receive in these classes. They use funny narration, interesting illustrations and recurrent symbols to do the trick. It’s a game changer!

3. Class Google Drive 

I highly recommend creating a Google Drive for your class if it doesn’t already have one. This is a great way for students to help each other succeed by sharing study guides and information about practices. I’ve even used study guides from students that have already graduated years ago, which are still very helpful.

4.Getting to Know Upperclassmen 

One of the most helpful things I’ve done is get to know upperclassmen. The upperclassmen I know have really been instrumental in my success in school thus far. They are full of advice because they have recently gone through whatever you are going through. They help me learn about professors, ways to study, and ways to succeed on practicals. Additionally, I can always ask them for advice about things such as internships, which I will be starting next year.

5. Optometrystudents.com (or other forums related to your profession)

A great way to learn more about your profession while you are still in school is becoming a part of student organizations or using student forums. Optometrystudents.com is part of the American Optometric Association. It is a forum run by students, for students to help us learn more about our future profession. Students write articles and post videos about a wide range of topics that benefit their fellow, future colleagues.

 

Everyone finds things that work best for them. These are just a few of the tools that I use while in graduate school to help me succeed in a very demanding program. I hope they will help you too, regardless of the degree you are pursuing!

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