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if im studying medicine and im not very good at biology what should\can i do

#medicine #biology #doctor #doctor

Thank you comment icon Hi Shuabiu, My suggestion is, if you truly want to pursue your goal, make learning everything you can up until you achieve it really really fun and meaningful! Everything you do builds. If you take things one day at a time, one assignment at a time, one page at a time, one test at a time, eventually you will be good at biology. If you are good at biology, there is no telling how that will affect every part of your learning and life from now on. Also, stay open to new possibilities. If some other career goal becomes more important to you than becoming a medical professional, consider it. Don't quit because you face a challenge, but also don't be stubborn or prideful if you learn that you are better suited for another profession. For now, I suggest pursuing your goal to the fullest! Enjoy! Johnathon

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Thy T.’s Answer

Hi Shuaibu,

I think the most effective way to improve your biology is to have a one-on-one session with a biology teacher / tutor. The first step must be determining where you're at right now and what knowledge you're missing.

Then you need to find out what learning style work best for you (see this link https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/education/blog/types-of-learning-styles/). It's also important to remember that you don't need to stick with one learning style. You can change styles or combine 2 styles as long as it works for you. For example, you can start by reading about mitosis. If you still don't understand the whole process of mitosis, you can watch a video on mitosis.

I was a tutor for college students for almost two years and have a bachelor in biology. One of the most important things that I realized during these years is that complex concepts can be made simpler if the students change the way they approach the concepts or if the teachers change the way they deliver them.

One last piece of advice I want to give you is to always start with the basics. Every scientific subject - biology, chemistry, physic, etc. - is built on the basics. Understanding the basics would make science a lot easier to learn. So go back and learn the basics first if you need to.

I hope this helps you improve your biology and future education. Feel free to reach out to me if you need more advice

Thy T. recommends the following next steps:

Determine where you are, find a mentor if possible.
Determine your learning style.
Start with the basics.
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Laura’s Answer

A lot of times when we're taking difficult classes, it's tempting to think that we're not good at something. However, that's usually not the case. Sometimes, the way one teacher/professor teaches a class is different than the way another teacher/professor teaches a class and the style of teaching can completely impact the way you think of that subject. Sometimes, you're on the same page with your professor immediately, while other times, it takes some work to be able to reach a place of understanding. Each person learns a subject in a different way. While some people need to be shown by someone/the professor how to do a problem, others need to feel like they're tackling the problem hands-on to feel like they've mastered the subjects. I personally am a hands-on learner, so depending on the class I'm taking, I either need to be asked questions and answer them correctly to have confidence in the subject, or solve an equation of some sort. When I'm confused on a subject, what I do is do a bit of self-learning before I approach a professor, which usually includes looking up some Youtube videos or alternative text sources about some parts of the subject that give me anxiety at the time. The biggest thing I've learned from both college and high school is the importance of communicating with your professor, so after I do a bit of self-learning to get my confidence up from studying, I ask my professor questions about what I'm confused on that I write out the night before so I remember. I've learned to not wait too long before I ask my professor questions because when you feel like you haven't mastered one thing, everything else seems confusing to you and you feel like you're bad at the subject just because you're confused over one small task. Maybe you feel that no matter how much you talk to your professor, you can't understand the class-- that's ok too. Sometimes it's really difficult to reach that place of understanding in that semester/year, but as long as you have the will to want to understand a subject, you will find that understanding eventually.

I think the most important thing is to remember that while some things may pose obstacles to you at times, you are in charge of your success and as long as you have the ambition and passion, you will do well and find a way to achieve your goals, even if you have to alter some details on the way because that's the nature of everyone's personal journey. Don't dismiss biology or think you can't do it just because you're having some difficulty right now-- you may end up liking it better in the future or have a class that helps you realize just how good you actually are. I have friends who completely swore off anything science or math-related as career paths up until they got to college, where these subjects have become their favorite and their strong suits. What usually helps me when I'm discouraged is to not focus on the difficult journey to a destination, but rather why I want to reach that destination and the strengths that I do have to contribute. As long as you have passion for a goal and willingness to learn/sacrifice some of your time to accomplish that goal, you are suited for that. When you feel hopeless and want to change your course of action, stop and reflect on why you wanted to go into medicine in the first place.

However, because of the anxieties that the journey to our goals often cause (and the application process to medical school/graduate school often poses a lot of anxiety), it's good to have a back-up plan to give yourself some peace of mind. This will help you do better in general, both emotionally and academically, because you feel like you have some certainty in your life. Talking to other students that have gotten into medical school and even other people you know who are in a graduate program can help you understand how many roads you can take to reach the same destination, or perhaps help you understand other journeys you would like to take that you haven't thought of before. I know from having a brother in medical school how many experiences he and his peers had and how unique they were from one another. He has friends that started out as engineers that are now with him in medical school, and even some English majors. I know there are endless amount of research programs people can apply to in order to add some competitive edge in the medical school application process, and that some medical schools offer masters programs that really help them get prepared for applying to the MD program or help them enter something else they enjoy even better. You should look into every program each medical school has to offer: masters, MD, PhD, and everything else, and then also think of other ways you can advance your career path in the meantime during your application process/journey to medical school.

Laura recommends the following next steps:

Have confidence in your abilities, remember why you're passionate about medicine, have resilience
Research and self-learn
Ask your professors questions on what you're confused on instantly (think before so you can gather your thoughts, but don't be shy)
Ask any mentors in medical school and outside of medical school about their journeys to their particular graduate program. Research every program from every medical school (masters, PhD, MD) as well as required MCAT scores. Find some time to study every week when you're preparing.
Have a back-up plan/think of other career paths to give yourself some peace of mind so you will do well emotionally/academically on your path to your goal
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Alfredo’s Answer

Shuaibu who is or what is telling you that you are bad at biology?

My guess is that in school you're not getting the grades you wish you got. If something like that is happening, know that the test is not a true measure of your capacity to learn, it's only an assessment of what you have learned at this point in time.

I suggest you look into improving the way that you study. Take your time understanding the concepts, verbalizing them, and memorizing as little as possible. Once you have gone through the concepts slowly, you should record yourself outloud explain these very concepts as if you were teaching them to someone else. Listen to these and look at the concepts and consider: what are you missing, is there a better way of explaining it, how does this relate to other concepts that you are taught.

If you need more help on this try looking for those Biology concepts in Khan Academy, they have a lot of very useful resources.

Hope this helps!
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Jemima A.’s Answer

Hy Shuaibu,

Biology is actually a vital requirement to earn excellent grades while studying medicine.

Speaking from experience as a Nigerian too, Medicine isn't gotten to study at a platter of gold. This is why I am happy you want to improve on your biology knowledge

In addition to Thy and Laura's suggestions, Things you could do are:
- have more study hours
- watch YouTube or online videos
- have a tutor that could explain excellently to you
- have a reading group consisting of people that are above you knowledge wise
- attend classes and be determined that you can do it.
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Rachel’s Answer

Lack of biology interest/ability will make medicine more difficult, but is not prohibitive. You should start every biology class planning to study every day. Attend your classes. Do the homework. When you find a class difficult, attend office hours early in the semester. If you continue to struggle, get a tutor.
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Kevin’s Answer

Hi, Shuaibu!

I've found it helpful for people to first identify their 'core' makeup. Strength's Finder, from Gallup, as an example, really helps people find where they naturally gravitate. Emotional Intelligence is another self-analytic tool that's very helpful. Point being, there are many areas of medicine you may find rely on your core strength or emotional competencies. You do not have to be an expert in one area to be highly effective at another. My wife is an orthopedic surgeon, yet she is the first person to recommend a sub-specialist if a patient presents a complication best suited for another's primary focus. Biology, while seemingly important, is but one small facet under the medical umbrella. The "what should I do" question is very broad. What do you want to do, and why? What would allow you to utilize what you are best at (strengths) in the medical field? The more you know about yourself, and what drives your interests, the better. If you know you are not overly suited for biology, great job identifying a limitation. The challenge is equally knowing what you excel in and pushing forward.

Kevin recommends the following next steps:

Take a self-assessment strength's finder
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Richard’s Answer

In college, you have several options:
-get a tutor
-take fewer hours so you can devote more time to biology
-audit the class once, so you can get a handle on the information then take the course for a grade

Good luck!
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Wendy’s Answer

Hello Shuaibu,

If you truly determined and passionate about medicine, do not let tough subject discourage from that career path because there is always a way to improve in those subjects. You should consider getting a tutor for the subject, talk to your teacher about what you are not understanding and try putting more effort in studying those subjects you are not understanding such as watching youtube videos on those topics. Biology tends to be very memorization heavy and in medical you will need to memorize a ton of information so it good to start learning different study techniques that can help you memorize information.
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Maria’s Answer

If you are determined to follow this path, I would suggest to get a tutor.
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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Shuaibu! Honestly, I think every individual struggles with one or two classes as a premed and medical student. I remember reading about a physician who did not do too well in General Chemistry and actually doubted if medicine was right for her. Personally for me too, I also struggled with Organic Chemistry and math as well, especially since in the U.S. you must take the admissions exam to medical school without a calculator. I think right now I would definitely keep working hard and keep up with your studies; don't let one course be an obstacle to your goals and demotivate you. Some tips I would recommend would be to find a couple of good friends to study together, ask your teachers for help and if there is a tutor then you can possibly work with him or her in topics you struggle with. Khan academy is also a great website (and cost-free just need to make an account) and is becoming more and more prominent in helping students, I personally used it during college and for my admissions exam to medical school. It is also important to truly understand what you are struggling in, possibly managing your time, note taking, or understanding concepts and applying them, if you can really narrow the problem down it would be beneficial in figuring out how to study and what to study. For me personally, I would read and then take notes on my readings, go over them, make notecards and then in class listen to the professor's lecture and add to my notes. I hope this has helped, if you truly want to be a physician then don't give up and keep working hard to achieve your dream!

Best of luck!

Yasemin recommends the following next steps:

check out Khanacademy.org
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Michael’s Answer

How are you in Chemistry, especially on Biochemistry?
I know many doctors whose undergraduate work are not in any of the basic science. One of them is in political science.
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Diana’s Answer

Medical Device Sales ! Gives you the ability to consult with the doctor and provide intra operative clinical solutions in the OR. You will work along side of other healthcare workers as if you are part of the team.
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