One of the core subjects you must learn and understand in your journey to becoming a medical doctor is Pathology. It is relevant in almost all areas of medical study, so you cannot run from it. However, the good thing about Pathology is that it is more interesting than other medical courses like microbiology and pharmacology, particularly because it revolves around the study of diseases.
As interesting as it is, it is still one of the more difficult subjects you will learn as a medical student. It is extremely broad and requires a lot of reading and memorization to remember vital information. We did some research into the best way to study pathology and created this short guide of tips and methods that you can apply when studying.
For any aspiring student of medicine, pathology will be an essential topic during their school years. The subject, however, involves memorizing large amounts of information about diagnosing conditions and diseases. Thankfully, pathology is often found much more interesting to young medical students than pharmacology or microbiology – mainly because it deals with diseases. But just because the subject is interesting does not mean it is easy to pass, as pathology is often regarded as one of the harder subjects in the medical curriculum. To make your studying easier, we have prepared this short guide that will show you a couple of tips and tricks about how to study pathology.
Keep your resources at hand
One of the best things you can do to help you get a grip on pathology is get a good textbook! Before even beginning to study pathology, make sure you find at least a couple of recommended books to study from – don’t just study at random from the internet, and especially not from Wikipedia!
A good textbook on pathology is the famous Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. While the size of the book might be daunting to many students, and the small text inside of it even more so, this book is still one of the best textbooks on pathology you will be able to find anywhere. While going straight through review books might be enough for other disciplines, it won’t work with medicine – whether you like it or not, you will have to go through the Pathologic Basis of Disease at least once or twice during your studies. As you read through the book, grab a pencil or a highlighter and mark the most important points. Moreover, if you are often studying from your own notes, you can check what is missing from your notes in the book and add that information.
lengthy notes without running out of space constantly and making your handwriting unintelligible. The book, however, is a review book – a concise one at that. Fundamentals of Pathology are best used together with Pathologic Basis of Disease, using the latter to complement the review book. Take your time to study and understand the information inside these texts, and you will find that pathology is not as bad as you think. Try to get a pencil or highlighter to mark the important areas or areas that you need further study on; it will be a big help.
Spend enough time
While senior students of medical schools definitely know already that medical studies require a lot of time from the student, if you are just beginning you might not realize that. Every day, you will need to spend at least four hours each day studying – with one of those being pathology. Don’t work yourself too hard, however – stress can easily reduce the effectiveness of your learning session! Instead, make a monthly plan where you take some time every day to study a given subject, or a couple of them. You don’t have to study every subject every day, but make sure you allocate enough time that you won’t be lacking in any field.
If you have a habit of going to sleep after your classes are over – get rid of that! The first thing you should do after your classes are over is to eat a healthy meal. After you’re done eating, it’s back to the books – it’s better to do your at-home learning immediately after you get back. This way, you won’t distract yourself with other activities and the whole evening will be yours to relax and have fun. Remember about your homework!
As a medical student, you understand that textbooks are your best friend. This is no different in Pathology. It would help if you had a good textbook or two, or maybe three. Any recommended books, research papers, and relevant information is key to your study. Having these is the first step if you want to know how to study pathology for an exam.
Be careful about the information you read on the internet, ensure it is from verified authors, and please avoid Wikipedia. Books like the famous Robbins & Cothran Pathologic Basis of Disease and the Fundamentals of Pathology can be instrumental in your study.
Take your time to study and understand the information inside these texts, and you will find that pathology is not as bad as you think. Try to get a pencil or highlighter to mark the important areas or areas that you need further study on; it will be a big help.
When studying any course, especially pathology, you need to test yourself on the information you have read and learned. You can do this by yourself or with fellow students and friends. A very effective way to do this is with us at QUPI. We have a large database that contains tons of medical questions and over 10,000 entries.
We are constantly adding more information and test questions to this database to help you revise what you have learned and understand Pathology further. You can also do this testing with your friends and fellow students to help each other learn better and excel at your pathology exams.