The use of the Anki app for medical students can be an invaluable tool that can ease learning, assimilation, and memorization. It is an intuitive and effective flashcard method that works.

Anki is a flashcard-based program that makes use of spaced repetition to deliver information to users. That is, it repeats less familiar knowledge more often, and it shows more familiar knowledge less often to the user. Many medical professionals have utilized Anki to study and pass their medical exams. Therefore, this tutorial will try to show medical students how to make use of Anki to simplify their studies.

How to Use Anki for Medical Students

How a Medical Student Should Use Anki

Any medical student that wants to make use of Anki should, first of all, have a schedule to work with. furthermore, a student must know the duration they intend to use the app within any specific time. Before the actual process of creating a flashcard begins, a student should do the following.

  • A student should gather all their required information sources both digital and physical. Physical documents such as pictures can be scanned using mobile devices and kept for use. The key information gathered can be used to make slides.
  • Next, the slides can be narrowed down into smaller sizes, which can fit on flashcards. The best way to go about this is to take each concept and place it on a single flashcard. It is not a bad idea to have two or three flashcards that expand on a single concept.
  • The answer to each fundamental question should then be copied onto the answer side of the flashcard. An ideal number of flashcards is between 15 to 20 cards for every lecture or topic.

Using Anki for Test or Exam

The best way to design flashcards for memorizing before a test or an exam is to start from the beginning and narrow down as the student progresses. Therefore, the larger ideas are usually presented first. For example, if a student is learning about the concept of a heart attack, it is important to understand the concept as a whole.

Next, it is important to know how it affects the human body and the organs it affects. This means that a medical student that is designing a flashcard will begin with the overall concept of a heart attack, how it occurs, causes, the organs it affects, aftermath, and then mitigation.

As a result, each concept should be studied until it is mastered before the next concept can be looked at. The way Anki works, a student will eventually know all they need.

Time to Spend on Each Flashcard

There is no magic number that defines the amount of time a student should spend on each flashcard. However, a rule of thumb is to try and grasp the information on a flashcard within 5 to 10 seconds. Once a minute or two has passed, the student should attempt to go through the flashcards by clicking on the again function of the Anki app. As a result, within the space of an hour of reading, a student gets to read through a flashcard of medical concepts about 10 times within a study session.

Also, a student should not make the mistake of going through hundreds of flashcards within a day as doing this is ineffective and counterproductive. Also, a student stands the chance of overwhelming themselves. It is best if a student begins learning a few flashcards within a day. As the level of comprehension increases, the number can be increased as long as assimilation is not compromised as it is of no benefit for a student to read a lot and understand very little.

It is equally important for a student to review even older cards that have been mastered within every reading session. Doing this further ensures retention and solidifies comprehension.

Using Anki for Difficult Medical Classes

The Anki app can be a crucial companion when studying difficult medical courses such as anatomy. One way to reduce the stress of taking such classes is to make use of the imagery tool of the Anki app. This tool covers the labels to parts of an image and asks the user to provide the name of each label. This option is crucial when learning courses like anatomy. A user can find a picture, which allows them to learn the different parts of the human body such as the different organs, tissues, blood vessels, nerves, and much more.

Using Anki During Clinic Rotations

Clinical rotations are important learning curves for all medical students. As a result, using Anki flashcards can make clinical rotations a lot easier and more informative. There are tons of free decks of flashcards that can help a medical student in clinical rotations from one clinic to another. If a student wants to get creative, they can make their flashcards for every clinic rotation.

The most effective flashcards are those that cover difficult questions that were not answered by any student within a ward round. Also, questions that were answered incorrectly should be included within the flashcards. Then, each morning, the medical student should endeavor to go through a deck of questions and answers for each ward round. Doing this helps to solidify learning and guarantee memorization.

Making use of Broencephalon Deck

Broencephalon is a deck of a flashcard that can be used together with Anki. It has thousands of flashcards that cover many materials from first-aid. This flashcard is perfect for students that are doing their clinical in the emergency ward or those that are studying trauma. The Broencephalon decks give a student access to short question and answer flashcards that are simple and straightforward to use.

Using Anki Before a Major Exam

Anki can be used cleverly just before a major exam.  Comments missed questions, and brief explanations by an attendant can be written on flashcards and used for preparation before the actual reading of a major exam begins.