Time Management

Kari, Third Year Medical StudentHi friends. Guess what? Even though I did my Pediatrics rotation a while ago, I’ve managed to sneak my way onto another Pediatric service as part of the Neurology rotation. I so miss the fifth floor when I have to go other places. But this post is about what I do with my time when I’m not on the fifth floor.

I was whining to my fiance John last night about how it seems like I waste time and don’t get anything done – lamenting my time management skills. It seems like I get home, wind down a second, have some dinner and the next thing I know I’m supposed to go to sleep and I’ve barely had time to study.

This is the USMLE World Question Bank. We should probably hang out more than we do.

I presented a recent night as an example: I was in the hospital from 6 am to 5:30 ish, made it over to the gym for an exercise class, got home, and by the time I cleaned up and made dinner it was literally like 8 pm. And of course Criminal Minds was on and I got a little sucked in and even though I was simultaneously getting worked over by some Neurology questions it didn’t really feel like I accomplished anything.

So I was whining.

John’s response?

“So you’re saying you worked about 12 hours and went to the gym and you’re concerned because you didn’t get anything done?”

Oh. Right. I worked for 12 hours.

I think we forget sometimes that all the things we accomplish as part of the work day count too. I know I’m not alone in that – we really expect a lot of ourselves.

We expect that we should somehow be able to learn ALL the things on top of the long hours. When I don’t know the answer to a question when I’m on service I feel sad. Like it was my responsibility to find time to already have that memorized. It doesn’t matter what it is; it feels like I should know.

My ideally time-managed day from an academic perspective would probably not include anything fun because the hours of studying I would fit in would crowd out everything else. And that just doesn’t make sense.

Bottom line?

Time management = Doing your best. And when you’ve watched some TV,  took your time chopping up vegetables for dinner and gone to bed too late because you were reading something that’s not a textbook, that’s okay.

Because you work hard. And because medical school isn’t just about learning medicine – it’s a trial by fire of how to spend your time, and we’ll all make it. Right?

One thought on “Time Management

  1. Dear Kari,

    The team at Premed Network has recently come across your blog.

    I’m the President of Premed Network, a nationwide network of premed students.


    The vision of Premed Network is to create a platform for the next generation of physicians.

    We are reaching out to select medical student bloggers to share their posts in our community.

    I look forward to hearing from you.


    Omar Baig
    President, Premed Network
    16180 Alum Rock Avenue
    San Jose, CA 95127
    (408) 802-5267

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