In April, anguishes thousands. To plan is not an option

April is the month of the pollen of the banana of shade in Madrid. That month in that most unfortunate they begin to sneeze, and the allergic ones to the pulses we hoped that our turn in May arrives.

April also is the month of some delayed Easter, from which they come loaded from sun and which they flood of tourists the towns of our grandparents and beaches of our coasts.


You return to spend some free days that way, with certain apprehension in the chest, run rºn in the mind€¦ The May examinations are suddenly there, around the corner.

Perhaps nor you have gone away of vacation. You could not allow you. You have sat down €œin serious€ looking at the calendar of examinations and the notes.

I have right?


Perhaps you are thinking that it you have returned to do. You have returned to leave too late for the study of the examinations. There are too many subjects without looking. There are even Commissions without still printing, and you have not stepped on the classes. It returns that uncomfortable mixture from sadness, sun nostalgia and fear. Perhaps weariness and resentment, if you are in 5º or 6º course. Many years happening through the same€¦


As soon as you feel in the table and you place the examinations in the calendar in front of you, already you have one better appreciation than it is ahead. But almost automatically one settles in your mind and your thoracic cavity that typical disagreeable sensation of all the fourth month periods when the examinations approach.

In each of you it will have a different tonality. In some it will weigh plus the fear. In others, the resentment. In others, the hopelessness. And as common denominator, the loss of €œbeing able personal€.

The experience of which no longer you are due±o/of a your days, of your hours, not even of your dream to be doctor, because what you dreamed before entering the race not it is looked like this gimkana of examinations and presentations, some behind others.


The problem is in the automatism. In which you take to as much time feeling insecurity and weariness facing the examinations, every fourth month period, that you have turned that into routine.

Our mind is best to detect and to analyze dangers. That is what it has allowed us to survive during tens and hundreds of thousands of years.

If a poisonous spider itched to a member of your family and this one passed away, you will flee from all the spiders. Just in case.

To your brain it gives him just as cheers frightened at the spiders. It only wants that you survive. It does not matter to him that you are unfortunate. It wants to save the life to you!

In the 21st century and our urban surroundings, where we studied the race, there are very few loose mortal spiders that way€¦ But our brain, as a especially overwhelmed mother, is looking for that way acechantes mortal dangers€¦ and it was confused a time ago, and you were convinced that EXAMEN=PELIGRO MORTAL=MIEDO.


An examination is a determined set of questions which you face in a certain day. Nothing else.

A qualification of examination is a more or less precise reflection of how you knew well to answer a certain group of questions in a certain day. Nothing else.

In agreement, it is important to reach a minimum result to be passing courses. Thus it is our formative system and thus we avoided the professional infiltration. Thus we guaranteed some minimum knowledge in each person who leaves with a Graduated title in Medicine.

But a low qualification or a suspension is not identical to €œI know very little€ or €œI will be badly doctor€. It only means €œThat day I answered less questions correctly than other companions/less correct questions of which my professors decided for the approved one €œ.

I return to repeat, as in so many other forums, that I have a cousin who knew to much more Medicine than I when he appeared to examinations MIR. But it did not pay attention to the strategy of the examination and it did not secure sufficient points, reason why it did not enter the residence until 5º examination. Nowadays it is a happy oncologist that enjoys its work. And that continues knowing to much more Medicine than I€¦


My first advice is of mental strategy. Or rather to correct the mistaken ideas that the energies are eating you on the inside, and that you replace them by the correct ideas.

There the correct ideas go:

  • You are sufficiently intelligent (you demonstrated it when you arrived at the University)
  • To prepare each examination consists of preparing itself to answer a determined set of questions (it is not a revalidation of all your person)
  • To prepare suitably an examination consists of preparing to you to answer the type of questions that are going to you to do in the examination

Stop to you a little while and you read the last point again.

How prepare does a tennis player a competition in grass track? Training in grass.

How prepare will you each of your examinations? The type test; the one that has development questions; the ECOE€¦

The answer would have to be: training with questions test, of development and with maneuverses of ECOE.

To read and to reread and to reread are not a good strategy for any of these types of examination that I have mentioned to you. It is not that it does not serve, because in fact has served to you in many examinations, truth?

The risk of the re-reading is the competition illusion, of which already I have spoken other times to you. That, exhausted and tired by the volume of matter, you believe that or you know something, when it is that to only are you familiar the text, or the table, or the scheme.

Another risk of limiting to you to read is that you end up reading the same times which you know and what you do not know yourself. That is a loss of time.

To occur to account of this in the heat of examination is a very great bassoon.

On what your note of the examination will depend? to guess right questions. not to read and to reread very well. Neither to emphasize very or. Nor to summarize it everything with your letter.


If you have gone to class, you have already understood many subjects. Not you enfangues in very ample or slow res-reading. It sees the marrow of the final test, of the type of competition which you face.

This becomes of the following way:

1. First, understanding each subject generally. Without the general picture, to memorise becomes a pain teeth. It reads the subject first in his sections; soon its feet of table, graphs or photos. Then, you take a general reading.

2. The deductible included thing and through common sense, or of your previous knowledge, to memorise 50% in autopilot and 50% being reread. Assure to you to memorise next to each process the number of steps that this process follows.

For example, the stages of the breathing are 4. 1-Ventilation. 2-Interchange alveolar membrane gases. Gas 3-Transport by blood. 4-Interchange gases in hair and cellular wall. They are 4 stages, not 3 nor 5.

Whenever you commit yourself same to remember the stages of the breathing, first it is to remember that they are 4. Thus the risk of avoiding a step is much smaller.

3. He finds out what type of questions is going to you to do, and on what subjects are going to ask more to you. That you obtain it as soon as possible looking at examinations of previous years. If it is not at the home of the study, already in April you must be doing it. Right now! All the great tennis players already are preparing themselves in runway covered for Mutual Madrid Open that begins in May, or you think that they at this point continue peloteando in earth tracks?

4. The arbitrary thing that cannot be deduced must memorise itself to neuron blow. The only way to do this is to review each concept periodically. A physiological function of our brain exists that destroys memories that do not refresh when it touches. It is the famous forgetting curve of Ebbinghaus.

If the IECA tell you in Farma that and the ARA-II are the only antihypertensives that delay diabetic nephropathy, that is necessary to memorise it so what. But you read envelope today it, and you read another pile of data more about the antihypertensives, and you do not return to look it in 3 weeks because you have other hard subjects that to study, what you think that it will make your brain within 1 week? Probably, to erase it. Or to begin to mix it with other so many similarities or differences between IECAs and ARA-II.

In order to determine with cement to your brain all these arbitrary and important data for the examination, it begins to work from the first moment with digital applications of flashcards. I have already written in more occasions on this, but I do not get tired to repeat it. They have several advantages:

  • Working daily, software is in charge to choose what concepts you have less fresh or you are on the verge of forgetting
  • You can review anywhere through the applications of mobile that all the great companies of flashcards offer free of charge or by very little money
  • The reviews of concepts through flashcards can carry out in periods of low energy, thus flexibilizing your work

You can have the security of which, once you take 7-10 days working with flashcards, your memory begins to wake up and your experience of study is optimized. And the best thing of everything, you begin to train you for the examinations with the same type of material which you face in examinations!

If Federer or Nadal or Djokovich had to appear to your examination of General Pathology or Cardio, they did not doubt it a minute. They began to review with flashcards!



Applications of flashcards

ANKI (free in Android)
Version Web:


Almudena Trinidad

I am otorrinolaring³loga doctor in a hospital of Madrid and Professor Asociada de Medicina in the UAM. I help Medicine students to develop more effective techniques of study to obtain better notes, to remember during more time and to feel like more happy insurances and with its studies.

5 Commentaries
  • Paula C.
    Published to 09:10 h, 05 April To respond

    Excellent post almudena!
    When doubts on if enter to me what I am hacinedo he is or not correct it, times I reread some of your posts or of some other professional who defends €œit uses it or lose it€ and I feel but safe of my work.
    Many greetings!

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 21:36 h, 04 May To respond

      Thank you very much! :)))

  • Isa Martinez
    Published to 06:37 h, 08 September To respond

    Hello Almudena, my dream is to study medicine and before finishing baccalaureate already I am reading to you. I want to begin to apply the method of flashcards already, so what is the application that better works of that you have recommended. Thank you very much by your ayda

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 17:29 h, 24 September To respond

      Hello, Isa, thank you very much to read 🙂 to me

      The application that better I know is Anki. It is used by thousands of students and, in comparison with others, she is cheapest, and only of payment for which we used iPhone. If you have an Android, app of mobile is gratuitous.

      I recommend to you that you look at the introductory videos of the manual of Anki to go ( more quickly. Flashcards can be used from Primary and Secondary, they adapt at any level 🙂

  • Sebastian Espinoza
    Published to 15:27 h, 11 October To respond

    I believe that nowadays the education is sobreestimated in certain aspects and one of the things that must be heightened is the surroundings which just the graduated professional will face, which nowadays is not even made.

    The institutions as the are few where it studies, that clear in all the classes but in a few, the educative system does not focus in preparing an apt professional to go out to work, to continue their professional race as or to undertake as many have done it.

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