At one point or the other in medical school, you may begin to ask yourself why exactly you have to do all this work. It’s like, “This is way too much information! Who’d sign up for this kind of stuff?” It’s very normal to lose motivation in medical school and you shouldn’t feel bad about it.

It is however important to know what steps you can take to get back on track and put in the necessary work. Only then will you be able to endure till the end and enjoy the rewards of your efforts. Here are 7 tips you can use to continually stay motivated in medical school:

Motivated doctor after graduation from medical school

1. Write down your goals: For many of us, the ultimate goal to working hard in school is to become a doctor someday. Or at the very least to keep passing our exams and do well in school. Writing and keeping this in mind will definitely help in staying motivated.

It’d be even more useful to set short-term goals for upcoming days, weeks, and months. This way, you can expect the gratification earlier and work harder to reach the goals. Using a to-do list in this case would be ideal so that you can keep track of your goals.

2. See your goals: The idea behind this is that the more often you visualize your focus, the stronger your motivation will be. So create a vision board or print out your favourite quote and place it where you can see it regularly. This could be on your reading desk, in your journal etc.

Quote to keep a medical student motivated

Seeing your goals could also mean thinking of your classmates working harder, imagining yourself taking care of patients in the future, watching a medical series like “Dr. House” or even binging YouTube vlogs of your favourite doctor or surgeon.

3. Study efficiently: This may sound somewhat counterintuitive, but it is probably the best proactive approach to being motivated. What this means is getting maximum use of your studying time, that is, focus and actively learn the information.

This way, you spend less time studying, don’t feel bored and can encourage your brain to do the work again. Next time, you won’t need as much motivation because you expect your studying to be useful and productive.

A medical student studying consistently and effectively

4. Develop consistent studying habits: Most times, our routines are all over the place in medical school. We may have a few weeks with a serious schedule and other days with little or no pressing demands.

It is necessary, however, to even out the work and try to create a studying system whether or not you have work to do. This will get you into that motivated mind-set so you don’t need to struggle to get back into the zone when you have a lot to do.

5. Take a step back: Needing motivation to study could easily point to stress and anxiety as a student. So there are times where all you need to do is simply take care of yourself. Schedule your fun activities first and then incorporate your study time around that.

Medical student with anxiety without motivation

When you create that balance of good sleep, healthy food and adequate physical exercise, you will be encouraged to work. You will be in a good place to study while expecting a reward of proper self-care afterwards.

6. Use your support system: In medical school, you have access to quite a number of people who can genuinely look out for you. Reaching out to friends and family who will remind you of your worth can be just the motivation you need to keep going.

Your classmates who are also going through the same things can encourage when you are down. Organise study sessions where you can push one another to study and frequently assess one another’s knowledge.

Medical students group study to boost motivation

7. Seek out opportunities: Pay attention to and get involved in your extracurricular activities. Volunteer to help in hospitals and go for outreaches in rural communities. Apply for internships and scholarships. Participate in research work.

Go for medical conferences and science seminars. Travel and widen your connections. As you engage in these, you will preserve your drive and find yourself understanding your purpose and passion which will inevitable pump that motivation.

Medical students seeking opportunities to develop motivation

Finally, you should know that you’re human and it’s totally okay to not feel motivated to study every day. Sometimes, you’ll just need a little bit of push to overcome that initial friction and begin your work.

Bonus Tip: Listen to quiet jazz or soft Lo-Fi beats while studying, and use Study-With-Me videos for some extra push.

Infographic: How To Stay Motivated In Medical School

Let me know in the comments what you do when you don’t have any motivation to study. Keep thriving!

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6 Responses

  1. Damilare says:

    Lovely piece with wonderful tips.

  2. Angelique Mawire says:

    Lovely read.

  3. Zombie says:

    Thank you

  4. Gbenro Dave says:


  5. Adesola Ajayi says:

    Thank you soo much, these points are very valid I hope to employ them ❤

  6. Adesola Ajayi says:

    Thank you soo much, these points are very valid I hope to employ them ❤ . Listening to music and imagining the results after getting work done motivates me ✔

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