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Q: Why Could Cause a Dwindling Memory ?


I sleep for like 4-5 hrs in a day, on an average day, I sleep for 5 hrs but when we have tests in view, for like 1 week to the test, I sleep for like 3-4 hrs a day. That was how I did throughout my 200L level and all was well. I am now in 300L, and I have started to note a decrease in my RETENTIVE MEMORY.

Before now, I have a very great understanding capacity and a very, very high retentive memory, I read once and get it and I retain it for a very long time. But the retentive memory seems to be dwindling though the high understanding ability is still there. It was while I was googling for the cause of my dwindling retentive memory that I came across a post on sleep. It said one of the side-effects of inadequate sleep is that neurons start to misfire which inturn leads to forgetfulness amidst other scary side effects. I could live with other side effects but I couldn’t afford to mess up my brain, I still need it for clinicals, residency e.t.c. So I was scared. But colleagues and senior colleagues, what could be responsible for a dwindling retentive memory.


My answer.

Med school is not just a place. It’s a journey taken with patience, determination and an inextinguishable flare. It’s not just a place. It’s a process. And in this process, things are bound to change. Either for the good or vice versa.

These changes are not pathological. They are not disease entities. When it happens we should not be quick to assume something is wrong with us. We should, as a matter of importance, adapt speedily and steadily.

Time was when you read once and it sticked. Perfect! And as you progressed, that streak of perfection started dwindling. Brother, it doesn’t mean anything is wrong. It just means you should adapt to these changes.

The farther you go in this journey, the more you need not only rely on first-hand memory alone. As you progress, my dear friend- you will need repitition. Tonnes and tonnes of repitition to strike a perfect blow.

Repitition consolidates your memory. How frequent you look at your academic material will determine how easy it would be at your finger tips.

Go over it once. Go over it again. And again. And again. You have all the time in the world to go over it – yet again.

After reading, write out what you think you read. All u can remember- and try to compare it to the original material. See what you missed out. The farther you go in this journey- the more you will need to rely on repeated readings to stick. Long term memory is achieved by consolidation of short term. How do you consolidate? Repitition.


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One comment

  1. I find reading re- reading and writing what i read down to be helpful,, though still premed.

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