Memory Tips for Medical Students (Live Seminar) [Video]

Here's a short seminar Cathy and I recently gave to the first year class at our medical school. It covers some science-backed tips I think every learner should know. The talk includes an intro to memory palaces, gives a medical example of memory palaces (memorizing the upregulators of insulin), and describes how they might be integrated into a comprehensive learning approach built around evidence-based learning strategies. An overview of the learning literature--i.e. which learning strategies are effective, according to science--follows. Here's an outline of what we cover:

  1. Intro

  2. A relevant clip from "The Office"

  3. Spoken Numbers Demo

  4. What are memory techniques & memory palaces and why do they work?

  5. Memory palace example: memorizing the upregulators of insulin

  6. Learning strategies: What works and what doesn't, according to the scientific literature (practice testing, spaced repetition, interleaving); How do memory techniques fit in?

  7. Q&A

Resources Mentioned:

First Aid 2018 (#1 USMLE Step 1 review book; Cathy and I wrote a section for the book's opening chapter entitled "Learning Strategies," which overviews the learning literature every medical student should know; encapsulates many of the ideas discussed at greater length in the books below)
Moonwalking with Einstein (the book that introduced me to the world of memory techniques and competitions)
Anki (tool for spaced repetition and retrieval practice; here's why I use it)
UWorld (#1 USMLE Step 1 practice question bank; constitutes the bulk of my study time)

Other Recommended Resources:
Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning (a book that nicely presents the core principles of effective learning, as supported by the last century of learning and cognitive psychology research)
Learning Medicine: An Evidence-Based Guide (a shorter book specifically for medical students, which discusses many of the ideas of Make It Stick, targeting the principles at medical students)
Medical School 2.0 (a self-help-style book similar to Learning Medicine; again, reframes the basic ideas of Make It Stick, with subtle adjustments for medical learners; medical students may appreciate another perspective on how to implement these strategies)
Yousmle (a website targeted at effective learning strategies for medical students, with a particular emphasis on USMLE Step 1 preparation; again, discusses many of the same ideas outlined above; may be useful for anyone looking for Anki tips or another perspective on learning principles applied to medicine)

Hope you enjoy!