Abandoned table with books and papers scattered around it and the text: When to Leave a Study Group in Med School

When to Leave a Study Group in Med School

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Is it time to ditch the group?

Group studying is among the top study strategies given to struggling students. But they don’t work for everyone. This multi-part series examines the types of people in med school study groups, why students might join one, and ways to know if it’s just not working for you. 

So what should you do if you’ve followed the advice in this series and you’re still not getting the results you need from your study group? For many med students, quitting just isn’t in their vocabulary. Even when struggling, deciding to walk away from a difficult situation is usually a fraught process. But, when it comes to study groups, it’s essential to know when to cut your losses and walk away. In the latest installment of our series, we break down why a med student may need to change study strategies or find a new study group.

When to Leave a Study Group 

If you’ve been in your study group for a while and are still not getting the yield you need or find yourself and the group off-task too often, it may be time to leave. If you’ve identified the role you’re comfortable in but still find yourself being “Cannon Fodder” or the “Chaos Agent,” you’re probably not getting as much out of the group as you should be. 

In my experience, many med students are in medical school because they want to help others. This is a noble and important thing, but it is often misplaced in the context of the study group. I’ve seen students stay in groups that aren’t benefiting them because “it helps other people in the group.” If you’re in a study group simply because you’re a team player — and not because you’re seeing any great benefit — it is probably time to leave. If there needs to be cannon fodder, that simply cannot be you right now in this group. You have to get yourself through medical school first and foremost. On the other side, once you are a physician, then you can help save exponentially more people and have a much broader reach in helping others. So being a “team player” and sacrificing your productivity here and now is NOT a reason to stay in the group. 

 Are you spending countless hours in a study group without results? With the STATMed Class, we provide a wide range of tools and strategies so that every time you sit down to study, you’ll know exactly what to do to get the most bang for your buck.

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