Medical Mnemonist Podcast

MedEdge Method for Self Assessment & Exam Growth

In this fourth installment of the MedEdge Method mini-series, Chase DiMarco talks about self-assessment and exam growth. He talks about studying using the production effect, the benefits of physician mentorship, and post-lecture and post-exam study sessions.

  • [01:40] Post Lecture and Post Exam Study Sessions
  • [07:23] Studying Using the production Effect
  • [09:15] Improve Academic Performance Using Deliberate Practice
  • [10:33] Benefits of Physician Mentorship
  • [11:28] Emotional Intelligence and Academic Performance
  • [13:12] The Growth Equation: Stress + Rest = Growth

Post-Lecture and Post Exam Study Sessions

Medical students seem to direct most of their time and energy previewing materials to be covered before a lecture. Although it’s always beneficial to preview lecture material, research shows that reviewing content covered after a lecture within 24 hours dramatically improves recall. Think about it this way, how much information do you remember immediately after a class? Some of it, right? So, how do you ensure that you retain most of the content taught during a lecture?

The forgetting curve reveals that students quickly forget information over time if they make no attempts to retain it. Therefore, make a point of filling in any gaps you may have missed during class and write down any missed issues. You can also take part in a group discussion and go over questions with members of the group. Chase further explains that post-exam study sessions can also boost your content retention capabilities. It’s common for students to discuss some confusing questions after an exam. This strategy helps students investigate and tackle any lingering areas of confusion from the exam.

Studying Using the Production Effect

The production effect is a little-known but significantly important study strategy that explains why some students remember more study material than others. It’s a well-known fact that what you do with your study material determines the likelihood of ingraining into long-term memory. Interestingly, reading or explaining content out loud is more effective than reading in silence. Chase explains that this is because the learner engages different neurons of the brain that make it easier to retain content. So, if you’ve been struggling with some topics, maybe it’s time you partnered with someone and started reading the subject out loud. Of course, all this is dependent on the person listening to you since social anxiety issues can play a part in how you explain stuff.

Improve Academic Performance Through Deliberate Practice

When it comes to improving academic performance, most students employ the ‘practice makes perfect’ strategy. Regrettably, regular practice is all about repeating what you always do without being challenged or having a set goal. The problem with mindless repetition is that you’re not improving or challenging yourself enough. On the other hand, deliberate practice demands purposeful, systematic, and focused attention, with the primary goal of improving performance. With deliberate practice, you need to understand that you can never improve if you can not push yourself beyond your current limit. The first step is figuring out your current boundaries and the weakest part of your study strategies.

Nonetheless, Chase explains that to be a true master in deliberate practice, you need a mentor who can guide your learning process. Your mentor should assign specific goals to help you improve and point out where you might be weak.


  • Add some knowledge and skill-based endurance training to your study sessions.

Links and Resources

Top Memory Mistakes and Deliberate Practice

Self-Assessment and Finding a Mentor in Medical Education 

Deliberate Practice for Medical Students with Dr. Anders Ericsson

For more study tips, grab a copy of Read This Before Medical School. Don’t forget to leave a rating! Share your experiences, tips, and suggestions to [email protected]. Or you can directly reach out to Chase on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram. Join the Medical Mnemonist Master Mind Facebook group and find our Blog posts, Podcasts, and other Resources at!

Chase DiMarco

Chase DiMarco is an MS, MBA-HA and MD/Ph.D-candidate. He is the founder of MedEd University, a free medical education resource, the host of the Medical Mnemonist & Rounds to Residency podcasts creator of several medical education platforms, and CEO of FindARotation clinical rotations service.

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