I recently graduated Medical School after seven loooooong years (No pre-med... straight off to medschool- This is the Mexican system)
I struggled a lot my first years of medical school. One... learning the medical language, Oh dear lord... It was soooo difficult learning how to change the term from "tummy ache" to "Gastrointestinal discomfort or Acute abdominal pain). This went on until I learned the etymology of the word, (believe me, It does help to know some easy and fun words from their greek, latin, french root) - If you want to ACE anatomy, this is important!
Secondly, PHYSIOLOGY! i tried to ignore it, tried my best to get around and just do my own thing. Big mistake. After a while I started to integrate my reading into this magical and beautiful understanding on how or body works. It is a blissfully organized system.
Learning pharmacology. Still struggle with that.
So... I created stories, characters, songs, mnemotecnics, drawings, mind maps, flashcards.... you name it. I've done it.
What works for me is not memorizing but really understanding the concept, apply it in my everyday life.
Things started to make sense. It was an enlightment moment when I saw my first patient with Diabetes, I knew everything about it.Genetics, Pathophysiology, Presentation, Workup, Treatment plan and discussing with the patient what it means to have Diabetes. (It was sooo fun! )
I would love to help you out during your training, exam week (we call it HELL-WEEK) and provide the tools necessary to help you accomplish your biggest dream (or just pass the exam...)
After all of that reading, writing, not sleeping, drinking seven eleven coffee's in the middle of the night, I treat myself with things I am passionate about. I loooove to exercise (yoga, weight lifting, walking, biking, hiking) read good books (not that medical books are not good, but a little bit of Paulo Cohelo wont hurt me) singing, dancing playing the guitar. Laughing, eating, hanging out. BALANCE (or Homeostasis )
I am currently doing research at Massachusetts General Hospital on Mind and Body medicine and its influence on a molecular, genetic, organ level) and I am sooo passionate about that. Life has to be interesting, changing things up... not everything is studying (I found it very difficult to understand this)
I invite you to take part of this journey of self exploring and learning through diverse techniques that will enhance your comprehension while having fun doing so.
Ana Cristina’s Qualifications
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) - Bachelors, Medical Doctor
Graduate Degree: Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) - Masters, Medical Doctor
Yoga, Meditation, Nutrition, Reading, Sports.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Memorizing will not get you anywhere. Understanding something could take a little bit more time, but believe me, it will be part of you forever.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Talk a little bit and get to know each other. There’s so much you can learn from someone just talking about their passion. Secondly, state the goals in mind and work together as a team to accomplish them in a blissful way.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Giving someone the answers will help them short term. While talking about it, reasoning it, taking it in and having fun while doing so will give them the opportunity to play outside the box.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Reminding them that everyone started at point zero. That not knowing something is a great area of opportunity to grow as a person and as a professional.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Talk about past experiences learning something new and difficult, what the approach was and how beneficial it was for the long term. Develop a plan together to stay on track and also have enough time to focus on a specific term/question/concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Sit with them and read the material by their side. Try to break down the words, concepts, and paragraphs and understand that material before we move forward. I also like to incorporate etymology (It is a great aid to know a little bit about the background of the word to get more familiar.).
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Mnemotechnics, story telling, repetition in a chant/songish way.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Show them how incredible it would be once you learn the basics. For example. If they are struggling with the concept of a cell and how does it work. I could show them video animations on how a specific drug for a disease of their interest works and how important it is to learn the specific channels or proteins we are trying to learn.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
After a lesson we could create a mind map, rap, mnemotechnic... something that could really help them engage with the concept and manifest the thinking process. While he/she explains the chart or technique used.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Reinforcement. Studying with someone you know that knows. The important thing is for them to know that they know.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Practice questions based on the subject we recently talked about. Homework assignments with different approaches for the same scenario. Problem based learning, evidence base learning. Keeping it interesting. Fun facts also work.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Communication! It is so important. You might feel you are getting your point across. But sometimes they feel that they can't express their feelings towards that subject. Letting them know that it is OK to have questions and that we are in an open environment.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Paper and pen... OLD SCHOOL! PowerPoint presentations. Articles Animation Videos. Old experiences. Books.