How to Use Feynman Technique for Learning Complex Concepts?

The Feynman technique is one of the most effective learning strategies that helps students to absorb complex study material. Many medical students find it harder to learn medical terminologies, pharmacological concepts, and other tricky mechanisms of action. In medical school, students are supposed to learn complex concepts and learn important information to perform better during clinical rotations.

Students need to learn course material and use it in a variety of situations, such as class quiz, board exams, shelf exams, and during clinical clerkships. When you learn something clearly, you can use the information for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, many students just memorize the terminologies and topics to get a good GPA, then forget most of the information. As they move forward, and enter in their clinical years, they are unable to apply their knowledge in real-life clinical situations.

Thanks to the Feynman techniques, it allows you to master new and complex concepts and turn information into knowledge. If you are wondering what Feynman technique is and how it can help you learn and understand the medical concepts in a Caribbean medical university, here is an easy guide for using Feynman technique to expand your knowledge.

How Does Feynman Technique Work?

As I mentioned earlier, the Feynman technique is an effective learning strategy that allows you to develop a deeper understanding of the topic. This study technique was invented by a Nobel prize winning physicist, Richard Feynman. It acts as a great memorization technique for students. 

This amazing study technique requires four important steps.

·         Choose a topic to learn

·         Explain a topic to yourself in your own words

·         Identify the gaps in your knowledge and read the source material again

·         Make as simple explanations as you can

Let’s understand each step in detail.

Step#1: Choose a Topic You Want to Master

It is the first step of the Feynman technique. Select a concept to learn. Whether you want to prepare for the upcoming class quiz or medical school exam, identify the topic that needs your attention. Write down what you know and what you don’t know about the topic and highlight the important concepts that might appear on your quiz, midterm, or final exam.

Tip: Focus your attention on understanding one topic at a time. You can’t learn multiple topics at the same time.

Step#2: Explain a topic to yourself in your own words

The next step is to explain a topic to yourself, as deeper understanding requires an active process, such as teaching yourself. Explain all the points in your own words. It is better to teach the concept to friends, colleagues and family members who don’t know about the topic. When they ask questions about the subject, it will learn and sharpen your thinking. By explaining the points to others, you easily identify the gaps in your knowledge and solidify your reasoning skills.

Ask people to repeat what you have taught them in their own words. If they fail to explain the topic, it shows that your explanation and reasoning are too complex. You need to simplify the points and teach the topic in plain language.

One of the major benefits of using this learning approach is that it builds your confidence and improves your ability to face more challenging subjects. Furthermore, it builds a solid framework for learning.

Step#3: Identify the Gaps in your Knowledge

Learning a complex topic isn’t easy, it needs several attempts. When you forget the most important point or are unable to explain the reason behind your explanations, it’s the right time to revise the course material and solidify your learning. Filling your knowledge gaps will become easier when you go back to the source material.

It is the good thing about the Feynman technique as it allows you to refine your explanations and build a better understanding of the topic. You can use different resources like podcasts, YouTube channels and other learning sources to augment your knowledge. Use all the learning material and prepare yourself for explaining the topic in basic and simple terms.

When you are able to explain the topic in simple terms, without jargons, it can truly depict your understanding. If you use complicated terminologies to explain your topic, you can’t communicate your point. So, it is advised to do hard work to learn the topic so that you can apply your knowledge in the future in different situations.

Step#4: Make as Simple Explanations as You can

Now you are able to create simple explanations, it is the right time to organize all your notes and explain them to an audience. Keep in mind that assembling all the explanations in an organized place will allow you to recall all the important points clearly and explain them to others.

You may find ready-made notes for the topic on the internet but pushing yourself to create your own notes in your own words is a powerful way to retain the information for longer. When you organize the material in a binder, read the material louder or convey it to others like a lecture. All that really matters is explaining the material to the person who isn’t familiar with it and distill what you know to the most basic form.

Final Note

Medical school journey isn’t as easy as it sounds. Learning new information and clinical skills requires hard work, time, and patience. The willingness to learn and explore different medical areas along with the right study technique will help you become a great doctor. The Feynman technique is an amazing learning recipe for medical students that allows them to supercharge the learning and retention process. It can sharpen your critical thinking and reasoning skills and help you academically perform better in a Caribbean medical school