What is your learning style?

In medicine, we are presented with information to learn in many different ways.

  • Reams of journal articles and text book chapters
  • Flowcharts and anatomical atlases (atli?)
  • Managing a complicated patient on the first day of your rotation
  • Paper cases allowing you time to reflect and digest information

Regardless of how you learn best, you’re going to get information in ways that work for you and many ways that don’t. You’re going to need to adapt. It pays to know how you learn so you can engage in strategies that help you deal with situations that don’t match your style.

There’s a great 40-question test by Felder and Silverman to determine one’s learning styles. Here are my results after taking the test. Apparently, I’m quite unbalanced.

Results for: Rahul Patwari
ACTIVE     11  9  7  5  3  1  1  3  5 [7] 9  11 REFLECTIVE
SENSING    11  9  7  5  3  1  1 [3] 5  7  9  11 INTUITIVE
VISUAL     11 [9] 7  5  3  1  1  3  5  7  9  11 VERBAL
SEQUENTIAL 11  9  7 [5] 3  1  1  3  5  7  9  11 GLOBAL

I like to sit back and think about things, then make colorful diagrams, sketching out connections and sequential steps. Apparently I can’t learn by listening (my mom could have told you that). Yet there are tactics I can use to learn well in a lecture.

I recommend taking the 5 minutes to figure out your learning style then look here to see how to adapt to other styles. What styles are you? How have you adapted to succeed in medicine? Put your comments below.

What is your learning style?

One thought on “What is your learning style?

  1. Brian says:

    Results for: Brian Lee
    ACTIVE 11 9 7 5 3 1 1 3 5 [7] 9 11 REFLECTIVE
    SENSING 11 9 7 [5] 3 1 1 3 5 7 9 11 INTUITIVE
    VISUAL 11 9 [7] 5 3 1 1 3 5 7 9 11 VERBAL
    SEQUENTIAL 11 9 7 5 3 1 [1] 3 5 7 9 11 GLOBAL

    I, too, am the type to sit back and think about things and am quite a visual learner myself. However, with the way the world works, I had to adapt to being a decent verbal learner in order to really understand some things. I think this is where the sensing/sequential learning can kick in, even though my sequential rating wasn’t high.

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