An excellent tutor may be just what you need to overcome learning curves or knowledge gaps in med school. Here are a few questions to ask potential tutors.
You’re probably tired of people telling you that med school is hard. You know it’s hard. You’re reminded of it every day as you juggle going to class, studying for exams, and absorbing the mountains of information you’re required to know.
And while the notion of choosing a tutor to assist you can feel like giving up or admitting weakness, we’re here to tell you that it’s OK to ask for help. Seeking guidance from a tutor for medical students can be a beneficial weapon in your study arsenal — a lifeline when you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of complicated concepts.
What to Look for in a Tutor
Working with a tutor isn’t a sign that you’re failing or that you don’t belong in med school. It’s a sign that you’re self-aware and know what you need to succeed in school — and that you’re doing everything you can to reach your goal of becoming a doctor.
Not every tutor offers the same quality experience, though. To ensure you get the best tutoring possible, you’ll want to do your homework ahead of time. Here are some questions to ask a tutor before making your choice:
“What’s your experience?”
Training and experience are paramount when choosing a tutor, especially in med school. After all, it won’t do you much good to work with someone who doesn’t understand the complex material.
There are two major things to look for when considering how to find a good tutor. First, you should ask about their success on the USMLE Step 1 exam. It’s best to find someone who has recently been through medical school — or someone who has completed a few years of medical school. You want to work with someone who has been in the thick of things and successfully made it through to the other side.
Second, ask about their tutoring or teaching experience. You’ll want to work with someone who has successfully helped others in similar situations and who has a real passion for teaching.
“What’s your availability?”
Tutors are limited by the number of students they can work with at any given time. You want someone who has enough capacity that you can get the individual attention you need to thrive and succeed. Consider asking for access to their calendar so you can sign up directly for the times that work best for you — without fear of your tutor losing focus because they have an impending appointment.
Any tutor for medical students is going to be busy, so make sure whoever you choose is accessible. Ask about the best time and way to contact them, whether it’s by email, text message, etc. You’ll also want to tell them how you prefer to be contacted.
“What resources will you use?”
Depending on the tutor and the company they work for, you might get access to different resources during your sessions. Maybe they use practice tests, flashcards, or a Qbank — or all three. Make sure your medical school tutor can customize those resources to match your learning style and needs while using up-to-date tools.
While it may seem like a given, it’s important to choose a tutor who actually knows how to use those resources. If you got good vibes when you asked about their experience, it’s safe to assume they can leverage the resources in the most beneficial way.
“How will our relationship work?”
A solid relationship between you and your medical school tutor is essential. When choosing a tutor, you want to pick someone who can not only help but who also meshes well with you. This will make a stressful process — studying for a big exam, for example — much more enjoyable and create a more authentic learning experience.
Your tutor will get to know you academically and personally, but it’s also essential to set clear boundaries. It should be a professional relationship with appropriate barriers — neither of you should be texting back and forth all night.
You’re going to have to hear it one more time: Medical school is hard. An excellent tutor may be just the thing you need to overcome any learning curves or knowledge gaps. Use these four questions to ask a tutor how they can help you, and then watch your success in school grow.
How to Find a Good Tutor With Rx Coach
Rx Coach, the newest study service from USMLE-Rx, makes choosing a tutor easy for medical students. It is personalized to meet your needs and assess your strengths and weaknesses to come up with the best study plan for you.
You don’t have to worry so much about how to find a good tutor because every Rx Coach tutor excelled on the USMLE exams and has extensive experience and all the materials you’ll need. What’s more, signing up for Rx Coach gives you access to the full USMLE-Rx Step 1 study suite, which includes all our proven study tools.
Schedule a free consultation today to learn how one of our Rx Coaches can help you master your tough subjects.