Desk/Office Setup for Productive Med School Studying

Take a look at my medical school desk setup and office, for productive studying stints that last! As a directed study medical student (akin to independent study) I'm at my study sanctuary A LOT. Let me show you how you can get the most from your study space at home and maintain wellness (and sanity) with a few accessories.

Video Transcript & Links:

Hello and welcome to my channel!

My name is Liberty and I am a student doctor.

Currently now... I think I'm calling myself a second-year med student--an OMS-2--at this point, because I just finished my first year.

As I wrapped up my first year of med school I was thinking that maybe I would give you a tour of my desk setup, my workspace, my office, because probably the number one thing that you need to do to succeed in med school is... study, right?

It's all about studying, it's about knowing the material, so you need a good space--almost like a sanctuary where you can get that done and, especially for me, because I'm in what's called a directed study pathway, meaning a lot of my studying happens at home. I don't actually go to school for a whole lot, I go to school to take quizzes and exams and labs and workshops but otherwise, I study at home and everything's on my computer.

So let's dive right in and talk about my study setup.

First thing, if you have noticed, I have this beautiful, gorgeous, huge, L-shaped desk. This is by far my favorite. I love it. While I do everything on my computer, it's just nice to be able to spread out because my desk is really multifunctional for me. I study here on my computer but I also... as I think many med students do, eat. So I need a place to put food and drinks and if I do happen to have any like paper or book materials, I can set them out over here. Basic neurology was definitely a time when I did that--I had pictures of neural pathways just all over the place!

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This chair. I decided to invest in a nice chair at the beginning of the year because I thought well, I'm going to spend so much time at home studying, sitting, and right? That's just something people recommend, is a good chair and so I looked for a really nice, ergonomic chair. If I had to go back, I wouldn't do it again. It's just... I mean, it's not my favorite. I don't like this mesh-y stuff, like it feels hard, it feels kind of prickly, if I wear like shorts it's like sitting on a cactus so, I don't know, it's--it's not what I was hoping it would be. I would rather go for like a comfy, maybe a leather chair, just something with a lot of cushion is actually what I would prefer, but to each their own. I'm sure it's better for me than some other things but it's not necessarily comfortable and I would like comfy, I would like comfort.

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Let's stand up for this next thing.

I really, I really, really love...

This riser. I tried to find the longest one--the widest one--that I could find because I knew I wanted to have multiple monitors so I needed a place where I would be able to accommodate the monitors. And I love that I was able to get it in this dark, almost like cherry wood, finish so it really kind of matches my desk a little bit.

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Now, why I love this is because I wanted to be able to stand, and not only stand, but I wanted to use my under-the-desk treadmill to walk sometimes as I'm studying. Being able to get up, being able to move while you're studying, is really imperative because, at least for me, I don't find like really dedicated time to exercise or move a lot during the year. It's important to keep your joints lubricated, to encourage your circulation, it helps move your lymphatics. Movement keeps you healthy; it's so important.

So having the riser allows me to do both of those things--stand or walk or jog--and if you are wondering if I can multitask, go watch some of my vlogs because I do it all the time. I can walk, I can jog, and I can type, and I can use my mouse all at the same time. It does take a little bit of practice at first just to get it down, but once you get that muscle memory of that movement going, it's really not difficult.

With one hand over here I can just easily lower it and raise it. Pretty seamless, it's quiet. Now, I know it's really growing in popularity, people understand the importance of being able to move and so standing desks, or walking desks, are really gaining in popularity. And I've looked at those before. I found them for like thousands of dollars for like one small, rectangle piece of desk. This riser replaces thousands of dollars worth of standing desks.

Why don't we talk about some of the technology that I use in med school?

I use my MacBook Pro back here. Macs, in general, are just so hardy like they will last you forever; I know that it's going to be around for a while.

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And I have this beautiful setup.

When I first started, I actually used this guy. I used this for a couple of years and it's really... it really worked out for me.

I have since upgraded, because I used this guy for a couple of years, when I would use it, it started to get really, really hot and then my whole computer would just like bzzzt and go whack.

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So I upgraded. I don't even know if it's an upgrade really. I--I made a lateral move, okay?

With that lateral move, I went and I got this "docking station," that's what I'm gonna call it. This one is more of a cube. Now, what I like about it is--the reason I got it is--the other one (shown above), it had to stay like that. That's the only way that I could use it. It had to stay adjacent to my laptop, like this, and so I was really limited with my wiggle room and I had so many cords coming and going from right here at my laptop, which actually was kind of a hindrance on how I could use things, especially in my desk space over here.

So the advantage to using this cube guy is that it comes with this long cord. It's the same idea, it's the same exact thing, only it has a long cord that I run into the back of it. And so I put it back here, behind my monitors; and then it has a couple of HDMI ports and so I just use those to connect to my monitors.

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I'm not very particular in what kind of monitors I have. I just need something that works, something that I can throw browsers, and pdfs, and powerpoints, and Anki cards, and stall that good stuff onto and maybe like play some videos; but I don't really care how it looks. I just need the space. The space is what I'm looking for because I do often have all of those windows up at the same time while I'm studying in here.

So I, honestly, I have an LG monitor here

and I have a Dell monitor here.

And my tactic is I look up--I Google: "Amazon best seller computer monitors" and I look for relatively large ones. I just go for what has some... what's on the best seller list, what has a good amount of reviews, and is on the cheaper side.

So these are actually pretty cheap monitors but they're large; they're extending my screen so I technically have one, two, and three screens coming from my MacBook Pro. It's just really wonderful.

I do over here have a couple of iPads. They're both iPad Pros--one is mine that I would use for school if I were using it for school and the other one I have designated as now my daughter's, which is why it has the pink foamy protective case on it and it only has like little toddler games.

When I was an undergrad, I loved, I loved using my iPad and I took it with me everywhere to school. That was how I took notes (with my Apple pencil), it was how I did everything. Because they're--they're really great.. they're really great like workhorses; but, now, being in med school I just find that I can't. It's just not the piece of technology that helps me get what I need.