Seems like a reasonable review schedule at first blush. My guess is that it is just a few tweaks here and there to make it work for you.
I just reread your initial post and I strongly recommend you consider using Anki. Most of what I am discussing below is done better or automatically and for sure faster using Anki. My understanding is lots of med school students use it to memorize the massive quantities of material required. There might be another thread on Anki and med school memorization but there are definitely YouTube videos about it. Having said that, hopefully some of the below is helpful.
One consideration is the size of the chunks of information you are trying to memorize. For example you might approach active recall (AR) and spaced repetition (SR) slightly differently if you are trying to memorize the outline of an essay for an exam vs. what is the afferent as opposed to the efferent arteriole vs. what are the major regions of the brain. From what I have seen the smaller and more atomic the pieces of info you are trying to remember the more effective this can be. It also lets you more specifically isolate the things you aren’t remembering. Those tiny pieces of info aggregate up and help you build your understanding.
My guess is that you are not wholesale forgetting everything but rather parts of it. AR/SR is not intended, in my view at least, to result in never forgetting info once you start the process but remembering most of it and then rereviewing the parts you forget. Some info locked in, some info you continue iterating. If you are forgetting 70% of the total material between day 10 and 17 that could be cause for concern whereas if you are forgetting 20 or 30% and then rereviewing and restarting the review clock that doesn’t seem too crazy, especially since you’ll likely retain most of that material on the second go round and then have a smaller amount of info that you’ll have to rereview/restart the clock for a third time.
AR/SR are not exactly “set it and forget it”. For example, if you are trying to memorize what is the afferent arteriole and you get to day 17 and have forgotten it, you may need a slightly different/more effective way for you to remember it or maybe just review it again. One of the key aspects of AR/SR is that the very act of trying to recall the information actually helps build the recall (kind of like working out and going to exhaustion). A quick review of the material then solidifies that nugget of info but resets your review clock to day 1 of the review schedule. In this example, for me, layering on the idea that A in Afferent alphabetically comes before E in Efferent helps me to recall that the afferent arteriole supplies blood to the glomerulus while the efferent arteriole carries blood away. Honestly, it is kind of weird but these little tidbits I add do help me quite a bit, not sure if it works the same for everyone.
This is also an example of memorizing atomic pieces of info to build up to a greater understanding. If you know that the afferent arteriole carries blood to the glomerulus, you can reason out an exam question about how vasoconstriction of the afferent or efferent arteriole affects glomerular filtration rate instead of memorizing vasoconstriction of the afferent results in lower GFR, vasoconstriction of the efferent results in higher GFR, vasodilation of the afferent etc. As a free side benefit, it also enables you to remember that afferent neurons carry nerve impulses to the brain/CNS and efferent neurons carry nerve impulses away from the brain/CNS.
One of the great things about using Anki to make flashcards is that it really helps with list making and image labels. For example, there is an add on (I think it is called Image Occlusion) that let’s you paste an image, say we are back to talking about regions of the brain, but hide all but one label and then serve the cards up to you hiding one label at a time. For lists, a native tool call Cloze Deletion, lets you put in a list and it hides one item at a time on a list when it serves that flashcard to you. I think these are quite effective and I don’t have a great offline suggestion for how to do this that is easy.
Also, despite my repeated endorsement of Anki, I sadly don’t get a commission for it. I just am utterly convinced it is a gamechanger for almost everyone interested in learning.
Hope this helps and that I got my physiology correct…haha.