Advice for Medical School
Being a medical student can be a challenge – that’s why we put together some advice that we collected, and you can come back and reference it anytime! Some things can change in the transition from high school and college to medical school, and we’re here to help! If you find that you want more advice than what we've listed here, check out this article! And remember, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Learn how to study for medical school.
Studying the same way you did in high school and college might not work for you when you’re in medical school. There’s a significant amount of vital information, and learning all of it can be overwhelming. It will take some trial and error, but learning how to study for medical school is the first and most important step to succeeding!
Don’t compare yourself to others.
It can be very easy to look at your peers or even your professors and think that you’re not where you need to be. Just know that you are not behind, because it’s not a race. The most important desired outcome of medical school is for you to be the best healthcare professional that you can be, and not much else outside of that matters. You’re in medical school to practice medicine, not to win a race.
Get to know the staff and administration.
We know that it can be a challenge to find time to be friendly with peers and professors, but getting to know everyone is an advantage. Just like they say when you go to college, getting to know your professors is important. A professor may be more likely to help you later on if they know who you are – so introduce yourself and ask questions!
Seek out older medical students.
Older medical students will be your best resource when you’re in medical school. They can give advice on specific professors, how courses work, where the best entertainment is, and more. You can rely on them for all of the insider knowledge that a professor or some of your other peers may not have.
Make time for things outside of medicine.
You’ll be spending enough time learning medicine as it is, so there’s no benefit in cramming all of the information in your brain. You shouldn’t overwork yourself – don’t study when you’re fatigued, when you’re tired, when you’re mentally unwell, etc. Things are less likely to stick if you’re forcing the information. In addition to this, forcing yourself to do things when you don’t want to is okay to a point, but if you find that you’re no longer engaged, take a break. Go have fun; spend time with your peers and explore the city!
Type all of your notes - CTRL+F will be your best friend.
Medical school is extensive, so there’s bound to be a lot of note-taking. This is where it comes in handy to have a laptop to take all of your notes on. If you take the pen and paper route, your hand will cramp up after awhile. And odds are, you won’t be able to read anything you wrote down anyway, because of how quickly your professor was speaking. Oh, and it’s a lot easier to do a search for a term in your notes if they’re typed.
Mental health comes first.
Look at it like this – if you’re mentally unwell, you can’t do any of the things you wanted to do anyway. It’s important that we all take care of ourselves in between our daily tasks. It’s okay to take a break, and it’s okay to spend a day off not doing anything – even when you’re in school to become a doctor.
Make time for friendships.
Medical school is going to be a challenge, and it is more important now than ever to hold on to the relationships you have. Whether those relationships are within or outside of medical school, make sure that you’re making time for them. Your support system consists of those relationships you might be ignoring because you’re “too busy”.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
The whole point of being in school is furthering your education. You can’t further your education if you don’t ask for questions. It’s okay to not know things. It is okay to try to figure out problems on your own sometimes, but it’s also not a bad thing to ask for assistance when you need it. Chances are, someone else probably has the same question you do.
Act the part of a doctor.
Just because you’re in medical school doesn’t mean that you can’t go ahead and start acting as though you’re a doctor. If you act with confidence, you will be confident - don't doubt your abilities! Now is the time you’ve been waiting for – dress to impress both your peers and your mentors.
Hopefully this article gave you some insight on what to expect and how to prepare for medical school to be the best physician possible. If there's anything you'd like to share with us, feel free to reach out at email@example.com!
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