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Entering Medical School: Freshmen, check this out

The day I entered med school made me realize how little I know compared to my classmates. I struggled a lot during the first year. My pre-med hasn’t prepared me for the jabs med school hit me with and the fact that I didn’t do any extra courses then didn’t help. But I have waited for the chance to get here and there’s no way I’m turning back now. Let me share with you tips on how, little steps at a time, I adjusted in med school. You just have to remember 3 things: stop, look and listen.

STOP

STAHP

Stop procrastinating and start reading. If you were like me who had no idea where muscles inserted, what funny currents are and the reactions catalyzed by pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, then I suggest you start reading, pronto. There will be a lot of readings, paper works and case discussions to name a few that it will be very beneficial for you to get a head start.

LOOK

Look

Look for alternative ways you could learn. Watching instructional videos and lectures would help you understand the concepts better especially for visual learners. Making diagrams and concept maps could also help.

Look for study places with or without study buddies. Some are more comfortable studying alone. Some prefers to teach or discuss with others. Some prefers to study in their rooms, the library or the coffee shop. It would all depend on where you’re comfortable with and where you know you’ll be more productive. So go there and study, study, study.

LISTEN

Listen

Listen to your professors. Take notes during lectures. They could simplify during their lectures the complex topics with utmost details in your textbooks. Most of your professors (consultants) have decades of experience and could share with you rare gems from their practice, so listen up.

Listen to your seniors. They have undergone what you would go through so pay attention to their advice. They could give you feedbacks on how a professor approaches a subject, what to focus on, how examinations were given, references they found useful or anything you want to ask that you know could help you.

Listen to your colleagues. They will be the ones who will be with you in your journey in med school. They will be your friends you share good and bad times with. They came from different walks of life and they could share with you knowledge they acquired from their fields.

All these things I’ve shared had helped me in med school and I am hoping that it would also be of help to you as you begin your journey as a med student. It would be exhausting, depressing (sometimes) and stressful but always remember that it would all be worthwhile in the end. Good luck!

As future medical students you are probably wondering what it is like in medical school and is searching the internet of med school FAQs in order to prepare for the unknown. I did the same back then and it didn’t answer much of my queries or maybe I didn’t search too hard. Anyway, here are some of the med school facts I’d like to share with you. These were not the conventional FAQs but I hope you find it useful.

FACT 1: There is never enough time.

Due to a lot of readings, examinations, paper works and ward works, time seems to slip by easily. Before you know it, deadlines are there and you’re cramming all these lessons because you just have a lot of things to do. It would be beneficial if you could read ahead. It would give you a chance to study harder and cram less.

FACT 2: You know nothing.

It doesn’t mean that you don’t know anything at all. It just feels that way sometimes due to a lot of medical jargon that you would encounter for the first time. It is also mind blowing how doctors [consultants] were able to diagnose different diseases and explained it simply when we spent hours looking for it and we still arrive at the wrong diagnosis. Every time that happen it feels like a Jon Snow moment; “you know nothing, [your name here]”

 

FACT 3: You will never feel prepared enough for an exam.

Despite reading, memorizing or even having group studies, you would still sometimes feel that you haven’t prepared enough for an exam. There will still be a topic that you haven’t read, or a term that you forgot or a topic that you just read in passing and can’t recall now because there are a LOT of lessons you have to read in a day.

FACT 4:  You need help.

As the saying goes, no man is an island. You can’t do everything alone. There’s only one you and what seems like a million things to do in med school. Loads could be lighter if you let others help do some work for you. Even in non-academic matters, others could help you in unloading the stress and sometimes the heartbreak that med school brings.

FACT 5: Know how to relax or you’ll go crazy.

Studying hard is a given in med school. However, you should still give yourself even just a few minutes of relaxation despite the chaos of lessons and paper works. Studying all those lessons would not matter if you go to crazy town before you graduated.

FACT 6: If this isn’t your passion, QUIT NOW.

You would invest a lot of time, effort and money in being a doctor. You would see your batch mates in high school and college getting married, having their babies or buying their first car while you’re there thinking about your next practical exam. You will miss birthdays, holidays and family vacations because you’ll be at the hospital. That will be your life and you would endure all that because you want to be a doctor. If this isn’t what you see yourself doing in the future, why waste years of your life studying something you don’t love?

Med school is definitely a hard and long journey. These were just facts that I think you should know and prepare for before you tackle med. Good luck!