Tips for New and Incoming Medical Students

The long-awaited first day of medical school has nearly arrived. You're about to begin a life-changing journey to become a doctor. Your mind races with the questions - can I really do this, what if I'm not smart enough, how much will I have to study and a million other things. For parents and older students with family responsibilities, there are additional concerns about balancing school and home life. Well, here are some words from the wise from past and current medical students.

Team-Up

Make friends with other classmates, start study groups, work and play together. If you're not a group kind-of-person then find at least one friend and get together a few days before a test and quiz each other. Create support groups if you can't find one. As you all dissappear off to clinical attachments in later years, the more grounded your relationships are, the better support group you have. You might find you make some lifelong friends.

Make a Schedule that Works for You

Sure, everyone else studies at this time and that time. If you have a family do what works for you, which might be a few hours a day during the week and then all weekend. Non-traditional students do things non-traditionally - they are often very successful.

Stress Out with Friends

Try to stress out events with your medical student friends. No-one else understands as much as them. This will help minimize the stress you bring home.

Get Ahead

Get First Aid for Step 1, or other similar review guide right away and use them as you take the class. It will make step one prep easier. Check out MomMD's USMLE resources.

Don't Cram Late at Night

Especially, us 'older' students. Last minute cramming the night before the test is not a good idea. Get organized and make your life easier.

Bad Test Scores Happen

Everyone does them, especially in the first year. Don't beat yourself up about it. Understand what you did wrong and learn from the experience.

Write Notes

Especially during the clinical years. Have your residents or attending review them with you. That way you can understand all the different problems your patients might have.

Talk to Your Patients

If you have extra time, talk to your patients. Don't be afraid to ask them how it feels to be in their position. You will learn alot from seeing things from the patient's perspective and improve your communication skills. Ask them what they know and understand of their illnesss and treatment. You will learn about how well or poorly they have been communicated with about their situation.

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