Getting acceptance to an MD program is a challenging undertaking. You have to submit a killer personal statement, prepare for the MCAT, score an impressive GPA, and attend medical school interviews to finally start a medical school life. If you have achieved this huge milestone, congratulations!
It’s time to get ready for the challenging academic life ahead. You should be proud of getting a spot in a medical school. Medical school life is entirely different from the previous academic years. As a medical student, you need to keep your motivation level high and get ready for the academic and clinical challenges you will come across throughout the four-years of schooling.
Whether you are embarking on your medical school journey or waiting for the acceptance call, here are some surefire tips for new medical students to enjoy the journey as much as possible and fulfill their dream of becoming a physician.
Adjust to the New Routine
When you start your medical school journey, the very first thing you will notice is the tough routine. New class schedules, lecture materials, lab work, and group sessions will make you feel overwhelmed. It will take some time to adjust to the new routine. Create a study schedule to efficiently manage your time. You can make adjustments in the schedule according to your academic and nonacademic activities.
Attend Lectures Regularly
One of the most efficient ways to study well in medical school is to regularly attend lectures. It helps students to keep up with the volume of information they are supposed to absorb in the first year of medical school. There is a massive amount of content you need to cover in medical school, which makes it a little intimidating for first-year students. However, developing a solid study plan can help you quickly absorb the information.
It is impossible to remember every single fact mentioned during lectures, the key is to make flashcards or slides of every lecture you attend. Remember only the important points of the lectures and try to review the material regularly to avoid cramming at the last minute to prepare for tests.
Hone Your Study Strategies
The ability to efficiently manage your time will help medical students to successfully survive in medical school. During the first two years of medical school (preclinical years) you have to learn many complex topics, such as anatomy, pathology, pharmacology and more. You need to understand the concepts and memorize medical terminologies to build a strong foundation of medical knowledge.
It is strongly advised to create a study plan and identify the best learning strategy that would suit this new and challenging environment. For instance, you can record the lecture and play it back to memorize the information. Similarly, you can watch tutorials and video lessons to better understand the concept.
The key is to figure out the best study method to deal with the rigorous course load of medical school. When you determine what learning style suits you best, it will eventually help you learn complex things in a short amount of time. This way you can set aside time for other nonacademic activities you love doing.
Build a Strong Relationship with Your Seniors
Since you are new to this academic environment, it is a great idea to meet with your seniors to know the ins and outs of the school. They will teach you about the medical school procedures and the rules and regulations to attend the lectures. Your seniors will guide you on how to deal with the academic pressure, how to prepare for the USMLE Step 1 and secure a good GPA.
Developing relationships with your seniors will help you to perfectly manage your academic and nonacademic activities. It is always a great idea to ask for help earlier and seek assistance from supervisors, academic staff or senior students to avoid any inconvenience.
Prioritize Your Health
You need to eat properly, sleep well and exercise daily to stay healthy. Without the proper energy and sleep, you won’t be able to absorb a lot of complex information and perform at your best during medical school. Get adequate sleep to restore your mental and physical energy. Take healthy foods to supercharge your energy levels. If you neglect your mental and physical health, it will badly affect your memorization ability and eventually lead to poor academic performance.
Participate in Extracurricular Activities
If you are one of those students who think that you have no social life after getting into medical school. It is exactly not the case. For many students, transitioning from college to medical school is no easy feat. You can still participate in extracurricular and social activities, if you manage your time wisely.
Setting aside time for extracurricular activities is a sensible approach to recharge your mind. Though it seems a bit difficult to perform some volunteer work or extracurriculars as you have to cover a lot of course material in the first year of medical school. Try to master the study routine in a way that you can enjoy your social life.
Are You Ready to Embrace the First Year Experience?
The road to becoming a doctor is extremely difficult. You can make this path easier and become a shining star of the class by following all the tips mentioned in this blog. If you are all set to apply to medical school or heading to start your medical education in 2022, these tips will embrace your first-year experience, prepare you to give your best in the years to come and become the best doctor.