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Your Guide To Surviving Med School



It’s no secret that getting into the world of medicine is tough. The hours are long, the work is hard, and the job is stressful. It’s a perfect storm of intellectual difficulty, personal misery, and patient stress.

Medical school is deliberately hard. It’s designed to weed out the people who aren’t cut out for life as a doctor and ensure that only those with the aptitude and fortitude to succeed in the sector make it through. It’s a brutal approach, but one the establishment feels is necessary.

If you’re a medical student right now, that’s not much help. You’ve pinned your dreams on becoming a medical professional, but right now the demands of the course seem too intense. How will you make it through?

In this article, we’re going to investigate some of the tried-and-tested methods people use to make med school more manageable. With this advice, you should find surviving school much easier.

Put It All In Perspective

The chances are that if you made it to medical school, you’re pretty smart. At high school and college, you were likely at the top of your class and had an exceptional GPA or 3.0 or more – nothing to sniff at. So you know that even if medical school doesn’t work out, there’s still plenty of things that you could do instead. You’re not tied down to a career in medicine if you find that the realities of the job or training don’t fit with your personality or the lifestyle you want.

Putting medical school in perspective is important. It’s not something you HAVE to do; it’s just something you’re trialing to see if you like it. You’ve got your entire life to choose a career direction, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be what you initially envisaged.

Also, give it time. The first week at med school can be scary. The standard is high, and the work is challenging. You may find yourself at the end of the first week wondering why you allowed yourself to get into this situation. It’s best to take a step back, take your time, and see how it goes. Panic is your enemy.

Choose A Program That Inspires You

Work in the medical sector is highly varied so the course you choose can have a significant influence on your overall experience. Neonatal nurse practitioner programs will be different from drug or rehab training. It’s crucial, therefore, to choose a program that will inspire you. When you become a medical practitioner, you need to believe that you’re making a real difference in the world. Selecting the right program is, therefore, vital. Often all of the hard work and stress is worth it if you know that at the end of it, you’ll be in a position to transform lives.

Do Plenty Of Activities Outside Training

Days at med school tend to be long. At the start, courses are intense, covering a wide variety of subjects in a short space of time. Later on, you may have the opportunity to work in real clinical settings and practice what you’ve learned. Again, this can make the days long and stressful.

Successful medical students always make sure that they allocate time to do stuff outside of their medical training. Activities include going out socializing with friends, spending time reading a book, or exercising. Focusing exclusively on studies to the detriment of everything else is a surefire recipe for failure.

Medical school is different from most higher-education experiences. Most traditional academic courses have less than ten hours of contact time per week, with students doing their own self-study the rest of the time, if they can be bothered. But at medical school, the demands on your time are far more intense. You don’t have time during the day to catch up with friends or go to the gym for an hour of exercise. It’s often about rushing from one class to another, sometimes until late into the evening.

As a medical student, you need to absorb an enormous amount of information every day. You might think that you need to spend all hours working, including your free time, but that’s not how the brain works. It needs downtime to consolidate what it’s learned. Give it some rest by doing something that allows you to zone out and have a more varied life.

Create A Weekly Timetable

As a medical student, your time is scarce. Because of this, you need to have a plan for how you’re going to use your time weekly. It’s not about filling every hour of the day with something – just making sure that you have time for training, homework, and other aspects of your life.

Once you complete your timetable, you may find that you have to make compromises. You may have to put your romantic life on hold or stop with a particular hobby for a while. But the purpose of a timetable is to give you a framework so that you can at least plan to do all the essentials.

If You’re Stressed Or Worried, Talk It Through

Not everyone can take a step back from academic studies, relax and see the bigger picture. For many, the educational experience is one that generates intense feelings of anxiety and the fear of failure.

If you find yourself struggling, remember that there are plenty of people with whom you can talk. Often being able to chat through your worries with another person can help enormously and give you a new perspective. Talking to somebody who has been through medical school is good because they can empathize more directly with your experience, feel your pain, and tell you about how they coped with it. You can also talk to your peers – people going through the same experience as you right now – about what it’s like for you.

Getting a job in medicine isn’t easy, but once you bust through the training and get into the field, it’s worth it. You’ll be able to help hundreds of people get back on the path to health.

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