Becoming a medical doctor is one of the most noble career choices anyone could make. Not only do you have to finish many years of medical school and training. But doctors are self-sacrificing, work impossibly long hours, and are literal lifesavers in many situations.
With over 130 different medical schools throughout the United States, prospective students have a great range of choice to kickstart their medical careers. But all of these schools have one thing in common — a rigorous core curriculum.
Here’s how to survive med school, no matter which one you choose with these top tips.
Surviving Med School: Helpful Tips to Manage Your Workload
Most medical students study allopathic medicine, which is also known as modern medicine or Western medicine. A smaller few choose to study osteopathic medicine, which is the practice of treating patients as a whole — as if all their bodily systems are interrelated.
Both of these courses of study are intense and accompanied by a hefty workload of research, assignments, essays, tests, examinations, dissertations, and practical study, of course.
Whether you need tips on time and workflow management, assignment help, or how to live a balanced life while in medical school, here are a few pointers that could help…
- Don’t Compare Your Progress to Your Peers
If you got into medical school, this is a huge achievement in itself! That is something to be proud of and something to keep in mind whenever you go to compare yourself to your peers.
By getting into medical school, you have proven your work ethic, talent, and intelligence. A quick way to derail a positive and determined mindset is with comparison. Each medical student has their own set of capabilities, methods of studying, brain capacity, etc. So try to stay on your own path, stick to what works for you, and believe that you can succeed in medical school.
Comparing yourself to your peers will only add undue stress to your plate, so try to avoid it as much as possible.
- Accept That There Is No Way to Learn Everything
There is a mountain of information to learn throughout your medical school career. It’s important to start off by accepting that you can’t physically learn it all. It may be impossible to master all the material, but you can master the important parts.
You may be accustomed to learning all study material before an exam. But in medical school, this is not always achievable. Instead, you must learn to prioritize information relevant to each exam and being a physician.
It’s ok to not know everything — the sooner you accept that, the easier medical school will be for you.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help When You Need It
It’s healthy to ask for help if you need it during your years at medical school. In fact, it’s necessary. Don’t make the mistake of being too proud to ask for assistance — whether it’s tutoring, academic support, or therapy.
Seeking out help is not a sign of weakness or a lack of intelligence. It’s actually the opposite of that. It shows that you are mature enough to recognize that you have weaknesses, and may need help in certain areas. Knowing how to ask for help will make you a better physician in the long run.
- Prioritize Time For Yourself
The reality of medical school is that there is always something new to learn. In other words, there is no upper limit on studying, researching, and working. This means that it’s easy to forget about yourself in the midst of it all.
But making ”me time” is crucial to your success in medical school. Make sure to schedule in study breaks so that you can do things that bring you joy, and help you to relax. If you don’t make this time for yourself, you could reach burn out at a very early stage and this does not bode well for the rest of your medical school years.
- Try to Attend As Much As Possible
While it’s important to make time for yourself, it’s also important not to skip your lectures, labs, study groups, etc. You should try to attend as many things as you can throughout medical school.
Classes are timetabled for a particular reason — to help you add structure to your day. Having this schedule and structure throughout your years at medical school is important to keep you track.
- Seek Out a Mentor Early On
There is nothing silly, immature, or cringe about seeking out a medical school mentor. It’s highly recommended so that you have someone older, wiser, and experienced to help you get off to the best start in your medical career.
Having a mentor means you have access to career advice, life advice, and study advice. A mentor can write letters of recommendation for you. They can also help you when making a specialty choice, and so much more.
- Learn How to Master Your Revision
It’s a good idea to learn how to revise smart, not long. In order to do this, you’ll need to gauge which type of study style works best for you. Know which time of day best suits your hours of study, too. Make sure to schedule in breaks as you need them and figure out how to spend your break time wisely.
Yes, it may seem like you’ll never get through all the revision content. You could probably study for hours on end and feel like you’re not getting anywhere. But make a habit of actively recalling what you’ve studied by completing as many past papers and questions before your exams.
It’s usually best to split up your study time into smaller blocks, then it won’t feel like such a huge, unachievable task.
- Learn to Work With Your Peers
When you finally enter the working world of medicine, you’ll quickly realize that doctors and other medical practitioners never work alone. This is why it’s important to get used to working with your peers during medical school.
Learning from your peers and helping them where needs be can be a great benefit. Not only does it make studying easier and far more palatable, but it can even help to reduce your workload.
Make Your Education a Top Priority
Once you’ve made it into med school, your education should be a top-of-mind priority at all times. If you are serious about being a medical doctor, this is one of the most fail-proof ways to succeed in such a highly demanding career.
Looking for tips on study methods, essay and coursework writing, dissertations, and more? Be sure to explore the rest of this site to help you through your years at medical school.