The title of this article might have caught your attention if you recently got accepted in your preferred med school but is now clueless on how to prepare for the entire experience. You likely have many questions on what you should and shouldn’t do as you get ready for med school.
The thought of attending med school and making sure that you excel in it is often overwhelming. What should you do to prepare mentally and physically for med school? How can you maximize the entire experience?
Aside from checking out medicalaid’s definitive guide, this article will provide answers to all of these questions.
Here’s how you can prepare for med school:
1. Know What To Expect In Med School
You will have a lot of things on your plate when you go to med school. Other than taking classes on basic sciences, you’ll also have the chance to interview and examine actual patients through clinical clerkships, internships, and residencies.
With that in mind, you need to know what’s in store for you in med school. Getting into med school is a full-time job as it will require you at least 40 hours a week for classes, especially during the first two years. As you progress in med school, expect that you’ll become busier as you now have to balance time and energy between classes and immersions.
Regardless of how tempting it is, refrain from committing to other responsibilities when you attend med school. As much as possible, minimize unrelated work (such as working part-time) as this will only contribute to stress and make it challenging for you to manage your time.
2. Refrain From Buying All The Textbooks
Textbooks are essential materials that aid in learning. These books provide vital information necessary for your learning, growth, and success in med school. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to buy all of the textbooks recommended by the school. Med school is already expensive, and buying tons of textbooks can hurt your bank account even more.
Instead of buying all of the textbooks weeks before the classes start, you can make use of supplemental materials that will be given during classes. These usually include video tutorials, practice questions, PowerPoints, and lecture notes. You can also make use of free online copies of textbooks that are often available on the internet or the med school’s online portal.
Only buy textbooks required by the med school if highly necessary, and you can’t find other sources of information. It will help you minimize costs without compromising your learning aids for med school.
3. Identify Your Learning Style
The lessons you’ll learn during the first two years will lay the foundation for the skills and knowledge you’ll need in the following years of med school. This is one of the reasons why you should identify your learning style early, so you can easily grasp lessons discussed in the classroom.
If you’re having problems retaining information from reading textbooks, look for other ways to acquire the same information. For example, if you’re a visual learner, you can watch videos about the topics discussed in the classroom. If you’re an auditory learner, look for platforms where you can download podcasts discussing medical-related topics.
Identifying your learning style is critical to ensure that you can easily digest topics once the classes start. It will make it easier for you to acquire more knowledge as you progress in med school.
4. Learn About Different Specialties
Although you won’t have to choose a specialty during the first two years of med school, it’s still important to learn about them. You need to learn about different specialties as early as possible, so you can easily choose which to pursue in med school.
Some of the most common specialties offered in med schools are family medicine, diagnostic radiology, dermatology, pediatrics, and psychiatry. Depending on the med school you choose to enroll in, it can have more or fewer specialties.
Prepare for med school by learning about different specialties. Take the time to determine how each specialty differs and which among these suits your personality, skills, and professional goals. This information will help you decide which majors to enroll in the future.
5. Set Boundaries
As a human being, you can only do so much. Regardless of how you want to take on several responsibilities in med school, remember that your mind and body have limitations.
Another way to prepare for med school is to set boundaries. As a med student, you need to practice time management to ensure a balanced time for your studies, self-care, and health. This usually means saying ‘no’ to people who always invite you to parties or crossing off activities that are not worth wasting time on.
To ensure that you can finish med school, prioritize your health and listen to what your body needs. Do you feel hungry after studying for hours? Take a break and eat. Do you feel tired after attending classes? Sleep early and adequately. Taking care of yourself enables you to take information easily and succeed in med school.
6. Familiarize Yourself With The Area Around The Med School
You’ll be spending around five years in med school, which means that its location will be your home for five years. Aside from studying, this is where you’ll have to de-stress after classes.
To prepare for med school, spend a few days roaming around the area. This should be done weeks before the classes start so you can have sufficient time to do it. Find the best parks, restaurants, and any other attractions around the area. If you’re going to live off-campus, use this as an opportunity to look for the perfect accommodation suitable to your lifestyle and budget.
Familiarizing yourself with the area will make it easier for you to adjust to your new environment. Who knows, you might even make friends with people who live around the area in the process!
Instead of thinking about what could possibly go wrong in med school, embrace all of the experiences you will have and look for ways to have fun. As long as you follow all of the preparation tips mentioned in this article, you’ll be able to manage and survive med school!