Are you planning to attend medical school at a top MD degree program? First of all, let me say. Congratulations! Becoming a doctor is hands down one of the most difficult yet rewarding career paths you can choose.
I am 100% impressed by anyone who makes this decision. Before we go any further, I want to say that you should be proud of yourself.
Let's be real now that we got all that out of the way. Medical school is going to be difficult. Seriously. It won’t be a breeze, and it’s not party time. It is time to buckle down.
I say this because I want to be open and honest with you. Before you begin this journey, you should know that many medical students experience burnout or give up. I don’t want to scare you off, though, because, with some preparation, you can learn how to thrive in medical school.
I know you've already had your course-by-course evaluation form notarized by a professional, been accepted, and are just bursting to get going.
However, before you head off to learn how to be the best doctor you can be, check out these tips to help you succeed in your journey.
Thriving In Medical School
The best advice I can give you on how to thrive in medical school is to forget about everything you know about “typical” education. Medical school will be completely different, and following the advice of others is extremely beneficial to your success.
I already mentioned that you must prepare for a completely different educational experience when entering medical school. That means that you need to be flexible. Be flexible with your typical study habits and your typical learning strategies. You cannot expect your learning experience to be the same.
Maybe open yourself up to learning more about yourself and your divine nature. It could help you have more self-control over your mind and help you succeed. This will also help you be flexible about taking different jobs in the future, such as clinical trial physician jobs, travel nurses, etc.
Get rid of your stubbornness, such as thinking, “I know how to do it; I don’t need to do it differently” Challenge the old! Embrace the new! You might find that you love the new ways of learning.
There is a lot of work that goes into medical school. A lot of paperwork, a lot of books, a lot of notes, and to succeed in your studies, all of these things must be well organized. With disorganization comes chaos, which adds to the feeling of being overwhelmed.
A quiet space to study is imperative to a successful learning environment. This space needs to be organized and clutter-free. In this space, you should include study tools that help you learn (quiet music, coffee on hand, etc.).
Lay Out Your Schedule
It may seem extreme, but laying out your daily schedule is important. Schedule out when you will have classes when you have mealtime, and study time, and yes, you also need to schedule your time off to allow yourself even just a small break in your schedule (important for mental health).
This can be done in a written planner or a calendar app such as Google Calendar.
Maintain a Strong Social Circle
A strong social circle (friends or family) is critical to your success in medical school. Medical school is an incredibly stressful time in life, and knowing that you have the support of others can be a huge benefit to maintaining the motivation needed to continue.
In addition to your pre-med school family and friends, you also need to build relationships with other medical students. Trust me; you will inevitably need help in your studies. Knowing someone who understands and is going through the same difficulties as you makes it much easier to thrive in school because you know you are not alone.
Build Healthy Habits
It is extremely easy to lose track of taking care of your health when going through medical school's rigors. Many medical students skip out on sleep and healthy eating, and many forget to exercise at all. It is an incredibly common occurrence with medical students.
Another healthy habit that many students forget to focus on is socialization. Since you are so busy doing schoolwork, you won’t have time for socialization, but you still need to do it.
No, I’m not saying to go out and party. I am saying that to not burnout, you have to take breaks from work. You cannot expect to live medical studies 24/7 and maintain proper mental health. You must take time for yourself.
Learning to follow these tips will help you learn how to thrive in medical school from the start. Additionally, these tips should be utilized together so that they can build off of one another to help you further succeed. Think about it like this: once you create better study strategies, you will have more time to focus on your health and spend with your friends and loved ones, all of which will help keep you refreshed and help prevent burnout.
Becoming a doctor is such a wonderful and rewarding goal. I wish you all the best on your journey to get there!