1. It’s not as bad as you think.
I’m sure you’ve heard all the stories about how hard it is to be a doctor or medical student, and let me tell you: they’re not exaggerated. However, this isn’t to say that it’s an impossible task. I had a lot of preconceived notions about what medical school would be like, and while I was right in some aspects (it can be incredibly difficult) I was also wrong in others (it’s more rewarding than I ever imagined). So don’t worry! If you get accepted into your program of choice, chances are it will be exactly what you expected…and more!
2. You don’t need to know everything right away; take time to adjust and learn on your own pace.
This is one of the most important things that took me a while to figure out: there is no rush! Sure, everyone wants to learn and become better at their job/hobby/life commitment ASAP but there really isn’t any reason for that rush. It takes some people years before they feel confident in their knowledge base; others feel confident after just a few months of studying/practicing/learning on their own time before school even starts! By taking the pressure off yourself and learning at your own pace, you will find success much quicker than if you rushed through everything without fully understanding each concept first. I wrote a post on this topic previously that you can read.
3. Keep your head up!
Sometimes, you feel like you’re never going to be as good as the people around you. It’s easy to compare yourself to others and think that they are so much better than you, but it’s important not to let those thoughts get in your head and bring you down! The people who seem like they know everything actually don’t; they’re just really good at hiding their weaknesses and making sure that their strengths shine through. You should do the same! Don’t forget that we’re all learning; we all have something we can improve on. Remembering this will help keep your mind open and full of positive thoughts about yourself and others around you.
4. Find a mentor (or two).
It’s important to find someone who is willing to help guide/mentor/support/advise/etc…you throughout medical school; someone who has been through it before or just simply knows what they’re doing! Having a mentor will give a sense of support, especially when things get tough or boring or stressful – which is inevitable during medical school. Whether its asking them questions about classes/testing strategies/life advice, having someone there for support truly does make a difference in how well one does during medical school as well as his or her future career as a doctor later on after graduation from med school.
5. Your classmates are there to help you.
Another thing that took me a while to figure out was that my classmates actually wanted me to succeed! I didn’t realize this at first, but after talking with other students and realizing how helpful they were, it made things easier for me. Now I make sure to offer the same support back; whenever someone is struggling with something, I’m always sure to lend a helping hand if possible. It’s hard not having someone around who is going through the exact same thing as you, but one way or another you can find people who will understand what you’re going through and will try their best to help out when needed! In the end, we’re all in it together – remember that!
6. When in doubt…Google it! (or ask someone!)
Let’s say you have a question about something related to medical school or clinicals or even life outside of school/work: do your research! There are hundreds of online resources available for free on any given topic; some of them even include videos and pictures if seeing an example helps more than reading about it from text alone. I have healthcare providers and doctors on my family’s Facebook feed that I ask questions from, and they always answer the best they can. Use your resources! There is almost always an answer out there somewhere, you just have to look for it.
7. It’s not the end of the world if you get a bad grade…or even fail a test/course!
Let me tell you something: it doesn’t matter how well or poorly you do in med school/medical school; it doesn’t define who you are as a person nor does it dictate how successful of a doctor you will be later on in your career. That being said, I understand that getting bad grades is still stressful – especially when everyone else seems to be doing so well – but try not to let them get to your head! If something comes up that is more important than school (e.g.
I hope this post was helpful in some way to you, whether you’re thinking about going into healthcare or just want to know more about what it’s like. Let me know what you thought of the article! I’d be happy to answer any questions if they come up.
Your Fellow Future Physician