Medical school is unlike any other kind of education you will obtain in your lifetime. The schedule is grueling, studying time is constant, tuition is expensive and the material you need to learn is extensive. Although your dedication, patience and hard work will be rewarded by the time you complete medical school, you need to be aware of the various aspects of these institutions. Otherwise, you could be disappointed and concede defeat right away.
Here are seven things you need to know before you start medical school:
1. Be Ready to Make Sacrifices
No, you won’t be at medical school 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But you should be ready to make plenty of sacrifices, whether it’s emotionally, physically or monetarily. It will be hard to keep in touch with your friends from back home or your baseball buddies.
2. There Will be Braggers
Sometimes, you just want to talk to someone about anything except medical school. However, there will always be a person you come across who will constantly discuss their grades, their studying and how great they are. Be prepared for this.
3. Research is Mandatory – Attending Lectures is Not
Here is one thing that you will constantly do: research. You will be a lab rat and you will be in the library a large chunk of your time. That said, you may not necessarily need to attend every single lecture that’s scheduled. Researching may actually be more suitable than a lecture.
4. You Won’t Need to Study Before Your First Year
Many first-year medical school students think it would be prudent to study a specialty the summer before their studies commence. Wrong. You shouldn’t do this. Instead, the best thing you could do is really be fresh – behave like a sponge and absorb everything around you.
5. Know How to Invest & Organize Your Time
If you’re not someone who wasn’t great at time management then you will be. Indeed, when you’re at medical school, you will need to know how to invest and organize your time wisely. If you fail to achieve this then you will lag behind and fail to grasp all of the important subjects.
6. Procrastination Will Hurt You
Perhaps this relates to the previous point, but procrastination will be the harbinger of your doom. If you continually postpone, delay and ignore important tasks then you won’t get very far. Like every medical school student eventually learns, time is finite and you must manage it well.
7. Always be Professional at Medical School
This may be difficult for the new generation to learn, but you must remain professional at all times at medical school. You must treat medical school as if you were working at a real medical office: treat everyone with respect, be polite and pay attention.