Top 7 Things You Should Know as a Medical Student

Session 32

Session 32

As a result of last week’s Session 31 – 8 Pieces of Information Every Premed Should Know which got great responses, Ryan and Allison follow it up with today’s episode as they share with you medical school tips and specifically talk about the 7 things you should know as you enter medical school and stuff they have known a little bit more in their medical school journey. We hope the discussion today will help you as you go along your own path into medicine.

Here are the highlights of the conversation with Ryan and Allison:

  1. Medical school is a whole level of smart.

  • Don’t be discouraged. You can’t be the best at everything.
  • You need to do well but you don’t have to be the best in medical school.
  • Don’t be intimidated being surrounded by a lot of smart people.
  • Don’t compare yourself or compete with others. Your only competition is you.
  1. Try different study habits until you find what works for you best.

  • Know yourself and how you study the best. Be willing to adjust as necessary.
  • Try different study habits and ask around to see what other people are doing.
  • Your old study habits may no longer serve you in medical school.
  • Find a study buddy or a study group to keep you motivated.
  • Medicine like drinking from a fire hose or eating 10 pancakes a day
  1. Expose yourself early to your school’s residency program.

  • If your school has a residency program where you’re doing clinical rotations, introduce yourself early to the program director and get to know the residents.
  • Start asking about research opportunities since many residencies will expect research experience in a particular area so be on the lookout as early on.
  1. Take care of yourself.

  • Diet, exercise, and sleep all have profound effects on your cognition and memory.
  • Ryan and Allison have this old expression in medical school, “”Eat when you can, sleep when you can, and don’t f#$% with the pancreas.”
  • Find a way to relax your mind and vent out your fears, anxiety, and frustrations.
  • Build a support structure around you to talk to people.
  1. Learn from your patients.

  • When you start your clinical years, you’ll have so many books to read but you can’t read them cover to cover and expect to learn them all.
  • The best strategy is “just in time” learning where you learn from your patients.
  • As you encounter a patient, go learn about the disease your patient is currently being treated for to help you learn more.
  • Read about the topic as you’re admitting the patient.
  • You’ll have a better chance of answering once you’re being pimped (happens during rounds when the attending or resident calls you out and asks you questions and expect you to know things)
  • Plus you will remember your patients years later!
  1. The Boards

  • USMLE Step 1 for MD schools Take a listen to our podcast about the USMLE Step 1 here.
  • COMLEX for DO schools
  • These tests are the biggest factors on your residency applications so you have to do well in them
  • Do well in your classwork and learn during your first two years
  • Becoming a professional test taker in medical school

Important things to consider:

  • Geography makes things competitive
  • More medical students graduating while residency spots are limited
  • Coursework is a large factor
  1. Residency Application Timing

  • Apply early to residency.
  • When you start getting interview requests, remember that’s it going to be sent to many so it’s like a race for you to get your spot.
  • First come, first serve basis

Links and Other Resources:

Check out this YouTube video describing how medicine is like eating 10 pancakes a day.

Case Files: Pharmacology 3e

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