In this episode, Ryan and Allison talk about their experiences as they transitioned into medical school. First off, congratulations to Allison for graduating from her residency training and she’s now out in the “real” world.
Today, they recall the experiences they’ve had as first year medical students, the struggles they’ve had and the fun things along the way. Hopefully, you get to pick up lessons and learn what things can be expected once you step into medical school.
Here are the highlights of the conversation with Ryan and Allison:
Allison’s adjustments in taking the steps into medical school:
- Change in environment from MA to NY
- Living in medical school dorms
- Feeling of excitement to be finally in medical school
- Orientation on a boat cruise!
- Hitting the ground running
Considerations in choosing which medical school to apply to:
- Location, setting, environment
- Know what fits you
- Observe life at the campus
Walking into the anatomy lab:
- Getting used to the environment and the smell (you’re not going to be smelly everyday though)
- Respect for every cadaver is important
- Treat the cadaver like your real patient
- Be prepared for the goo factor
Learning Anatomy and Histology:
- Learning all the materials for Anatomy and Histology and balancing your focus (Ryan failed his first Histology test but learned to balance things)
- Medical schools will do everything they can to help you succeed
- Females – don’t wear high heels inside the room during practical tests. It can be too noisy.
- “Drinking from the firehose”
Their memorable experiences in first year:
- Studying – hours and hours of studying!
- Studying at the Atlanta Bread Company
- Being absorbed into a new world
Disconnection from family members:
- Family getting confused at where you’re at
- Having trouble connecting with people not going through medical school
- Starting to learn another language in medicine
The impact of course work on your board score:
Adopting the mentality that everything counts!
Scribe services and different learning styles:
- Your school might have that where they offer recorded lectures and transcripts
- Figure out which style of learning works for you best
- See it, hear it, say it, and write it
Planning your first summer:
- Take the opportunity to explore your interest – shadowing, research, volunteering, etc.
- Ryan took a trip to San Antonio with the Air Force
- Allison had a shadowing opportunity that led to her career as a neurologist
Some pieces of advice for premed students:
- Stay ahead of the game. It will only get harder once you get behind.
- Figure out what works for you.
- Don’t compare your study style with others’
- Stay sane. Exercise. Eat well. It’s a crazy year but it’s a great first year!
Links and Other Resources:
Pancakes Every Day! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5RapBjos3I
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Are you a nontraditional student? Go check out oldpremeds.org.
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