If you’re planning to be a doctor or any other kind of medical specialist, you’re making a very and exciting choice. After all, you’ll be devoting your career to the care of others and dedicating yourself to years of complex – albeit fascinating – study. Of course, med school can be tough. So how should you approach your time there in order to make the most of the experience, achieve good grades and protect your own health and wellbeing? Read on to find out.
There is an awful lot to cram in during your medical training. At times, it can feel like an endless stream of exams and detailed reading. It can be easy to spend hour after hour in the library or in your dorm studying and revising. While it is important to keep on top of your academic tasks and term papers, you should know better than anyone that health always comes first. Try to stick to a set number of hours per week of independent study. We recommend creating a timetable that enables you to focus on different subjects at different times for greater knowledge retention, then block out a period of time to be spent exercising, socializing or chilling out.
Depending on the position you intend on reaching, you may be studying for up to ten years. Of course, you’ll start being paid once you become a resident, but this won’t be a huge amount. And before that time, you’ll have the costs of textbooks and other resources to cover on top of your school fees. Most medical students take out private student loans for graduate medical school as well as borrowing money for undergraduate studies. To keep on top of your finances, you can create a spreadsheet on which you can detail your income and every expense you accrue throughout the week. This will help you to manage your money and understand how much you have to spare at any one time.
Balance Study with Socializing
Talk to people whenever you can, and spend time with your fellow students. Not only will you be able to forge strong friendships that will see you through the more difficult periods of your studies, but you may also learn from them in terms of technical knowledge and different approaches to your work. However, you shouldn’t be tempted to spend all of your time hanging out with friends and failing to dedicate yourself to your academic responsibilities. If loads of solo study seems rough, why not form a study group to combine the best of both worlds?
Ask for Help
It’s common knowledge that med school can be hard going. Your peers know that, of course, but no one is as familiar with the matter as your tutors. Not only have they completed their own studies, but they have also watched countless students follow the same route. If you’re having problems, either academically or personally, find the right person in the faculty and ask for their advice or support. They’ll gladly help you or point you in the right direction. Keeping quiet and struggling on can be extremely bad for your mental health.
Always be Ready to Learn
If you’re doing well in your studies, it can be easy to get complacent. Remember, medicine is a surprising field and there’s always something unexpected around the corner. Keep your mind open and stay as engaged as possible. You never know what you’ll find out next!