As a medical student, you know that the most important thing about a career in medicine is to be able to help people.
It’s also important for you to have an enjoyable experience and make the most of your education so that when you start working as a doctor, you’ll be fully prepared.
Here are seven ways to do just that:
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1. Find a mentor.
A mentor is someone who has been where you want to go and can help you get there. Mentors can guide you through the challenges of medical school, helping you figure out how to tackle your studies and prepare for exams.
They can also help with career planning and give guidance on what steps are necessary when applying for residency programs or jobs after graduation.
Mentors can also be valuable resources in helping students manage their personal lives outside of school: finding time for family, friends, hobbies, exercise, and relaxation–all things that are often pushed aside during the rigors of medical education but are essential components of overall wellness (and happiness).
Finally, mentors should be able to assist in developing skills related specifically to leadership development, such as communication ability or decision-making skills.
2. Find a way to spend time with your classmates outside of class.
One of the best ways to make friends and form relationships is by joining a club or organization. You can also volunteer at a hospital, which will give you an opportunity to interact with patients and gain some hands-on experience.
As far as study groups go, if you’re in med school, then it’s likely that most of your classmates are also studying hard–so finding other people who want to work together may be tough at times.
Statmed has some great advice on how to start a med school study group.
3. Make the most of your clinical experience.
As you progress through your medical school education, you will be expected to spend more time in clinical settings. The importance of this experience cannot be overstated; it is where you will learn how to work with patients and hone your skills as a clinician.
At first glance, there are many ways in which a clinical rotation can be beneficial. However, three key areas should be focused on during each rotation:
- Learning how to work with patients
- Learning how to work within a team environment
- Learning how to respond under pressure
4. Get organized.
Organization is key to making the most out of your time in medical school.
A calendar, planner, and checklist will help you stay on top of deadlines, meetings, and other tasks that need to be done.
Check out these productivity apps to help you stay on top of your assignments and tests (and just life in general).
5. Don’t burn out early.
If you’re like most people, you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of medical school. It’s okay to be nervous–it’s a big step! But don’t let that discourage you from taking advantage of everything it has to offer.
You’ll have plenty of time later in life when things aren’t going well, and even small problems can seem insurmountable.
Now is not the time for that kind of thinking; now is the time for action and forward momentum.
You’ll learn so much more if you stay motivated throughout your studies than if all your energy goes into trying not to fail out early on because things were too hard or challenging at first (and remember: nothing worthwhile ever comes easily).
6. Leverage your resources to succeed.
As you progress through medical school, it’s important to remember that the resources available are there for a reason: to help you succeed.
You have access to an abundance of excellent learning materials and people willing to share their knowledge with you.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek guidance when necessary–it’s okay if your professor doesn’t know everything about medicine!
Use their expertise as well as those around you in order to make the most out of every opportunity presented during class time and clinical rotations.
7. Don’t forget about the little things that matter.
While in medical school, getting caught up in all your classes and other responsibilities is easy. But make sure you take time for yourself.
Eat well, sleep enough, and exercise regularly–these things are important for maintaining your physical and mental health!
Take time out of each day to relax and enjoy yourself; if possible, try doing something fun with friends or family members (like going out for ice cream).
Although comparing the salaries of potential specialties like this is an important part of making your decisions, remember that money isn’t everything.
The medical school experience is one that can be extremely rewarding, but also very stressful. By taking care of the little things and finding ways to manage your time better, you’ll find that you’re not only more prepared for exams but also able to enjoy life outside of school.