Going to Medical School? Here’s How You Can Thrive As a Medical Student

by Jenn

There’s a lot that goes into getting accepted into medical school. You have to have exceptional grades, outstanding reference letters from professors, and you need to score well above average on your MCAT exam. The American Association of Medical Colleges reveals data that shows just how hard it is to get into medical school; it shows how only 41% of students are actually enrolled in medical school.

Although getting in medical school is no easy feat, some would say that staying in medical school is even harder. With the late nights of studying into the wee hours of the night and the lack of social life, some doctors can recall medical school being a nightmare… but why was it such a nightmare?

The honest truth is, medical school is not easy but some people make medical school harder than what it is or has to be. From helpful study tips for exams to finding a job after graduation, take a look at how you can make your journey into medical school a smooth and fun adventure.

Choose a Major That You Will Do Exceptional In

In school, you need your studies to work for you, not against you, so that’s why you want to pick a field that you will excel in. Contrary to your belief, grades aren’t necessarily everything in medical school but they are definitely important and play a major role in your success as a medical student.

The recommended GPA for a medical student is 3.7 (for those students aspiring to be medical doctors). Typically, most medical students will have a major in Biology but some medical students choose to major in chemistry and are just as successful. You essentially will have to take all the science and math classes anyway to get in medical school, so if you are struggling in any of these classes, get assistance as soon as possible.

Going to Medical School? Here’s How You Can Thrive As a Medical Student

Get Some Volunteer Time In

One way to help yourself is to help others. You may not realize it but volunteering actually will not only help you feel purpose but it will also help you in medical school. Medical schools not only look at your grades but they also look to see what kind of person you are… if you’re even the right type for medical school. They like to see volunteer service because it shows that you enjoy giving back to the community and contributing to a greater good.

Your volunteering doesn’t necessarily have to be in the medical field either. Sure, it’s helpful to volunteer at nursing homes and hospitals for that added medical experience but you can also:

  • Become a Big Brother or Big Sister with the Big Brothers-Big Sisters organization.
  • Clean a beach
  • Work in a soup kitchen
  • Deliver food to the less fortunate

As you can see, there are all kinds of volunteer opportunities for you to choose from, you just have to pick which one resonates with you the most.

Figure Out Your Studying Style

Now that you’ve come to grips with the workload you have as a medical student, now it’s time for you to figure out studying habits that will help you to learn and retain the information you just learned… studying last minute is not an option either.

Maybe you’re a great note taker, or maybe you can’t listen and take notes at the same time… It’s very important to figure out your studying style because it’s what’s going to help you succeed as a medical student. It’s helpful to figure out study hacks.

If you’re not good at taking notes during lectures, try recording your class lectures so that when you get done with class you can replay the lecture and take detailed notes. That will help you study better and help you understand the topic at hand.

In fact, US News has an article that talks about different memory-boosting techniques medical students can use to help them with their studies while in medical school.

Always Remember Your “Why”

All throughout medical school and even after medical, you’re going to be asked several times why chose to become a doctor. Maybe it was the loss of someone very close to you; people have their reasons why they choose this profession and the reasons vary.

There will be times where you want to just give up but try keeping something sentimental as a reminder of why you’re doing it. It will definitely pay off when you’ve graduated and become an expert in your field.

So, as you go through the ups and downs of medical school, keep your head and grades high. Your journey doesn’t have to be hard but it is meant to challenge you… if it was supposed to be easy, everybody would be doctors… but the world of medicine isn’t for everyone. Just keep “why” in mind, and you will go very far and do great things. Grid Table 5

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