Life as a Medical Student: Six Things You Really Have to Know

June 15, 2016

No matter which country a medical student is studying in, the main principles for survival are the same.

1. Hard Work. Studying medicine is hard work. Medical students put in far more hours than any other students and sometimes it is overwhelming. Everyone feels like this at some point, but if you persevere and carry on, things will get easier. Remember it’s not forever and all students get long holidays for rest and relaxation.

2. All Essential Knowledge. The great thing about training to be a doctor is  what’s learnt over the years will always be used. This is not the case for many other courses.  For these students it is a case of learning information to pass the course and then never using it again. It seems almost pointless. Every scrap of information studied as a medical student however will come in useful at some point, so nothing feels like a waste of time.

3. Friendships. Although there is a lot of work, medical students still find time during each term to let their hair down and take time out. Whether this is pursuing a hobby or interest, or enjoying a drink or two in the bar, be assured, it is not all work, work. work.
Spending so much time together will result in some great friendships. Often these might be with students from different courses that you might have met through sports and other hobbies.  This can be of great benefit sometimes as it means less ‘medical’ talk and more light hearted banter about a mutually enjoyable passion.

4. Organisation. Being organised is the key to success. Parents can no longer be relied upon for the support and organisation, so it is a question of sorting things out for yourself. Getting organised and making sure everything is put down in a diary, so nothing is missed, like an important lecture  or sporting fixture, is crucial.

5. Self-Awareness. Be confident and assertive, don’t be afraid to ask questions and if you don’t know something, be honest and say so. It really is the best way to learn and develop. The quieter students who stand in the corner are often the ones who miss out and deny themselves opportunities to learn.

6. High Certainty. It’s often reassuring to know that if all goes well and exams are successful, you’ll become a doctor. Getting high marks in Politics is all well and good, but then what, it doesn’t secure a job. Medicine might at times seem like impossibly hard work, but there really are many advantages to it. Having this at the back of your mind when things are tough, should help get through it.

7. Top Fraction of Students. Remember that medical students represent the top fraction of students in their particular country and sometimes this can be demoralising if you are comparing yourself to a particularly hard working, ambitious and dedicated one.  Equally there will be many who are keen to develop themselves as a person, as well as a medical student. Try and be friends with a cross section from the course, as well as from other courses as mentioned above.  Variation is the key.

8. Have Fun. Most importantly remember that being a student is only for a short period of time. Make sure you enjoy it and have fun before the hard work really begins!

Posted in Uncategorised by Douglas Fahlbusch