Article written by first year medical student and aspiring surgeon, Hira. To learn more about Hira's journey and read her last blog post, click here.
1. Ask questions!
Don’t be scared to ask the upperclassmen for guidance. They’re familiar with what you’re going through and are possibly the best resource for you!
2. Don't over do your resources.
As a medical student you’re offered thousands of study resources, do your best to find what works for you and stick with it. Too many resources and notes can be overwhelming!
3. It's about how well you study, not how long.
At the beginning of my first year I felt like I was studying 30 hours a day, but my results were not what I was expecting to see. I slowly began to adjust how I studied rather than how much I studied. For example, I created a study routine that allowed me to skim, study, and practice what I learned. And if you don’t already use it, Quizlet is one of my favorite study tools, so try it out. Studying efficiently is a skill you can build, so don’t feel discouraged if it takes you a few months for get in the flow if it!
4. Sleep enough!
This one is pretty much self explanatory. I found that staying up too late didn't allow me to retain information as well even though at the time, i felt as though it was a great idea. Listen to your body and mind. If you’ve been staring at the same powerpoint slide for twenty minutes, it’s time to call it a night and wake up early
5. Stay in touch with family and friends.
This one is possibly one of the most important things I wish I knew. Staying in contact with people outside of the medical school bubble helps you keep perspective on life and maintains a level of sanity that can be lost too easily in the books. I usually take out ten or fifteen minutes a day to check in with the people that support me and keep me sane. It helps way more than you could imagine!
Thank you Hira for sharing your top five tips for first year medical students!