What The First Month of Medical School is Really Like

Hello HCC Family! This August, I started medical school in New York. It has been quite an experience. It has been exciting and overwhelming, to say the least. I remember taking the MCAT for this first time back in 2015. To finally be in medical school, holding my stethoscope for the first time and studying with my future colleagues has been a humbling experience. I always wondered what medical school is actually like. Is it as hard as everyone says it is? After being in medical school for a month, I am still figuring things out, but here is what the first month of medical school has been like!

1. You’ll Meet Great People!

Orientation week was super fun, and it was great meeting highly motivated, funny, and caring people. In the first weeks of medical school, people are super open to making new friends and forming a positive community. The M2s, M3s, and M4s have all been super giving of their time and experience to ensure that we start medical school on the right path. You’re not going to get through medical school by yourself. Studying anatomy with friends is a lot better than studying by yourself all the time!

2. It Is A Lot of Content

The amount of information we need to learn comes fast and furious! It has definitely been an adjustment getting used to the amount and speed at which the information comes. There is no getting around to the fact that medical school requires hard work and dedication to understand and apply the material being taught. What has helped me a lot so far is being disciplined in my study habits, talking with other students about the best way to approach different subjects, and using the Anki application to retain information. Medical school is a lot of work, but I always remember why I want to be a doctor in the first place.

3. You Have to Adjust

With medical school came moving to a new apartment, managing finances, and adjusting to a new way of life. I have felt a little overwhelmed trying to balance taking care of my apartment, meal-prep, and study for anatomy at the same time, but it does get easier. 

4. You Do Have Time for Fun

Since starting medical school, I went to the Niagara Gorge, celebrated my birthday with friends, and went to a barbecue. You do have time to relax and have fun. Medical school forces you to be more efficient, so you truly value the time to unwind.

5. Medical School is a Humbling Experience

I can’t count the number of times I would walk to morning lecture and think, “Is this real?” Again, medical school is a lot of work, but it is truly a privilege to learn about the human body and being able to help people in need. In the first month of medical school, I have learned that I am stronger than I think I am. 

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