Is going to medical school challenging? The answer is yes. The journey to becoming a doctor requires an immense amount of dedication, hard work, and persistence. The academic coursework alone is rigorous and demanding, with students required to learn vast amounts of material in the areas of anatomy, physiology and biology. In addition to this academic workload, medical students are also expected to complete at least one year of clinical rotations in hospitals or other healthcare settings where they gain hands-on experience working with patients under the supervision of experienced doctors.
The stress associated with medical school can be overwhelming for many students due to the sheer amount of responsibility that comes along with this position. Are you feeling the stress? To help you navigate your way to graduation, we’ve outlined some tips that will help you survive your college years.
Have a Good Life/Study Balance
One key factor in succeeding at medical school is having a good balance between studying and living your life. Having this balance will help you stay motivated, healthy, and prepared for the challenges ahead. But how do you achieve this successful balance? The truth is that it can be different things for different people. For some it may mean taking regular breaks throughout the day to relax or going out with friends at least once a week; for others it could mean getting enough sleep each night or eating healthy meals regularly. Whatever works for you as an individual, it’s important to have time set aside for other activities when preparing for medical school exams or working on assignments.
It’s no secret that going to medical school is expensive, so much so that the majority of students go into their program knowing they will incur significant debt in order to pursue their career. Depending on location and school, fees plus living expenses could run into the bracket of $30,000-$60,000. There is always the option to take out a student loan and look for government grants. Many students go for the option of a student loan refinance with a cosigner if they don’t meet the lender’s income or credit score requirements. Scholarships are also an option, and you can look online for available options.
Reach Out for Help if Needed
Finding it hard to keep things together? You owe it to yourself to reach out for help. Not only will doing so improve your mental health and prevent further stress, but you’ll also be optimizing your academic performance and improving the likelihood that you’ll graduate with top grades. There is sometimes stigma associated with seeking assistance but this is something that students have to overcome. Reach out to your friends and family members first and tell them that you need a little helping hand. For more serious issues and professional support, there are specialized counseling programs and support groups that will help you cope with the stress that you’re under. If you find that you need help with understanding how life will look post-graduation ask to shadow a doctor in your preferred field. Sometimes even just a small glimpse into what life will look like can go a long way in terms of setting and managing your expectations.
Have a Routine
This point is pretty obvious, but millions of students are still not making it a priority. Routine is everything when in college. It’s the only way you can keep organized and up to date with your coursework. Having a consistent schedule provides structure and helps keep assignments from piling up until the last minute. Planning out tasks ahead of time will prevent unnecessary stress. A typical daily routine may include attending classes, studying, eating meals at regular times, exercising or other activities that give you balance between work and leisure.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
Medical students are often expected to juggle rigorous course loads and academic deadlines, all while having to maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage stress levels. Sound familiar? It’s important to remember that nobody is perfect, and it’s okay if you make mistakes or don’t meet your own expectations from time to time. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed or discouraged when things don’t go as planned. But instead of being too hard on yourself, use your experience as an opportunity for growth. Take a step back and reflect on what happened in order for you learn from the experience going forward. Ask yourself what could have been done differently in order improve the outcome, then use this knowledge when facing similar issues in the future.