It’s hard to believe, but I have already been a medical student for three months (that is 1/16 of my med school career if anyone was wondering). In the beginning of August we arrived on campus with our orientation schedules in hand, anxiously awaiting what was to come. At that moment, few of us had any idea exactly “what” was, only that it was rumored to be difficult and require hours and hours of studying.
The first week flew by and we started with biochemistry on Monday morning at 8 a.m. I can honestly say the transition was a bit rough, but though it has only been three months, it has already been very rewarding. In only three months I have already had a behavioral medicine standardized patient encounter in which I was asked to diagnose a patient’s readiness to change an unhealthy habit. It was absolutely terrifying to speak with a patient in an exam room for the first time, but what I learned in 15 minutes of interviewing an actual person is worth more than any amount of class time.
But enough about that for now though. Many of you are probably wondering what it is like to be a medical student (I assume that is one of your reasons for reading this blog). It is a very different lifestyle from anything else. First, let me dispel a few myths with the following facts:
1. I do still talk to my friends and family, though the amount of time spent doing this has been reduced.
2. I do have some free time in which I am able to take care of my dog, watch a movie or go to the gym.
3. Students and staff at this medical school are incredibly friendly and always willing to help – I have yet to hear of one student sabotaging another’s work.
4. The course load is difficult, but not impossible if you are willing to put in the effort and adjust your study skills to something that works.
A lot of people, including myself before I was one, have stereotypes about med students. For the most part they are false. I have had an amazing three months. I am excited to get out and be a physician, but for now I am content with the excitement of being in medical school!