New Medical Students: How To Mentally Prepare Yourself For Medical School
Medical school is stressful, overwhelming, and involves copious amounts of studying. But most of all, it is rewarding. Here are 6 tips for getting through medical school happy, healthy, and sane.
Congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come, and continue to do your best to be the most knowledgeable and technically skilled doctor you can be.
During medical school, you will spend a ridiculous amount of hours studying and working hard. There may not be a lot of people who will recognize and congratulate your hard work. This is something you must find within yourself. Becoming a doctor can be a long, bumpy, and lonely road.
Resiliency, above all, is essential. Be proud of your achievements so far and enthusiastic about what opportunities lie ahead. You will make mistakes, and that’s ok. Try not to be too hard on yourself when you do. That’s why we keep learning, studying, and practicing.
Hold onto who you are as a person.
Remember, even though you are in medical school you are more than just a doctor. Before you started on this journey to become a doctor, you had passions and hobbies and a life outside of school. Remember those when you’re in the thick of school and residency.
It’s important to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Make time for whatever else outside of medicine you’re passionate about. It may take concerted effort, but in the long run, spending time with friends and family and embracing your passions will bring you back to medicine refreshed and renewed with a new outlook on things.
Keep the reason you wanted to become a physician at the forefront of everything you do.
Your greatest gift in this world is your capacity for empathy. Your empathy is what will make you the best healer for your patients. Although it is easy to become jaded and drained after hours of studying and feeling unappreciated, always keep in mind what drove you to this profession. Nurture your human side. Spend some time reading your favorite novel or taking a hike in the woods.
Medical school is tough and grueling. It involves more studying than you ever thought possible. Balancing all the competing interests inherent in a life in medical practice will prove difficult, but failing to stay balanced is why many doctors end up unhappy and burned out. It is possible, with mindful effort, to balance everything involved with a medical lifestyle and still have time for yourself.
Pick a specialty that fits your personality.
Most people have multiple specialties they will find fulfilling. Be aware of what your life will look like once you’re actually practicing that speciality. Take into account the amount of time you’ll have to put in to complete training for that specialty. Make sure your specialty is one that you will love.
Savor the adventure.
Delayed gratification is intrinsic to becoming a doctor. View everything as an opportunity to learn and be the best doctor you can be. There is new research and technology coming out everyday, and you get to help heal the minds, bodies, and spirits of others. That’s fantastic, and so are you.