What to Expect in Your First year of Medical School

This post is for medical students, who I have sympathy for because their workload is probably twice mine, but who I am also empathetic towards because I know how challenging this journey will be. It will be exciting, at times fun, it will be testing, it will be grueling and it may make you lose a lot of night sleep. Well, what do you expect, it's medical school and not kindergarten.

The first year of medical school is the most grueling of the four years that is required. This is the case because you are entering a professional environment which is completely different to your previous undergraduate experience. The highest drop-out rates occur during this time. The first year consists of mainly lectures and labs in basic and medical sciences (anatomical, physiological & medical treatment). It is where you will encounter workload that may at first be unimaginable or what would have looked impossible to accomplish before you started medical school.

Though medical schools curricula differ slightly, some courses that may be encountered during the first year include:
Gross Anatomy
Nutrition, etc.

Medical school will not be a cakewalk. It is time-consuming, consisting of hours typically between 8am and 4pm each week day which has to be followed up by intensive studying and self-learning thereafter. It is important to know the type of learner that you are. Recognizing that professional school requires a lot of adjustments, understanding how you learn and what works for you will serve as a platform with which you can spring from in your quest for continuity beyond your first year. Remember, pacing is also a very important part of this process. While this can be said for most graduate programs, the intensity, rigor, and volume of work that medical students encounter is second to none. The good thing is that it has been done by students just like you, so I know that you can, and will do it as well.

Best of luck to you all!
From your Dental School friend -Patrice (See you on the other side)


Cate said...

I just finished my first year of med school, and looking back on it, it wasn't AS punishing as I'd anticipated- the first semester with anatomy was hell, but second semester, which is organ system based, was way better-yes I studied for 5 hours a day in addition to class, Way more before exams, but because I loved what I was learning, it didn't seem so bad.
The one thing I'd say is that if you aren't in love with what you're learning, its probably a lot harder. Also helps that my boyfriend is a med student as well ( same year). Thanks for the post!

Dr. Patrice Smith said...

Like in all things, once there is passion it's hardly like work at all. The boyfriend is the "ideal" situation =) an added perk!

Good luck in M2 C!

Dentists said...

Believe you and me, you'd really enjoy medical school if you ever get around to attending it :)

Dr. Patrice Smith said...

Medicine is fun and a whole lot of work. I think Dentistry suits me just fine. THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!

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