TheNotQuiteDoctor Presents: What to expect when you're expecting (to start med school)

Hi! First of all, I really enjoy reading your blog! Second, I’m a senior in undergrad who has been accepted to med school (YAY!!!), but is looking at the next year of my life with a healthy combination of fear and excitement. Not sure if you have done a post like this already, but could you offer some wisdom on surviving and thriving as an M1?

First off, congrats on getting into medical school.  That is an amazing accomplishment.  My first bit of advice is to really reflect on that and let it sink in.  You got in!

Now I have a disclaimer.  I am still in my first year of med school (three weeks from being done) so I may not be an authority.  But I feel like I have enough experience to offer some advice.  So take this for what ever you think it is worth.  Here are some tips (in no particular order) for the coming year:

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And you thought getting into medical school was the hard part. 

The first coupla years are truly like undergrad in structure - it’s lecture based, it has labs, it has tutorials or PBLs. Then they drop into the ocean and expect you to swim with a manual on how to swim during rotations in 3rd year.

Suddenly it’s not an assignment or test with questions anymore, it’s people, it’s lab tests, medical teams, families and emotions. You’re swimming in emotion and bias and subjectivity. 

Medicine is so much more than academic knowledge. It’s about human connections - how do you connect with your patient, the nursing staff, your supervisor and examiners who grade you on your approach to patients and their conditions. 

Wish someone could have told me this before I applied. I would still applied, but I would have approached things differently and had a different attitude and perspective.