It is February of my second year in medical school. Just over four months remain between me and the USMLE Step 1 exam. As such, my Step 1 preparation is well under way. Like many of you, figuring out how and what to study was half the battle. My tentative plan is in place.
To sum it up – I’m using Boards and Beyond as my primary starting resource to build a foundation, before transitioning into my UFAP regimen. And I’m using Anki to solidify and retain the information that Dr. Ryan teaches me. (If you are unfamiliar with Anki, just google it or something. Its great. If you’re unfamiliar with Boards and Beyond, read my review and breakdown here.)
After mentioning this Anki deck in past posts as well as Reddit threads, I’ve received several emails, Twitter DMs, and Reddit messages about sharing the deck. So, due to popular demand, I will share the link to my Step 1 Master Deck in this post for anyone who would like to use it to study.
Do you have a friend, significant other, or family member in medical school? The holidays are right around the corner, so it’s the perfect time to spoil the medical student in your life with some thoughtful gifts for all of their hard work. Tis the season.
I’m just like you. The holidays creep up on me faster than a final exam, and I’m consequently sent scurrying to find thoughtful & useful gifts at the last minute. Luckily, whether you’re an outsider looking for the perfect gift for someone traversing the gauntlet of medical school or another med student who wants to reward a friend for helping you out this semester, I’ve got you covered.
Forget medically-related gifts. Gift cards are useful, but lazy. Cash, love & affection are always nice, but if you want to surprise your medical student compadre with a thoughtful present, check out my picks:
“Am I smart enough to be a doctor” and “am I smart enough for medical school” are two questions nearly everyone with aspirations of donning the white coat will ask themselves at some point in their journey.
Growing up, we constantly hear about how smart you have to be to become a doctor. We hear about how hard medical school is. We hear about how much dedication is required to pursuing this career path.
Often, the ones who take the premed route are the high school superstars – they take AP & honors classes, they rock their ACTs and SATs, they’re the valedictorians, and they’re the students who did their homework every night, never received a detention, and have followed a perfect trajectory towards medical school since day one of kindergarten.
If these are the future doctors of the world, does the average student stand a chance?
I am here to tell you, from personal experience, the truth about how intelligent one must be to succeed in medical school and become a physician. If you’re a high schooler debating pursuing premed in college, a current college student on the premed track second-guessing if you have what it takes, or a first year medical student dismayed with your lack of early success – you need to read this post.
If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that I entered medical school without a clue as to what was going on. I had no older med school friend, no mentor, and nowhere to really go for advice. Hell, I wasn’t even on Reddit back then. As such, the first time I heard someone mention First Aid, I was like… What? Why would we need to buy an entire text book on first aid stuff like bandaids and CPR? Laughable, I know.
My biggest issue during the beginning of medical school wasn’t a lack of effort, but rather not knowing how to study for medical school. Do I read textbooks? Do I attend lectures? Do I take written notes? I’ve since highly refined my study strategies and discovered countless resources that were essential in my journey from clueless med student with average grades to confidently in the top of the class.
Can you have a life in medical school? If you’ve read my previous posts on How Hard is Medical School and Medical School: Expectations vs Reality, you’ll know that I have mentioned that it is certainly possible to “have a life” during these years.
While I briefly addressed the topic with short anecdotes, I’ve been messaged with several questions regarding social life, improving your bench press, partying, hanging with friends, and anything else that constitutes non-medical related activities during the years of medical school. Therefore, it is appropriate to elaborate on the topic in full.
If you are interested in attending medical school, or for some stupid reason you’ve ever wondered or cared how your future physicians’ lives are during the four years they spend learning how to treat you, then you’ll find an honest report on the medical school experience below.
Now, I only started school last summer, but I’ve been in it long enough to know how things work in the preclinical years. Medical school is at times exactly what I feared, and at other times, the complete opposite of what I expected. There are many medical school misconceptions, and the reality of the experience is often different than you’d imagine.