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.
“Do you like medical school?”
Well yeah, sure I do. But that isn’t a simple yes or no answer. Sometimes it flat out sucks. Sometimes it can be an incredibly rewarding experience. I’m not going to sit back and tell you that memorizing muscle insertions for hours upon hours is a heart-warming joy of mine. Nor will I tell you that studying the human body every day is a miserable soul-crushing boot camp.
For hours, I can rant about and I can rave about medical school. Here, I’ve taken some time to reflect on what I love and what I hate about this stage in my career. Don’t listen to the idiots who only complain and act like they’re in some sort of academic hell. They’re either being dramatic and histrionic or they’re not here for the right reasons.
I have my complaints as well, but for every complaint, I can name something I love about medical school. Let’s start with the bad:
This post is written in remembrance of my greatest medical school adversary – the Anatomy Lab. From my first voyage into the sterile, bright room housing dozens of dead bodies, to my final practical examination, this one goes out to all the medical students who have devoted countless hours dissecting and learning the human anatomy on deceased human beings. It’s a weird feeling stepping into a room with dozens of dead people inside, but the lessons learned are valuable, even if they were repulsive at times.
DISCLAIMER: This post contains graphic, written depictions of various parts of a dead human’s body. If you have a weak stomach, it might be best to pass on this article. But if you are a future medical student with a weak stomach, read it to get an idea of what you’re in for.
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.
It’s midnight and I have a headache. I’ve been staring at my bright computer screen all day and my eyes are bloodshot. My lower back is sore from sitting at my kitchen table for the entire day. Yes, the entire day. I have finally traded the caffeinated beverages for a glass of Makers Mark on the rocks, poured from a glass decanter inscribed with the phrase, “So it goes.” Fitting.
This morning, I woke up, brewed some coffee and sat down. Cracked open Functions and Disorders of the Immune System: Third Edition and read for two straight hours. One coffee lead to another. And another. I became so stimulated that I had no appetite.