So, finally, you secured a spot in one of the best Caribbean medical school. Congratulations!
You might think that the worst is over with but you are about to embark on your medical school journey which takes an elevated level of dedication, motivation, energy, efforts, and challenging work. One of the best ways to gear up for the long road ahead is to know what to expect in advance so you don’t meet unexpected surprises along the road.
If you are all set to start your first year, here are some important tips that any medical student should know in order to succeed in medicine.
You Have to Learn Vast Amount of Knowledge
You will inevitably have to learn a massive amount of anatomical terms, countless drugs, lists of metabolic pathways, numerous mechanisms of action, and a lot more. It is impossible to learn each and every term and mechanism of action. With an effective learning strategy, you can memorize every single fact taught in lectures throughout the year. Whether that is annotating lecture slides or flash cards, check which learning style works best for you.
You Will Not Secure Stellar Grades All the Time
Though all medical students have an impressive academic background, in medical school, don’t expect to get stellar grades all the time. A substantial number of medical students fail one or more of their first-year exams. Because schools spoon-feed their students, however, in medical schools, this is exactly not the case. Medical schools are completely different from undergraduate years. You will have much more learning material and much less time. You have to study from your lecture notes, find useful resources, YouTube channels and create flashcards, posters and try new study technique that help you secure perfect grades. It may take a while to adjust and develop a new set of study skills that help you to perform well in exams.
Choose What Works Best for You
By the end of a month, you will be bombarded with a deluge of textbooks, flashcards, note taking apps and resources. It is not necessary to utilize every resource that has been provided to you. Most students will be completely overwhelmed by all these resources, the key here is to find a few that works for you.
Organization is the Key
Studying medicine is an arduous undertaking. Being a medical school student, one of the biggest challenges is to effectively organize your work and activities. The first year is the most relaxed time for students compared to clinical years, it gives you an opportunity to get involved in activities other than medicine. You can make the most of it by exploring new areas, try different things, creating new hobbies, developing your existing interests and more. This will also give you an opportunity to prepare for the specialty you may be interested in. Set aside a day or two for activities such as volunteering at a rehabilitation center, nursing home, or shadowing a physician, or attend learning and development events, or anything that can help you become a great physician.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
This is your medical school journey and you have to work hard to become a brilliant doctor. So, do things the way you think is workable, don’t bother what others are doing. For many students, it takes a while to settle in, while some embark on medical school with flying colors. Every student is leading to the same destination – becoming a doctor. So, relax, don’t compare yourself with others. Develop effective study habits, create a plan and stick to it. Be realistic about things and believe in yourself. If you believe that you can overcome any challenge, you are almost halfway there to getting it done.
Keep Up in School
Being a medical student, you have to cover a lot of learning material at a relatively fast pace. If you want to succeed, you need to keep up in school. Students are advised not to get involved in a load of extracurricular activities unless they are damn sure they can manage efficiently. While the first year is all about getting comfortable and settling into medical school, it requires a lot of effort, dedication, and hard work. Since the academic pressures are less compared to later years, it is important to get into an effective study habit from the start. The transition between undergraduate years and medical school workload is more challenging. To survive, start your exam preparing early, don’t leave things for the night before the exam. Give yourself enough time to memorize things and prepare well for the exams.
You’ll Come Across a wider Array of illnesses
When you choose to reside in a different country for pursuing a career in medicine, you will come across a range of local health concerns, different from the ones you have been used to seeing back home. When you are studying in the Caribbean especially, be prepared to cope up with an extremely diverse nature of patient care. If you browse through the website of the World Health Organization, you will be amazed to see some stark differences between countries. Becoming acquainted with the treatment and cure of a wide variety of diseases can prepare you well for future endeavors and help you work in a diversified environment as a physician. Since the Caribbean consists of an archipelago of islands, you will inevitably get to see a host of diverse medical cases which are bound to increase your knowledge.
Now It’s Your Turn
There is no denying the fact that medical school is no easy feat. Embarking on your Caribbean medical school journey is exciting but scary at the same time. If truth be told, it is the most exciting and fun times of your life, so it is advised to make the most of it by following an effective learning strategy, developing strong study skills, participating in extracurricular activities and most importantly, believing in yourself.