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What is the hardest part of medical school?

I want to be better prepared for the hardest tasks in medical school si that i know how to properly handle it. #cardiology


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Rachel’s Answer

You will need to focus on stress and time management. In order to manage stress you have to manage your time wisely. <span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>




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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Alyssa,


The hardest part of medical school according some students is:


Achieving Balance
One theme that comes up again and again is that balance is exceptionally difficult to achieve as a med school student. Med school is something you could compare with a marathon that keeps going and going. Every hour that you don’t spend studying could be a big hit to your ability to keep up with the material. Saying goodbye to unstructured free time is a big issue, and even maintaining simple good habits like exercise and proper diet can be tough.


Time Management
A similar issue that many med school students and doctors speak out about is time management. Many med school students have a great deal of work to do just to stay on top of things.


Life Outside Med School
Another common issue that students bring up as a difficulty is social isolation. Free time often becomes a thing of the past when you start med school, so relationships can suffer. If you’re used to getting a lot of social support, having plenty of time to hang out with friends and family, and attending lots of parties and functions, you’ll probably miss that after starting school. Medical students also have to deal with a lot of change and uncertainty.


The Boards
The board exams to become a certified medical doctor are universally regarded as one of the most difficult parts of medical school. The first exam, the USMLE Step 1, is one of the hardest. Luckily, your knowledge of basic medical science will be about as good as it’s ever going to be at this point. You’ll have the ability to pass the test if you’ve studied hard, and be able to move on. The Step 2 exam (usually taken during the 3rd or 4th year) and the Step 3 final exam (usually taken during 4th year or after graduation) will provide serious challenges as well.


Starting Clinicals
Third year is a big transition for most medical school students, since you’ll likely be transitioning to being a working student, and you’ll be interacting with patients extensively for the first time. This brings a whole new set of challenges around communication, professionalism, and workplace relationships. It’s almost certain that 3rd year will be a humbling experience in which you spend a lot of time listening to and learning from those who are older and more experienced than you are.


Memorization
The amount of knowledge that one is supposed to learn in medical school is huge. Many classes will come with 1000 pages (or more) of material that you’re supposed to memorize. Taking in that amount of information has been described as trying to drink out of a fire hose. If you’re not careful, it will blow you away. To many students, the simple problem of memorizing and retaining information is among the most difficult parts of medical school.


This video from students at Albert Einstein College of Medicine is a good introduction to this subject:
https://www.brainscape.com/blog/2015/06/hardest-parts-of-medical-school/


I hope this information can help you.


I wish you all the best on this journey!


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