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Is medical school very vigorous learning?

I've been thinking about going into medical school to become a doctor, and I was wondering just how tough the classes will be. How much homework do you usually get as a medical student? How many classes should I take daily? I am currently a Sophomore in high school, so I still have time to figure this out, but I was just wondering how much free time you get. If I go into medical school, will I still get a good college experience? Or will it be all about learning, and no fun?

Thank you comment icon Being a doctor will take 4 years of high school, 4 years of undergrad , 4 years of medical school and then additional time for residency. You have to build a strong resume in your undergrad to move on to medical school. It definitely a sacrifice you must be willing to make but to say you’ll have no fun is not true. James Colby Watts MHA, CHRC, CRCR

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Michel’s Answer

The classes are probably five times harder than anything I ever did in undergrad, but the difference is the classes are extremely interesting. I love the human body and learning about what makes it perform every day to day activities as do most of the other medical students in my class. The material is very fast moving and it does take a lot of time because you are learning about everything we have learned in the medical field in more chewable sizes. We are by no means experts, but we have a great surface learning of most of the diagnosis we will need to make in the medical field. So that being said it is extremely tough, but there are so many resources to get help that it really is doable for most anyone as long as you are putting a good effort in. I don’t have homework, but i am expected to know what is going on, and if i don’t know what is going on I am expected to learn it and then explain it to my teacher. Classes are subjective. I take one class at a time right now and that is because I am learning everything I need to know about Cardiology at this time. The amount of classes you need to take now will be dependent on your schooling that you are currently in. Free time absolutely exists in this path also, but you need to make sure you are taking it. My school gives us tests on Friday’s and then we get the weekend off to do whatever we want. I typically get tested every three- four weeks so thats quite a bit of time. During a new test week I usually always take that first weekend off also to hang out with friends and play video games, and to have a good time. The time off exists you just need to plan for it to make sure you are taking it. I personally enjoy learning so that last question is a bit dependent on what you consider fun. The classes are hard, but I enjoy them, and a big piece of me loves looking at medical problems and trying to solve them like a detective. There is a feeling of accomplishment solving a very difficult medical case. College is always what you put into it. You will work hard, but you will also have a lot of amazing times in college if you do choose this path.

I believe in you, you got this.
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Pamela’s Answer

Hi Ella! Yes, it’s very vigorous, from pre-med through med school, residency and into practice. You are taking care of other people’s needs so sometimes your own needs and fun have to take a back seat. That being said, it’s an honor and a privilege and one of the most rewarding things you can do. To succeed, you don’t need to be a genius, just a hard worker with resilience, compassion and commitment. Doctors still get to have families, do fun things, travel, and have hobbies so don’t worry, your life as you know it won’t end if you become a doctor. You just have to learn how to manage your time and priorities. Hope this helps. Good luck!
Pam
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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi Ella,

Medical school is rigorous, and requires more time dedicated to study than undergrad. The curriculum is also different in that instead of choosing your own classes, classes are usually assigned to you based on which year of your cohort you're in, and are in synchronous study with your classmates. Outside of school you can expect to dedicate 30-40 hours weekly to homework and study. In year 3, you'll begin to add shadowing to your schedule, and by year 4, will be on the floors interning. Then residency begins and is often more than a typical full time job requiring on call shifts, and overnights spent in the hospital.

Don't let that scare you away though, if you really want it you'll find the time to make it all happen!!
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Joseph’s Answer

Awesome selection to pursue. It is a lifelong dedication career helping people and healing people. I cannot comment on whether you will have lots of free time, but it is hard work and initially can be changing shifts. Remember the Doctor career is a dedication similar to our military protecting our country.
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Katherine’s Answer

Hello Jennifer:

Have you ever tried to take a drink of water from a fire hydrant?

Of course medical school is rigorous and residency is just as rigorous. Mental toughness is only half of the requirement. Some medical students experience adjustment disorder with depressed mood. I had two classmates that in their first year they had to drop out because the stress of school allowed for schizophrenia to manifest.... MEDICAL SCHOOL DID NOT CAUSE SCHIZOPHRENIA, that is not what I'm saying.

I'm certain it was already underlying but the stress may have brought this psychological disorder to light.

Its a commitment
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