Thriving in first-year med school is not going to be easy – and most students are aware of that. According to a recent report by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), less than 15% of medical students end up becoming Doctors!  

To do well in medical school is extremely challenging and guidance is recommended. The challenge is all the more for international students who travel abroad for med-school. Right from curriculum to cultural nuances, these students have to comprehend and imbibe more than just academics. To prepare for and study an M.D. program abroad and have a successful medical career, therefore, requires preparation – and these study tips for first-year med-school students are sure to help with it. 

6 Essential tips for Freshman Medical Students 

1) Get familiar with the first-year med school curriculum

Since preparation is the key here, it is best to stay prepared on the curriculum. Medical school will involve studying new subjects and concepts and familiarizing yourself with them before the beginning of the academic year would be helpful. It is advisable to get in touch with the course coordinator and senior students to find out about textbooks and study guides that will be needed for the freshman year. Scanning through the textbooks will help you to stay updated on subjects and concepts that the course will cover.


2) Be a Realist first 

Before you get started with your first-year med school, take note of your strengths, skills, and qualities. The medical college is going to be very different from what you have studied previously. It requires adopting an organized approach to study and scheduling. So be realistic and take some time out for yourself first. Listen to music, watch a movie or get in touch with other medical or premed students. In short, celebrate even small progress towards your goals. 

3) Take advantage of on-campus student services 

The new session will be difficult to figure out at first. So, do check out the student services available on campus. Whether you want to join a student club or want to learn the skills about referencing for your project, seek help from student advisers. 

4) Make a plan to achieve your goals 

Make a plan for short-term and long-term goals. Though often underestimated, planning is a useful thing. You can keep track of your productivity and achievements based on the planning you do. You can make weekly plans, prioritize your tasks and set deadlines. For instance, your study-plan may include spending time every week for both groups and self-study.


5) Know more about medicine 

Reading textbooks is not enough, go through journal articles and medical blogs about topics that interest you. Try to read 3 articles in a week. Work towards having a thorough knowledge about the subjects you like and learn how to apply it as well. 

6) Try something new in your med school 

While medical school is ideally all about medicine, don’t let that keep you away from pursuing other interests. You can volunteer for a cause, organize events, play a sport or even form groups for extra-curricular activities. There are countless possibilities to explore on campus, so inculcate the habit of learning outside your curriculum as well. 

These were only some of the helpful tips for medical students in their first year at school. Of course, there are several others and whether you are studying for an MBChB program or a degree in nursing, pharmacy or any other healthcare discipline, these tips would help you get through med-school better.

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