Advice for Pre-Meds
Here is a little something for first year students or those wishing to enter.
It was originally published under another name. Hope this helps.
Dont ask me but somehow I received your message about Medical School. I am
just starting my 3rd year clerkships as a medical student at LSU in New
Orleans, LA. There are a few things I would like to tell you before you start
medical school....and, of course, these are only my opinions and may not
represent the opinions of anyone else in this entire world....so take it with
a grain of salt.
01 - Everyone, including my doctor, told me to get the hell out of medicine
before I got in.
02 - I busted my ass in high school, college, etc...to get to med school.
03 - Once in medical school, what you did to get you there no longer matters.
04 - Be prepared to study....then study somemore, and then a little more...
and then be prepared to not do well on the test.
05 - Be prepared to accept the reality that you may be an idiot (this came
as a shock to me).
06 - Be thankful that everyone else in your class is also an idiot and no
one expects you to know everything all at once, and for every test.
07 - Realize that getting ahead in med school means making lots of
friends ... those who step on toes to get to the top are quickly
shunned by the rest of the class. This is very bad since people
tend to get a hold of old tests, helpful hints, book
recommendations, etc..that will be of great benefit to you. If you
are the smartest person in the class...dont try to show off and be
cocky. There will be plenty of opportunities for people to
undermine you if they decide they dont like your attitude. In
short, have fun, be nice....make sure you are likable to a large
number of people.
08 - No one can go through medical school 8 times, so dont be such a "pal"
that you end up doing extra work (typing a review sheet, for
example) for your friends while they are out having a good time.
09 - For me, the first year was NOT the hardest. This is b/c I was used
to busting my ass to get into medical school that I never slowed
down. For some, it is the "wake up call" if you never studied in
10 - The second year IS the hardest, its survival of the fittest. They
want you to know everything about everything, and some more in
between. People quit after every exam.
11 - Once thru your second year, the rest is cheesecake. You dress like
a doctor, work like a doctor, and hopefully start acting like a
12 - Once thru your second year, you realize the first 2 were bullshit and
you know nothing and can't remember the rest.
13 - Its relatively easy to PASS medical school, it requires more
dedication than genius to get a High Pass, and a mixture of both to
14 - Remember that P=MD (meaning that if you PASS you will become a
doctor). Also, remember that P is not equal to ENT, SURGERY,
OBGYN, DERMATOLOGY, etc...so basically, everyone who graduates is a
doctor, but not everyone who graduates is the doctor they may want
15 - In the middle of the second year, they could not pay you enough to
be a doctor.
16 - In the middle of the second year, you cant afford to quit b/c you now
have a huge loan to pay back.
17 - The best years of your life are while you are in medical school.
18 - The worst years of your life are while you are in medical school.
19 - Dating in medical school is close to impossible. If you can find
someone who understands your language, your schedule, your attitude,
your financial situation...marry them first, ask questions later.
20 - Sleeping/eating right become luxuries in medical school.
21 - Noone will ever understand your schedule or what the hell you are
doing (eg why you have to study 2 weeks before a test).
22 - You will have to study 2 weeks for a test.
23 - You will have to learn to budget your time wisely if you want to ever
have a life. Same goes for your money.
24 - Some people go out every night and do exceptionally well in medical
school...if this is you...great. If this is not you...Sorry.
25 - Some people bust their ass every day and fail medical school...hope this
is not you.
26 - The person who finds the best balance between study, social, family,
friends, entertainment will make the best of medical school.
27 - The ass who always aces every test and never studies is everyone in
medical school BUT you.
28 - The fact that you can dissect a rat in college has no bearing on your
performance in medical school.
29 - The fact that your favorite class in college is Biology is unique
b/c the smartest people in medical school today are NOT biology
majors and, in fact, have never taken such a class.
30 - The fact that you have taken such classes will help in the first year,
and give you more time for other things while your classmates are
"learning how to use the microscope".
31 - If a histology class is offered at your school, take it..take it
again...teach it...learn to love it. You can essentially SKIP your
medical school histology class if you know it well enough.
32 - You may have thought that all the BULLSHIT classes you took in high
school/college would come to an end when you got to medical
school ... sorry...they are still there.
33 - You wont believe the amount of information they want you to know.
34 - You wont believe the amount of information you can forget.
35 - Old tests can save your ass...they can also sink you if you just
36 - You will have to rearrange your life, study habits, friendships
around being a student. No one will understand that you need to
study so much, for so long. I study at least 10 hours a day, every
day. I usually take a day off. Some people dont..thats just me.
I also am not at the top of my class. You have to find your
balance/grade tradeoff/relationship breaker time periods for
37 - Drugs are bad, dont do drugs. If you need help staying awake, you are
too tired to study..go to sleep.
38 - Your friends, collegues, will do drugs and make A's. Hopefully, life
will weed them out. Until then, be cool and realize that maybe
making C's is your maximum performance level.
39 - Dont neglect friends/family/pets - they are good for fun/meals/etc.
They can also be a drag (Come out with us, you can study tomorrow).
You need to have a long talk with these people if you do get into
40 - To the rest of the world, you are not a doctor until you graduate the
4th year. To your family, you are a doctor two weeks before you
start your first year. If ever asked any medical questions, follow
your answer with a disclaimer (....but I would go to your doctor if
you are worried about it because I don't really know). Be careful
what you say, because people are listening.
41 - Never listen to a previous medical students advice on medical school.
They have been run though the meat grinder and couldnt think of
putting anyone else thru such torture. They tend to leave out the
good stuff like parties, good friends, fun memories, their first
patient contact, someone calling you DOC, getting to wear a white
coat, and knowing what the hell is going on during ER.
In summary, if you are not sure you want to be a doctor...be very sure you want
to be a doctor before you come to medical school. That bullshit about "helping
people" will get you nowhere your first 2 years. We are all in medical school
because we want to "help people" but this alone will not get you an MD. You need
to be dedicated to yourself, your studies, your talents, and your life as a whole
just to get thru the first 2 years. Any outside pressures you have will burst
while you are in school so be prepared to handle that before you get here. We
are not special in any way, we are not geniuses, but, we are willing to work
hard...and that, my friend, is what will make you successful in medical school.