101 Things You Wish You Knew Before Starting Medical School

Simple enough, here are 101 things you wish you knew before starting medical school.

  1. If I had known what was going to be like , i would never have done it.
  2. You’ll study more than you ever have in your life.
  3. Only half of your class will be in the top 50%. You have a 50% chance of being in the top half of your class. Get used to it now.
  4. You don’t need to know anatomy before school starts. Or pathology. Or physiology.
  5. Third year rotations will suck the life out you.
  6. Several people from your class will have sex with each other. You might be one of the lucky participants.
  7. You may discover early on that medicine isn’t for you.
  8. You don’t have to be AOA or have impeccable board scores to match somewhere ”“ only if you’re matching into radiology.
  9. Your social life may suffer some.
  10. Pelvic exams are teh suck.
  11. You won’t be a medical student on the surgery service. You’ll be the retractor bitch.
  12. Residents will probably ask you to retrieve some type of nourishment for them.
  13. Most of your time on rotations will be wasted. Thrown away. Down the drain.
  14. You’ll work with at least one attending physician who you’ll want to beat the shit out of.
  15. You’ll work with at least three residents who you’ll want to beat the shit out of.
  16. You’ll ask a stranger about the quality of their stools.
  17. You’ll ask post-op patients if they’ve farted within the last 24 hours.
  18. At some point during your stay, a stranger’s bodily fluids will most likely come into contact with your exposed skin.
  19. Somebody in your class will flunk out of medical school.
  20. You’ll work 14 days straight without a single day off. Probably multiple times.
  21. A student in your class will have sex with an attending or resident.
  22. After the first two years are over, your summer breaks will no longer exist. Enjoy them as much as you can.
  23. You’ll be sleep deprived.
  24. There will be times on certain rotations where you won’t be allowed to eat.
  25. You will be pimped.
  26. You’ll wake up one day and ask yourself is this really what you want out of life.
  27. You’ll party a lot during the first two years, but then that pretty much ends at the beginning of your junior year.
  28. You’ll probably change your specialty of choice at least 4 times.
  29. You’ll spend a good deal of your time playing social worker.
  30. You’ll learn that medical insurance reimbursement is a huge problem, particularly for primary care physicians.
  31. Nurses will treat you badly, simply because you are a medical student.
  32. There will be times when you’ll be ignored by your attending or resident.
  33. You will develop a thick skin. If you fail to do this, you’ll cry often.
  34. Public humiliation is very commonplace in medical training.
  35. Surgeons are assholes. Take my word for it now.
  36. OB/GYN residents are treated like shit, and that shit runs downhill. Be ready to pick it up and sleep with it.
  37. It’s always the medical student’s fault.
  38. Gunner is a derogatory word. It’s almost as bad as racial slurs.
  39. You’ll look forward to the weekend, not so you can relax and have a good time but so you can catch up on studying for the week.
  40. Your house might go uncleaned for two weeks during an intensive exam block.
  41. As a medical student on rotations, you don’t matter. In fact, you get in the way and impede productivity.
  42. There’s a fair chance that you will be physically struck by a nurse, resident, or attending physician. This may include slapped on the hand or kicked on the shin in order to instruct you to “move” or “get out of the way.”
  43. Any really bad procedures will be done by you. The residents don’t want to do them, and you’re the low man on the totem pole. This includes rectal examinations and digital disimpactions.
  44. You’ll be competing against the best of the best, the cream of the crop. This isn’t college where half of your classmates are idiots. Everybody in medical school is smart.
  45. Don’t think that you own the world because you just got accepted into medical school. That kind of attitude will humble you faster than anything else.
  46. If you’re in it for the money, there are much better, more efficient ways to make a living. Medicine is not one of them.
  47. Anatomy sucks. All of the bone names sound the same.
  48. If there is anything at all that you would rather do in life , don’t go into medicine.
  49. The competition doesn’t end after getting accepted to medical school. You’ll have to compete for class rank, awards, and residency. If you want to do a fellowship, you’ll have to compete for that too.
  50. You’ll never look at weekends the same again.
  51. VA hospitals suck. Most of them are old, but the medical records system is good.
  52. Your fourth year in medical school will be like a vacation compared to the first three years. It’s a good thing too, because you’ll need one.
  53. Somebody in your class will be known as the “highlighter whore.” Most often a female, she’ll carry around a backpack full of every highlighter color known to man. She’ll actually use them, too.
  54. Rumors surrounding members of your class will spread faster than they did in high school.
  55. You’ll meet a lot of cool people, many new friends, and maybe your husband or wife.
  56. No matter how bad your medical school experience was at times, you’ll still be able to think about the good times. Kind of like how I am doing right now.
  57. Your first class get-together will be the most memorable. Cherish those times.
  58. Long after medical school is over, you’ll still keep in contact with the friends you made. I do nearly every day.
  59. Gunners always sit in the front row. This rule never fails. However, not everyone who sits in the front row is a gunner.
  60. There will be one person in your class who’s the coolest, most laid back person you’ve ever met. This guy will sit in the back row and throw paper airplanes during class, and then blow up with 260+ Step I’s after second year. True story.
  61. At the beginning of first year, everyone will talk about how cool it’s going to be to help patients. At the end of third year, everybody will talk about how cool it’s going to be to make a lot of money.
  62. Students who start medical school wanting to do primary care end up in dermatology. Those students who start medical school wanting to do dermatology end up in family medicine.
  63. Telling local girls at the bar that you’re a medical student doesn’t mean shit. They’ve been hearing that for years. Be more unique.
  64. The money isn’t really that good in medicine. Not if you look at it in terms of hours worked.
  65. Don’t wear your white coat into the gas station, or any other business that has nothing to do with you wearing a white coat. You look like an ass, and people do make fun of you.
  66. Don’t round on patients that aren’t yours. If you round on another student’s patients, that will spread around your class like fire after a 10 year drought. Your team will think you’re an idiot too.
  67. If you are on a rotation with other students, don’t bring in journal articles to share with the team “on the fly” without letting the other students know. This makes you look like a gunner, and nobody likes a gunner. Do it once, and you might as well bring in a new topic daily. Rest assured that your fellow students will just to show you up.
  68. If you piss off your intern, he or she can make your life hell.
  69. If your intern pisses you off, you can make his or her life hell.
  70. Don’t try to work during medical school. Live life and enjoy the first two years.
  71. Not participating in tons of ECs doesn’t hurt your chances for residency. Forget the weekend free clinic and play some Frisbee golf instead.
  72. Don’t rent an apartment. If you can afford to, buy a small home instead. I saved $200 per month and had roughly $30,000 in equity by choosing to buy versus rent.
  73. Your family members will ask you for medical advice, even after your first week of first year.
  74. Many of your friends will go onto great jobs and fantastic lifestyles. You’ll be faced with 4 more years of debt and then at least 3 years of residency before you’ll see any real earning potential.
  75. Pick a specialty based around what you like to do.
  76. At least once during your 4 year stay, you’ll wonder if you should quit.
  77. It’s amazing how fast time flies on your days off. It’s equally amazing at how slow the days are on a rotation you hate.
  78. You’ll learn to be scared of asking for time off.
  79. No matter what specialty you want to do, somebody on an unrelated rotation will hold it against you.
  80. A great way to piss of attendings and residents are to tell them that you don’t plan to complete a residency.
  81. Many of your rotations will require you to be the “vitals bitch.” On surgery, you’ll be the “retractor bitch.”
  82. Sitting around in a group and talking about ethical issues involving patients is not fun.
  83. If an attending or resident treats you badly, call them out on it. You can get away with far more than you think.
  84. Going to class is generally a waste of time. Make your own schedule and enjoy the added free time.
  85. Find new ways to study. The methods you used in college may or may not work. If something doesn’t work, adapt.
  86. Hospitals smell bad.
  87. Subjective evaluations are just that ”“ subjective. They aren’t your end all, be all so don’t dwell on a poor evaluation. The person giving it was probably an asshole, anyway.
  88. Some physicians will tell you it’s better than it really is. Take what you hear (both positive and negative) with a grain of salt.
  89. 90% of surgeons are assholes, and 63% of statistics are made up. The former falls in the lucky 37%.
  90. The best time of your entire medical school career is between the times when you first get your acceptance letter and when you start school.
  91. During the summer before medical school starts, do not attempt to study or read anything remotely related to medicine. Take this time to travel and do things for you.
  92. The residents and faculty in OB/GYN will be some of the most malignant personalities you’ve ever come into contact with.
  93. Vaginal deliveries are messy. So are c-sections. It’s just an all-around blood fest if you like that sort of thing.
  94. Despite what the faculty tell you, you don’t need all of the fancy equipment that they suggest for you to buy. All you need is a stethoscope. The other equipment they say you “need” is standard in all clinic and hospital exam rooms. If it’s not standard, your training hospital and clinics suck.
  95. If your school has a note taking service, it’s a good idea to pony up the cash for it. It saves time and gives you the option of not attending lecture.
  96. Medicine is better than being a janitor, but there were times when I envied the people cleaning the hospital trash cans.
  97. Avoid surgery like the plague.
  98. See above and then apply it to OB/GYN as well.
  99. The money is good in medicine, but it’s not all that great especially cnsidering the amount of time that you’ll have to work.

100. One time an HIV+ patient ripped out his IV and then “slung” his blood at the staff in the room. Go, go infectious disease.
101. Read Med School Hell now, throughout medical school, and then after you’re done. Then come back and tell me how right I am.

Photo Credit: Background vector created by Macrovector – Freepik.com

The Best Movies For Doctors And Medical Students

The list contains more than 100 films , each medical student and doctor should see

Enjoy !

1- Patch Adams

2- Wit

3- Philadelphia

4- Terms of Endearment

5- Leaving Las Vegas

6- The Doctor

7- Awakenings

8- The Fisher King

9- Something the Lord Made

10- And the Band Played On

11- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

12- The Painted Veil

13- The Race for the Double Helix

14- Article 99

15- People Will Talk

16- Malice

17- Sicko

18- John Q

19- The Men

20- My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown

21- Red Beard

22- My Own Country

23- The Hospital

24- Britannia Hospital

25- Bringing Out the Dead

26- The gifted hands of Ben Carson

27- Pathology

28- Syndromes and a Century

29- Doctor Dolittle

30- Doctor Zhivago

31- Dr. No

32- Persona

33- House Calls

34- The Barbarian Invasions

35- The Death of Mr. Lazarescu

36- High Anxiety

37- No Way Out

38- Whirlpool

39- Spellbound

40- The Abominable Dr. Phibes

41- Dr. Phibes Rises Again

42- Doctor Detroit

43- Red Angel

44- Tales from the Gimli Hospital

45- Nurse Betty

46- Night Nurse

47- Doctor in the House

48- Doctor at Sea

49- Doctor at Large

50 – Carry On Nurse

51- The Kingdom

52- Stitches

53- Medicine Man

54- The Great Moment

55- Oh Doctor

56- The Island of Dr. Moreau

57- Tombstone

58- Dead Ringers

59- MASH

60- Extraordinary Measures

61- Obsessed

62- dragonfly

63- City Of Angels

64- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

65- Malice

66- Alien

67- The Last King of Scotland

68- The Andromeda Strain

69- Coma

70- Anatomy

71- Anatomy 2

72- Flatliners

73- Dr. Giggles

74- The Dentist

75- Cold Prey 2

76- Sick Nurses

77- Dark Floor

78- Visiting Hours

79- Rabid

80- Infection

81- Blessed

82- Death Knows Your Name

83- Body Parts

84- Re-Animator

85- Extreme Measures

86- Dead Ringers

87- The Clinic

88- Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave

89- Shutter Island

90- Jacob’s Ladder

91- Outbreak

92- Repo! The Genetic Opera

93- Frankenstein

94- The Grudge

95- Boo

96- John Q

97- No Strings Attached

98- Bad Medicine

99- Doc Hollywood

100- Hysteria

101- Lorenzo’ s oil

102- My sister’s keeper

103- The Lake House

104- Living proof

105- The Impossible

106- The Elephant Man

107- The English Patient

108- Just Like Heaven

109- Django Unchained

110- Errors of the Human Body

111- The World War Z

112- Las Confesiones Del Doctor Sachs

113- American Mary

114- Side Effects

115- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

116- Restoration

117- Gabrielle

118- The Good Doctor

119- Contagion

120 – The Physician

121 – St. Giuseppe Moscati: Doctor to the Poor

122- Elysium

123- Gattaca

124- Blade Runner

125- Brazil

126- Cloud Atlas

127- A.I. Artificial Intelligence

128- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

129- Beautiful Mind

130- Forbidden Planet

131- Inception

132- Prometheus

133- Robot & Frank

134- The Fifth Element

135- City Of Joy

136- Blindness

137- The Sixth Sense

138- Master & Commander (Paul Bettany amputation scene!)

139- Nine Months

140- Arachnophobia

141- Outbreak

142- Molly (a personal fave)

143- Nell

144- Cider House Rules

145- The Fugitive

146- Young Frankenstein.

Did i miss some?

If you had to choose between becoming an engineer or a doctor, what would you choose?

This question was posted on Quora and was answered by Liang-Hai Sie
Both our daughter and I myself had faced this choice, 10 and 50 years ago.

Becoming a doctor:

  • after high school, it takes between 9 to 13 years before one can practice on his/her own, if you need to take out a student loan, you will spent the first 10 years after finishing residency paying off your debt so you can start living after being 40-45 years old.
  • The working week is long, your profession will impact heavily on your private life, without a supportive partner you couldn’t have a happy family life.
  • in many parts of the world finding a job wouldn’t be a problem (it is now in The Netherlands), and the pay often is quite OK, when compared to engineers, but will vary widely depending of your specialty.

source: Medscape: Medscape Access

Becoming an engineer:

  • It takes “just” 5 years after high school to graduate, after that engineers will go on educating/training themselves on the job, but have a decent paying job, unlike the underpaid resident doctors in training for medical specialist often making ± $ 60,000 a year.
  • In many countries income would be lower than a doctor’s, but social life would be better because of the more civilized working hours.
  • according to Engineering Salaries on the Rise – ASME in the US engineers make an average income of $ 103,400.- including bonuses.
  • people’s skill are also very much needed if one aims for a management position.

When I was at high school, I always thought I would become an engineer, but just before graduation decided that was too hard to do, studying medicine seemed to be better suited to me, my father, my uncle, my older siblings and cousins either were docs or were doing med school, and not complaining, so I decided to become a doctor, and never regretted it.

When 10+ years ago our daughter was to graduate from high school, having chosen a very versatile “study profile” making it possible for her to do both med school and engineering, the thought that it took between 9 up to 13 years after high school before she could practice independently, contrasting with a “mere” 5 years doing engineering, made her chose to do biomedical technology over medicine, what she “always” had wanted to do. No financing problems here since tuition was just around € 1,650 yearly and everybody got a government sponsored scholarship, after a few years a loan with just 2,5% interest if you took >1 year longer to graduate, or transferred to another faculty.
After 1,5 year she became disappointed at not working with people which she felt was so important for her life, just a lot of mathematical formula’s, so she stopped doing engineering, not knowing what next to do with herself, then almost 20 yo. After a lot of doubts her old interest (medicine) surfaced again, this time being a bit older better equipped to see the consequences, she decided it was to be either med school or psychology.
So she interviewed a psychiatrist uncle, his psychologist wife, one of my female partners, married with a child, on how they experienced their private and professional life, and with the last lady doc how she arranged her household and child care with both parents working as medical specialists, also our head of psychology department at that time the Secretary of the Dutch Psychologist’s Union.
At the end she chose med school.
She became a lot happier after being admitted to med school.
Now she’s an MD Ph.D candidate, very happy with her research job, but having great uncertainty what to do next this fall after finishing her Ph.D, since at present it’s very difficult for young medical specialists to find suitable openings, at present around 50 young surgeons have no paid jobs, just working at the hospital where they did their last residency without pay so not to lose their dexterity and certification. Others do locums. In the specialism she wanted to do clinical genetics the University had to let people go due to budget cuts, sometimes after a 10 year tenure… Very unsettling, especially since these highly specialized docs aren’t equipped to do other medical work without first doing retraining. Imagine this happening to you at around 45 yo.
EDIT: we now have 168 young medical specialist on Social Welfare out of a total of 670 jobless medical doctors (spring 2015)

Wishing you all the wisdom in your choice.

EDIT 2016: our daughter who after attaining her Ph.D worked as a post doctoral researcher, at the same time supervising two junior would be Ph.D students, could live with the publication pressure they all had to deal with, so left academis on the brink of a burn out, took 10 months to recover, and now has started a new life as a Information Analyst bridging the divide between clinical docs and ICT. At present she’s very happy at her new job, being able to make enough money while working 4 day weeks, no longer under such pressure as in academia.

How many hours do medical students study daily?

Also, you should be careful with taking advice from people who have always done well. Correlation =/ causation. Take care that some people are simply better at memorizing/learning or using more time than you (including prior knowledge), but using less-than-optimal strategies. You should actively test and track your strategies including their efficiency.

The first thing is you have to invest in the time and know you have been given a great opportunity to do what you love. Don’t squander it with a half-a** effort.

I grossly underestimated the amount of time needed to study on the first exam. I tried studying effectively (meaning no distractions) 3 hours a day for the first exam. Big mistake. I bombed it pretty bad, but not hopeless.

Now I’m studying effectively 8 hours a day (12 hour cramming week before exam) with at least 7 hours of sleep consistently. My scores and retention shot to the moon. Despite what some “bros” who tell me to “f*** sleep”, it will hurt your retention and make your study effort 2x less effective.

Next, you want to study smarter.

Here’s some tips I’ve procured that are from consensus studies or data that are at least suggestively (not necessarily sweepingly conclusive, because these scientific fields can change) good advice:

  1. Minimum information principle. Try to structure your knowledge to the bare minimum needed. Prioritize. Use symbols and abbreviations. Be careful of going less than minimum though. Again, you shouldn’t try to learn more than needed. I know this sounds rather short-sighted, but you are better off in the long-run, simply because you seriously cannot remember everything in medicine, unless you are a savant with photographic memory. A simple way to verify this is to calculate the amount of knowledge, make it into a deck, calculate your personal forgetting curve (with your own factors adjusted for it), and the amount of time you have. The amount needed is generally more than the time given to get close to 100%. You will specialize later anyways and get the sufficient training needed. Then rarely ever use anything else. Consider that you have a time limit and it is good to know your limits. Note that redundancy doesn’t necessary violate this minimum information principle. I know it sounds confusing, but try to summarize/centralize everything in one sheet of paper and memorize. Then try several layers of knowledge (clinical relationships etc) on top of it.
  2. Mnemonics (visual and verbal) and understand what you are learning before memorizing. I’ll let you figure out the best mnemonics strategies since there are too many. There should never be memorization without understanding. You will forget meaningless knowledge quicker. Evoking unique emotional connections, especially the “dirty” ones, generally work better. Also, beware of similarities of materials spilling in and confusing yourself.
  3. Running sleep basically sleep when you feel like it, but wake up (don’t toss and turn or hit snooze) when you’ve had enough – for most that is biphasic: 12am–7am and take a siesta 1–1:25pm. It varies by person.
  4. Be in the right environment. The “prime time” to study is first thing in the morning and after your siesta. That means no distractions. No music with lyrics, no TV, no social media. Pure focus. I complete all my dumb admin work at night. Seek convenience when it makes sense – $20 could run a long way if it saves you 1 “prime” hour.
  5. Spaced repetitions, active Q&A recall, (a TON of) practice problem tracking – don’t let your ego fool you into thinking you remember what you study – track your retention meticulously and isolate “memory blocks” – parts that suck your studying time, with little to no retention. Doesn’t matter what you use Anki, Memorang, Firecracker or simply old school flashcards etc. Basically the same principles. Personally I use Firecracker because it syncs with my individual school’s coursework, then off to never-ending Qbanks.
  6. Be brutal about your weak points. Ego or fear will set you back. Don’t waste time on stuff you’ve mastered or easy questions. Revisit your weak points much more often. It is one of the hardest to admit your own weaknesses and just do it, but once you get past the initial barrier, you will see results. Failure on difficult questions or weak points will make you progress the most. Remember, if you do what is hard, your life will be easy. If you do what is easy, your life will be hard.
  7. Get the right material and (re)sources – despite some recommendations of studying together, IMO I advise against having fellow students teach you – get an upperclassman, TA, tutor, professor. Get it right the first time (especially with their thought process after completing the course), so you NEVER get the wrong information or low priority information (generally unintentional). Unlearning mistakes will suck up double your time. Some prep books are filled with mistakes and will hurt you. First Aid book recommendations are solid. You just have to discriminate the source of knowledge and hierarchy of information.
  8. Eat right, exercise right, sleep right. These will make your circulation and sleep quality better and thus better retention/brain blood flow. Your brain constantly needs the right amount of nutrients on demand – no more no less within a range. Avoid simple carbs and sugar like the plague, and turn off all sources of blue light at least 1–2 hours before bed. Find out your optimal ratio of carbs:fat:protein. Eat a good amount of protein and fiber to avoid hunger pangs. I also recommend buying a tub of high-quality whey protein powder to save money on protein. Also remember that getting really sick or getting injured during exercise will set you back really far on studies, so guard your health!! I could go on about hGH secretion, sleep quality and memory formation but you get the idea.
  9. Supplementation is fine, but don’t go crazy on supplementation, especially herbal extracts can hurt your liver. I just take small amounts of high quality GMP/USP grade caffeine, green tea extract, and fish oil (well, also creatine for workouts) – generally stuff that’s available in food already with strong evidence, but simply time or cost prohibitive to get good amounts. The BEST supplement is water. Be careful of nootropics or study drugs. I tend to avoid them besides caffeine because of lack of research or quality/cost-prohibitive.
  10. Don’t burnout. Get some fresh air and take SHORT breaks from the computer screen. You should take some time to network too, and have a life. At least 10% of your time. Vacations are necessary. Being a top student because of too much studying, and then burning out will not get you anywhere.

I could go on about tiny details about memory, learning, sleep science, supplementation, exercise physiology and nutrition, but I’ll save it for your own research, especially since I’m too lazy to reference a massive amount of articles (probably over 100). I am a certified NASM personal trainer and nutritionist, I’ve doing sleep/learning/biochemical research and meticulous self-experimentation all my life, and managed to get into a good medical school, despite the odds of running 2 businesses at the same time, while in school. I welcome skepticism, especially since I haven’t referenced anything, so please let me know if you find a better strategy than what I’ve already presented.

This question was originally posted on Quora, and we selected the best answer, which was written by:

Ten Ways To Be A Good Medical Student

1. Be An Excellent Manager of Your Own Time
Medical school will overwhelm you. In the four years it will take you to get your MD, you will be presented with more information that you must master than you might have thought possible, even if you did attend a rigorous pre-med program. Accordingly, the first tip to being a good medical student is to develop time-management skills.

2. Be Friends With More Experienced Medical Students
Making connections early in your med school career with students who have been around longer than you can be invaluable. You can learn from their mistakes instead of making them on your own.

3. Be Respectful of Your Own Health
During this overwhelming time, you will be taxing your physical and mental resources to stay on top of your studies. While it’s important that you do well, of course, you must balance your quest for excellence with a commitment to maintaining your health.

4. Be Respectful of The Undertaking
Becoming a doctor is one of the most important things a person can do. Respect this undertaking, and understand that the other aspects of your life (anything non-med-school related) are going to have to take a back seat for a while. A long while.

5. Hit The Books Hard and Often
Get to love studying if you don’t already. There’s only one way to master the amount of information you need to when people’s lives are in your hands, and that’s to immerse yourself in it.

6.Play To Your Strengths, But Don’t Be Limited To Them
Medical school is like any other kind of school in some ways — it’s a learning experience. Do engage in learning opportunities that will showcase your strengths, but also look for ways to grow, to build on areas where you might not be as strong.

7. Choose Your Specialization ASAP
The earlier you can decide about which area of medicine you’d like to practice, the earlier you can become an expert in this area.
8. Find Mentors In Your Field Of Choice
Before you decide on a specialization, talk to the experienced students you know about what they think. Talk to doctors currently practicing in the field that appeals to you. Talk to your instructors. Make professional connections with people who are already doing the kinds of things you want to be doing after you’re out of school.

9. Write As Much As You Can
Med school may be too early to think about publishing your work, but if you are looking for prestige in your field, plan on publishing in the future. The best way to get publication worthy is to write what you can, perhaps by helping already publishing doctors prepare articles.

10. Take The Occasional Break
Good luck with this one!

Ten Ways To Be A Good Medical Student

1. Be An Excellent Manager of Your Own Time
Medical school will overwhelm you. In the four years it will take you to get your MD, you will be presented with more information that you must master than you might have thought possible, even if you did attend a rigorous pre-med program. Accordingly, the first tip to being a good medical student is to develop time-management skills.

2. Be Friends With More Experienced Medical Students
Making connections early in your med school career with students who have been around longer than you can be invaluable. You can learn from their mistakes instead of making them on your own.

3. Be Respectful of Your Own Health
During this overwhelming time, you will be taxing your physical and mental resources to stay on top of your studies. While it’s important that you do well, of course, you must balance your quest for excellence with a commitment to maintaining your health.

4. Be Respectful of The Undertaking
Becoming a doctor is one of the most important things a person can do. Respect this undertaking, and understand that the other aspects of your life (anything non-med-school related) are going to have to take a back seat for a while. A long while.

5. Hit The Books Hard and Often
Get to love studying if you don’t already. There’s only one way to master the amount of information you need to when people’s lives are in your hands, and that’s to immerse yourself in it.

6.Play To Your Strengths, But Don’t Be Limited To Them
Medical school is like any other kind of school in some ways — it’s a learning experience. Do engage in learning opportunities that will showcase your strengths, but also look for ways to grow, to build on areas where you might not be as strong.

7. Choose Your Specialization ASAP
The earlier you can decide about which area of medicine you’d like to practice, the earlier you can become an expert in this area.

8. Find Mentors In Your Field Of Choice
Before you decide on a specialization, talk to the experienced students you know about what they think. Talk to doctors currently practicing in the field that appeals to you. Talk to your instructors. Make professional connections with people who are already doing the kinds of things you want to be doing after you’re out of school.

9. Write As Much As You Can
Med school may be too early to think about publishing your work, but if you are looking for prestige in your field, plan on publishing in the future. The best way to get publication worthy is to write what you can, perhaps by helping already publishing doctors prepare articles.

10. Take The Occasional Break
Good luck with this one!

Why do I feel sleepy when I start studying? What can I do?

This question was originally posted on Quora. Answer 1 by: Alaka Halder, Princeton University ’15

A2A. Studying for the SAT wasn’t my favourite task in the world either, so I’ll share some of the things I did:

  • Get away from your computer and other distractions. You’ve already pointed out that having all those soft copies of SAT guides is pretty useless if you’re on edX all the time. So print out those soft copies, or better yet, buy some hard copy SAT guides. I think they smell nice 😛
  • I hated reading the SAT guide. You’re being tested on what you learned in high school anyway, and I didn’t feel that I was benefiting from reading/passive reading. So I took a lot of practice tests instead of “studying”, and checked my answers against the answers manual. If I got something wrong, I tried to figure out why. It’s hard to get distracted when you’re actively engaged in something like test taking.
  • A technique that you might find helpful for building your studying stamina is the very simple Pomodoro method (Lifehacker: The Pomodoro Technique Trains Your Brain Away From Distractions):

    Developed in the 1990s, the Pomodoro technique uses a timer and a simple concept: write down a task, work on that task for 25 minutes without interruption, and then take a break for five minutes. It takes the pressure off the task, and discourages multitasking. The goal is to pace yourself through the task, while still maintaining progress. This method enables you to concentrate without distractions, and encourages deep thinking,


    Anyone can concentrate for 25 minutes. After you’ve worked for four 25 minute chunks, give yourself a longer break (e.g. 15 minutes). I know people find this helpful if they’re procrastinating a lot, or if they find themselves retaining too little of what they’re studying. The remain answers are here.

150+ Free Pages of Mnemonics in All Medical Branches!

While browsing on the web searching for mnemonics, we found a nice PDF with 100+ pages including mnemonics in “Anatomy – Biochemistry – Cardiology – Dermatology – Embryology – Emergency Medicine – ENT – Epidemiology – GIT – Genetics – Histology – Immunology – Family Medicine – Internal Medicine – Physical Exam – Microbiology – Neurology – Gynecology – Ophthalmology – Orthopedics – Pulmonology – Pediatrics – Pharmacology – Physiology – Podiatry – Psychatry – Radiology – Oncology – Rheumatology – Surgery and Nephrology”

Samples:100 Free Pages of Mnemonics in All Medical Branches! 100 Free Pages of Mnemonics in All Medical Branches! 100 Free Pages of Mnemonics in All Medical Branches! 100 Free Pages of Mnemonics in All Medical Branches!

The other list you can find it herehere and here.

Why are lab coats and physician coats white colored?

The white coat gives a specific emotional response from patients.

Traditionally, they were beige, but white is synonymous with innocence, being trustworthy, cleanliness and life. In the past, doctors wore their street clothes most often or black, reflecting the mortality and frequent deaths seen in their chosen profession.

Today, the coats lend an air of professionalism and evoke feelings of a doctor’s superiority and intelligence in patients.

Recently, my sister received her white coat in a ceremony held at her medical school. Many medical schools do this as a rite of passage, symbolizing beginning a physician’s role. Some hospitals use the white coat to differentiate between nurses and doctors.

The white coat is currently being debated. In 2009, the American Medical Association voted to stop using the white coat Because it can harbor bacteria and germs, being worn from one visit with a patient to the next.

Essentially, today, the white coat evokes a feeling of confidence in patients. It says, “I’m a healer, a scientist, a trustworthy person with lots of school and training.”

Older people especially tend to like the white coat but more doctors are moving to just their everyday clothes or scrubs and a stethoscope draped around their neck.

Posted by Michelle Roses on Quora

Every 4th Medical Student Suffers From Depression: is it the Norm?

medical student depression

It’s terrifying that every 10th medical students reports suicidal thoughts. According to the data, medical students have depressive thoughts five times more likely than the general population, while 300 to 400 doctors commit suicide every year. Female physicians are 2.3 times more likely to commit suicide than the male. The risk of depression also increases by the start of studying, classing and training in medical school.

The medical professions need more scrambling with this appearance, as well as find out a ways to protect physicians from this risk.

The Facts and Statistics

medical student depression

The Journal of the American Medical Association published data from meta-analysis where were researched around 200 studies. There are 129,000 medical students, which participate in the research from 47 countries. They report depression or depressive symptoms in 27%, while 11% of them scramble with suicidal thoughts during medical school.

This has been a worldwide problem.

Similarly, data is founded on the research of Dr. Douglas Mata, the pathology resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He found out that 29% of medical residents practicing in a hospital feel symptoms of depression. In fact, symptoms of depression are present in all the periods of their professional activity, during beginning years in classes, but also through later years, when they practice in the hospital.

It is paradoxical only 16% of them try to find help for their impaired psychical condition.  Why, if they should recognize the symptoms better than the rest of population?

What Is It About the Medical School That Affects the Occurrence of Depression Among the Students?


Training in medical school is very competitive, stressful and long time-consuming. Medical school has the label of a “high-pressure environment” because of these traits. It requires a long time of studying and a short time of sleeping.

Besides, the students often refer ruthless from teachers and even colleges which is one of the reasons they are insecure about not being smart enough or prepared for medical science studies. Many of the students lose self-confidence in an environment like this, while it is known that reduced confidence is one of the risk factors for the occurrence of anxiety and depression.

Another risk factor for depression is a lack of sleep. Medical students get the chronical lack of sleep because of the long term studying and working overnight shifts at hospitals.

All this exhaust the body and mind, so some of the students don’t even fall in depression but have suicidal thoughts.

During the study in medical school, as well as training medical residency, students also experience the stigma attached to mental disorders, despite learning contrary. Competition is so strong, that any sign of weakness is the reason for concluding you aren’t good enough.

Another irritating circumstance is a lack of money. Sometimes there is not enough money to do everyday things. In situations like that many of them doubt if their decision to go to medical school is the right decision. At last, medical students graduate with debt of about $180,000, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. It is huge ballast for valet and it bothers one practitioner beginner, even before graduating.

What Kind of Struggle Use Medical Schools to Protect Their Students and Residents Against Depression?


The medical profession is scrambling to find the solution for changing the trend of “suicidal profession”.

Psychiatry departments in some medical school provide programs for students who seek help. It is a good shift in the fight against depression among students, because services like that may offer free professional counseling. But the meta-analysis of Dr. Mata found that only 16% students who screened positive for depression seek professional help.

Residents often work shifts more than 24 hours at a time, while a lot of them move their lives to a new place because of their residency. That requires huge mental, emotional and physical effort. Because of it, Dr. Mata reveals that at the beginning of a residency cycle, if the residents need to go abroad, mental health issues could crop up.

Dr. Slavin, from Office of Curricular Affairs at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, in Missouri, suggested reducing curricular hours for 10%. He mentions that it might “reduce the volume of material and the level of detail, changing to pass/fail grading and encouraging students to become involved in elective and volunteer activities that they cared about.”

Dr. Srijan Sen, another author of the study and a psychiatrist at The University of Michigan, mentioned it could help if medical centers hired more doctors, nurses, and physician assistants to off-load some of the work residents have when they asked for free days. A lot of the extra work isn’t really helping their education.

Dr. John Schumann, who supervised residents for more than a decade at the University of Oklahoma Medical Centre, has noticed that some residents struggle with mental health issues as they learn firsthand how to handle with big professional and at the same time emotional challenges, like pronouncing a patient’s death. He says that “Residents should be able to debrief about some of their experiences as much as they want or need to.”  He stands up for supervising residents in painful professional moments like above mentioned.

Prejudices About Medical Profession


Prejudices are a certain aggravating factor for fixing the problem about depression among the students and residents.

One of them is that the students in medical school should be strong enough for extremely rigorous and demanding environments. If they are not, then they should probably seek another profession, as well as not worry about themselves, but only about patients.

On the other hand, related to mental illness, there is an opinion that mental problem has not been taken as seriously as physical problems, while depression is kind of a weakness which is unappetizing as the problem of medical professionals.

The stigma, which follows mental illness in the medical community, becomes arrogance. It is likely a significant cause because of which students give up from seeking help.

However, we all agree on one thing, that medical schools could step up only if they would care the mental health crisis among medical students. Also, the cause of the crisis is deep in medical school administrations, as well as in the culture and conditions in the educational environment.

5 Ways To Be a Fit Med Student While Still Getting Good Grades

During the study in medical school, it is hard to find time for workout and be a fit med student due to often low energy and low physical fitness among medical students. It is the masterpiece of managing to have time for physical activity breaks if you are a student of medicine since your priorities are your lectures and your clinical duties. That means your schedule can be wildly unpredictable. Unfortunately, most gyms require at least a monthly commitment.

Medical school is no doubt very challenging and time-consuming. But it’s still possible to find a manageable lifestyle while still succeeding to master the lecture needed to become a competent physician. All you have to do is follow these steps in order to be a fit med student.

1. Plan Your Workouts Like A Pro Fit Med Student

fit med student

It requires plenty of discipline to stay fit during years of medical school. Most of the students are completely unprepared for how much extra discipline it would take during the years.  At the beginning, you’re studying a lot, but your time is really your own. It is somewhat easy to schedule a workout in a day. But as the time goes, your schedule varies widely from day to day, not to mention from the rotation to rotation. You go to the hospital earlier and return home so late that you are often too exhausted to go to the gym. Besides, most of the food you are eating during the day is low with nutritive ingredients. You mostly don’t have the time to cook too.

So, you need to be creative to figure out a way to continue the wellness-centered lifestyle if you’ve even had one before going to medical school.

Planning your workouts for the week can be a fun and motivational way to give yourself an extra time of attention.

If you love working out, but you are on a very busy rotation and don’t have time to work out every day, or you have an early morning obligation, then try to do your workout before bedtime. It is helpful to work out when you go home. Then you don’t have any more obligations and you can do your exercise in a relaxed manner. If you prioritize sleep instead of exercise after daily obligations, do your workout early in the morning. Spend about half an hour of your time and you will be fit and vigorous all-day long.

2. Find Ways to Fit Little Bits Of Exercise Into Your Daily Routine

Medical students spend a lot of time indoors, but spending some time outdoors can strengthen your body and relieve your mind. That certainly will boost energy and lift your mood.

If you have a bike, biking cross river path or wood path can be beautiful and exciting experience and a rest for your mind. It can be restful even if you’re going to or from school or hospital, while it can be soon visible under your belt! Also, try to take the stairs rather than the elevator whenever possible, especially in the hospital and school.

If it is not complicated, you can change clothes and run or walk on the way to home. It is a simple way to get out of the classroom and enjoy some fresh air, while it saves your time.

If you have some of the workout equipment that you can use at home –  a barbell with a squat rack, adjustable dumbbells, pull-up bar, etc, you can create your own little gym and organize “home gym hour” in the day, which is least fulfilled with obligations. It is cheaper than a gym membership in the long run and gives flexible organization with your weekly routine. You can find a lot of workout routines online and on YouTube for free and exercise according to their instructions. It also gives you the group exercise feel. Some of the students may manage only about 15 minutes if they wanted to be sustainable.

15-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be done with minimal equipment and can give you great result if you put it in your daily routine in the start of a day.

Find the partner for together exercise among the students whom you associate with, and all the things will be easier and more fun.

3. Yoga for Fit Med Student

Yoga invigorates the entire body and mind; although not many medical students tend to practice yoga during the years of medical studies. But those who do try yoga, find a lot of benefits to their body and mind.

When you are stressed out (and there is a lot of that in medical school and clinical practice) yoga is an effective way to refocus and clear your mind.

It is well known that after practicing yoga you can focus your mental resources, process information much quicker, more accurate and learning, holding and updating information is better.

If you think that you need extra time for yoga exercise, you are wrong. There are a few positions you can do even while you study (at home of course).




 Sphinx Pose

 It is really easy to stay in this pose all the time while you are reading. Just lie on your belly with your book in front of you, and bring your forearms to the ground so that your elbows are directly under your shoulders. Inhale the shoulders up and down the back, and keep reading! You can stay in this pose as long as you feel comfortable, but it is recommended at least during 3-5 deep breaths.

 Legs Up the Wall

 The name itself tells you what to do to get to this pose. Lie on your back and just inhale your legs up above you and stay resting them on the wall in front of you. The best is you can stay here for hours and read in the pose.

 Lotus Pose

 It is not the pose for everybody because you need to have strong back muscles to stay in this pose. Otherwise, you may feel an uncomfortable tightening in the back. So, if you are used to sitting properly, come to a comfortable seat first. Gently take hold of one foot, and tuck it up into the opposite hip crease. Do the same with the opposite foot. Straighten your back and there you are! If you feel any pain or stress in your knees or back, choose another pose.

 Child’s Pose

 This is a kind of modified Child’s Pose. Gently bring your knees down the ground, and sit your hips back over your ankles. Get a good stretch in your arms, before bending the elbows and bringing your hands under your chin.

 Frog Pose

 Begin with the Tabletop Pose, and slowly walk your legs out from under your hips as far as you can go without straining. Your feet should be flexed with the inside edges of the feet on the floor. Gently come down to your forearms. Stay in the pose 5 breaths, then change the pose.

You can also get a class of yoga for the first time, and after a certain time, you may practice that alone at your room.

4. Take Stretching Breaks

Some students study a few hours at once. They may take 10-minutes workout breaks 3-4 time during a study session. You can find out about this on YouTube searching for “Instant Recess.”

This is an exercise based on stretchings, such as neck rolls and shoulder rolls, leading into movements that involve raising your hands and dancing. It will provoke better blood flowing through your body and brain, while it’s easy to do for everybody. You don’t need any equipment, as well as special clothes.



5. Eat Healthily to Be Fit Med Student

We all know how much it is important to eat fresh and healthy food to be fit, healthy and ready for daily challenges. But how to achieve all of that obligation at school and hospital while having healthy meals at the same time?

Things are getting simpler if you don’t mind eating the same thing every day. You can make a scrambled egg with veggies almost every day for breakfast, or meat with some salad for dinner. Carbs, like pasta, is recommended for lunch. Make simple quick recipes, which you can make in the morning and bring for later. Don’t forget to drink a lot of water between meals.

Bring extra snacks at times if you feel hungry, but don’t take sweeties. Instead of that, take a fresh or dried fruit or nuts.

If you often buy out your lunch, use free days for cooking at home and you can be done in 2-3 hours if you do meal prep in one day. 2-3 hours of cooking for the whole week? I’m good with that.

Book Pack you’ll need while studying for MBBS

Greetings, med students!

We have been getting a lot of questions on our page, regarding medical literature. Where do I find the books, which ones you recommend, do you have anatomy books are only some of them, to name a few.

So, look no further, as we have something for you ! With help of one of our fans A. Aqeel, we have gathered a list of medical books, which should help you on this quest of becoming a medical professional.

We know this road is very rocky one, with a lot of twist and turns, and we want to help!

Here is the list of the complete package, with all the pdf books you will need (download links included):

1–> KLM for Gross Anatomy
2–> Snell’s Anatomy
3–> BD Churassia
4–> RJ Last
5–> Grey’s Anatomy
6–> Langman Embryology
7–> KLM for Embryology
8–> BD For General Anatomy
9–> Dissector
10–> Di Fore Histology
11–> Junqueira’s Histology
12–> Netter Atlas of human Aantomy

Folder link–> https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3WdpdsqpX0LYV9KQ3lxY29FY28

1–> Guyton
2–> Ganong
3–> Sheerwood
4–> Sembulingam

Folder link–> https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3WdpdsqpX0LdXlCSjdZM214dEE

1–> Harper
2–> Lippincott
3–> Chatterjea
4–> Satyanarayan
5–> Stryer
6–> MRS Biochemistry

Folder link–> https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B3WdpdsqpX0Ld0o3WnhCR2VEczg

1–> Big Robins
2–> Medium Robins
3–> Pathoma
4–> Goljan
5–> Harsh Mohan Pathology
6–> Atlas of Histopathology
7–> Levinson
8–> MRS microbiology
9–> Microbiology by Jacquelyn G. Black
10–> Color Atlas of Microbiology
11–> Kaplan Pathology

Folder link–> https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3WdpdsqpX0LYkRYdjFrTm5MR0U

1–> Big Katzung
2–> Mini Katzung
3–> Kaplan Review
4–> Lippincott
5–> Pocket Katzung
6–> Rang and Dale’s Pharmacology
7–> Atlas of Pharmacology

Folder link–> https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3WdpdsqpX0LMkE1UUVRZGwtTlU

Forensic Medicine:
1–> Simpson’s Forensics
2–> Krishan’s Forensics
3–> Atlas of Autopsy
4–> Atlas of Forensic Medicine

Folder link–> https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3WdpdsqpX0LQXVwOGoyWnFSV2s

1–> Jogi
2–> Jatoi
3–> Parson’s Textbook of Eye
4–> Kanski
5–> AK Khurana
6–> Atlas of ophthalmology

Folder link–> https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3WdpdsqpX0LOHc5WVZMdkJjX2M

1–> Dhingra
2–> Logans Turner
3–> Color Atlas of Otorhinolaryngology
4–> Maqbool’s Text Book of ENT
5–> Clinical Methods in ENT by PT Wakode
6–> ENT at a Glance

Folder link–> https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3WdpdsqpX0LaDY2a0lFNDlfTGc

Community Medicine:
1–> Monica’s Text Book Community Medicine
2–> Mahajan And Gupta Text Book of Community Medicine
3–> Bancroft’s Text Book of Community Medicine

Folder link–> https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3WdpdsqpX0Lc1RCMml2NjhFNjA

1–> Churchill’s Pocketbook of DD
2–> MTB Step 2 Ck
3–> Davidson Essentials
4–> Davidson Principals and practice
5–> Harrison’s Internal Medicine
6–> Internal Medicine USMLE Nuggets
7–> Internal Medicine on call bt LANGE
8–> Oxfords Specialties

Folder link–> https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3WdpdsqpX0LeEFJNG5TMlc4eWc

1–> Bailey_love short practice of Surgery
2–> Churchill’s pocketbook of Surgery
3–> Deja Review of surgery
4–> Farquharson’s Textbook of Operative General Surgery
5–> Hamilton Bailey’s Physical Signs
6–> Oxford Handbook of Clinical Surgery
7–> Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery
8–> Macleod’s Clinical Examination
9–> Macleod’s Clinical Diagnosis

Folder link–> https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3WdpdsqpX0LRFpFSG5hZ1pVWkE

Obstetrics & Gynecology:
1–> Case Discussions in Obstetrics and Gynecology
2–> Deja Review of Obstetrics Gynecology
3–> Obstetrics by Ten Teachers
4–> Gynaecology illustrated
5–> Gynaecology by Ten Teachers

Folder link–> https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3WdpdsqpX0LMU1LRjFDa1FrbjA

1–> Nelson Essentials of Pediatrics
2–> Nelson Complete
3–> Pediatrics Review

Folder link–> https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3WdpdsqpX0LUkdTQkVuNV92Yzg

And some other books you might find useful:

1st Professional Books–> https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3WdpdsqpX0Lay1HT1d5Yks5V0U

2nd Professional Books–> https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3WdpdsqpX0LemtmYXpYMGlydVk

3rd Professional Books–> https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3WdpdsqpX0LWmlCSHBpUFpPZU0

4th Professional Books–> https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3WdpdsqpX0LbnJvUzk3NHRhWWc

Photo credits: Designed by Freepik

3 Highly Effective Study Habits

3 Highly Effective Study Habits

Students confront many issues in their lives, and because of all of the challenges you deal everyday, it’s very difficult to concentrate on studying. And yet if you are in school, you have to do at least a little studying in order to grow from year to year.

The gold to effective studying it’s not in studying longer, but studying wiser. You can start studying wiser and smarter with these 3 proven and truly effective studying habits.

1: It matters how you approach your studying

So many people look at studying as a mandatory task, not an pleasure or opportunity to learn. That’s ok, but experts have found that how you approach something matters as much as what you do.

Sometimes you can not “force” yourself to be in the right spot, and it is during such times you should simply dodge studying. If you are (maybe) distracted by a relationship issue or finishing an essential project, then studying is just going to be a frustration for you. Come back when you are not obsessed by something else going on in your life.

2: The place you study is important

A lot of people make the mistake of studying in a place that don’t give you the right focus. Place with a lot of distractions makes it a poor study area. For an example,If you try and study in your dorm room, you may find your TV, computer or your roommate more interesting than the reading material you are trying to master.

The library is quiet area and good place where you can settle down and study. Search for multiple places on or of your campus – do not pick the first spot that you find “good enough” for your needs. Finding an perfect study place is very important, because it’s one you can count on for the next few years of your studying.

3: Start using memory games / mnemonic devices

Memory games known as mnemonic devices, are good methods for remembering pieces of information using a transparent association of some common words. Often people twist together words to form a nonsense sentence that is easy to remember.

The first letter of each word can then be used to stand for something else – the piece of information you’re trying to remember. This method don’t work for everyone, so if they start making you trouble, don’t use them.

Mnemonic devices are truly helpful, because you will start using your brain more to remember visual and active images than you do to remember only a list of items.

Image credit: Photographer:Wavebreakmedia