Do gunners who constantly go above and beyond tend to get under your skin? Do you frequently wonder if your fellow students do anything but study? If one of your goals is to enjoy life while still doing well in medical school, here are five ways to make your medical school experience a bit more enjoyable.
1. Optional Class Attendance
Most medical schools have optional classes. If you’re one of those students who learn just as well on their own, take advantage of this. While your classmates are spending 5-8 hours per day in class, you can spend that same 5-8 hours studying and be done with the study day by the time your gunner colleagues are just cracking the books. The result? More free time. Warning: You probably will be labeled a slacker if you don’t attend every single class session. Sticks and stones…
2. Transcribed Lectures
A lot of colleges and medical schools have services that provide transcribed lectures, typically for a small fee. Let go of your wallet and drop the cash – it’s well worth it. Along with not attending class, you now have the next best thing – each lecture in writing. It might take a little bit of time to separate the signal from the noise, but while doing so you can familiarize yourself with the topic. In the end you’ll be more efficient, have more free time, and be as prepared or better prepared than your colleagues.
3. Make Your Own Schedule
You’ve been used to the good life while in college. That good life will transfer over to medical school too – but just for years one and two. During years three and four, you’ll have to be somewhere at a certain time. Take the first two tips that I mentioned above, and use them to make your own schedule. Enjoy life. By the time you hit the wards during year three, you’ll be well-rested and ready to go. Don’t get stuck with regular hours just yet.
4. Hit The Gym
I consistently worked out throughout medical school as did a very small minority of my class. Most people think they don’t have time to exercise while in medical school. This is particularly true as exam time creeps up on you. Even during the week leading up to my Step I and Step II exams, I made sure to get some quality strength training and cardio time in. You’ll not only be impressing the ladies with your ripped physique and relieving stress at the same time, but exercise improves learning and memory.
5. Go Out With Friends. Often.
Did you ever think that hanging out with friends at the bar or bowling alley might have something to do with your medical school success? According to this it does. Students with a strong psychological sense in their community (i.e. healthy social interactions) reported less burnout than those who did not have as much social time.
Still Think Slackers Suck?
I know it’s not rocket science, but it’s really easy to fall into the trap and not make the most out of the small amount freedom you have left. Don’t get sucked into the negative stigma of the slacker. Slacking is good for your education, and now you’re informed. So put those books away, sleep in tomorrow, sign up for transcription services, and plan what you’re going to do with all of that free time.