What a First-Year Medical Student Can Expect

The Truth About Applying to Medical School

Before a future medical student can  start researching schools, they need to know that not only can the application process be tough, but the schooling is also a major adjustment within itself – specifically with the first year. 

During the first year of medical school, students will have to change their previous university habits to ensure they are starting the best they can. This might include becoming acclimated to different modes of learning, learning autonomy, and adopting the idea that every bit of information is significant and that they will probably be tested on it.

The best part about those first-year challenges is that they’re not impossible to tackle. While many students have found that the first year of medical school is challenging, you can easily make it the best year of your life by having the right support system and the determination needed to make your clinical passion a reality.

Common Challenges for New Medical Students

For many students, the first year of medical school can be a transitional period, which means they’ll be faced with challenges they might not have thought about since undergrad. Some of the most common challenges include:

  • Handling a much-faster curriculum
  • Handling difficult material that depends on independent, critical answers
  • Adjusting to different teaching modes and styles
  • Adjusting to the demands of school while maintaining a personal life

Just like with undergrad, you’ll learn that these challenges can be handled quickly if you stay dedicated and use the resources available to you.

What You’ll Learn as a First-Year Medical Student

What a First-Year Medical Student Can Expect

Managing Your Finances 

Medical school is expensive, and most people take out significant student loans to help them out. Even with a loan and other forms of financial assistance, students will have to learn how to build their budget around their schooling. This means they’ll have to consider loan-paying options, costs of living in the school’s area, tuition, and anything else that will be used to supplement their lifestyle. 

With the right plan, managing your finances for medical school is simple and worth it. If budgeting means you can only go out for coffee twice a week, make sure to follow through with it!

Handling Autonomy

Autonomy is incorporated in all areas of the medical field, which means it’s also heavily emphasized during medical school. Your professors are there to help guide and provide you with the correct information, but you’re given the freedom and moral independence to think critically and make your work your own. 

Having this much independence, especially in terms of schooling, can be difficult for some students to adapt to. First-year students may want more guidance and need a push to get their work done consistently, but once they see how autonomy can quickly build self-confidence, they’ll never turn back to the teaching methods they were used to during undergrad.

How Staying Busy Prepares You for Real Practice

A medical school’s curriculum is created around work that encourages poise under pressure, kindness, patience, empathy, and inquisitiveness – just like real clinical tasks would. This means you’ll always be busy and will constantly have to take on new responsibilities that will help your future success towards medicine.

The best part about this is that if a student thrives in this environment, they will be ready for actual practice once it comes. They will, as physicians, know how to take care of any challenges and will be willing to take time in all situations, no matter how busy they already are.

How to Ensure You Have a Passion for Medicine

No one wants to work hard to get into medical school only to realize their passion for it isn’t the exhilarating experience they thought it would be, but it does happen. Even though it’s a whirlwind, your first year in medical school can show you whether or not you want a career in medicine and can guide what the rest of your professional work experience can look like.

If you ever find yourself questioning a future clinical career any time during your first year, you’ll want to step back and think about why you wanted to get into medical school in the first place, everything you excelled at to get there, and what is it about medicine that still gets you excited. Once you find that spark again, you can make the right decisions during your first year.

What About AUSOMA?

AUSOMA works hard to ensure that your first year will go smoothly, as we want you to focus on your academics. We provide students with great scholarship opportunities, the ability to learn from some of the medical industry’s best and to be able to explore their passions within Aruba. We know that medical school can be stressful – we want you to cherish your time spent here.