How Medical School is Different from College

From the courses you study right down to the atmosphere of the buildings, medical school is drastically different from any program you’ve ever seen before. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting a master’s in Physics or a doctorate in Biology, medical school just seems like its own world. If you’re not prepared for this drastic difference, it can catch you off guard. Well, how exactly is medical school different from regular college courses?

How Medical School is Different from College: Examples

The first thing you’ll notice is how the environment changes from your pre-med studies. You might be taking classes with people of varying ages and experiences. You will also find that your personal life is going to take a heavy blow. Medical school requires a lot of studying and you’ll have to put forth a lot of time and effort to succeed. This work-centric environment is more reminiscent of the job atmosphere you’ll have in the near future.

The approach to studying is also different. You may find that the old way of “memorizing everything” is not effective in medical school. Even in your first year, you’ll be bombarded with information. You simply won’t have the time or mental space to remember it all. You need to shift your focus more towards a philosophy that considers what’s important. You will need to weed information out and get to the heart of the matter.

In the same way the environment is completely different, so too are the students in your class. You will find that many people have more experience, knowledge, or a better work ethic than you. While this may be bad for your ego, you should consider yourself lucky to be surrounded by people that can ultimately help you.

Because of the other students and their natural gifts, you may feel that medical school is competitive when you first arrive. However, that’s probably your own need to shine brighter than the other students and set yourself apart. Don’t think of it as a competition. You should build a support team to help you gain more knowledge and experience in areas that you need to improve.

Medical school is going to take some time to get acclimated to but once you do you’ll find that building connections and developing new study habits will pay off in the end.

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