1. HOBBIES: TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST
2. SUPPORT SYSTEM: DEPENDING ON FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND YOUR
4. CONFIDENCE MINDSET: OVERCOMING ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING
Medical school can be challenging for many students. The pressure to learn numerous courses
quickly while pursuing extracurricular activities, maintaining hobbies, and building friendships
can be overwhelming. Here are some of my most important lessons/tips for incoming or current
I wish I had known the importance of hobbies before starting medical school. Most of my
extracurricular activities initially revolved around volunteering and gaining knowledge to
become a well-rounded applicant. However, I realized the significance of doing things for myself
over time. It is essential to have a passion and driving force outside medicine. I started running,
working out, and spending time outdoors, and it became a part of my identity and a healthy
lifestyle that helped me become a better physician. Moreover, I have used the healthy habits I
learned to encourage my patients to adopt a healthy lifestyle, including healthy nutrition, water
intake, and daily physical activity.
In addition, having a support system is crucial when dealing with the stress and demands of
medical school. Your school's educational departments, deans, and doctors can provide valuable
advice and guidance during difficult times. They have already gone through the challenges and
can offer insight into different situations.
Also, accepting that you may miss your friends and family's life events like weddings,
engagements, and baby showers is crucial. It's challenging seeing everyone celebrating, and you
cannot attend, but it's a sacrifice that comes. You can arrange a mini-event with them to celebrate
the event you have missed.
Lastly, ask for help. People are always willing to help if you ask for it! Your school, mentors, and
doctors you meet have gone through this and have the best advice on overcoming different
situations and challenges. They have life advice that can help in various avenues.
It is also essential to have a well-planned schedule and stay organized.
Pencil in your mandatory requirements (classes, labs, exams).
Add in your non-negotiable (sleep, exercise, meals).
Incorporate your hobbies and extracurricular (exercise, art, meditation, volunteering).
Most importantly, add your support system time (social activities, and if you are far away from loved ones, schedule your FaceTime calls in advance to stay connected throughout the journey).
It’s crucial to allow flexibility with your schedule to accommodate unexpected events. However,
having a well-planned schedule can help maximize your productivity within 24 hours of a day.
Finally, having a confident mindset is essential for success in medical school. You have to
believe you are capable and have made it this far, and if the worst outcome occurs, you will
figure out how to overcome that bump in the road is crucial for medical school.
Daily affirmations help build confidence and maintain a positive attitude. They are so crucial on days leading up to exam day. Your self-talk throughout the process will be your self-talk ON exam day. Having a confident mindset throughout is essential. But within limits, of course, you have to study, prepare, and be ready for the exam and challenge that is coming ahead WITH confidence.
Here are examples of affirmations you can use daily:
I am confident
I am capable
I am strong
I can overcome any challenge before me
I am proud of my work every day
I will pass my exams
I am doing the best I can daily
With hobbies, a strong support system, an organized schedule, and a positive attitude, you can
overcome any challenge that comes your way and take on Medical School full force.