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How to Survive as a Medical Student

By | Rayanne Morriss

Medical students are always on the go and must balance a heavy course load with work and life. Surviving your years in medical school is important in order to be ready for residency, so learning how to do so is vital. 

Tips for Surviving as a Medical Student

Medical school is a long road with many ups and downs. Doing your best is essential, but be bold in making mistakes. Below are some tips for medical students trying to survive the medical school experience:

1. Attend All the Orientation Programming

When you arrive, your medical school will have a lot of orientation programming set up to help you get the most out of the experience during the first few weeks. These programs are designed to help you adjust to life in medical school and provide essential information. Taking these opportunities seriously and not attending them is the worst thing you could do.

2. Join a Study Group or Course

Some courses in medical school are designed to be studied in small groups. Joining a study group and doing programs like an internal medicine board review course can significantly impact your learning experience and help you prepare for your boards. Study groups can also create lasting friendships and offer support throughout your medical school career.

3. Get Connected With Resident Mentors

Resident mentors are there to help you adjust to life in the hospital and help you move your career forward. Plus, they will help you make professional connections that will open doors to residencies, fellowships, and other opportunities. So be bold, ask questions, and discover what medical students struggle with. Resident mentors are there to help, but they may only sometimes have the answers.

4. Have a Plan and Known Goals

Before your second year of medical school, you must have some goals for your experience. Most students start realizing how tough medical school is once they’ve completed several years of study, so it’s essential to have some objectives as soon as possible before you hit your head hard against the wall.

5. Stay Involved

Attending school is one of many things you need to keep up with. Stay involved in your community and try as hard as possible to make lifelong connections. Medical schools usually have plenty of events throughout the year designed to bring all students together, so it’s essential to be able to participate in them.

6. Be a Team Player

Medical school has its own unique culture, and when you join that team, you must be willing to follow its rules and customs. Be ready to adapt, but keep sight of your ways too.

7. Utilize Resources

As a medical student, there are many different resources at your disposal. Most programs have varying libraries, tutoring services, and career advisors. Tutorials are also an option for extra help with more challenging proceedings. These resources can be necessary when you need support, but remember it’s not the only way to learn and survive this experience together!

8. Make Friends on a Team

Medical school can be very stressful, but some of the best ways to handle that stress are helping one another get through the hard times and working together. If you make friends with people on your team, they’ll help you stay strong and grounded during the journey. Teamwork is also a great way to create long-lasting relationships to help you survive every obstacle.

Is Medical School Worth All This Effort?

It may not seem like it, but the answer is a resounding yes! Medical training is tough but so flexible that you’ll never be stuck in a single role. You’ll gain experience in many different areas, and you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned in any specialty of medicine. This experience will prepare you for the next step of your career.

Medical students are often on the go, but it’s very important to take the time to combine these tips with your objectives and experiences. Medical school has much to learn, but remember, you’re here for a reason. If you work hard, listen closely, adjust when necessary, and have a strong support system ready to help you at every step along the way, you will be prepared for residency or any other opportunity that comes your way.


Medical school is a long road, and this article has given you some great tips on how to survive your medical school experience. Take the time to prepare yourself, adjust to the new lifestyle, and ensure you’re ready to adapt at every turn!


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