Always known that you’ve wanted to study medicine?
Being a medical student involves a lot of hard work and determination. You’ll likely spend hours researching universities, perfecting your Personal Statement, attending interviews, waiting for offers, finding student accommodation and studying for exams.
Working in the medical industry is a highly rewarding, interesting and enjoyable career, where you’ll pick up most of your clinical experience on placements throughout your course. However, there are a few things that will either make or break medical students.
Here Caro Lettings offers a few top tips to help you excel at university whilst studying to be a doctor or nurse.
5 tips for first-year medical students
1. Get to know your course-mates and surroundings
Most medical school courses are between 5-6 years, and a lot of this time will be spent with those on your course and placements.
Getting to know these people is a great idea. It’ll allow you to compare notes and experiences with each other. In some cases, you may have shared interests, i.e. you both support the same football team or you grew up in the same area.
It’s also a sensible idea to familiarise yourself with your new environment for when you need to buy food and other essential items. Knowing how to get to the train station and the location of the nearest bus stop is always helpful.
Thanks to Google Maps, navigating your way around the bustling city is easier than ever before. Remember to ask one of your flatmates or course-mates to tag along with you, or at least let them know where you’re going.
2. Avoid cramming
As a medical student, you’ll be studying an array of complex topics – from anatomy to pharmacology, physiology and biochemistry.
While many students are guilty of leaving it to the last minute to prepare for exams, cramming everything in the night before isn’t recommended for aspiring doctors and nurses. There’s simply too much to recap.
Our best advice is to regularly revisit your lecture notes. Watch useful videos and listen to podcasts to broaden your knowledge and understanding. And most importantly, don’t burn yourself out.
Go for a walk or jog, meet up with mates for a coffee, watch a film – anything to take your mind off your studies for a short while.
3. Don’t miss lectures
One thing that medical students quickly learn is that you’ll cover a lot of content in a relatively short space of time. And if you’re not attending your lectures, taking notes or creating flashcards, you’ll more than likely struggle when it comes to exams.
Obviously, if you’re poorly, you won’t be able to go into uni. However, you should definitely ask your lecturer if they can send over the slides via email, so you’re not missing out on any vital information.
Similarly, you could see if your course-mates would mind if you read over the notes they made from the lecture you missed. You could then jot down the most valuable information or create a mind map if you’re a visual learner.
4. Keep in touch with your loved ones
Though it’s easy to bury your head in a book when you’re studying medicine, you don’t want to isolate yourself from your flatmates and family and friends back home.
Staying connected and socialising will help you to stay grounded – especially at times when you feel homesick. Something as simple as hearing a familiar voice at the other end of the phone or seeing the smiley face of a relative can bring you comfort when you need it the most.
Another reason why you should keep in contact with your loved ones is that, sooner or later, you’re going to reach exciting milestones that you’ll want to share with them.
They’ll support you through the highs and the lows.
5. Secure medical student only accommodation
When compared to students on other courses, medical students often have varying timetables, workloads and shift patterns.
Depending on where your placement is, there may be times when you have to set your alarm for 5am. Or you may only get home late.
Whilst your flatmates are having pre-drinks before heading into town for a night out, you might have to study for your test or submit your assignment.
Living with students on different courses can be a bit of a nightmare for medical students. But that’s why it pays to opt for ‘medical student only’ accommodation, where you’ll be housed with people on the same or a similar course to you.
Contact Caro Lettings
If you’re a medical student in Liverpool, the sensible thing to do is secure a room with us, here at Caro Lettings.
We provide the best student accommodation Liverpool city centre has to offer – with buildings in easy reach of the major universities: Liverpool University, John Moores and Hope.
To find out more about our medical student only clusters, or to arrange a viewing, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0800 008 7888.