What is medical school really like?

January 5, 2015

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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It can be difficult to predict what medical school will really be like, so here are a few pointers… 

It’s not easy!

Studying medicine can be tough. Not only is there a lot to learn, but there are also lots of complex new concepts to deal with. You’ll also find that you are required to attend university much more frequently than some of your peers, particularly those who are studying arts subjects. Keeping on top of your reading, attending lectures, seminars and tutorials and revise what you’ve learned regularly, and you’ll find that you can keep on top of everything without too much trouble! Try and get some of your fellow medics to join you in a study group – that way you can help each other out with anything tricky!

cradling a newborn Get involved

While studying medicine can be challenging, if you manage your time well, you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to get involved in activities outside of your course. Most universities have a Medical Society at the students union, which organises events, activities, trips and socials for medical students. At universities with large medical faculties there are also opportunities to join medical sports teams, such as football or netball. 

You can also join other societies, where you can meet people from different degree courses. Since your course will be quite intense, it can be beneficial to have a break, and meet some different people.

Keep up with work in the holidays

Just because you’re on your Easter break, it doesn’t mean you can stop working all together! You may well have assignments to keep up with, and if you don’t, you should spend some time going over what you’ve learned in the previous semester, and doing some reading for what’s ahead.

A work-life balance is very important though – make time for some fun stuff too! Reward yourself for your efforts by going away for a few days, hang out with some friends, or chill out with family.


If you’ve gained a place at medical school, the chances are that you were top of your classes at school or college. When you get to medical school though, you will suddenly find yourself surrounded by other extremely able and hardworking individuals. You might find yourself struggling to keep up with others in some areas, or feel demotivated if your peers are doing better than you. Don’t let this get you down – getting into medical school is a huge achievement, and while you might find there are some areas in which you are not the strongest student on your course, there will be other topics that come naturally to you. It’s not about being at the bottom or the top – it’s about applying yourself, and doing your best.

Studying medicine can be fascinating and diverse career, with excellent benefits. Make the most of your time at university, and the support you will receive from your tutors, before you start out in the world of work.