Five must-have items to buy when you start med school

June 20, 2016

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Starting medical school is an exciting time. There is a lot to do to prepare for this next stage in your life. If you are moving out of your area, which many people do for medical school, finding a place to live probably takes top priority. After setting up your apartment, you may wonder what else you need to buy. Your school will probably provide a list of supplies and books to purchase. But beyond the obvious, there are some additional must-have items to help you start medical school off right.

A reliable laptop

Although you can still take notes the old-fashioned way by hand, most students prefer to use a laptop. Some classes may also require you to take tests on your computer. Review different brands of laptops to determine whether it has the features you prefer. You’re going to be using it a lot during the next four years, so you want something that will last. An iPad or tablet may also be an option if you prefer something smaller.

A good stethoscope

Most of the equipment you need during med school is provided at the hospitals where you complete your clinical rotations. Although disposal stethoscopes are also stocked, they don’t provide the same acoustics as a quality stethoscope. During school, you need to differentiate between lungs sounds, which are similar. A good quality stethoscope will help you identify the subtle differences.

Comfortable dress clothes

Med schools may have different dress codes for clinical rotations. Some schools require scrubs and a lab coat while others prefer students wear professional clothes. Find out your school’s dress code, before buying anything. If you need professional outfits, be sure to choose clothing you are comfortable wearing. Clothes that are too tight or are made of fabrics that don’t breathe will get uncomfortable quick.

Crock pot

Unless you want to live on fast-food, you’ll probably have to bite the bullet and cook once in a while. If cooking does not come easy to you, you’re in luck. There are all types of kitchen gadgets that make cooking a breeze. One of the easiest to use is a crock pot. Just throw some ingredients in before you leave in the morning and when you get back in the evening, you have a home cooked meal.

Noise cancelling headphones

If you have roommates, you may want to buy a good pair of headphones to block out background noise. You will spend a lot of time studying, and it can be difficult to concentrate with the television on or people talking in the background.

Useful apps

Most med students probably already have a smartphone. But there are several apps you may want to download, which may help you during your four years of med school. For example, consider downloading an app to help you manage assignments and stay organized. There are also apps to help you remember medications dosages, resuscitation algorithms and medical terminology.



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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives, and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.