Mostly after entering a medical school everyone think that they only have to study, study and study. They feel like they have been crushed under bundles of thick books & its an indication of end to their life charms. If you are among them who think like this, your perception is certainly wrong… It is not like this ….what is lacking is only a proper guideline. So here I am gonna tell some useful tips which will surely help you in enjoying the charm of medical student life while studying and keep yourself up to the marks.
Involve Yourself in Extra Curricular Activities:
The moment you enter medical school, make a resume. That way you’ll know how much work you need to do in order to gear yourself up. Your resume should not exceed two pages. First and second year of medical school is the best time to show your diversity. A good idea would be to join one of the organizations like Pakistan Medical Association, International Federation of Medical Students Association etc. It will boost your confidence and take you a long way. Don’t just be book worms!
Also involve in sports activities such as in badminton, tennis, swimming etc. It not has any thing with your resume but it necessary for your physical and mental health.
Avail Research Opportunities:
Third year is probably the best time to start taking up research projects. If you are willing to work hard and ‘unpaid’, anyone will be okay with hiring you as an honorary research assistant. I would recommend doing that because it will be a great thing on your resume. Just write a professional four sentence email to the faculty of the specialty that you’re interested in, state that you are extremely interested in research work and that you are very hard working, then attach your resume and send it across to them. If you are actually truly interested just pay the department a visit and drop your resume yourself.
United States Medical Licensing Exam:
If you are interested in going United States and giving USMLE you should start preparing your self from 1st year and makeup your mindset accordingly.
Elective are just like internship. It a gateway to increase your experience and helpful in application of your knowledge. On the other hand it is equally important in your carreer.
Make your strategic plan according to your academic year. For Instance:
- 1st & 2nd year: Boost your resume with extracurricular activities.
- 3rd year: Time for some research work.
- 4th year: USMLE Step 1
- Between 4th & 5th year Clinical electives rotation in U.S plus USMLE Step 2 CS
- 5th year
- 1st Semester: USMLE Step 2 CK
- 2nd Semester: Work on your residency application – NO TIME TO LOSE
Concluding all this, I have to say whatever you do in your med school. Do it passionately and with enthusiasm! Good Luck!
Safia Akhlaq is a second year medical student in Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi. She has keen interest in cardiac surgery.