I can’t believe I am typing this, but I am halfway done with medical school. We had our last class exams and second year shelf exams this past week. I just started studying for my board exam (USMLE, “Step 1”) yesterday and will be doing that for the next 6 weeks. The USMLE is the exam that determines if you can be a doctor, and the better you do the more likely you are to be able to match into the specialty you want, and/or match into the location you want for residency (because you don’t just get to choose where you are going to be living for the next 4-10 years – obviously).
Second year of med school was wildly different from first year. First year courses felt difficult because of the sheer volume of information, but I now realize that it pales in comparison to second year. First year, we learned basic sciences like physiology, anatomy, histology, neuroscience, and biochem. The material (except physio) was pretty dull and dry, and it took brute memorization to get it to stick. To put it into perspective, the amount of biochem I learned over 2 quarters in college was somehow on 1 slide. My class had so much fun and became incredibly close. We had a couple Vegas trips, a trip to Mexico, BBQs, parties, potlucks, and weekly ladies Bachelor nights. (I would cringe at the latter except I have no shame in watching mind numbing television after studying death and disease for 12 hours). After first year, we got three months of vacation, which is admittedly mildly absurd. I wish we could have gotten 1 month then and another month after each subsequent year, but instead there is mostly just a few sporadic weeks for the next 3 years. Most of my class (maybe all?) did research or a medical ultrasound trip abroad, but I chose to do round the world trip #noregrets, it was epic.
Second year, the information is FASCINATING. We did all diseases, drugs, and bugs this year and there were days when I would lose track of time studying because it was just that engrossing. Especially GI. GI was the only subject I studied that after just reading it once, it clicked and I could recall it later. First year, I probably studied 8-10 hours a day if you include classes/school stuff and not too much on weekends. Second year was more like 10-12 hours a day as well as weekends. Despite less class bonding and parties (to be frank), I enjoyed second year equally as much, if not more. With time management, it is still very possible to workout every day and see friends regularly. Especially if you combine workouts with friends! Another thing about second year is that I never went to class – it was essentially a self-taught year (and that was a very thing, for me). But I’ll have to save that (and my thoughts on medical education) for another post.
I’m going to try to write more often, but in the meantime, I have started a new instagram for the blog! It is a quick and easy way for me to share workout/health tips with y’all and try to prove that balance and medicine are not mutually exclusive.
If you want to follow, its theFitMD_ 🙂
Until next time,