Congratulations on your decision to become a physician! The road from college to attending physician is a long and sometimes torturous one with road blocks and hurdles. This eBook is designed to guide you through the logistical and strategic portions of the process.

Lecturio Med School Survival Guide


Table of content:

  • Pre-Med School: Plan your college years to ensure admission into medical school.
  • Med School Year 1: Learn how to study and manage being a medical student.
  • Med School Year 2: Study efficiently and dominate USMLE Step 1.
  • Med School Year 3: Throw on your white coat and start learning from patients.
  • Med School Year 4: Strategically plan your residency application and match into your top program of choice.
  • International Med Student: Learn how to successfully apply and match into US residency programs as an IMG.

Pre-Med School: Plan your college years to ensure admission into medical school.

Pre-Med SchoolGetting into medical school is tougher now than it has ever been in the past. Traditionally students would spent four years in college and during that time perform some volunteer work and maybe some shadowing. Nowadays, most students spend four years in college while performing countless volunteer, research, and shadowing activities. Then students take one to two years of to do extensive research or community service work and while crossing their fingers they hope all this work permits them acceptance into medical school.

This chapter will discuss the necessary steps to take while in college to strategically design your time so that you can create the most competitive application to medical school. Going from a pre-med student to a medical student is a big transition. Once you have been accepted into medical school the strategic planning process begins. Here you learn the academic and logistical parts of life that are necessary to have in order to reduce distractions while in medical school. You are most likely excited about starting medical school, so let‘s focus that energy and plan for success and also enjoy the time you have available before medical school starts.

Med School Year 1: Learn how to study and manage being a medical student.

Medical School Year 1Congratulations, you have been accepted into medical school and you are taking the first official steps to becoming a fully-edged physician! Some days are going to be exciting, filled with first time experiences and ah-ha moments. Other days will be tough, studying for board exams and managing a busy academic schedule.

The classic saying is that learning in medical school is like drinking water from a water hydrant. While this old saying is somewhat dramatic, it is generally true that you will be expected to learn a tremendous amount of information in a very short period of time. The key to the first year of medical school is going to be developing a solid study strategy and learning how to balance the stress of being in medical school. However, don’t worry, you will be guided through these important processes and get help to dominate the first year of medical school.

Med School Year 2: Study efficiently and dominate USMLE Step 1.

Medical School Year 2The second year of medical school has become synonymous with USMLE Step 1. All medical students think about is doing well on the USMLE Step 1 exam. While this exam is important, the second year of medical school covers information that will be the basis of your knowledge base in your clinical practice.

You will learn how to balance learning the material during the second year of medical school and also how to focus on the high-yield material for USMLE Step 1. You will also learn how
to create a USMLE Step 1 study plan, what resources to use, and how to effectively use a question bank. These skills are going to be vital for your success in the future as you take future board and medical licensing exams. Grab your notebooks and highlighters, it’s time to dominate the boards!

Med School Year 3: Throw on your white coat and start learning from patients.

Medical School Year 3Patients at last! You are finally out of the classroom and in the clinics and on the wards. You are wearing a crisp white coat and are ready to palpate every abdomen and auscultate every heart you can find. However, you need to focus this energy that you have for clinical medicine. As much as you need to have a dedication and passion for treating your patients, you are still a student and you are working to obtain excellent grades as they will be scrutinized in your residency application. In the modern day of medicine, the top students are not the ones that know the most. In fact, the top students are those who have access to the information and are organized and have a plan.

We are going to focus on the strategy that you need to excel in the clinical years. You will learn how the hospital teams operate, how to make yourself shine as a student, and also how to get the most out of your clinical training. Grab your stethoscope and reflex hammer, it’s time to start treating patients!

Med School Year 4: Strategically plan your residency application and match into your top program of choice.

Medical School Year 4The final year of medical school. You have made it through the basic science years, shown your clinical skills during your core rotations of third year. Now it is time to take all that hard work and organize it into the resident application. Also, you will need to take USMLE Step 2, complete your sub-internships in your specialty of choice, and also obtain letters of recommendation for your residency application.

The fourth year of medical has the most number of simultaneous moving parts. But have no fear, we are here to clearly lay out the necessary tasks you have to perform and also the strategy to follow to have a fun fourth year of medical school and match into the top residency program of your choice.

International Med Student: Learn how to successfully apply and match into US residency programs as an IMG.

International Med SchoolYou have likely completed medical school, residency, or even worked as an attending abroad and you wish to start practicing in the United States (US). Making such a transition is honorable and your dedication to humanity is unquestionable. However, the process of matching into a US residency program is more complex for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) and the process is rattled with specific deadlines, applications to complete, and a unique strategy to follow to ensure that you will match into a US program.

Coming in as an IMG is a challenge and many hurdles will be in your way. However, with our guidance we will provide you with a clear road map of the steps to take logistically and strategically to make the road from IMG to US physician as seamless as possible.

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