Table of contents:
- 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.
Getting into medical school is tougher now than it has ever been in the past. Traditionally students would spend 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 off to do extensive research or community service work, all the while crossing their fingers in the hope that 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, 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.
Congratulations, you have been accepted into medical school and you are taking the first official steps to becoming a full-fledged 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 fire 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 manage 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.
The second year of medical school has become synonymous with the USMLE Step 1 exam. 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, which resources to use, and how to effectively study with a question bank. These skills are going to be vital for your success in the future as you take your 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.
Patients 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. Focus the energy you have on clinical medicine and preparing for your rotations. 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.
The 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 present it in your residency applications. Also, you will need to take the USMLE Step 2 exam, complete your sub-internships in a specialty of your choice, and also obtain letters of recommendation for your residency applications.
The fourth year of medical school 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 residency program of your choice.
International Med Student: Learn how to successfully apply and match into US residency programs as an IMG.
You have likely completed medical school, residency, or even worked as an attending abroad and you wish to start practicing in the United States. 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), as it is rattled with different deadlines, applications and certifications to complete, and a unique strategy to follow in order to ensure that you will match into a US residency program.
Coming in as an IMG is a challenge and many hurdles will be in your way. However, with our guidance, you will have 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.