Welcome back to the first year of medical school lecture series. Now in this lecture,
we’re going to discuss the importance of taking advice and mentorship from upperclassmen
in your medical school. We’re also going to discuss the importance of seeking other medical student,
resident, and physician mentors. So, let’s start by discussing the benefit of upperclassmen
in your medical school. Now, studying in medical school can become overwhelming.
Enumerable resources are available. Students have simultaneously needed to study
for both medical school exams and USMLE exams. Everyone knows medical school can be challenging.
This is where the specialized knowledge of upperclassmen in your medical school becomes priceless.
But be aware. Some students will provide you with meaningful advice that's actually useful
while others will simply just instill fear and anxiety into you. So, what you need to do
is find upperclassmen in your medical school and ask them how they studied for various courses
in your school. That way, you’ll gain insight into what professors focus on for their exams,
what’s on their lectures, and what resources are actually best for each class.
In this way, you can tailor the things you’re going to buy and the resources you’re going to use.
You can even ask them what study techniques did they use. Many of my current study techniques
that I use are really a mix of things that I’ve developed over the years and what upperclassmen have told me.
An added benefit of speaking with upperclassmen is that they’ll actually sell you usually
the resources that they’ve used, text or computer-wise over the years at a discounted rate
because they really don’t need them anymore or they've kind of outgrown them. But be aware.
Some upperclassmen will just make you anxious for no reason. So, here is where you need to be cautious
who you ask for, for advice. So, a simple way to get rid of this risk is to ask multiple people
so you don’t just get a biased perspective. What you want to do is protect yourself
and learn how to distinguish the signal from the noise. You want to focus on upperclassmen
who are giving you meaningful data. We call this signal. They give you good books and good references.
They tell you how to study. They tell you what this professor focuses on.
You're getting good mentorship. What you want to ignore is what we call the noise
which is all the buzzing background of upperclassmen who tell you, "Oh, you need to study all day and night.”
You don’t want that in your life. So, ask a bunch of different upperclassmen. Ask them questions.
Be able to distinguish the meaningful signal from this worthless noise.
Now, another thing you need to do aside from speaking with upperclassmen is to seek out mentors.
As the famous proverbs states, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Undoubtedly, it takes a village
to raise a doctor. You will need the support of your family, your friends, your fellow peers,
and also mentors to achieve your dream of becoming the doctor you’ve always wanted.
So, you don’t have to know what medical specialty you want to go into at this point.
But it’s nice to have mentors who are upperclassmen medical students, residents, or doctors.
Anyone in a higher position than you will be able to give you wisdom and experience
to guide you through medical school and the years beyond. So, what you need to do is make an effort
to make friends with upper class medical students, with residents, and doctors.
Go to school hosted social events. Shadow doctors when you have time on the weekends to gain exposure.
You’ll be putting yourself in hospitals and clinics. You’ll have exposure to both
residents and attending physicians. Ask upperclassmen medical students,
“Hey, which resident or doctor has a history of functioning as mentors for medical students
and is willing to work with students.” Try to find those people. Reach out to them. Get a mentor.
Now really, the mentors are going to be the people that guide you through the tough times
and also through the critical points in your medical career. I can attest on a personal story.
I would not be where I am today without the absolute help and guidance of my mentors.
Some of them were in my medical specialty. Some of them were outside. But without question,
when the going gets tough, you want to have someone who has more wisdom and experience
to bounce off ideas. This is where having a mentor who knows you and is now invested in you really pays off.
So, let’s summarize what we’ve discussed. Speak with multiple upperclassmen in your medical school.
The purpose of this is to gain insight into what resources you should use
and what exams in your medical school are going to be like. Speak to multiple upperclassmen
to get a variety of perspectives and try to dilute out that noise and get more of that good signal.
Now, also try to maintain or obtain upperclassmen medical student, resident, and physician mentors.
These are the people that are going to guide you through all the tough times in your medical career
and through medical school. Thank you.