Medical School Update: First Month in the Books!

Can you believe it? Today officially marks one month of me starting medical school (not including orientation)!!! For my blog, I plan on doing a one month, six month, and a year update for each year I am in medical school just to see how much I grow as a student and as a person. So, check out the Q & A below!

Q: So, how’s medical school, is it hard?

A: Not going to lie, I knew that I was going to be studying and reading a lot. However, it’s one thing when someone tells you about it and it’s another thing when you have to go through it. My medical school uses flipped classroom, so you prepare the readings the night before and during class you answer questions individually and with an assigned group. Everyday I would read for 3 hours plus for the material that we are going to go over the next day. Then during class, I answer questions. Man, there are some days where I feel like I am getting kicked in the face by the questions. It’s truly a humbling experience. Even though my school uses the Pass/Fail system, I still use the same mindset that I had when I was in undergrad, that every point counts toward my grade. But as each day goes by, instead of trying to get to the correct answer only, I also try to make sure I am understanding WHY the answer is correct and what I can do to prepare for the next class.

So yea, medical school is hard. But it’s doable, you just have to put in your work. Some days will be harder than others but at the end of the day, the main goal is to become a physician, so keep your mind on the finish line!

Q: Did COVID change everything?

A: Yes, yes it did. All of my lectures are online which is a bad and good thing. It’s bad because I love being in class for lectures because I focus better and I can also connect well with my classmates. But on the flip side, it’s nice to wake up 30 minutes before class, make some breakfast, do some yoga and chill in my room. But honestly, I’d rather be in person.

The best part is that my clinical medicine courses are in person every Friday! That means coming to school with a face mask with some of my classmates and interacting with a simulated patient. It’s truly feels surreal because those classes truly make me feel like I am in medical school.

Q: Did you have your first exam?

A: Yes, I had my first exam this week! I was sooo stressed because I thought I was going to fail. We were being tested over biochemistry, a topic I am pretty familiar with but one that is also very difficult. And med school biochem is no joke. Everything we learned in the past two weeks felt like half a semester’s worth of knowledge in undergrad. From information about pathway, macromolecules, and different mechanisms, I felt so overwhelmed. However, what helped me was that I met with my TBL group (a group they assign to you in med school) and friends to study for the exam. Everyone had their own strengths and we worked together in understanding the concepts. Alhamdudillah, that really helped me out and I actually ended up passing my exam!

Q: Do you have time for other things?

A: That’s a good question. Honestly, you make time for what you want to do. I remember when I was working, in multiple extracurriculars and a research assistant, I still made time to watch YouTube videos 😂. And that is the same with medical school. Of course, you are going to be super busy but always make time for the small things. Take mental breaks, I cannot emphasize that enough. It only gets harder from here so if you do not work on making time for yourself now, who knows when you get that time again.

Q: Did I make friends?

A: So, I am fortunate enough to go into medical school knowing a couple of people from undergrad. But I still wanted to meet new people. With Covid, it’s hard to meet people but I thankfully did make some friends from my TBL group and from my clinical medicine group. I am also in a groupchat with all the black medical students in my class, so I am getting to know them more (they are sooo funny omggg). Also, I take it upon myself to start conversations with people after class and contacting different people in my class to get to know them more. I still want to connect with more of my classmates, so I hope that becomes easier!

Q: Have you dealt with Imposter Syndrome?

A: Yes, your girl has dealt and is dealing with Imposter Syndrome. Somedays I ask myself, should I be here? Did the admissions committee make a mistake? Especially when I do not understand something or get a question wrong. But deep down, I know that I should be here and that no mistakes were made. Whenever I feel that way, I sometimes talk to my mentors about it or write down how I feel. I also try to tell myself that I worked hard to get here and even if I feel as if I have to struggle more than the next person, I will still make it, inshAllah!

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