For those of you starting medical school this summer, I want to first and foremost congratulate you! You are about to start one of the most rewarding journeys, and I couldn’t be more excited for each of you!
- I want to start out with the most important piece of advice, and that is to keep an open mind. What do I mean by that? Keep an open mind to EVERYTHING—specialties, research, involvement, study habits, friends, food, and more. Keeping an open mind will allow you to grow as a person, as a student, as a future physician, and the many other hats you wear or will be wearing. So please, challenge yourself to an open mind.
- Remember why you chose medicine in the first place (especially when the going gets tough). It’s important to keep the flame going.
- Smile. You never know what a simple smile can do for someone. If that’s not convincing enough, smiling has been proven to lift your mood even when that’s the last thing you want to do.
- Study with purpose. Remember that you will be treating patients one day. You’re not learning this material for you. You’re learning this material to be the best provider you can be; you owe that to your future patients.
- Meet new people. Relationships are a key component to happiness. Make new friends, especially when you have an entire class to choose from. It’ll make your medical school experience that much better. Also, don’t forget your old friends and your family. They can be lifesavers.
- Pursue your interests. If you’re interested in something, seek out information especially when it comes to opportunities in research or learning more about a specialty.
- Don’t give up on your hobbies. You were chosen because of who you are as a person and all of the extras that make you who you are, so don’t lose yourself.
- Sleep. It’s healthy, needed, and all about time management. Trust me, you will perform much better with sleep.
- Be grateful and act with kindness. Treat others how you would want to be treated.
Lastly, I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes. Nelson Mandela once said, “I never lose. I either win or learn.”