The more I talk to my upperclassmen friends, most of whom have just begun their second rotations, the more 1) I am excited for the adventures that lie ahead of me in my clinical years, and 2) I realize I am going to miss how flexible our didactic year schedules are.
My medical school requires very few mandatory classes that we must physically attend. In fact, besides mandatory classes, perhaps three times a week for an hour or two at most, we get full flexibility to choose to attend class in person or to listen to lectures online. I always thought I would be a “class goer,” but I’ve found success this year in listening to lectures on 1.5 or even double speed after the lectures have already taken place and then integrating the lecture material and outside sources in my studies. To give you some perspective, I’ve heard that, on average, a lecture will be attended by 25 to 30 students out of my 140 person class.
I love being able to go running or attend step class at the gym at times that I could spend listening to lecture at school without the consequence of missing the information presented at lecture. In addition, if I ever want to go back home for a day or two during the week, it is so easy to listen to lecture on the computer remotely. The biggest downside is that sitting with my computer all the time in the library can become quite isolating, and I do miss the daily social interactions from attending class regularly.
Regardless, I know next year when we are in clinic we just won’t be able to fulfill our duties and learn the most information that we can from behind our computer. The shift to being expected to be in clinic at a certain hour because patients are depending on us will be quite the adjustment, but for now, I will continue to do what works for me and that is to embrace the idea of skipping class because, for now, it is okay!