During my undergraduate time, I felt that if I studied the lecture material presented in class, then I will understand the topic at hand. It does not exactly work like that in medical school. During medical school orientation, one of my advisors made an analogy: studying for medical school is like drinking water from a fire hydrant. I didn’t get it before, but after finishing one block exam I started to. There is a lot of pressure to keep studying and review content. Even after thoroughly reviewing a lecture, there is ALWAYS more to learn and understand. Instead of being discouraged by realizing how much more there is to learn, I started to appreciate how much I do know now and realize that I still have years and years to learn everything I need to. It’s really easy to get so lost in the fine details of cellular development and spend 5 hours reviewing concepts that you don’t exactly need to know right now. I really enjoy getting a full picture of what is going on, but because of the intensity and depth of medical school, you don’t have time to focus on specific details all the time.
During the first week of medical school, I was constantly looking up extra information to clarify details but the extra details did not exactly help me at times. Instead, it made the concept even more convoluted and confusing. I felt discouraged and felt as if I needed to keep studying. But the answer to that problem is actually the opposite. It’s giving yourself time and space to refresh and not study. Medical school is not supposed to be easy or simple, thus it is okay to feel overwhelmed. BUT, make sure you are taking care of yourself and giving yourself credit. I know in the next few years I will learn what I need to in order to be the physician I desire to be.