Taking Charge of Your Health

Congratulations on getting into medical school. Based on the low rate of matriculation into
medical school, one could argue that the hardest part is now behind you. After all, fewer than 40% of applicants successfully
get accepted to medical school in the US. However, I would argue that the toughest part
is yet to come. What’s going on guys! Dr. Jubbal, I remember thinking that I was a beast after finishing undergrad and having a highly successful
medical school application season. But the beginning of medical school was a
rude awakening. I incorrectly thought that since I had figured
out how to be an effective student in undergrad, I would find it equally easy to be an effective
student in medical school. While med school and college do share several
similarities, they require distinctly different approaches. If you haven’t already, be sure to check
out my college versus medical school comparison video. First, question your current methods. Everything in this video is going to hinge
on this foundational principle. One of my favorite quotes is, don’t believe
everything you think. Growth, improvement, and progress require
constantly challenging your current mode of operating. This couldn’t be more true for the transition
to med school. Here are some personal examples that I experienced. In college, I would take notes in powerpoint
and then click through them to study for exams. I achieved great results in college using
this terribly inefficient method but this was even more suboptimal in med school. I go over other study strategies I wish I
knew sooner in my pre-med study strategies video, which is the first video I ever made,
link in the description below. In college I would wake up at different times
each day, depending on my class schedule for that day. Some days it was 6 AM and other days it was
10 AM. In med school, I quickly learned that the
lack of a regular routine with wake up time not only resulted in poorer sleep but it also
killed my productivity and momentum throughout the day. In college, I would go to the gym at different
times each day without a clear plan. Since I had so much more free time in college,
this actually worked. I had multiple free blocks of time where I
could leisurely go to the gym. However, in med school, this method resulted
in me skipping the gym more often than actually going to the gym. I needed to schedule my gym time and make
it a routine, otherwise, it just wouldn’t happen. Now the key takeaway is to not grow attached
to things that used to work for you. Rather than being attached to certain habits
and ways of being, practice being committed to improvement and results. This shift from attachment to commitment will
empower you to be flexible and swap habits that don’t work for those that do. Number two, prepare for the marathon. Med school is not a sprint. Do you remember the joys of finals week in
college? Most of the quarter or semester was pretty
relaxed and then things would get intense during midterms and then again during finals
week. While that did work in college, it will not
cut it in med school. Now, when I say to approach med school as
a marathon, I’m referring to two main areas in life, self-care, and studying. With regards to self-care, it is imperative
to take care of yourself from the very start. Skipping meals, opting for convenient yet
unhealthy foods, skipping the gym, not sleeping enough, these are all habits that may work
in the short term but long term they will severely limit your potential. Rather, create systems and habits that allow
you to eat healthfully around your busy schedule, like meal prep, schedule time for the gym
daily, make it a routine. In my preclinical medical school years, I
would work out every day during my lunch break. Create and enforce guidelines for yourself
regarding your sleep habits and bedtime. On weekdays I would start winding down at
11 PM and I rarely violated this rule. Remember that the quality of time spent studying
is more important than the quantity of time spent studying. Although it may seem counterintuitive, taking
time away from the books for a workout, a meditation session or a good night’s rest
will actually make med school easier for you. Now with regards to studying, cramming will
not work. First, there is far too much information to
get through in a few days before your exam. I had friends who would cram and ultimately
they did pass most exams but as the year went on, it got harder and harder for them to keep
up. And when it was time for Step 1, those of
us who studied a little bit every day during the year fared far better than those who were
cramming. And that brings us to the second point, content
in medical school builds off itself. We know that studying a little bit every day
is much more effective for long term retention compared to short bursts of cramming. In college this isn’t as big of a deal but
in med school, everything you learn is far more interconnected and will ultimately be
tested on Step 1 and Step 2. Studying a little bit every day is like compounding
interest in finances. The initial benefits may not be as pronounced,
but over time you will reap huge rewards. Number three, reassess your priorities. Wanna pick up a new sport or three? How about a dance club, a public speaking
course, and still going out with your friends every weekend? In college, this isn’t too far fetched but
in med school, you’ll have to learn to prioritize. Time is of the essence. When I started medical school, I was excited
to try new things with my new friends. I went surfing several times, rock climbing,
and I even tried running regularly on the beach. But ultimately it became more and more apparent
that I was spreading myself way too thin. While studying should be a top priority, so
should your physical exercise and mental health. I personally prioritize cycling, lifting at
the gym and to get my creative fix, I was a designer and editor at the medical school’s
literary magazine. And later on in medical school, I also began
racing my car at autocross race days. So, rather than spending your time in several
activities, focus yourself on just a few. Be sure that at least one or more of your
activities incorporate physical activity and a social or community aspect. By focusing on depth rather than breadth in
your activities, you’ll get far more out of them without detracting from your medical
school coursework. And number four, embrace your classmates and
your community. The tip refers to the cultural shift that
you’ll experience in med school. In college, you likely had friends in different
majors and with different priorities, but when you get to med school, everyone in your
class is in the same boat. We’re all taking the same tests, we’re all
working towards the same degree and we’re all studying hard and grinding it out. And most importantly, we’re all in this together. Support each other and offer a helping hand
when you notice someone’s struggling. Don’t expect someone else to. I personally knew a struggling classmate,
and while I initially thought that one of their friends should help them, I ultimately
took it upon myself to offer a helping hand. And I’m really glad I did, as I later learned
that student didn’t have a strong support system. Now, on the flip side, don’t be afraid to
reach out to others, to be vulnerable, to let your shields down. Med school is a trying time and it is only
human to have difficulties at some point. There is no shame in asking for help. Now I wanna leave you with this, first congrats
on getting into medical school. I wish you the best in your med school career. It’s one of the most challenging and rigorous
types of higher education, but also the most rewarding. Some of my closest friendships were established
and grew from my time as a medical student. Now while med school is a grind, by following
the practices from this channel, you will be well equipped to crush it and ultimately
even enjoy it. If you like this video make sure you press
that like button. New videos every week, so hit subscribe if
you have not already and I will see you guys in that next one.

48 thoughts on “Adjusting to Medical School 101

  1. Hey! I'm in kind of a strange situation. In my country, there is no guarantee that your professors are top notch or that you'll recieve a gold star world class education. The college I'm in is a little better than most in terms of infrastructure but the problem remains. It's kind of on you to make it work. What advice do you have for me? How can I make sure I am spending my time wisely and that I'm studying the right material?

  2. can you do one on adjusting to residency? lol kind of a big jump going from med student where no one expects anything from you to being a resident

  3. I feel like the video was made for me! I'll be starting med school in a few days… This was perfect!


  5. What's your toughts on minimalism and have you read the book by Dave Ramsey the total money makeover?

  6. Honestly, this channel should be called something like ‘academia insiders’ because it applies to so so much more than just medical school

  7. Hi! Thanks a lot for this video. Very informative.
    Can you do a video comparing MCAT Kaplan review, MCAT Princeton Review, and AAMC materials? Advantages and disadvantages etc.

  8. Really nice video ! Will be starting med school in 2 months a this is what I needed. I started with my new habits already so it will become a regular rutine once I start the school.

  9. Just about to start my second year in med school and please let me tell you, ALL OF THESE TIPS ARE WHAT I LEARNED AFTER GOING THROUGH 1 WHOLE YEAR!!!!! I wish there was this video last summer to let me know but all of this is literally the stuff i advise my 1st year mentees. Me personally, i didn't switch my schedule to a regular routine and kept up the undergrad irregular schedule until my second semester. That lead me to skipping meals, not working out, eating tons of fast food and ended up destroying my physical health. Take all of the tips in this video to heart as they are literally GOLDEN!!! Good luck to all you first years, yall are gonna do great!!

  10. Dr. Jubbal this video is perfect! I’ve watched your videos since junior year of college and they helped me tremendously. Now, as an entering M1, I couldn’t be more grateful. Keep up the great work!

  11. I'm about to start my M1 in a week from tomorrow. Super excited and kind of afraid of the transition. Thank you for your kind tips and advice.

  12. What is the general opinion from physicians in getting paid on the value of treatment rather than the fee-for-service method. Understandably it seems to target the waste of medical treatment, but how often does that interfere with 'necessary treatment' where physicians actually believe that it is necessary for the patient, but end up deterring treatment due to fear of possibly going over capitations from insurance contracts???

  13. Perfect timing for such a great video! I start medical school in exactly one month, but in the meantime my med school enrolled me in a pre-matriculation program that helps students transition to the rigorous coursework by giving us exposure to material we'll be seeing throughout the year (most of us took gap years). Just in the first week of this program, I studied WAY more than I ever did in undergrad, and quickly realized that I'll have to drastically alter my study habits. I'm still working on it, but I think I'm finding my groove, which I'm so happy to find HAS to involve taking care of myself in ways like working out, going for walks in this lovely city, and engaging in social activities. Keep these videos coming, I'm sure I'll lean on them heavily throughout my medical school career <3

  14. Dr. J – another home run! Awesome video. Social aspect (of extracurricular life) is very important otherwise depression can set in. Great work.

  15. I absolutely love your channel! I really need it because in two weeks I have my exam for getting into med school and this is really motivating me to get into it and finally enjoy this life

  16. Just finished my first year of med school and I wish I had seen this video before. Cramming is a big NO NO! I have learnt my lesson

  17. Med school is hard. It is not nearly as hard as this person is making it out to be. Just organize your time and drop activities that are fruitless. . . But I know some kids who watched 3-4 hours of netflix every day and still graduated. Others still got drunk and hung over every Friday and Saturday. Seriously though, med school is like taking 16-18 credits in college while working a 10-15 hour a week part time job. It is hard, but far from impossible seeing as 98% of people who start will graduate.

  18. Hey everybody, as of now, I am a going into my Freshman year of high school. In my future, I’ve always had a passion for learning about the anatomy of the human body and how it can be healed when damaged. I just want to know what I can do to pursue a deeper understanding of the medical field. Are high schoolers most generally allowed to shadow? Is there any way that I can learn more from watching the hospital workers? Can I enlist in some sort of program? Of course I would be content with independent studies, but I also want to see what happens with my own eyes. Thank you!

  19. This video is top drawer! After completing 5 out of my 6 years of med school, I wholeheartedly agree with all your points and recommendations 🙂

  20. Thanks for the video. I started med school last week and was immediately thrown into the deep end of the pool. In a nutshell, 100+ pages of "weekly" reading material (which will continue over subsequent years), assignments, group activities and practice tests, all in a single week. It is definitely overwhelming and fast-paced, and I am enjoying the challenging process as well. The only problem is that my sleep is suffering in the process. The workload is simply too much and if you fall behind, you are at risk of failing the monthly assessed quizzes and end of semester finals. So it's a tricky situation; if only I could find the key to balancing my studies with sleep, I would be the happiest med student in the world.

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