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Advice You Mustn’t Miss As A First Year Medical Student

Congratulation! You have gotten into med school and are starting your first term soon. As exciting as it is to begin your journey to becoming a doctor, it can also make you quite anxious. But worry not! ArcherReview is here for you. In this article, we will provide valuable advice to help you have a smooth journey throughout the first year of your med school.

Advice for first-year medical students

  1. Study A Little Every Day:

    Med school isn't a sprint. It's a marathon. If you were a student who just studied only during the exam and still got good marks, you might be disappointed to know that this strategy won't work in med school. Because of the amount of information you need to understand and memorize, it is impossible to do it in just one day.

    Hence, you must start studying a little daily at the start of the term. By studying every day, you will be prepared for your exams when they arrive and don't have to pull all-nighters.

    Treat your daily study habit like going to the gym. Start with studying for a short while daily and gradually increase the time from week to week, along with maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
  2. Discipline Over Motivation:

    You will see many peers who are always motivated and on top of things. But let us tell you a secret, they too feel unmotivated from time to time. The difference between them and other students is that they have developed the self-discipline to complete their tasks even when they don't feel like it.

    And so should you! There is no way you got into med school without having a certain level of discipline in your life. But now it is time to up your game. You must challenge yourself to get more disciplined and be on top of all the essential things in your life. Even when you don't feel like it.
  3. Plan Your Days Ahead:

    Planning ahead can do wonders for your life! You can get more work done while having time for sports, exercising, friends, family, and parties.

    Every Sunday, you should get an overview of how the next week is going to be, including your studies, classes, labs, social events, exercise time, etc. Then you can create a plan for the week by allocating a date and time for the activities throughout the weekdays. This way, you will know what needs to be done and get it done on time. This will also allow you to schedule some free time to spend guilt-free.
  4. Experiment With Your Study Style:

    There is a high chance that your study methods in high school and college will not help you get good grades in Med school. You will have to adapt your study methods to meet the rigorous studies in med school.

    You can do this by watching "How I study for Med School" videos on YouTube, trying out different study techniques, and figuring out which suits you best. You should also know that not all study methods are equal. Suppose you want to find out the study methods which are scientifically proven effective for comprehension and long-term retention. In that case, you should check out our article on the subject.
  5. Ask And Answer Questions In Class:

    When you answer questions from the professor and ask questions of your own, you seem like someone who is paying attention in the class and is interested in the subject. This will create a positive image in the professor's mind.

    Also, to do this, you will actually have to pay attention in class. This will help you have a thorough grasp of the subject. Also, when you review the topic on your own, you will be glad you asked your doubts in class.
  6. Be Aware Of Imposter Syndrome:

    When you start med school, you will feel that everyone there is better, more collected, and better suited to be a doctor than you. So you might feel like there was a mistake and you are an imposter among everyone else in our class. But the thing is, you're not the only person feeling this way.

    Imposter syndrome is a real thing that affects many students in the first year of med school. There is a high chance that your peers feel the same way when they look at you. So tell yourself that it is natural to feel like this and that you have worked hard to be here; hence, you deserve to study medicine.
  7. Get To Know Your Surrounding And Course-Mates:

    Your first term is an excellent opportunity to meet new people and make lasting friendships that will become your support system in the following rigorous years.

    But you won't make friends by staying in your dorm room and doing nothing. You need to get out there, join clubs or teams, spend time with your dorm mates, make plans to meet your friends, and get to know the upper-class men.

    This will help you create a robust social group that will be there to support you throughout med school.
  8. Keep The Preparation Going For The USMLE:

    To become a licensed doctor, you must take three United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), i.e., USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3.

    Though you will be given Step 1 after your second year of med school, it will be good to study during the first year while keeping the USMLE Step 1 in mind. This will help you more effectively prepare for the exam and pass it on your first attempt.

    If you want help and guidance in preparing for USMLE Step 1, you can check out ArcherReview Course and Qbanks for USMLE Step 1.


You are about to begin a fascinating journey that will help you become a doctor and save thousands of lives! So, when you enter med school, go with a curious and open mind and think about your end goal when things get tough.

Keep the advice in mind and act accordingly, and you will definitely have a fantastic first year.