Medical student dilemma: Here’s my story


Entering a medical school is not an easy task. One has to work day in and day out to ace the MCAT exam, and if you think that this is it, them I’m afraid you wrong.

Contrary to the popular belief that life becomes a bed of roses after getting admission in a medical university, life only becomes tougher and more challenging!

Once a student enters med school, the first problem that he/she encounters is the difference in the level and approach to education. First, a previously spoon-fed intermediate student is supposed to behave like a well versed know-it-all university student. The method of teaching changes drastically. The teachers in schools and intermediate colleges literally spoon feed the students, giving attention to each and every student in the class, working on their weaknesses.

But same is not true for universities. Here, in my opinion, the teachers aren’t even bothered if anyone had a problem in understanding because their job is only to teach, and not make you understand. A little attention by the teachers to the weak students of the class can work wonders for their careers. But alas, that is yet to be seen.

Another problem that I faced personally as a med student was the selection of books. Every teacher for the same subject has a different set of favorite books. The seniors recommend something else. I, for one, bought five books for anatomy and ended up being terribly perplexed.

Another problem, or I’d rather say a bitter realization, occurs that not all your batch mates are facing the problems you are facing. A lot have parents, uncles/aunts, or siblings in this profession to guide them and solve all their problems and they know exactly what to do and what not to do, while a student from a non-medical background doesn’t even have an idea what they’re getting into.

My advice to such students is to stop getting frustrated and talk with your seniors and doctors as much as possible. Sincere and helping people aren’t that hard to find. In fact, the university should also play a role in this and make the teachers guide their students at every step.

Another problem that is faced by many medical students is low self-esteem. I bet many of the students regret the decision of entering this profession altogether. One reason for this is the lack of extra-curricular activities. Even if the students are given such opportunities, such events are held right before exams or tests, and that pretty much kills the stress-relieving function of such events.

Another thing that bothers students a lot these days is the craze for the USMLE and other similar exams. I bet most of the first year students are very intrigued about this. In fact, the information for all such exams should be provided by the university to the students in the first year itself so that they can be more focused and less confused.

So this was my medical student dilemma. I wish I had a time machine and could undo all the silly mistakes I did, but all I can now do is guide my juniors and give some suggestions to the med schools so that the upcoming batches find it easier to study and cope with university life.

Article source AFP

About the Author: Sobia Azfer is a third year medical student at Dow Medical College, Pakistan.

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