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What To Expect As A First Year Med Student At University of Aberdeen

What To Expect As A First Year Med Student At University of Aberdeen

From the insane amounts of workload to working with great people, this is exactly what to expect your first year as a med student at University of Aberdeen!

So, you’re finally here! You have made it through UKCAT, trials of personal statement, terrifying interviews and officially confirmed as a medical student. Before you start this journey, there are a few things I think you should know. Here is exactly what to expect as a first year med student at University of Aberdeen!

1. It’s okay to be number two

Medical school is comprised of people from different walks of life, all with their individual and unique abilities/skills. You’re all here for a reason, because you achieved excellent grades and attain the qualities required of a doctor. However, you’re in a group with very similar students and it can get quite competitive. Therefore, don’t get discouraged because you’re not ‘top’ of the class as you were previously used to: it doesn’t make you any less of a future doctor. Be the best YOU can be!

2. Workload

You’ve always heard of medical school difficulty, but hardly on the impact of the workload. If there’s one thing you should remember from this article, it’s the emphasis to keep on top of your workload. It’s not something you’re previously used to, hence you can quickly get buried under it all without adequate organization and planning. On the other hand, it’s also important to take breaks to avoid a burnout; nap, take a walk, meditate. Whatever takes your fancy.


3. Study technique

Be ready to compromise on your beautifully written notes, flashcards or annotations. You just don’t have the time! I for one, spent most of first term learning how to study (the irony); it just wasn’t working. You have to find a balance between time efficiency and appropriate understanding, but don’t worry once you get there you’ll thank yourself.

4. Comfort zones

As a med student, there are a thousand and one things you’ll probably be doing for the first time. Whether it’s anatomy sessions, giving presentations, speaking to patients, the list is endless. A lot of students struggle with clinicals, where they’re observed and critiqued (feedback). It can be quite challenging, but just know that every mistake you make will only make you better. Practice makes perfect!

5. Diagnosing family members/friends

There are so many myths about medical school, but the biggest you’ll probably encounter is people thinking you can cure them after a semester in med school. You’ll hear all sorts of complaints; of which they will expect your diagnoses. Just kindly let them know you’re a newbie.


6. Hard work

Being ‘clever’ DOES NOT get you through medical school. You have to be prepared to work hard. There will be a few tough times, but you just need to remember why you want to be a doctor and your journey thus far.

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7. Study group

This is very vital as a med student, you need to ask questions. You don’t know everything. Share your understanding with others and seek explanation to difficult topics.

Good luck in first year!

Do you have any other tips for med students at University of Aberdeen?! Share in the comments below!

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