Last year, when I was officially done with first year, I wrote about what I had learned after one year of medical school. I've been wanting to do one for second year. It was so hard to sit and figure out what positive lessons I could pull from such a challenging year, but here goes:
What Year Two as a Medical Student Has Taught Me:
10. DO NOT believe the hype - negative or positive. The class ahead of us told us that second year was a breeze - or at least better than first year. To our unfortunate surprise, the administration changed some things and for us, it was waaaaay worse. Go in with the expectation that med school will always be hard and you won't be disappointed. Tough to hear, but you should take most "when I was a ___ year" stories as a grain of salt and form your own opinions on things.
9. Learn as much as you can when you can. Reviewing for Boards is stressful, so try and absorb everything you can first pass. Dr. Golijan says in his lectures that on Boards they will rarely ask the straight forward "WHAT" questions, it is more about "WHY" - this tip was golden.
8. You can't know everything so set realistic goals for yourself. Going into my first year, I felt more than prepared to attack the curriculum before me. My Masters program did an excellent job of ensuring that. But second year was a whole different game.
7. Support one another. My classmates and I really bonded during the hardships of second year, venting to and encouraging one another in the midst of the chaos made us feel less alone so try not to isolate yourself when the pressure builds!
6. Use First Aid (and maybe even a Qbank) ALL YEAR. Period.
5. The feeling of burnout will most likely pop up right before each exam block. Use whatever ounce of strength you have left and keep going. It may not feel like it will ever be over, but it will be and you can make it!
4. Try and stay abreast of some current events. It just makes me feel like less of a hermit when I have a general idea about what is happening in the world.
3. Make eating right and working out a priority. Summer will be here before you know it and the pounds will creep up.
2. There will never be enough hours in the day. The work will always be there so take a moment to relax if you have to and "TREAT YO SELF" (per my favorite mommy blogger) for your diligence.
1. Show gratitude. To your family, your friends, great teachers, etc. - you did not get here alone, so don't forget it.