Journal of Z Author

By Zaya Jones

Oct 14 · 3 Min Read



I’m currently in my third year of medical school out in the wild enjoying the fruits of my labor for the last two years. Right now I’m in the middle of my Peds rotation and sick and snotty as Dr. Williams from OnlineMedEd predicted. Anyways, the fall season is here and the chill in the air has made nostalgic for the days when I wasn’t sick and only had to worry about studying. You know the good old days of pre-clinical. There’s a few things I wish I did differently in med school so far that I just want to type up and maybe someone out there will find it useful.

  1. Mindset.
    At the start of medical school, I was optimistic and hopeful like many of my current peers and those that came before me. I was finally here in medical school and one step closer to becoming a doctor and a useful member of society. I was excited and my mindset was more than ready to learn everything I could possibly learn, yeah I was super optimistic at the beginning. But what no one told me about medical school is the day to day learning that becomes a drain, a chore, another thing on the checklist to cross off. Med school seriously beat out of me the love for learning new things that I used to have and instead it was just a serious of high yield facts that the professors like to test on. Looking back, I wish I tried harder to maintain that idealistic mindset that all I learned would one day be an asset in caring for my patients. And most of all, I wish I went into medical school with the mindset that not knowing is totally a-okay.
  2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. While I’m not the paragon of a healthy lifestyle guru, I can say that prior to med school, I was much more healthy than I am currently. Part of it is probably stress and normal aging, but it’s also admittedly from a few times of binging on alcohol, more than a few nights of sleep deprivation, and numerous amounts of takeout and fast food. I really wish I tried harder to maintain a healthier lifestyle and not let myself go in terms of diet and exercise. I know it’s common among students to sacrifice our diet, exercise, and sleep to study one more hour, it’s no bueno my dudes. Please, please, please eat well, move, and sleep! I’m not saying become a fitness fanatic (unless you’re already one, than keep doing you), but even a little bit of movement (like even a 10 minute walk) is better than nothing. Basically treat yourself as if you’re your own patient.
  3. Don’t sweat the finances. This is probably the complete opposite of what most people will tell you, but my personal advice is to not worry about the finances. Like at all. The amount of time you spend worrying over $200, $500, heck, even $1000 or $2K is not worth the hassle. You’re likely going to be in huge amounts of debt like in the hundreds of thousands because of med school, so that $1500 you need to spend on a good laptop is like a whale crying over one krill that got away. Yes, I’m being privileged in the way I speak about this, but I personally wish I worried less about the small amounts just did the things that made my life easier. Buy the laptop. Order the HelloFresh. I even endorse a bit of retail therapy.
  4. Have a gameplan. I might be the minority in this, but when I started med school, I had no idea what I was doing. I had no clue what to keep in mind about internships, research, etc. I also had no clue what step studying would entail. And more than anything I had no clue what resources I had available to me or what I would even need. Looking back, I wish I had more of a game plan for the first two years of med school. Like a semester by semester breakdown of the things that needed/wanted to be done and compilation of resources so I had a better grip on what to do for Step.
  5. Study for Step differently This is probably an entire post on its own, but I really wish I studied and prepped for Step differently. Like I said in #4, having a gameplay would’ve really helped. I had no clue what any of the Step resources were like UW, USMLERx, etc. So I wish I knew about the different resources and more importantly, I wish I knew what worked for me. I spent so much on UWorld when reading through FirstAid might’ve been more useful. While classmates/reddit/sdn are useful, don’t rely on them to know what’s up since you know your study habits and needs more than anyone else.