How to SURVIVE MEDICAL SCHOOL


Medical school is no joke. In fact, becoming a doctor requires completion
of one of the world’s most rigorous and testing paths of any profession. A substantial percentage of medical students
burn out, give up, or are plain miserable. Other students, like me, are the weirdos that
actually enjoy the process. Here’s how I did it and how you too can
not only survive, but thrive in medical school. Dr. Jubbal, MedSchoolInsiders.com. Don’t believe what others say. Medical school doesn’t have to be a torturous
and depressing time in your life. I actually enjoyed medical school more than
I enjoyed college. By closely following every tip here, I’m
confident you can grow to love the process as well. You’ll see that each habit builds off of
one another. By the end of the video, you’ll know exactly
what I mean. The foundational principle you must understand is that medical school is a different beast
entirely. While you may have been a stellar student
in college, the habits and strategies that worked then just won’t work in medical school. Too often, students are inseparable from their
old ways, and they expect these old systems to continue working in medical school, despite
evidence to the contrary. Brute forcing your way by trying harder won’t
cut it and it won’t be sustainable. This is the point where you say “I already
know how to study and I already know how to manage my time.” If you truly want to excel and surpass your
current performance, you’ll need to let go of this tendency and instead embrace a
new mindset. You’ll need to experiment, track, and ultimately
challenge your current assumptions and ways of living. This happened to me as well. After a wildly successful college pre-med
career, I thought I had everything figured out. But medical school was a rude awakening that
my systems were far from perfect. Number two, Hone Study Strategies.
The information you have to learn in medical school isn’t any more conceptually challenging
than what you learned in college. In fact, your college major may be significantly
more difficult in certain respects, particularly if you did something like neuroscience or
bioengineering. That being said, while medical school isn’t
super conceptually challenging, the rate of learning new information is monstrous
and continues to grow each year as the scientific literature expands. As they say, learning in medical school is
like drinking from a fire hydrant. For this reason, active learning and efficient
study methods are mandatory. To thrive and enjoy medical school, study
strategy optimization is not something you can overlook. No more passive reading of notes or Power
Point slides. Active learning, by definition, is more
uncomfortable than passive learning, but it pays dividends. Becoming more efficient gets you better grades,
which is already reason enough to invest the time and effort. But realize these benefits compound,
as you’ll have more time for sleep, more time for fun, and more time to take care of
yourself. As a result, you’ll be in a better mind
space, be more effective when you study, and enter a positive feedback cycle. It’s possibly the most fundamental and crucial
skill you should prioritize. I’ve gone over the highest yield strategies
in other videos, including what study strategies I wish I knew back in college. Number three, Organize Better Than Marie Kondo.
Going hand in hand with optimal study strategies, efficiency is paramount, but efficiency
doesn’t come from brute force. Rather, organized and streamlined systems
will facilitate the process. Organization strategies can be applied to
multiple facets of your life. For example, a clean study space is more than just something pretty to look at. Neatly organized and purposefully implemented
work spaces that are maintained clutter-free facilitate efficient work. While it may seem tedious or superfluous,
making your bed every morning and clearing papers off your desk will help you focus and
tend to your work with greater purpose. I made a video of how I’ve designed my own
work space. Link in the description below. In your daily schedule, lay out how you will spend your time. When is class, when will you eat, when will
you study, and when will you exercise? I personally opted for Google Calendar, as it is free,
syncs seamlessly across my devices, and integrates nicely with Gmail. The exact calendar tool you use, whether in
the cloud or on paper, is actually less important. The key is being consistent with whatever
you choose. I go over how to schedule effectively in another
video. Link in the description below. My favorite task manager is Things3. I use it across my iPad, iPhone, and MacBook,
but there are other great alternatives like Todoist that work on PC and Android as well. There are additional areas requiring purposeful
organization and systems, including email, habit tracking, groceries, and more, but that’s
a topic for another video. Number four, Leave the Ego Behind.
While medicine draws many incredible people to the profession, it also often attracts
a large ego. But allowing your ego to call the shots won’t
help you in medical school. It’s up to you whether you want to learn
this the easy way or the hard way. If you’re used to being at the top of your
class, it won’t always be that way in medical school. Despite a top MCAT score, a near perfect GPA,
and being awarded the single highest merit scholarship at my medical school, I did not
feel particularly smart in my class. In fact, I was humbled by my colleagues. Everyone has different strengths, and while
I may crush cardiology, my friend would crush renal, and a different friend would crush OSCE’s. Once you get to your clinical rotations, you
may not be treated very kindly. Unfortunately, the culture of medicine is
extremely hierarchal, with some specialties being worse offenders than others. For example, if you go into a surgical specialty, for example,
it won’t be uncommon for you to be berated, humiliated, or yelled at. Now there is a fine line between tough love
and abuse, and you should absolutely report any transgressions. At the same time, if every stern look gets
under your skin, you’re not going to have a good time. The key is to remember that patient care is
the number one priority, and if someone comes across as abrasive, it’s rarely ever personal. The ego sneaks up in another way – unwillingness to ask for help. Remember, asking for help is not a sign of
weakness. Rather, it is an indicator of strength. Medicine is a profession centered around serving
others – your patients. Doctors are in many ways idolized and put
on a pedestal, but we are humans too. And as people, we need support, just like
anyone else. You’re likely to face at least one challenging
time during your medical school training, and having a network of friends and loved
ones you can rely on is key. As I’ve spoken about recently with the #SaveOurDoctors and burnout video, strong social connections is one of the most powerful ways
to ward off burnout. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others for
help. It’s not all about playing defense either. When things get tough, sure, fall back on
your social supports. But creating that social support system was
arguably one of the best parts of medical school. I grew close to many of my amazing classmates. Medical school often attracts highly talented,
compassionate, and impressive individuals who are just plain awesome. There’s no practical benefit in trying to
go at it alone. Again, this profession is based on the principle
of connecting and helping others. Share your notes, look out for each other,
and help classmates who are struggling. You can even practice the Feynman technique
while you’re at it. Number six, Prioritize Healthy Habits.
If you’re a type A highly driven individual, you likely push yourself to the limit at the
cost of taking care of yourself. I get it, I’ve been there. I mean, who cares about sleep? You’ve got to crank on this presentation
and then pound out your Anki cards. But what I’ve learned the hard way is that,
paradoxically, making time to take care of yourself actually results in improved productivity
and effectiveness. By prioritizing socializing on the weekends,
rather than just playing catch up on work, I felt more refreshed during the week. I was able to focus more intently for longer
periods of time, and ultimately increase my output. It’s much easier to endure a 19 hour shift
on your plastic surgery away rotation (and not even need caffeine) when you’re taking
care of yourself. I’m not saying you shouldn’t study on
the weekends, but it’s crucial to practice some self care at a regular interval. When I was in medical school, I hit the gym
and lifted 3-4 times per week, I prioritized healthy plant-based whole food diet, I meditated
a couple times per week, and set aside time time each week to hang out with my significant other or my best friends. Remember, all these habits all build off of one
another. If you practice more efficient study strategies,
then you’ll have more time to relax and self-care. If you practice self-care, you feel more refreshed
and become more efficient when you study. You want to get into this positive feedback
loop. Slipping into the opposite, a negative feedback
loop, is how medical school becomes miserable. My goal with Med School Insiders is to create
a generation of happier, healthier, and more effective future physicians. I’ve made mistakes as a pre-med, as a medical
student, and as a plastic surgery resident, and I want you all to learn from my mistakes
and surpass my own results. If you want to see how I practice these principles
in my own daily life, be sure to follow me on Instagram @kevinjubbalmd and the official
Med School Insiders instagram @medschoolinsiders. I also send out a weekly email newsletter
outlining lessons learned, helpful tips, tools, and study music to help you crush the week. Visit medschoolinsiders.com/newsletter to
sign up. Thank you all so much for watching. I love hearing from you guys, so leave a comment
down below or shoot me a DM on Instagram. Much love to you all, and I will see you guys
in that next one.

84 thoughts on “How to SURVIVE MEDICAL SCHOOL

  1. I enjoy medical school too. But you have to be honest and admit that it is depressing at times. But I love it anyways. And thank you for you videos that made me enjoy it all the more!

  2. Are there any undergrad classes which aren't already required for the MCAT, that will make Med School look easier or look good to Med Schools?

  3. I love how you made the thumbnail like that, i.e, Medical school is like drinking water from a fire hydrant 🙂

  4. I totally agree with the content in this video. Students looking to enter Medical school should watch this before term starts / applying. Thank you Dr. Kevin.

  5. Dr. Jubbal, watching your videos always gets motivated! Keep up the good work and thank you for all the tips and tricks!

  6. Being dehydrated during your taxing jobs, makes you less prone to hate it.
    Though, you possibly won't be able to think clearly enough

  7. Adapting to the challenges of med school (which even change during med school) is so important, but often difficult

  8. Why am I watching these kind of videos when I know that I’m failing High School and I can’t even get in any College:(

  9. How many hours does it take to go over a Lecture for you guys ? I'm scared in undergrad cause it takes me about 5 hours to completely understand 1 LECTURE (slow learner). Is this normal ?

    I study by actively reading and making flashcards at the same time

    Is there any advice on how to fix my "slow brain "?

  10. i know you’re a med school page, but anyway you could do a video about nursing school and how it compares to medical school?

  11. I know this question is not directly related to the video but I'll ask it anyway. Is it worth it to go to Internal medicine? I'm planning to choose this specialty but the more I look into it, the more reasons pop up why I shouldn't choose it.

  12. Totally enjoyed med school more than I enjoyed college, even though it was a total readjustment as you mentioned!

  13. Could you make a video on being in a relationship during medical school?? I feel like that would help a lot of people, including me! A future med school student concerned about the topic.

  14. Nice.
    Btw i am starting with my studytube journey..pls show me a little support so i can grow and motivate you all. 😊❤

  15. Thank you so much for such amazing tips. I am very confident it would be a rude awakening for a lot of us had I not come across you clip that's brutal truth. If this happened to me I'm sure it would be a major factor for being a FAILURE. Great great tips👌. Wishing you utter success in your chosen field. Best Wishes 👏

  16. Almost done with nursing school. I know that's very different than medical school but I was very impressed by the content in this video. Some of the points brought up in the video are relatable to nursing students as well. Thank you for talking about this.

  17. Your keys to success here are on point 🙌🏼

    I had to relearn how to study throughout medical school in order to succeed!

  18. That's my problem… I like all these conceptually difficult thing… I wanted to become a physicist and mathematician… but my mom sent me to med school because "I wanted to be a doctor when I was younger" 🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️

  19. Lmao…I miss college so much. Unfortunately being at the top of your med school class is even more stressful than doing well than in undergrad. This is a way different beast, and while I do well academically, the hardest part is the stress/mental part about it. It’s gotten better for me over the past year, and I definitely need to chill a lot more and not let school run my life as much and stress about my class rank lol

  20. Yes this is the content I really needed!! I have been following your channel for over a year now and it always has come to my rescue… I am a first year in medical school..and Have my semester test coming up and I look up to you and follow your methods consistently to better myself…. love you.

  21. I appreciate your efforts to describe and alleviate sufferings of doctors in a smart way. Keep up the amazing work 👍🏻

  22. inhales some parts of your videos scare me sometimes, but I'm not giving up, I still want to enter med school

  23. Thank you 🙆🏻. Really struck me when you say practice healthy habits when I was actually munching on few cookies after a long, tireful day.. 😅

  24. Use the time and money you would have invested elsewhere. Start a business, make a lot of money and enjoy life/make a greater impact elsewhere.

  25. Im only in Grade 8 and im already thinking of becoming a doctor! Do you think its good or bad if I start to study some things in medicine, or study the human body? Is it too early? Or just a waste of time?

  26. so cool! I love how you mentioned eating a healthy diet, this alone has helped me so much! when I went from a rather "standard" diet to a whole foods, plant based diet, my mood and body feeling got better, allowing me to have more energy, motivation, and therefore time both for studying and myself! 🙂

  27. I know probably the best tip there is, if you think about how you hate something like “god I hate this project” you will just end up so miserable and doing a bad job, you don’t have to love it but just don’t talk about how you hate that particular thing and freshen up and drink some water and study. Also studying in an uncomfortable space, where there’s noice, distractions, where it’s too hot or too cold or where there’s funnier things to do will make you feel miserable and make you do worse then if you study in an area with no distractions, not too hot and not too warm temperature or where there’s something that can seem funnier to do, study in a room with windows so that daylight can flood in, it will make you feel fresher, and drink some water, water really can help, also make sure you are wearing comfortable clothes, you should really try to see what makes you feel comfortable, yet not so comfortable that you focus on how comfortable everything is, as soon as you feel uncomfortable you should drink some water or eat something, open a window or make sure the temperature is feeling good. That was just tips for studying, if you’re in class you should always take notes, only the important stuff, do not write down all things the teacher says, for example do not write “for this class we are learning how the brain reacts to different blah blah blah” but you should write down for example the different reactions of the brain, and to not get completely lost when you’re only writing down the different reactions and you should write a “title” saying for example “the brains reactions to different blah blah blah”

    I really hope this helped someone because it’s late and I’m supposed to sleep now and I’m ill and I don’t know why I wrote this long text it just ended up this way

  28. Thanks for the honesty and input of info
    Im trying to take the path of medicine atm im a MA
    If I do make it
    This will mean I will be second doctor and female in my entire family .

  29. As a medical school student who's pretty much failed at school and life… I wish I had applied these recommendations.

  30. Hey im just a 12 year old European girl who aspires to do my studies in the US. I really want this goal to be achieved but i know that it is really hard for a foreigner to study medicine in America. Well, it is actually everywhere but i especially like the US and lets say that the cost is really high which thats the thing that tears me down because it is hard for international students to get scolarships. And yes, i know im too young to think about college/university now but i just cant help myself from doing the otherwise. I started doing my research, taking notes for all the information i could i find online for foreign students in the US but still don’t tell me if theres a chance (i dont know how to explain it lol). As you can see im very stubborn. What im trying to say is that, is there hope for me? Can i do it? Will i eventually find myself in a college then in a med school and then finally apply for residency? Please i want to know if there will be a chance. Im waiting for your reply 🙂

  31. I’m sorry to shock you but medical school is actually very depressing. It’s very competitive and you are always setting for yourself high standards, and it can be draining to balance out your life. You have to sacrifice a lot in order to succeed in med school and you have to meet your environment standards. It’s very sad what is happening to this field. Disappointing.

  32. I still can't believe i am now a 1st year med student i watched u since i was in high school and dreamed of becoming a doctor in the future this is CRAZY i hope i reach my dreams

  33. The tips are important but organizational changes are important to improve the health of workers at healthcare services. Otherwise just a fraction of the workforce will remain healthy. Just like tobacco not everyone gets sick by using it but the avoidance of its exposure is important at public health. Otherwise the current individual resilience focused perception of occupational mental health will remain without changes in culture and work organization.

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