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In Perspective: Dilemmas of a Medical Student

Submitted by on November 8, 2014 – 11:36 PM 2 Comments

alone-in-a-crowdEntering a med 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, I’m afraid you a wrong. Contrary to the popular belief that life becomes a bed of roses after getting admission in a medical university, the 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 school and 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 going to bother 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 or I would say humanity on a greater scale!


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 favourite books. The seniors recommend something else. I for once 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 fathers, uncles, 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 he’s 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 their 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 busting function of such events.


Another thing that is bothering 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 these were the few problems that I faced as a med student. 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 up in the university life.



About the Author: Sobia Azfer, is a student of 3rd year in Dow Medical College, Pakistan. She can be reached at [email protected]

About this article: This article is competing for the JPMS International Medical Writing Contest 2014.

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  • Wam1q

    Great article!

  • Raja Jahanzaib

    great work sobia api :)