Medical School 101: What You Need to Know Before You Enter Your Program
So, you've done what it takes to stand out as an undergraduate student and received notice of acceptance to the medical school of your dreams. Congratulations! Your accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. You've got something to be extremely proud of because it's no normal feat to do what you've done.
This year has an entirely different feel to it due to the closures of "non-essential" businesses and schools to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Considering you're starting med school later in the year or even at the beginning of next year, you will experience a rapidly changing environment that is adapting to survive state and federal recommendations for social distancing. Knowing what the future has in store for you as a med student can help ease your nerves and set yourself up for success.
The Future of In-Person Classrooms in the Age of COVID-19
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing school closures and causing educational institutions to reconsider plans for distance learning, what does it mean for you? Part of medical school training is hands-on, working with patients in real-life. If you're unable to fulfill the requirements to get your degree due to the coronavirus, how will your schooling benefit you?
A question worth looking into, it's best to contact your college directly for more information as each school comes up with its own ways to accommodate distance learning. Contacting the head of the program that you're preparing to enter helps make you aware of the changes that may have occurred since COVID-19 caused it to move away from in-person learning models. The Association for American Medical Colleges (AAMC) notes that the schools themselves determine start dates and orientations, so it's important to reach out to the college you were accepted at for more information.
The Structure of Med School
Students attend classes and complete labs for the first four years of their med school journey. They then spend three to seven years in residency, so they can get the hands-on experience that they need to have as a doctor. Volunteer work and physician shadowing may be challenging to complete considering hospital and medical facility policies and restrictions.
The AAMC has encouraged all medical schools to take COVID-19's role into account before accepting students for admission. Since each school differs, the best place to get the answers that you seek is from the college itself. If the pandemic continues to be a problem for med schools, alternative plans will be necessary to fulfill requirements.
Current med school graduates graduated early at some medical schools so that they could help bolster the frontlines of hospitals around the country battling the coronavirus. Some colleges provide paperwork to submit to their state's licensing boards to get expedited emergency licenses. To work in medical facilities, they must possess proof that they received the training required to earn said licenses from their chosen medical school.
Where to Go Online to Find Additional Assistance Preparing for Medical Exams
Although a global pandemic may have changed the way you fulfill medical school requirements, it doesn't need to affect how you study. There are many options available online to help you become a better student. Offering tips, tools, and guidance, they're a resource that you cannot do without long-term.
Lecturio is one hack that people don't tell you about. It's a platform where medical students use their medicine lectures to pass difficult exams such as USMLE 1 and USMLE 2. Many of the students I've interviewed in the past for the articles I've written have sworn by its legitimacy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) provide up-to-date news about COVID-19 and the different recommendations available for easing into opening states back up. A phased approach is necessary to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Colleges that do open their campuses to students will be held to the strictest protocols to promote social distancing to prevent future outbreaks from occurring.
Taking advantage of tools such as educational websites and apps allows you to adapt to e-learning more efficiently. If most of your undergraduate education was done in-person, it might be challenging at first to take some of your classes online. Setting yourself up for success means creating the ideal learning environment for you to study in, and accessing the right combination of resources to solve the challenges that you'll come across as a medical student.
Be Ready to Become a Part of World History By Getting Your Medical Training Today
Now that you know what it takes to successfully prepare for medical school in a fast-pace and everchanging environment, you can do what it takes to ready yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. You won't be left wondering what to do next because you'll have clear-cut guidelines dictating your actions from the medical school you've chosen to go to this year.
Many of us had hoped, maybe even dreamed, that the COVID-19 Pandemic would be behind us.
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