Being a medic is associated with many myths.
These myths can overwhelm applicants and medical students; they can also give others the wrong impression of the degree and those studying it. Some of the myths I frequently hear include: being a medic means having no social life, being a medic will deteriorate your mental health, being a medic means you will have to study 24/7 and fail at least once.
From my own experience, none of these are true.
Medicine, in my opinion, is manageable if you ensure you maintain your social and mental health EQUALLY to your academic standards. It’s very important to ensure you allow yourself to relax and meet up with friends – even if it’s just meeting them for study dates!
Make sure you have great time management habits. You can do this by putting everything you have in a diary and making a daily checklist to ensure you’re getting everything done. Set realistic goals and do not overwhelm yourself!
A common regret many graduates from medical school have is not enjoying medical school, and putting all their focus on studies and grades. Please do take the time to try something new and make friends. Take the opportunities that come up – even if the chances of them working out is low. Taking those opportunities, at least, gives you a chance of achieving something and learning from the process.
Make the first move. Don’t be afraid of approaching people and starting conversations, especially in the first year. Almost everyone is keen to make friends and will appreciate you taking the first step. Don’t limit yourself to just fellow medics – have friends across many courses!
In summary, please don’t be scared of medical school! Focus on yourself and living some of the best years of your life.
Maiar Elhariry is a third-year medical student at the University of Birmingham and the BMA medical students committee representative for Birmingham