If your ultimate life goal and dream is to become a doctor, pat yourself on the back for finally enrolling yourself in a pre-medical program. The journey can be lengthy and challenging, but it will all be worth it. For now, it’s essential to establish the proper foundation and regimens as a pre-med student.
Medical school requires hard work and commitment, so it’s essential to train your brain and mind early for it. By adopting healthy routines even during pre-med, you can be able to transition to med school successfully and effectively. The pre-med years are a crucial time to plant your seeds and develop valuable habits that you can continue doing later in med school.
To become a successful doctor someday, check out the following habits every pre-med student should learn:
1. Seek A Mentor’s Advice And Guidance
Even professionals and brilliant doctors have, in one way or another, sought help from mentors and advisors in their lives. Consider doing the same; now’s the best time to begin this habit. You may refer to a shadowing sample letter guide if you want to shadow a doctor to make them your mentor.
Doctors who teach at medical schools are a valuable resource for future career preparation. You can seek advice and guidance from them. Doctors with deep experience in your field are the best mentors to ask for help understanding the fundamental duties that doctors perform in their fields.
2. Stay On Top Of Things
No matter what course or academic goals to pursue, staying on top is ideal. You would want to organize all the details of your educational path and have a scheduled routine. Being organized is a habit that is essential to your success in medical school. Time management and prioritizing are crucial to staying organized. For instance, you need to prioritize and spend more time on the most challenging coursework or major subjects over the rest.
Doctors have many tasks and responsibilities, so they need these organizational habits to streamline workflow and efficiently help patients. During your pre-med years, you’ll be bombarded with many assignments and educational responsibilities. Treat them the same way you would treat real-life tasks of a doctor, so you’ll feel how significant it is to keep them organized.
You should be able to sort out your study resources and materials in folders to save time finding them. Also, you will need to establish a schedule you can refer to for your classes and other activities. This way, you won’t miss any critical events and obligations. By staying on top of things, you’ll be a responsible student now and later in your medical career.
3. Take Part In Social Activities
As a pre-med student, there can be too many things on your plate, which can overwhelm and drain you. However, it’s okay to live a little and join other social activities in your spare time. You should spend some of your time having fun too, and not just focus solely on academics. The key here is to look for social and extracurricular activities that suit your interests and personality.
Your life will be more meaningful if you engage in activities that make you enjoy your pre-med journey. Also, you can reduce the feeling of burnout when you’re doing something fun and exciting.
In addition, joining social events and programs allows you to develop excellent interpersonal skills necessary for doctors. As you constantly have to work and communicate with patients, you need to have good social skills. You should be able to relate, understand, and connect with different patients and colleagues. Social activities during medical school can develop your soft skills and prepare you for a successful medical career.
4. Always Stay Professional
If you wish to develop your professional skills, take notes from the industry experts around you. It can be your professor, mentor, or doctor in your internship programs. Get the most from your experience with them and learn to stay professional like them.
Moreover, you can apply the following tips to be professional during your pre-med journey:
- Create an excellent first impression when meeting new people. Be polite and treat your classmates and professors with respect.
- Try to be personable and approachable, yet always be professional too. Chances are you’ll be working alongside many other fellow pre-med students. You want to be friendly with them and establish that professional wall to earn respect.
- Avoid gossip and drama in pre-med school. Colleges and universities can be similar to high schools. But one way to stay professional is not to get involved in those unnecessary gossips and dramas.
5. Avoid Procrastination
One habit you should avoid during pre-med years is procrastination. Unfortunately, many people have this mindset, especially students. College students can quickly get distracted or influenced by peers. Consequently, they may lose sight of their goals. It could lead to missing deadlines and failing tests.
Without a plan for completing your work, you are more likely to procrastinate. Investing in a planner or downloading a planning app is a good idea. Being organized will defeat procrastination for sure. Make a note of when each assignment is due. Being organized helps you work within a more measured and orderly framework.
Another way to avoid procrastination is not to succumb to distractions around you. The fewer distractions you have around you, the more likely you are to accomplish your tasks. When a test is scheduled soon, ensure to study and shut off distractions. Go to the library and turn off your phone while reviewing. Finally, always hold yourself accountable to avoid procrastination. It’s not your friend’s fault that you delay your tasks. It has been your choice all along.
6. Always Be Open To Learning
One of the good habits you should apply as a pre-med student is to be a lifelong learner, always accepting to learn something new from those around you. You will inevitably learn new things throughout your entire career as a physician. As a human being, you must constantly seek improvement and new experiences by approaching every day as an opportunity to gain knowledge.
Whether your friend or professor teaches you something of value, keep an open mind and learn from it. Take note of any mistakes you make, and learn how to avoid them in the future. By having this mindset, you’ll get to absorb different concepts, theories, and practical solutions that you can apply as a doctor in the future.
7. Exercise Regularly
No matter how packed your schedule is as a pre-med student, always invest time for your physical and mental wellbeing. Include exercising as part of your daily routine. For doctors in training, exercise is particularly vital, as it has positive benefits for virtually everyone. Evidence links lack of exercise to depression and burnout among medical students. It’s often said that training and self-care increase the quality of life of medical students. So, don’t forget to sweat a little every day.
Med school can get busier than pre-med, so it’s even harder to begin your exercise journey at that time. The key is to ease this habit as early as now, so you can integrate them into your life easily. By the time you’re in med school, you’ll be able to pursue your healthy regimen no matter how busy you might be.
8. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation is common for many medical and pre-med students. You need to be aware of this issue so you can avoid it. Make it a habit to fix your sleep schedule by constantly getting enough sleep no matter how busy your schedule is. Tackle all the educational demands by organizing your time and doing tasks effectively. The importance of sleep can’t be overstated, and it’s even more crucial to be an efficient pre-med student.
Getting a good night’s sleep will help you feel better, study better, be more motivated, and be healthier. The best way to become a successful physician is to avoid feeling tired and sleepy in class. Apply the best sleeping schedule and routine so you can wake up feeling refreshed and re-energized every morning.
9. Set Goals And Celebrate Small Wins
The first step to achieving your goals is to identify and classify them. Make it a habit to write your goals so you can look back on them now and then. It will guide you to achieve your goals in the long run. Understanding what you’re trying to reach is crucial, and while you’re at it, don’t forget to celebrate your small wins.
Whether you’ve accomplished some tasks at school or acquired a good MCAT score, you should be proud of your small victories. Rewarding yourself will be a positive reinforcement for you to continue attaining your goals. Rewards can be in the form of buying yourself that new headphones you’ve been eyeing for some time or buying your favorite ice cream after class. What matters is that you continue to move forward in achieving your goals.
Pre-med school is not a walk in the park; it only gets more challenging as you progress to internship, residency, and so on. It is why it’s crucial to develop good habits as early as now, so you can adjust and transition yourself more effectively upon joining the med school. Through determination and perseverance, you’ll be able to attain your medical career goals and dreams.