Know the fact that you are not alone. A lot of students in medical schools face a lot of challenges and some can even burn out. Some are overconfident while some are very under confident. Some have completed a pre-med coursework while some have not. There are those who are starting late, then there are high-school grads and then there are those having bachelor’s degrees in related discipline.
Everyone isn’t your friend but its good to learn to go along with everyone.
Tips for surviving medical school abroad
Following are some helpful tips to help you survive medical school abroad.
Develop a study system
Some study alone and thrive greatly, while there are those who do well in a group setting. Try out both methods and see what helps you best. Do not procrastinate, do not study at the last moment because medicine is a tough program and for that you need to study your lessons daily.
Studying daily helps build your knowledge base and reduces your learning stress considerably. Do not forget to have a good night’s sleep before the exam. An all-night cram session is very stressful.
Always take the help you need
It’s a hard part admitting you need help and the sooner you acknowledge the better. If you are having trouble in any particular topic or course, do not hesitate in finding a tutor, study partner or advisor. If you feel completely overwhelmed, then you might consider reducing your course load.
If you decide on lengthening your degree program, it might prove to be beneficial as it can help you avoid a serous burnout.
Stay in touch with family & friends.
Studying in the Caribbean can still make you feel lonely even despite being near mainland USA. Staying in touch with family and friends via Skype, Facebook or Whatsapp is very good. Such helps alleviate your lonesomeness and stress. In fact, your friends studying medicine in stateside can help you in many aspects.
Make friends in your Caribbean host nation
For starters, they can visit and join clubs as a way of making friends. You will always meet people whose interests match yours. Never hesitate in making your professional and social network. Run for a leadership position or for a membership at any student society so your resume can get the needed boost.
Being a student body leader helps you land a good opportunity in preferred residency programs which can then elevate your medical career with relative ease.
Always relax when you get time
Do not be hard on yourself and no need to stress on small matters. We all are humans and we are bound to make mistakes. We are even bound to get overwhelmed and burn out.
Don’t be hard on yourself, forgive yourself and always plan out on new things to move on. No need to ponder on old errors. Be yourself, enjoy yourself and move on.
Take time out to enjoy the host nation’s environment
Try taking specimens of the local cuisine and see which dish you like. Enjoy some fresh air, hang out at points of interest, beaches, clubs and restaurants. Even try studying at the beach or in the balcony. Make your self comfortable to the laid back and tropical paradise environment of the Caribbean.
Do not blow your budget
Make a realistic budget you can always count on. Conduct a research on living costs of various Caribbean islands, try saving money on necessary expenses (such as purchasing used books), and keep budget in money for entertainment, clothing, leisure and eatables.
Always keep extra bucks in handy for new clothes, new footwear, hangouts or a surfing expedition. Such can make a good difference when you are feeling down.
Eat right and stay healthy
Since you are studying to become a physician, do not forget the importance of good nutrition. Avoid the junk stuff on regular basis & keep healthy foods and snacks at hand. Do not forget to buy the healthy and fresh local produce of fruits and veggies from the local markets. Caribbean islands are known for their healthy fruits and veggies.
Deal properly with competition
The problem is, only one student can remain on the top of the class. Don’t worry if you are not the topper. Do your personal best so you can remain in good mental shape. Get along with everyone because the people around you will be your professional peers, co-workers, mentors, teammates and important people in your professional & social network. Always be gracious.
Don’t forget to do other stuff.
Medical school will be stressful. It will consume your time and will grind you. Doing outside activities at the right time will keep your brain in balance. Hobbies like sports, video games, hiking, surfing, photography and the like will help your routine be balanced. Such will also prevent you from burning out.
Over to you
You will feel overwhelmed, but don’t be. The above tips will help you survive medical school abroad and help you return as a healthy and happy gradaute who is ready to become a joyful & inspiring physician. Consider taking admission at Windsor University School of Medicine, one of the finest medical schools in the Caribbean.