As many know, the first 2 years of medical school are spent in the classroom, learning the basic sciences of medicine. During your 1st year of med school, you take classes such as Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Genetics, Nutrition, Embryology, Histology and Anatomy of the whole body. 2nd year is more interesting and clinically applicable but also more challenging. You take classes such as Pathology, Pharmacology, Microbiology, Immunology and disciplines such as Cardiology, Psychiatry, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Radiology and the list goes on. You also get to visit the coroners office and assist in an autopsy, which I thought was interesting. Most can agree that your 2nd year of med school will be the most gruesome in terms of workload and difficulty out of all 4 years. This was always in the back of my mind before entering my 2nd year and I had to mentally prepare myself for what was ahead. Being a few weeks away from finishing the year, I can attest to the fact that it was very challenging at times but not insurmountable. Your 3rd and 4th year of med school are spent in the hospital seeing patients and essentially learning medicine hands on. Most people seem to enjoy 3rd and 4th year being that you are not in a classroom all day and actually doing work. I found out early in the year that I learned best and was more efficient staying and studying from home, so I never attended class unless it was mandatory. My schedule varied by the day but usually went as followed: wake up at 7am-read or do practice questions until 10am. Study from 10am-4 or 5pm. Work out at 6pm and then come home and study again from 8-11ish or 12. During my 1st year of med school, I definitely stayed up later to study, sometimes till 2 or 3am but this year, I seemed to be more comfortable in studying less and being more efficient with my time. Taking so many exams in med school, I have learned to read through 100+ pages of notes and pick out what is important to know for the exam and what is minutia details. Developing this skill definitely came handy during 2nd yr when you are expected to know twice as much information, in a shorter amount of time.
At the end of your 2nd year, there is a lottery process that allows you to enter your preferences about which order you would like to do your hospital rotations. Some people choose to do Surgery first and others choose to ease into 3rd year by doing a lighter, less stressful rotation such as Family Medicine. Its a somewhat strategic process and the order of your rotations can dictate how your year goes. I haven’t made the decision yet about how to schedule my year but I need to do this ASAP as the deadline is in 2 days. Whatever schedule I am given, Im sure I will try to make the best of it and learn as much from each rotation as I can. Third Year Class Schedule M2014