Tricks of the Med School Student: How to Get Ahead in Rigorous Health Degree Programs

Going to medical school is a major decision for students, many whom choose early to go to into the medical field and aspire to be surgeons, doctors, and specialists. Medical school is, of course, extremely demanding but that doesn't mean students should give up their whole life to get through it. In addition, there are also opportunities to expand your life through medical schools, which have internship programs, study abroad trips, and volunteer clinics to offer your time and gain some new perspective. There are also opportunities outside of medical school that students should get into before time's up and the busy world of hospitals, nurses and patients begins. With that in mind, these are some different extracurricular activities that are beneficial for students pursuing medical degrees.

Student-Run, Free Clinics

Getting involved with other students is a great way to spend time with your peers but also to possess autonomy, even if under supervision from other physicians. Medical students at University of Illinois-Chicago can partake in a program for clinical volunteers or become patient educators. Yale has a similar program but it's actually international, allowing for global health volunteers and gives students a chance to experience different cultures and hospital life around the world.

Extracurricular Activities

You won't have too many opportunities to get involved with college clubs, organizations and sports, so now is definitely the time to get involved. Medical students choose all sorts of extracurricular activities, some of which even turn into small businesses, like fashion brands or new technology. University of Rochester's School of Medicine and Dentistry is renowned for its medical student singing group and Pritzker School of Medicine from University of Chicago has a group of medical students that teach dance at community centers. Getting involved in these kinds of activities releases stress, gives you fresh perspective and makes it easier to return to studying and rigorous clinicals.

Sports and Fitness

Medical students are always busy, but don't forget your health and don't forget to have fun. A sports hobby also doesn't have to be strenuous. There's golf, swimming, dancing, or just hiking. It's good to take a break and focus on your health. While medical students focus a lot on studies and are on their feet for many hours, you also spent a lot of time in books and sitting in class—don't forget to take the time to get your body just as active as your brain.

Balancing It All

You should prioritize the most important aspects of your daily life in medical school, but you also need to make time for the extracurricular and volunteer activities. That doesn't mean they have to be a part of your everyday life, but at least once or twice a week, you need to get out of the apartment or dorm and just do something different. In addition, do not sacrifice sleep. Your body needs rest, and sleep deprivation is recognized as one of the main health problems for health professionals. You don't want to suffer while on duty.