med school in a nut shell (“help i’m in a nutshell”)

Some basic facts you have to know about med school, especially if you have a family member in it.

med school is 4 years. 2 years of book studying, 2 years of paying to work in the hospital. (and paying a lot). i don’t know how many times i have had to explain this. in your third year, the year i am currently doing, you do six “clerkships” or “clinical rotations”: internal medicine, surgery, psych, family medicine, peds, ob/gyn. these are the foundation of medicine. each clerkship has electives. we have a test at the end of each clerkship (the aforementioned shelf). fourth year is the amazing time of all month-long electives, interviews, match day, and every kind of fun when you don’t have tests any more.

i have spared you the trials and tribulations of step 1, which is a major test taken at the end of m2 year (second year of medical school, get it?). step 1 is a component of the national board exam, of which there are 3 components: step 1, 2, and 3 (crazy, i know). step 2 is at the end of m3 year. step 3 is during residency, ideally during your intern year.

step 1 basically determines your residency. if you do poorly, you can make up for it on step 2, but it’s better to not put that kind of pressure on yourself. step 1 is the bane of most medical students existence because of the study commitment it requires.

terms that will be helpful from a med student point of view:

  • intern – 1st year of residency. the person medical students work with the most
  • resident – indentured servant
  • attending – the doctor you’re accustomed to

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