From Santa Rosa, CA
Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
What does your typical day of medical school look like?
Wake up at 6:30 AM. Get to the library at 7:30 AM and do some pre-viewing for the lectures to come and planning out my day. Go to class at 8:00-Noon. Lunch 12:00-1:00 PM More lecture, anatomy class, or random mandatory class 1:00-3:30 PM. Study 3:30-9 or later depending how close it is to an exam. The latest is midnight. Gym either in the morning if I don’t have lecture or during lunch/early afternoon.
How do your classes and lectures compare to those at your undergraduate institution?
The lectures are moving way faster and often require more details (i.e. you spend 10 minutes on glycolysis but you focus on the enzymes and the limiting steps rather than the molecule structure.) A lot more clinical information is added…a metabolic disorder that is due to enzyme A of step 7. Almost all lectures are powerpoint. Instructors are either MD or PhD and most don’t accept questions during class but after you can walk up to them ask them any questions. Most don’t have office hours but you can go to their office whenever and if they are there and not busy they will talk to you. They all want you to succeed. They are not looking to fail anyone.
How has your approach to learning and/or studying changed since you were an undergrad?
I use Anki and study every day. You cannot cram. I also utilize group study time.
Looking back on when you were applying to medical schools and deciding which school was the best fit, what do you think are the most important things to learn about a medical school when you are deciding which school is right for you?
Apply early and broadly. Reach and safety. It is literally a cluster-f***. I have friends with okay academics that applied to a ton of schools and got one interview at UCSF and got in. I have other friends 15 interviews and no acceptances. Then once you get acceptances, look at schools where the students are happy and the school listens to their ideas for change. Also you might want to look at the match list and hospitals associated with their rotations. You can live anywhere but will you be happy and able to succeed there? Also work on your interviewing skills! You might think you’re an expert but I can guarantee you are far from it.
Can you give us a brief description of the area surrounding your school? What are some things you like and dislike about the city/town you are located in as a student?
My school is the middle of no where which is no fun but it is great to study. On the weekends we can take a train 45 minutes into the city to enjoy the night life or just to explore. During rotations third and fourth year we move downtown which is awesome.
What organizations or activities are you involved in outside of your regular classwork? Additionally, are there any organizations (even if you aren’t a part of them) that you think are unique to your school?
We have interest groups for all the major specialties. AMA and PDE as well. Then we have a ton of intramural sports and volunteer organizations that support the community around our school
In retrospect, which classes in undergrad do you think were the most useful coming into medical school?
Physiology, biochemistry, and cell biology.
What is one way your outlook on medicine or understanding of medicine has changed in your time at medical school?
You know nothing and everything you learn is not even a drop in the bucket!
If a young undergraduate interested in applying to medical school came to you seeking advice about ‘which major is best,’ what would you tell them?
Do a major you will get the best GPA in. If that is Psych or something else, just do a post bacc with a linkage after.
What do you wish you had known as an undergraduate and/or as a student in the medical application process?
How much your GPA matters and how it is very important to talk to your teachers since you will need letters of rec.
What is one thing you would do differently if you could go back to your undergraduate years or the time between undergrad and medical school?
I used my time between undergrad and medical school wisely but working at a startup, research lab, scribing, medical assistant, volunteering for the underserved. But during undergrad, there will always be another party and it might be beneficial to study more the night before for that physics final.