1st Year advice: “A light at the end of the tunnel”

by Mary Alderson.

How do you keep yourself motivated during medical school during tough times? What advice would you give to an entering 1st-year podiatry student?

Although podiatry school can be mentally and physically exhausting, I find it very important to remember that I am not just a student. I cannot be the best doctor for my patients if all I do is study and burn myself out. Volunteering at the homeless clinic is “a light at the end of the tunnel” and one activity that reminds me why I am going through school. Seeing patients and being able to treat them gives me a sense of purpose and drives me to want to learn more to be able to better help the next patient that I see. But sometimes it is also necessary for me to get away from school completely and that is when I participate in the hobbies mentioned previously.

If I am in need of more motivation, I am able to lean on my classmates…

Groups within our class will go on a camping trip, bike to lunch, or play pick-up games weekly. During this time, we get to know each other more than we do in the classroom, which gives us all a stronger sense of community. Participating in something other than studying usually gives me the break I need to refocus. If I am in need of more motivation, I am able to lean on my classmates who are able to build me up because we recognize that we only succeed if everyone around us is also succeeding. 

It is very important that incoming students recognize that during their first year, their grades should be their top priority. As boards are pass/fail, their transcript is one way to set them apart when applying for residency. Our class found it helpful to over-study for our first round of exams. This way, we started the year with good grades and were able to figure out the expectations of the professors.

Participating in something other than their studies gives everyone an outlet…

As the year went on, we became more efficient at studying and could spend more time away from the books. We recognized that spending time away from didactics was important because residencies, and even professors at school, want to deal with well-rounded individuals. Therefore, volunteering, having hobbies, and making/maintaining relationships with friends and family should also be in the mix during their first year. Participating in something other than their studies gives everyone an outlet and allows them to perform at their best during school.

by Mary Alderson.

School: Arizona School of Podiatric Medicine


1st Year advice: “A light at the end of the tunnel”

topic review, Student, Lifestyle, 

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