The 5 Worst Mistakes You Can Make During Med School

Alexa M. Mieses, MD, MPH


October 31, 2017

5. Do Not Be Close-Minded

Many students start medical school with the idea that they will pursue a particular specialty. But you need to keep an open mind. There are two main reasons you should be flexible: You will be exposed to things in medical school that you've never encountered before, and being flexible can make medical school more fun.

Many students have not experienced the joy and honor of delivering a baby and will not do so until the third year of medical school. Therefore, it may be hard to know whether or not you would like to be an obstetrician until you actually start your rotation. Similarly, many students want to be a surgeon without having ever set foot in the operating room. Your experiences in medical school will shape your perception of each specialty one way or another.

Medical school is challenging. It is challenging intellectually, emotionally, and personally. Your professionalism and ability to communicate will be put to the test, as will your wit and stamina. Regardless of which specialty you want to pursue, you will have to learn the basics of medicine in years 1 and 2 and rotate through all of the major specialties in the third year. If you have your sights set on one specialty with laser focus and no flexibility, you miss learning opportunities related to other subjects. Learning about other areas of medicine may seem boring or inconsequential to you, making medical school even more challenging. Keep an open mind and absorb all you can. It's the best way to train to become a physician!


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