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Faculty and students offer advice for continued success to the Class of 2024.

'Carry your humanity with you as you learn': Advice for the Class of 2024 to celebrate completing first month of medical school

Woman in mask reading physicians oath under tent outside

Medical school is one of the most challenging and rewarding journeys for an individual as they train to become a physician. To commemorate the Class of 2024 completing their first month of medical school during a pandemic, students and leaders from IU School of Medicine offered their advice for continued success.

Advice from Students

“One quote that I essentially adopted as my mantra to get through some of the toughest parts of medical school is: Comparison is the thief of joy by Theodore Roosevelt. Being among such a high achieving group of individuals can be intimidating, but just know that you are enough, and you have what it takes to be an incredible physician.”

Katie Dorsett, Class of 2021

“Believe in yourself, surround yourself by people who are positives in your life and take care of yourself!”

Anna Roesler, Class of 2021

“It's easy to get caught up in the daily grind of med school, but during the next four years you will learn so much and witness a lot of really awesome things you may never see again. Take time occasionally to step back, appreciate what you're doing, and reward yourself for your hard work.”

Joe Wolf, Class of 2021

“Three things I have learned to try and live by (easier said than done)! 1) Struggling, or even failing, does not make you any less of a medical student or person. It certainly won't make you less of a doctor. You deserve your seat just as much as the person sitting next to you. 2) Focus on showing up present, not showing up perfect. Being engaged and curious will get you much further than knowing every detail in the textbook. 3) You are always at the point in your career where people expect you to know the least. So go ahead and ask the question you're worried is dumb! Better to learn the answer now than still not understand it in a year.”

Becca Hendricks, Class of 2022

“During transitions, I wrote a letter to myself about my journey to medical school, how hard it was for me to get here, why I wanted to be here and how hard I worked to get here. During the tough times, which there are plenty of, I would open up the letter to remind myself that I am strong, I am here for a reason and I will get through this time.”

Deena Mohamed, Class of 2022

“If your methods of studying work for you and you are passing and feel like you are learning, that's all that matters! Don't worry about what other people are doing!”

Anonymous, Class of 2023

“These four years will FLY by. Trust me. It feels like just yesterday I was at first year orientation having no clue what the heart even does (just kidding, kind of). School will be tough, but don't forget to enjoy what you're learning and to find time for activities outside of school. Four years is a long time, and if approached with the right mindset, it can be some of the best years of your life!”

Eric Galante, Class of 2021

“Take the time to feel proud of yourself and how far you’ve already come. This is what you have worked for and you are finally here! You EARNED this—it was not gifted to you.”

Andrea Gonzalez, Class of 2022

“My advice is to remember that you completely deserve to be in medical school! You have worked so hard to get here. Throughout medical school, it can be easy to compare yourself to others. Just know that everyone's path in medicine is different, and it's ok to pave your own unique path!”

Christina Huang, Class of 2021

“Medical school is a special time of self-growth and self-reflection. Make sure to look after yourself, remember why you wanted to embark on this journey, and stay out of the “rat race.”

Aaron Gilani, Class of 2022

Advice from Faculty

“Recognize that what you learn will contribute to the health care of your future patients, learn all you can, enjoy each day, and do your best!”

Paul M. Wallach, MD, Executive Associate Dean for Educational Affairs and Institutional Improvement

“Relax and be ready to show yourself the understanding and patience you deserve as you adjust to the new environment and pace of each year of training. This is all new for you (and new for every medical student!). Realize that each course may take a little different approach for you to hit your comfort zone in study approaches that work for you. These may differ from what works for others. That is okay! The other helpful tip is to keep your course content framed in the clinical correlations that they will have in your future studies. Sometimes the associations may seem remote but look for the examples shared by your faculty and in your resources to help you frame the content in your quickly growing database that you will draw on for the rest of your career as a knowledgeable, compassionate caregiver. Go get 'em!”

Bradley L. Allen, MD, PhD, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Student Education

“You do you. Try not to worry about what your classmates are doing (or not doing) and instead feel confident in your own decisions. However, be sure to connect and study with classmates and be open to trying new learning strategies since medical school is very different than undergrad. Push yourself out of your comfort zone to continue to grow and learn new things about yourself and our fascinating world.”

Emily Walvoord, MD, Associate Dean for Student Affairs

“Study in small groups for exams. It is more fun and you get to see what other students think is important!”

Debra Rusk, MD, Assistant Dean for Career Mentoring

“Remember that you can learn something from everyone. Absorb every learning opportunity. Enjoy it and relish it - it will one day, not too long from now, make an important difference for your patients. Sometimes the knowledge you gain can seem abstract when you lose the human importance when you're so far from your future patients; try to reflect on how you might someday use this knowledge to help your patients. Just as importantly, take breaks from your studies to care for yourself, as well as make time for your friends and family. Carry your humanity with you as you learn - your experiences will make you a better physician.”

Daniel Corson-Knowles, MD, Director of Clinical Distinctions, Phase 3 Curriculum

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Susanna Scott

Susanna focuses on communication for Medical Student Education, Faculty and Staff. She is also working toward her doctorate in health communication at IUPUI.
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.