The first two years of med school
The first two years of med school are an uphill battle. Med students are attempting to amass more information than anyone ever should, at a faster rate of speed than they likely thought possible. They are attending lectures, dealing with the politics of their school, going to small groups, writing papers, taking countless tests and trying to remember why they signed up for this whole med school thing.
Throughout the last two years, there have been several things that have really helped to make the long journey through pre-clinicals a bit more bearable for my husband. (We were in no way compensated for recommending any of these - unfortunately!)
- Amazon Prime Membership: When my husband started med school, Amazon was offering their Prime service (read: complimentary 2-day shipping) free of charge for students for an entire year, and boy did we ever utilize it. Not only for getting the necessary books and study tools for school...I loved it for Christmas shopping too! When that first year of our Prime membership ended, we wandered around the house, trying to figure out how we were to continue surviving without it. It was rapidly added to my husband's Christmas list, and thankfully he received it as a gift! Students get a discount on Prime after they've had their free trial, which brings the price down to $49-ish per year. I don't think we'll ever be without it again, unless we move to Africa.
- Noise Canceling Headphones: This is the pair that my husband has, but I don't think they're available anymore. Despite the lacking reviews, they have performed well for him the past 13 months. A lot of my husband's peers have the Dr. Dre headphones, but we just weren't quite willing to spend that much. My husband uses these everywhere - at school to keep from getting distracted, in the car while I'm driving so I can listen to music while he studies, and even at home if I'm here when he is studying and I'm
breathingbeing too loud. Unless you can study without getting distracted by the noises around you, noise canceling headphones = a lifesaver.
- Bookstand: How nerdy is this? ;) My husband actually has TWO of these book holders. It can hold Robbins or the largest coursepack in a 3" three-ring binder without any buckling, and the stand folds completely flat. Being able to not look straight down all day long while studying has helped to alleviate a lot of neck pain.
- Pens: Oh, the pens. Pretty much every med wife that I've
commiserated withtalked to says their husbands are the same way - incredibly picky about their pens! These TUL pens in black/medium point are my husband's favorite. But...to each his own!
- A comfortable pillow: Some of my husband's classmates like to give him a hard time because he tries to get seven or eight hours of sleep each night. "You're going to DIE when we get to the hospital and don't get to have that much sleep!" Our philosophy: just because he's not going to get to sleep much in the future doesn't mean he shouldn't be well-rested now! As long as he can get everything done that he needs to and do well on it, there's no point in him staying up until 4am. When he needs to function on less sleep (like in two weeks when he's elbow deep in ob/gyn), he will.
Additionally, my husband wanted to add in two tidbits as he read over my shoulder, both of which are pretty self-explanatory.
- Get to know someone in the year ahead of you.
- Stop comparing yourself to others.