Day in the life of a med student

I realize that each school will be different but of those who are currently in their 1st or 2nd year of med school, what does a typical day look like for you; how long are you actually in classes, studying at home, etc?

come to the conference and you will get a more detailed view. There will be a presentation about this.

Will there be a possibility for this info to be shared after the conference for those of us in summer school.

You could try doing a search . . . I know there was a thread awhile ago where several of us talked about what our typical day was like as a Med 1, Med 2, Med 3, etc.

I’m not sure that there is an overall “typical day” for med school other than for clinical rotations. There are a lot of different formats out there for the pre-clinical curriculum so the “typical day” can vary widely from school to school depending on how many hours of lecture there are per day/week, how much clinical exposure they give you first year, exam schedule (one exam every 3 weeks or so vs an exam week with multiple exams every few weeks), etc.

Stat1 -

I’ll give you a run-down of my Monday this week, and my Thursday.

Monday was a heavy lecture day. We have “block” scheduling in that we have generally 2 or 3 main classes. We were just starting a new one, Topics in primary care, and are in the middle of Pathology and Medical Immunology.

So: 7 hours of lecture

Intro to Primary care (2 hrs)

Models of care 1 hr

Intro to Epidemiology 1 hr (this was all in the primary care course and ran 8 am to 12 noon)

1 pm Pathology : Laborory Testing and Interpretation

2 pm Medical Immunology : Hypersensitivity Type I and Type 2

3 pm Medial immunology: Hypersensitivity, Type 3 and Type 4.

I stayed in the classroom to study and use my laptop here because my printer was down at home. Tried to review and do the objectives for each lecture. Sometimes, if the info was in the powerpoint handout (or my notes on the handout), I just highlighted it and wrote “see notes” on the objectives page. For a few of the lectures, I typed up and printed the objectives (with the information).

Did this from 4 pm to 7:35 pm. Got thru 6 of the 7 lectures. Then went home and was too tired to make supper so I had a bowl of cereal. Talked to a friend and my daughter on the phone, actually watched a little tv. Looked at what we had for Tuesday and made sure I had all the handouts for taking notes, and went to bed fairly early.

We more commonly have 5 or 6 hours of lecture, in which case I spend about 3 (if I’m honest) to 5 more hours studying. On weekends without a test I generally study 10 hours on Saturday and 5 or 6 on Sunday. With a test it is 12 on saturday and 12-16 on Sunday, unfortunately.

Thursday was more of a lab day. 4 hours of lecture in the am, 8-12. Then from 1-3 we had a group case-study problem solving “lab” with immunology. From 3:30-5:30 had a 2 hour lab in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. Generally Thursday’s we have 1 or 2 labs in the afternooon. (so it was an 8 hour day). Don’t know how long I’ll study tongiht.

When we were doing Gross Anatomy, that was the only course we did for the first 9 weeks, and we had a lot less time in the classroom. Had 3-4 hours of anatomy lab 3 days a week and about 2-4 hours of lecture a day. It was an 8.5 credit hour course.

Most people relax on Friday evenings here. The school had a PBL (problem based learning) track, which they faded out for this year, but the 2nd year students in that track probably only have about 6-8 hours a week they have to be in the classroom and the rest of the time are self-studying or studying in their PBL group. They get a lot more sleep

That’s just a snapshot of my 1st year experience, but maybe it helps you get the flavor it it. Some of the folks with kids stay on campus 8-5, studying thru lunch and till 5, then go home, have supper with the family, put the kids to bed, and maybe study till 11. More disciplined than I!


Kate, you are wonderful! Thank you so much for taking time out of what looks to be an impossible schedule to talk about this with us…

I want the most realistic understanding possible going into med school–it really helps me (AND my family) get our minds prepared for what’s ahead. The more people I talk to like you, the more three dimensional my perspective will be.

MUCH appreciated… now get back to that studying!!!

Roger, wilco!

You’re welcome