Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a medical student looks like?
Early mornings, downing coffees, saving lives and everything in between. You’d think it is all about the action but in reality, the pre-clinical years just aren’t.
(Pre-clinical years = university-based teaching, with minimal to no patient contact).
Given the current pandemic, a day in the life of a medical student has taken new forms. So let’s rephrase the question, to what is a day in the life of a medical student… in the middle of a pandemic?
In this blog post, I am going to give you the low down of what my average day is like as a current 2nd-year medical student at Lincoln Medical School.
A bit of background
At Lincoln Medical School, we follow the curriculum and timetable of that of a Nottingham Medical Student. Each medical school varies in terms of its timetable and teaching style.
Wake up. I like to start my day bright and early. LOL, just joking, let’s jump to 8’oclock ⬇️
Now 8 am is a lot closer to the reality of what time I wake up for lectures. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, all of our lectures have been moved online. Which gives me a lot more flexibility for how I spend my mornings.
I could roll out of bed about 5 minutes before the start of the lecture and be perfectly on time. But I prefer to wake up earlier so I can get ready for my day in a similar way as if I were leaving my accommodation. During my showers, I love to listen to a podcast episode to fill my mornings with something productive!
My top morning tip: leave your phone somewhere you will need to get up to turn off your alarm. This way you limit the number of times you hit that snooze button!
Breakfast!! I won’t bore you with a list of all my breakfast choices because it really does change all the time. But I always start the day with a hot drink, either tea or coffee (really depends on my mood). This is definitely a huge medical student cliché… I know.
More recently I’ve been trying new smoothie/juice recipes – my current favourite being green juice.
Time to start lectures.
On average as a second-year medical student, I have around 3-4 lectures a day (this changes day to day and week to week, so it can end up being anywhere from 0-7 lectures per day). Lectures can be on a range of topic but they usually follow a ‘theme of the week’. Topics include:
- & more!
Luckily, at Lincoln Medical School we have been able to continue with face-to-face teaching for anatomy (Mondays only) and clinical skills (tends to be on Wednesdays). So, on Mondays around this time, I make sure my bag is packed and ready to go to anatomy!
On the days we have anatomy, we usually don’t have any lectures beforehand as the 1-hour anatomy sessions run in small teaching groups from 9 am until 1 pm.
After I make sure I have everything I scurry out the door to start my 15-minute walk to the anatomy suite. We have to get there early due to social distancing procedures prolonging the process of safely entering the anatomy suite.
11 am- 12pm-
Our anatomy sessions are an hour long. In these sessions, we go around the room in groups of four to different stations which involve pro-sections or anatomy models. We just finished neuroanatomy which was actually our last block of anatomy teaching ever 😢!
Somewhere around this time I usually go down to the kitchen to get some lunch!
During my “lunchtime” I love to watch a short Youtube video or finish off a podcast I started in the morning. However sometimes if I’m feeling extra motivated, I work through my lunch break and finish off some work I have left to do.
2 pm- Back to lectures!
As some lectures are pre-recorded, I try to listen to them at the fastest speed that I can keep up with to save some time.
If I find I have some extra time before a scheduled live lecture, I will try and fit in another pre-recorded one which has a slot later in the day. Alternatively, I get on with making my Anki flashcard cards for the day.
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On a regular day, all lectures are usually done and dusted by 5 pm. However, each day is different so this can range anywhere from 2 pm- 5.30 pm
Anki! I try and make my Anki cards for my lectures as soon after each lecture as I can. But in reality, I usually have a huge backlog, LOL.
Dinner (my favourite part of the day)
9 pm-10 pm-
Call it a day and start winding down.
X pm – a.k.a. Bedtime
Putting a set time for what time I go to bed is a myth! So I’ll leave it there, so we can do it all again tomorrow!
If you enjoyed reading this day in the life of a medical student and want to know more, follow me on Instagram (@thebabymedicblog) to see more of my day to day life.