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Good habits to have as a medical student in Australia

Top 5 Habits of a Successful Medical Student

by , 29 April, 2016
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Please remember that the entry into medicine is an up-and-down roller-coaster ride that will give you exhilarating highs, but at the same time rock-bottom lows. Just ensure you are talking to your friends and family, making sure you are not isolated, and you are still able to enjoy life if you are going through a bit of a low at the moment. How you handle stress and disappointment is so important, as you will be doing it a lot during your medical studies and then your future career!

I’m a current final-year medical student at Griffith University, and I’d like to share with you in this blog the 5 habits of a successful medical student – some that I, myself, currently do at the present time…. And probably more that I should be completing! These are habits that I’ve observed in others and in myself at various points during medical school, and I have identified them as providing their owners with some very good success! I am delighted to share these with you, and I hope that they help:

  1. Involvement in Extra-Curricular Activities - In my undergraduate degree, I never got involved in extra-curricular activities at all, but since being involved in such activities in my medical degree – I have enjoyed nothing more! I attest that being engaged with extra-curricular groups is one of the most satisfying things you can do as a medical student, and it enhances your personal ‘brand’ ten-fold. Such involvements enhance your organisational ability to time manage, ensures you study more efficiently in order to complete other duties, provides a fantastic forum for networking, and also develops excellent leadership skills. Medicine needs leaders, and by being involved as a leader in the extra-curricular forum, you can demonstrate these abilities prior to even being employed in the profession.
  2. Retaining relations with family and friends - Medicine is a very busy course, and it is exceptionally easy to become so involved in the culture and studies that you forget to keep in touch with those closest to you. Make sure you have some time ‘sectioned off’ to catch up with friends and family on a regular basis!
  3. Exercise/General Health - No single medical student has an excuse not to exercise and not to eat healthy. No one is that busy in medicine not to do this – and these are habits you should be preaching to patients, so you must be doing this yourself so you’re not a hypocrite. Indeed, exercising regularly and eating well will make you feel better about yourself, which will ensure you study at your maximum potential.
  4. Relaxation - In medicine, the amount of time that you relax and take off is even more valuable than time studying to actually make sure you get good marks and get through medical school! I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but if you burden yourself with constant studying, you are going to drown under the work you have given yourself. You don’t need to know everything in medicine, that is impossible – but you need to know how to relax! Take time off to go for nature walks, go to the beach, watch a movie, read a book… do anything that takes your time off medicine!
  5. Career Aspirations - With the large amount of medical students graduating currently, and the fierce competition for any training spot in speciality programs, it is now exceptionally difficult to enter your desired career. One of the things that you can do to ensure you enter the area you are passionate about, is to start early! Do anything you can at medical school to enhance your credentials for your chosen speciality; whether this is research, relevant extra-curricular involvement or networking, everything is extremely valuable!

These are just some of the habits of highly-successful medical students, and I hope they have been valuable!