Is Medical School As Stressful As They Say It is?

Authored by: Sabrina G.

Before medical school, your frame of reference is coming from a point of really only knowing what it’s like going to class everyday, studying and taking exams. It’s important to realize that that is only the first half of medical school (depending on how your school works).

I would argue that the clinical years of medical are significantly more important to shaping your future and your perspectives on what you want to do with your life. You’ll be better off paying much more attention to how the clinical years work and the opportunities you’ll have when selecting a school even though it’ll be much easier for you to think about the preclinical years.

That being said, your question is about how hard classes are. If you can get into med school, you can handle the work. The thing you might not have experience with is the never-ending torrent of new material you have to process. Everyone finds their own way to deal with that but it can be a struggle to get there.

If you’re lucky enough to go to a school without grades/rank then you’ll probably do very well in the sense you won’t be worried about grades. If you have to worry about rank then you’ll probably be under a little more stress.

Two points about rank: first, at least at my school and I’m sure many others, strong clinical performance can compensate for middle-of-the-road preclinical grades and, second, that depending on what you want to go into, you may not need to be at the top of your class.

Most people that get into med school can get through med school. From what I can tell, some people leave because they realize it’s not for them but nearly everyone that makes it to the point of taking Step 1 will usually finish school, even if they hit some roadblocks along the way.

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