The new year can be a great time to make some new resolutions, especially if they will help you to achieve your goals. You could be interviewing at your dream med school or at medical school by September!
This probably feels so far away right now, and you might understandably be apprehensive. As an aspiring medic, a lot can happen in a year, and there is a lot you can resolve to do. Here are some of our New Year’s resolutions for aspiring medics:
1. Stay passionate about medicine
New Year’s Resolution: Keep learning about medicine and stay interested in the parts that make you feel passionate and confident that it is the right path for you.
Medicine is not easy so it is essential that you are interested and motivated to go to medical school and eventually work in the field of medicine. Hold onto whatever it is that made you want to go into medicine in the first place.
Keep reading books or watching documentaries or listening to podcasts relevant to medicine. If you can stay passionate about medicine, all of the hard work will be worth it.
2. Keep engaged
New Year’s Resolution: Keep up to date with what is going on in the field of medicine and the NHS.
Medicine is a constantly evolving field with new and exciting developments happening all the time! It is important that you stay up to date with some of these developments as well as what is happening in the NHS.
Not only is this vital for interviews, but also good for you to have an up to date view of the field. It can be a good idea to know about some of the non-medical things that affect the NHS such as staff shortages and how government policies can have an impact.
One easy way to stay up to date is to download a news app like BBC News to your phone and have a browse of the health section for 5 minutes each morning. This way you will catch the newest and most relevant developments.
3. Get exposure
New Year’s Resolution: Get as much work experience as you can! Build a realistic view of the profession through experience to become confident that it is the right choice for you.
The best way to learn about medicine and what being a doctor involves is to get exposure to it. Try to get work experience in any NHS setting you can, such as a GP, hospital, or community clinic.
Make sure to talk to healthcare professionals about what their job involves, and how a team works together to achieve the best outcome for a patient. Getting work experience can be quite difficult, but this isn’t the only way to find out about working in the medical field. Speak to anyone you know who works in the NHS or read a book by a health care professional about their experiences.
4. Stay on top of your academic and admission requirements
New Year’s Resolution: Make a plan or a timetable of revision, admissions tests, and interview prep and ensure you meet all of your deadlines.
Medicine has a lot more requirements that most other courses you could be applying for at university. Make sure you know when all of your deadlines are for applications and tests like the UCAT. Then make a timetable of when you want to start revising or preparing.
Many deadlines may occur around the same time, so it is a good idea to plan early to avoid stress down the line. This can also help you to avoid getting overwhelmed with the amount you need to do.
5. Make sure you have a work-life good balance
New Year’s Resolution: Look after yourself by making sure you still do the activities you enjoy.
It is so important that you have a work-life balance to keep yourself healthy and to stay motivated to study. Creating a work-life balance won’t get any easier at med school so it is important for your wellbeing that you get into good habits now.
Ensure that you keep doing the things you love. This might be playing for a sports team or playing a musical instrument. Or perhaps you really enjoy drawing or love to read for an hour each day. Keep doing the things you enjoy to take care of your wellbeing.
Also, make sure you get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet and drink enough water. Looking after your physical and mental health is the most important thing you can do this year.
Words: Safiya Zaloum
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