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8 Essential Skills To Thrive In Medical School

Choosing to go to a medical school or at least the choice of working in the field of medicine is indeed a noble profession that’s hard to commit to nowadays because of the global pandemic we’re facing. In a world with an unseen threat of a pandemic, medical knowledge and skills have become more relevant than ever. Medical students like you will be the ones who will spearhead the medical field and lead the world in the battle it faces against COVID-19. 

You may face even harder challenges now because of the world situation. Resources for learning have become limited, studying now is no longer as interactive as it used to be due to online classes, and the way you interact with your peers will change for the unforeseeable future. Still, if you’ve chosen to pursue this path as difficult as it may be, you surely have the strength inside you to become an outstanding medical professional.

However, a student is a blank canvas that is yet to be painted with the hues of knowledge and experience. For you to succeed and make the most of your time in medical school, you have to learn and persevere through every moment in your journey. 

Table of Contents

8 Essential Skills To Thrive In Medical School

The medical field has never been an easy choice, and it won’t be any easier with a pandemic to hold you back. In this time of struggle, a little help from others will surely go a long way. Learn more here the right set of 8 skills and be equipped with the proper way to study in medical school.

1. Commitment

Commitment is one of the most essential principles of success. It’s a powerful skill because it has a large impact on how you’ll think and act. On the way to achieving a goal that’s worthwhile, there’ll be numerous challenges you’ll undoubtedly have to face. When roadblocks occur, it’s very easy to lose faith in yourself. However, staying committed will give you the drive to keep on going. No matter how many books you read, you won’t be able to achieve the success you desire if you’re not committed. 

To be able to succeed in medical school, you need more than just the drive to try things. Changing plans without giving much thought whenever you encounter an obstacle won’t get you very far. You need to be committed to your plans and the process to strive through the many obstacles that you’ll face along the way. Commitment isn’t about waiting for the right time to act – it’s about believing that you made the right choice and pushing through with it.

2. Resilience

Medical school has never really been easy, considering how important the field of medicine is. Everyone has their own battles and struggles, and oftentimes, things don’t go according to the plans that you’ve set up. In hard times, resilience is one’s best friend. In any journey, there’ll be ups and downs. You have to find the strength to push through and the power to face the obstacle in front of you. Just like a spring, one must be able to bounce back from a low point and soar to greater heights. You can’t always be at rock-bottom; especially if other people’s lives are on the line. 

As a medical student, you’ve made the choice to play your part in bettering the lives of the people around you. No matter how rough the path is, you won’t be the only one affected. Your choices and actions will impact the lives of your future patients. By being resilient, you’re keeping your head up not only for yourself but for also the people who are under your care. With the strength, you can find deep within, don’t let anything stop you from pursuing the path you’ve chosen.

3. Integrity

Integrity is defined as being truthful and adhering to strong moral beliefs. As such, it’s essential in the medical industry. Being truthful, first of all, is simply one of the most important qualities you’ll need in the medical field. One can’t lie or be inaccurate about the condition of their patient, no matter what the condition of the patient is. The smallest detail that is overlooked or not brought up in a medical discussion can be a crucial detail. Even outside of the medical field, having a strong sense of truth is something everyone must strive for. 

As a medical student, a proper sense of moral integrity is simply a must. As a student and as a future medical practitioner, one must be able to act and make decisions with the well-being of the patient in mind. You’ll have to make decisions that others may disagree with, which is why you’ll have to check your morals and make the decisions that you believe are right. Your moral beliefs must remain steady as stone. You can’t be shaken by a bad situation, because the patient and their family will rely on you for the right decision. 

4. Communication

Communication skills are essential in any field of work. From a client to a seller, a senior to a subordinate, and a doctor with their patient. A patient is always going to rely on their nurse or doctor. Oftentimes, patients will be confused because they’ll be in an unfamiliar place. It’s your job to guide them and ease their worries, which is where proper communication comes in. You need to be able to properly convey the patient’s condition without giving them a cause for worry. Even if their condition is serious, you have to help them see the silver lining and always look at the bright side. 

Proper communication is also a requirement in working with your colleagues. A medical procedure is almost always a team effort, and any good team has proper communication within their group. Anything you say and anything that’s said to you must be crystal clear in order for the team to perform their tasks efficiently and correctly. Poor communication can mean overlooking seemingly minor details, not speaking in a loud and clear manner, not treating colleagues with respect, and many more. Communication skills are essential in life, for they allow you to properly convey your feelings, ideas, and views to the people you’re with.

5. Decision-making

Decision-making is a skill that’s important in any situation in one’s life and work. Though sometimes you don’t notice it, you make several thousand decisions every day to the point where some of them seem to be second nature already. Since decision-making is such an integral part of your daily life, it’s no surprise that it’s the same in the medical field. 

Decision-making as a medical practitioner, whether as a doctor or a nurse, is a skill one must be able to do properly no matter the circumstances. You may be placed in a situation where you’ll have to make a quick decision while examining a patient’s condition. In such cases, time is of the essence. You’ll be asked to make the right decision while performing an accurate examination of the patient. 

As a future medical practitioner, there’ll be scenarios where time isn’t on your side. Your decision-making skills must always be sharp and correct. As much as possible, mistakes must be avoided since patients will entrust their well-being to you. Always strive to make the right choice – from both a medical and moral standpoint.

6. Time Management

Time management refers to the ability to efficiently and properly allocate tasks to accomplish everything within a given amount of time. Effective time management is a necessity for both medical students and practitioners. As a student, studying and taking what you’ve learned to the heart is one of your greatest priorities. 

Being able to properly distribute your tasks for effective learning should be what’s on your mind. While you’re still a student, the years where you’re learning will shape you into the medical practitioner you dream to be. Even when you become a medical practitioner in the future, proper time management skills will prove to be useful in your chosen field. Being able to properly manage your time will lead to increased productivity and performance, being able to meet deadlines comfortably, and achieving goals faster. 

Remember that a key part of proper time management is to break down the task into smaller ones, prioritize them in an efficient order, and consider how you can properly and correctly execute those tasks. There’s so much time you have in your hands, and it’s up to you to make it all worth it.

7. Teamwork

Great teamwork is the foundation of any team that does its job well. With proper teamwork, tasks can be delegated and performed with efficiency, the quality of work to be produced is of higher quality, and the group works with one another like a puzzle that fits perfectly. 

In the medical field, the interprofessional collaboration will be a common occurrence. You’ll encounter scenarios where other groups or departments aside from your own will participate in your activities. When it comes to treating a patient, there’ll be times where your department is not enough. Treating a patient isn’t always dependent on a single department, but on multiple departments or groups who are striving towards a common goal: the betterment of the patient. 

Teamwork can be compared to a human body, where every part of it is a medical department working to get the entire body working. Every department plays its part to contribute to the patient’s diagnosis, and every involved department must work in harmony for the recovery of the patient. With proper teamwork, the group learns to work as a single solid unit that works together and moves in one direction.

8. Leadership

Leadership, although seemingly not for everyone, is a skill that all medical students should at least strive to learn. Even as a doctor or a nurse, some form of leadership will be expected of you. If, for example, medical emergencies cause the hospital to be understaffed, you may be called upon to make decisions regarding a patient’s well-being. At such a time, being able to instruct others on what to do will be invaluable. 

A decision you make can greatly affect the condition of a patient and being able to properly lead those around you can steer you towards the best outcome for your patient. A good leader can motivate those around them to make a goal or plan a reality. Even if you feel that you’re not qualified to be a leader, it’s not wrong to strive to become a better leader. This may even lead to other opportunities for you, as the output of a good leader can be seen by those around them. For example, even doctors are sometimes called upon to assist in making administrative decisions. Although not exactly in their field of work, the leadership and capabilities they have shown are enough to demonstrate what they can do.

Leading the Way Forward

There’s no doubt that the medical journey you’ll take isn’t going to be easy. Much like any profession, it’ll require the commitment to double down on the choices you’ve made. There’s no room for you to doubt or second-guess yourself. You can’t charge forward if there’s hesitation in your steps. 

Don’t forget that learning is more than just cramming textbooks into your memory. While having plenty of knowledge in your field will prove to be most beneficial, it’s a lot more than just that. You must learn to build rapport with your patients, form a solid foundation with your team and colleagues, and develop a strong sense of morality and integrity. All these qualities must go hand in hand for you and your team to provide the best healthcare you possibly can.

Ultimately, that’s what the medical field is all about. The welfare of your patients and humanity as a whole is what any healthcare professional must keep in mind. This is something you must consider as early as your learning years as a medical student. As a future medical professional, you’ll work towards the well-being and interest of others – and that’s a wonderful thing. You have made the right choices to get to where you are standing right now. Whether you want to become a doctor, a nurse, or some other medical professional, you can now hold your head high with a new perspective on how to thrive in medical school.

Medical & Clinical Administration Diploma
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December 8, 2021

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