Life as a Medical Student

By Fariha Hafiz

For years I’ve heard about myths, lies and tales about Medical school. Until after November 2014, that I started sipping the sweetness and sourness of it, I realized the real truth that I never knew.

For any student, just like I was years back, aspiring to go into the medical field. The tales I’ve heard kept ringing in my head

*You have to be smart to survive it
*Your social life is over!!!
*Medical school is so competitive
*All-Nighters are the new normal etc.

November 2014, I left for school, loaded with so much zeal, excitement and determination. Nevertheless, I was nervous and anxious, too, for the tales I’ve heard remained so green in my mind.
“What if I’m not good enough.”
“what if I meet so many bright students? What if I turn into the dummy of the class.”

All these ‘What if’s’ have turned into a story to tell. Today, after so many years in medical school, I can say that the lion’s share of those stories I heard are false.

Let me break it down for you.


I’ve known so many intelligent mates who couldn’t survive to this time. A large number of BIG BRAINS struggle to keep up. I’ve come to realize that all it takes is a bit of maths!

A bit/big smartness + determination + passion + hard work +persistency + prayer= surviving Med school

*Social life is over!

I might not be the typical social girl or the party girl, but I’m so big into my Instagram. I do most of my writings, express myself, and make beautiful, inspiring connections.
Medicine has not stopped me, but it made me realize a Math formula for my social life:

Balance + Prioritization + Planning =Efficiency

More so, I’ve learnt a great deal of medical knowledge, and I’ve built a network of medical friends on Instagram.

*Medical School is so competitive

Yes! But it’s not a ‘Do or Die’ Affair.

It’s competitive in my early medical years, but as time goes by, teamwork and cooperation develop. Notes, ideas and solutions to clinical cases were discussed among colleagues. After all, we are all in this journey of saving lives. My classmates are so matured, and we work collectively to help each other.

*All-Night study is what medical students do

Haha Absolutely No! One of the tips to surviving medical school is knowing yourself and what’s the best study style that fits you.
Some are all-nighters, and others prefer early cold morning brain cracking. We all are different in our unique ways. Do you know the study habit that works best for you yet?

Think about it for a while.

Reading through a book called THINK BIG by the famous neurosurgeon; Mr Ben Carson, I came across the acrostic, which summarizes his rules for success.

T Talent
H honesty
I insight
N nice
K knowledge
B books
I In-depth knowledge
G God

Let me add hard work, passion, persistence & balance.

Personally, Medicine has been a beautiful journey, unique and puzzling! I love the physiology of the body the most, and I can never get tired of discussing pathophysiology with passionate, like-minded souls. The human body is a miracle.

Nevertheless, With all my love for Medicine, I still have a huge interest in Agriculture, activism, public speaking, writing, as well as deep talks with amazing personalities, Religion/culture and how we are all interconnected. You can do a lot outside Medicine, you don’t have to lose your skills and talents, but balance is the key!

Medicine has shaped me for who I am today. I’m so grateful I’ll get to save thousands of lives through my profession. Thinking of that alone makes me smile!

Hope you get into something that makes you smile too.