First Year

Explore Family Medicine

Use this year to begin your exploration of family medicine as possible career. Attend our career seminar series and Family Medicine Interest Group events, consider a preceptorship, find mentors and network through regional and national academy involvement, and familiarize yourself with opportunities in Family Medicine for research, leadership, and honors/scholarships.

Welcome to Medical School!

Starting medical school can be both exciting and daunting - there is so much to learn in so little time! The amount of learning expected in medical school is a little like having someone turn on a fire hydrant and asking you to drink every single drop of water. It's only water, so it is usually pretty easy to drink, but there is so much of it that no one can get every last drop.

In order to be as successful as possible it is important to develop good study skills. This means different things for different people, as everyone learns differently. Figure out how you learn best - this may take some trial and error. Take advantage of your learning style to master material efficiently. If study groups work, then use them. If listening to lectures again helps, then do that. If something is not working, stop doing it. This may seem obvious, but many students get trapped in study groups or study patterns that aren't helping them learn the material.

Once you figured out your learning style and are in a good routine, keep a few other things in mind. Make sure you review tests from previous years if they are available - material is often repeated. You will hear the adage "see one, do one, teach one" in medical school often. The take home point from this saying is that if you can "teach one" to another student, be it a skill or some complicated physiology, then you probably have a good grasp of the material. Make sure to take breaks while studying, but DO NOT MULTI-TASK. If you try to do many things at once you'll just end up getting nothing accomplished.

Cultivate a school-life balance. You'll often be more efficient at learning if you take time to recharge your battery though your own hobbies or with friends and family than if you just keep plowing through. Also consider getting involved in some of the many extra-curricular activities at UW.

Finally, if you need help, please ask for it. No one gets through medical school alone and we have many resources available for students.