For four years, medical students are working towards one goal and that is to get into the residency and specialty of their choice. 4th year is typically spent on preparing for applications, taking a big exam, and interviewing at different places. This is very similar to premed students who prepare for the MCAT, apply to medical schools, and wait for interviews during their fourth year. The culmination of your medical school career is on a day called “Match Day” when all 4th year medical students find out which residency program they “matched” or got accepted to. The difference between matching into a residency program and getting accepted to a medical school is that you match into only one program. With medical schools, you can get accepted into more than one (although some of us are happy with just one school).
Interviews Will Never End
I remember thinking that I only had to worry about interviews for medical school and that if I could get through Medical School interviews then I would be good for life. Well I was definitely wrong. You will be interviewing for the rest of your life for medical school, residency, fellowship, and jobs in general. This isn’t to scare you away from medicine if you think you aren’t good at interviews. The point is, start getting good at interviewing and become comfortable with it. Right now is the best time to practice because the more you do them, the better you will become.
Tests Will Never End
I honestly had no idea that I would take so many “big” and “important” tests like the MCAT. I knew I would take a bunch of tests but what I wish someone had told me during undergrad was to take time to become really good at taking tests. There are many students in my class who sometimes do not know the information as well as I do but will score better than me because they take tests better than I do. Undergrad is the best time to explore test-taking classes and new strategies so that when you begin medical school you are awesome at taking exams.
Long and Annoying Applications Will Never End
Filling out applications and writing personal statements have an art associated with them. It takes a lot of organizational skills and preparation to plan for writing all of your applications. Learn to develop good techniques early rather than later.