Third-year is one of the most taxing times in medical school for most students. It is time to step out of the lecture halls and work your way with patients in a medical setting on the hospital wards.
This time you’ll need to put in your knowledge on real people, and a transformation is coming your way as you transition from being a novice to a medical professional who’s almost a doctor. This transformation in the third year can be quite overwhelming or challenging if you have not meticulously planned and strategized, given that you will also have to think of your residency programs and prepare for them.
Read this article to get some handy tips for finishing your third year in medical school that most accredited Caribbean medical schools will swear by.
1. Start ERAS application (for residency) early
The best way to start your year is by preparing for your ERAS application as early as possible because it requires quite a good deal of work which might cause stress later if not meticulously strategised. In truth, it takes longer than one anticipates so it is only practical to get working on it. The application process requires data and information which is time-consuming but does not require much thinking.
Applications for ERAS, or residency program, starts early in July, 3 months prior to the time in mid-September when applications start coming. This timeline was altered during the coronavirus pandemic and is likely to return to what it was in the coming days.
A good tip for you is– open and maintain a spreadsheet documenting each and every program (extracurricular, research programs, leadership ) etc. This will help you stay organised and be much easier to remember and compile later.
2. Start thinking about Step 2 CK scheduling.
Planning and organisation is key to winning in medical school, more so in your third year. Start planning for your Step 2 – CK and schedule it on a date that makes the most practical sense. There is no one right way to prepare for Step 2 but it is worth taking 4 to 5 weeks off in between your clinical rotations and dedicating that to your studies. To perform drastically better, it’s ideal to thoroughly review your test prep resources at least twice.
Plan and execute. Don’t just keep waiting, go and register for the examination. Schedule it, and now you have the date. This date will now allow you to plan your travelling (if any) or other liabilities from beforehand.
3. Work on letters of recommendation and personal statement
Third-year in med school is the high time you start preparing for your recommendation letters. This is the time to showcase your skills and get recognised by your instructors. Take the opportunity to request for and obtain highly personalised and quality letters of recommendation from the attending physicians you have worked under. The sooner you have your letters arranged and placed in order, the sooner you will be able to relax and focus most of your energy on studying.
Start today and organise your year ahead to help you navigate this phase seamlessly.
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