Getting Into the Routine

Stephanie, Second Year Medical StudentOne of my favorite things that I have been able to do while in medical school is talk with younger students who are interested in going into medicine.  I LOVE answering questions, trying to calm fears, and just sharing what my experience has been (hence my agreeing to do a blog about medical school 🙂 ).  That being said, I am ALWAYS asked what my schedule is like (and I am well aware that my family is reading this and that they are wondering if I truly work as hard as I make it seem)…..so since I am fully back into the swing of things and the routine that is medical school (for me) I thought I would share a sample of my schedule.

Before I do that, however, I want to take a moment to explain the rather unique circumstances that I find myself in.  Every medical student has a unique home-life situation and I am always amazed by what we are able to work with while trying to get all our studying in!  For me, first of all I am married (not that unique in itself of course).  HOWEVER, my husband currently works at least 50 hours a week (which does include most Saturday mornings) and is also an MBA student at a local college.  That means all the house work, the grocery shopping, laundry, and errands need to get done (typically) by my – my husband tries his hardest but leaving for work at 7 am and returning closer to 6:30 pm doesn’t give him much availability.  In addition, we have pets – a dog (Addison) and a cat (Blaze) :).  They are great but of course take work.  And finally, we have one of my closest friends living with us (this part of our lives is more of a blessing and help than adding extra stress but it’s still something that has an impact on my schedule).  So now onto the schedule of a second year medical student:

Mornings:  4-4:30 am wake up for either a 4 mile run with our dog, mini-pilates work out, and some other work-out stuff OR a 1 mile walk with the dog and a 9 mile run on my own (done once a week to stay in shape for running half marathons hopefully sometime soon!).  6:45 am breakfast with my husband (VERY important to me to be able to enjoy meals with my husband).  8 am – 12 pm various lectures.

12 – 1 pm LUNCH break!

Afternoons/evenings:  1 – 5:30 pm various labs and/or studying.  5:30 pm make supper (eat at 6:30 pm or so).  7 – 9 pm study OR enjoy some relaxation time with my husband (depends on what he needs to get done for school or if I have finished going through the day’s lectures – and I usually have by this point because of focused studying).  9 pm BED TIME (when you get up at 4 am, this is VERY necessary!).

Fridays I take the afternoon “off” to clean the house and Saturday I spend ALL day (sometimes up to 8-10 hours) studying over everything we covered for the week.  Sundays are my day off (for real this time) for some worship, relaxation, and down time with my husband.  And THAT is what a week looks like in my life right now.  It’s a bit crazy but it’s good and it works for our family.  Medical school does obviously require a lot of studying but I have found that taking the time to really plan out how I’m spending all my time makes it so I can still enjoy spending time with those I love (and I truly believe that is the key that everyone needs to figure out for themselves).

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About Stephanie McDearmon

I am currently a fourth year medical student looking forward to entering residency in Family Medicine next year. I grew up in a small town in northwestern Illinois (Morrison) and have relocated to Southern California with my husband for the four years of medical school but plan to move back to the Midwest soon (aka for residency)! Some of the hobbies that I enjoy the most are spending time with my husband and our pets (a dog, Addison, and a cat, Blaze), dancing, running, and cooking.