Since many of you are coming from various parts of the nation to begin your new studies, we thought we’d put together this booklet of information (and even some advice!) to help you settle in. We have thought back to our first year here to see what suggestions we have that may make your first year as enjoyable as possible. Here are some:
There is really no reason for you to feel unduly anxious. You are all capable and intelligent people or you wouldn’t be here. There also is little reason to compete with others, though you may understandably feel the urge to do so when you first begin. The important point is simply to learn as much as you can without worrying about how you are doing in comparison to others. If you compete, we suggest you compete only with yourself. In this medical school no one advances because of the failure of another!
Help One Another
The Committee on Admissions has selected friendly and compassionate people, so we think you will find your classmates both friendly and helpful. There are times in medical school when you will be depending on one another, such as when you give a dissection demonstration or transcribe a lecture for the class. You can learn a lot from your classmates, and they will learn from you. If you share with one another, you will learn a great deal more and enjoy yourself as well. The Freshman Support Groups (composed of a group of new students, a few sophomores and one or two faculty) can be a real help in your “settling” and feeling at home in Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
The faculty is also here to help you. They want to see you make it so talk with them. In the final analysis, it is difficult to “flunk out” of medical school if you take advantage of all the opportunities. There are special tutors and help sessions available.
Don’t feel frustrated if you are not learning everything. Never fear for most of the material in your first year will appear again (and again) in some other form later in medical school.
Life does not begin after medical school. Look after yourself as well. You will work hard in medical school but social and personal development must not stop. Discover activities that best enable you to relax, to enjoy life, and to put medical school in perspective. You will be a better person and a better doctor for it. Make a particular effort to get to know people in your class. They are good people, and you will find many of their concerns and anxieties similar to your own.
The most important point to remember is that YOU CAN DO IT! You wouldn’t have been accepted if you couldn’t. The work load and the new environment may seem a bit unsettling at first, but take it all in stride; it’ll soon seem part of the natural scheme of things. Make the most of it. There are a number of opportunities here, both academic and non-academic. Seek them out and take advantage of them.
Congratulations on your selection. We will enjoy having you with us this fall.