Vyzzle

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It's doable, varies from person to person. I'd say let M1 play out a little bit to see how you adjust to the courseload. Some people have LOADS of free time. Others are in the books like 12hrs a day (honestly these people in my limited experience usually are still struggling with class even with all this work put in, they typically aren't studying efficiently). You just need to be honest with yourself.

I did an SMP before M1 which definitely helped, so during pre-clin I worked 5-10+ hours a week, did clinical research, was apart of several clubs, worked out, went out on weekends, did my own thing, kept up with hobbies, etc. In general, there is a lot of time, especially if you know how to study efficiently. Quality over quantity.

I'd say pre-clin med school itself (lectures, PBLs, didactics, etc) was roughly ~30hrs a week. Less in the beginning of a block, more when exams came up. That's another ~80hrs in the waking week leftover.
 
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Cheeezcake

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It's doable, varies from person to person. I'd say let M1 play out a little bit to see how you adjust to the courseload. Some people have LOADS of free time. Others are in the books like 12hrs a day (honestly these people in my limited experience usually are still struggling with class even with all this work put in, they typically aren't studying efficiently). You just need to be honest with yourself.

I did an SMP before M1 which definitely helped, so during pre-clin I worked 5-10+ hours a week, did clinical research, was apart of several clubs, worked out, went out on weekends, did my own thing, kept up with hobbies, etc. In general, there is a lot of time, especially if you know how to study efficiently. Quality over quantity.

I'd say pre-clin med school itself (lectures, PBLs, didactics, etc) was roughly ~30hrs a week. That's another ~80hrs in the waking week leftover.

Oh wow, ~30 hours? I do hear most people ballpark M1 workload around ~35-40 hours a week, which isn't too bad. I guess the anxiety is really getting to me now that I'm only a couple weeks out. But thank you!
 
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Vyzzle

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Oh wow, ~30 hours? I do hear most people ballpark M1 workload around ~35-40 hours a week, which isn't too bad. I guess the anxiety is really getting to me now that I'm only a couple weeks out. But thank you!

It varies a lot for people. Can be ~30 for some, 40 for others, and even 50+ for others more.

For me I'd say it's 25-30 at the beginning of a block, 30-35 in the middle, 50-60 the week before exams.
 
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*This is assuming high school sports will go on this season*


Incoming M1 attending school in my hometown, and hoping to get involved with my old low-income high school. I'd, at the very least, like to show up once a week and mentor the kids in fball/college/life, even if its just showing up on Friday nights for games.

My problem is I'd also like to do research as an M1 (if possible with the pandemic). Could this be balanced? How many days a week could I coach without overloading myself?
I cannot recommend this unless you were an absolute Master of the Universe of time management. On the surface, it sounds like a recipe for disaster
 
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Is it not common for M1’s to manage balancing coursework with a research project and ~weekly volunteering?
no it's not common at all. When people say you will be drowning they aren't joking. Everyone thinks they will be the bomb until 12 200 slide powerpoints hit you per week. And you need to know word 3 on line 6 of powerpoint 4 slide 7.
 

PapaGuava

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As others have said, you should wait and see what time you would have outside of your studies, which will likely not be a lot of time. You wouldn't want to set yourself up for disaster at the beginning of M1 without knowing how much time you need for your classes. There would be no point of building extra things around your application if you don't have adequate time to learn the material/make the grades.
 
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esob

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Time requirements can vary from school to school. They also vary based on how efficient you are, learning style, and a host of other factors. The only people I know in medical school that have loads of free time are the ones cheating on the exams. Everyone else is pretty tapped out. There are a lot of boxes to check for residency just like there were applying to medical school, so community service is a good thing and most of us do something for a few hours per week. There are, however, times (such as the week before an exam) where you will realize that you only know about 50% of the material expected for the test (because your prof decided to include all of sketchy path on the midterm with 5 days notice) that you will have exactly zero hours leftover for anything other than minimal sleep. Thus, if the commitment requires you to be there no matter what, it probably isn't a good fit for a med student.
 

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There are a lot of boxes to check for residency just like there were applying to medical school, so community service is a good thing and most of us do something for a few hours per week.
Except the problem here is that this isn't really going to be something that checks off any boxes on the ole residency app--yeah, you can put it on your app and you might be able to talk about it at interviews, but it's not going to bolster your app in any way. If you're literally "just showing up on Friday nights" for the games, that isn't even something you can list on your app. When you're volunteering with a med student group (which I also honestly think is overrated), at least you're presumably making contacts with mentors within a field that you're potentially interested in, may get your foot in the door for research projects, etc.

That's not to say that EVERY SINGLE SECOND in med school needs to be about improving your residency application, but I strongly recommend against going out of your way during M1 to do activities that don't help your academic performance or your ultimate application. Speaking from experience, I tried to balance being involved some in my old church high school youth group and keep up with Taekwondo lesson in M1. I came darn close a couple of times to failing a class, and the trouble is you have no idea how far behind you are until you arrive at the week of the test and realize how much you haven't learned. My performance improved dramatically when I dropped those activities.
 

Cheeezcake

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it wouldn’t be to help my app in anyway, just to help the kids in my own community. But i understand, i’ll just focus on class for now and try to adjust
 

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it wouldn’t be to help my app in anyway, just to help the kids in my own community. But i understand, i’ll just focus on class for now and try to adjust
And that's great! But take the first semester to make sure you've got a handle on the curriculum, and if you're really ambitious then start some of those activities that actually CAN appear on your ultimate residency application. If it turns out you're doing great after the fall semester and you still have some time, then by all means help out in your local community.
 
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Is it not common for M1’s to manage balancing coursework with a research project and ~weekly volunteering?
No. Volunteering is for pre-meds, BTW. Most M1s are getting used to what med school is like.

Those that are VERY good at time mgt are able to do other things.
 

esob

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Except the problem here is that this isn't really going to be something that checks off any boxes on the ole residency app--yeah, you can put it on your app and you might be able to talk about it at interviews, but it's not going to bolster your app in any way. If you're literally "just showing up on Friday nights" for the games, that isn't even something you can list on your app. When you're volunteering with a med student group (which I also honestly think is overrated), at least you're presumably making contacts with mentors within a field that you're potentially interested in, may get your foot in the door for research projects, etc.

That's not to say that EVERY SINGLE SECOND in med school needs to be about improving your residency application, but I strongly recommend against going out of your way during M1 to do activities that don't help your academic performance or your ultimate application. Speaking from experience, I tried to balance being involved some in my old church high school youth group and keep up with Taekwondo lesson in M1. I came darn close a couple of times to failing a class, and the trouble is you have no idea how far behind you are until you arrive at the week of the test and realize how much you haven't learned. My performance improved dramatically when I dropped those activities.

So community service isn't helpful (for the application, ofc it's helpful for the community) or this activity wouldn't be considered community service?
 
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GoSpursGo

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So community service isn't helpful (for the application, ofc it's helpful for the community) or this activity wouldn't be considered community service?
I mean, to a certain extent everything is “helpful,” it’s just a matter of what you can spend your free time doing. At the end of the day, as you said, everyone has at least a few of these kinds of volunteering activities. Whether you’re doing one or doing four, probably doesn’t matter when someone is reviewing your app. Where it MIGHT help is at the interview, as these kinds of things outside of Med school will definitely come up and of course being an interesting person always helps. Additionally, if you have some sort of leadership position that obviously helps.

It’s hard for me to tell how formalized this activity would be. If he’s literally just showing up at the games, you can’t put that; if you’re showing up multiple times a week and formally coaching as he suggested, I think that’s a huge investment of time in something that isn’t medicine-related and is risky as an M1. If he is also interested in research I would strongly recommend picking one activity to start with, and at the end of the day research is always going to be more valuable both for residency apps and in your career
 
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deleted1005514

Oh wow, ~30 hours? I do hear most people ballpark M1 workload around ~35-40 hours a week, which isn't too bad. I guess the anxiety is really getting to me now that I'm only a couple weeks out. But thank you!
I would say this varies a lot between schools. If you’re at an MD school with NBME exams, no mandatory anything and true P/F grading, then 30-40 hours a week would be reasonable. If you’re at a DO school with in house exams, mandatory attendance and letter grading, you could be looking at upwards of 20 hours a week just in classes & labs, so a 30 hour a week total commitment isn’t realistic in that scenario.
 
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EmilKraepelin55

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I would say this varies a lot between schools. If you’re at an MD school with NBME exams, no mandatory anything and true P/F grading, then 30-40 hours a week would be reasonable. If you’re at a DO school with in house exams, mandatory attendance and letter grading, you could be looking at upwards of 20 hours a week just in classes & labs, so a 30 hour a week total commitment isn’t realistic in that scenario.
I’m at a school like this. For me during semester 1, it was 60 - 70 hr weeks, 50 - 60 hr weeks in semester 2, and about 40 - 50 hr weeks in M2. It dilutes so much because if you maintain a certain minimum letter grade for certain classes then you don’t have to go to them.
 
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I have a classmate who coached girls basketball while still keeping up well with school! What you need is a good balance! You cannot study every second of medical school. If this is what brings happiness to you then dedicate some time to it. But it cant be everyday. My classmate did 1-2 days a week and for less than 10 hours combined I think.
 
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I worked as a (paid) instructor for one of my hobbies for a bit during 1st year. It was manageable and fun for a while, but did require some sacrifices, and I eventually gave it up. It wasn't the hours exactly that were the issue (I still kept up the hobby for multiple hours a week after I stopped instructing, on top of clinical volunteering and research), but the lack of flexibility when you're in a position of responsibility can be burdensome - you're expected to show up, and can't bail last minute to study.

I don't think it's at all unreasonable to want to participate in something like this, especially if you're just helping out here and there and you establish expectations that you need to prioritize studying over volunteering (aka, they aren't relying on you to be the main coach, so you can bail if you need to). I do agree that it's a good idea to feel it out for the first few weeks of school to see what your workload is like before committing to anything.

I also think it's worth noting that the trade off isn't always studying vs. volunteering. At least at my school, many students maintain relatively active social lives up until about the middle/end of 2nd year (as people retreat into their Step caves). Many of them would be out at a bar or having game night with friends on a Friday night anyway, and this is what you might be sacrificing to go to the football game, rather than strictly study time only.

I know my perspective is different than many in that I was willing to sacrifice a lot to keep up my outside activities, but I really don't think I have "god-tier" time management skills (if anything, i'm an extraordinary procrastinator). Med school absolutely needs to be taken seriously, but there are many ways to prioritize your life, and you have to choose what works for you.
 
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