I am a really introverted and shy person, so I do not mix around with students from other medical school much. But I really need help and opinion on whether I should continue my studies in this medical school. Please help me! Currently, I am about to begin 3rd year in UK.
In this medical school, we touch on every medical subjects (anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, etc) during every block (GI, Cardio, MSK, etc.) since Year 1. We cover about more than 10 subjects and our lectures are from 9am-5am every week. In just a year, we cover all blocks from MSK-UG at once, including clinical aspects. Other medical students from other schools are always surprised when they hear about our spiral curriculum and say "How do you study everything at once?".
I have also always found the lectures and powerpoint slides very unhelpful. With so much content to cover during each block, our lecturers often rush through their lectures and do not explain the basic concepts clearly. My auditory skills are not bad, but I am unable to retain so much information given during those few hours. It's always as though I'm learning the material for the 1st time again whenever I go home. This means that the only way to understand the material is to self-study. The second problem is that the lecture slides are awful too. We can have 80 slides just for a lecture and a 20-page words-heavy booklet about anatomy for a lecture. With so little time to grasp the full picture using these longwinded materials during lectures, I feel like I'm always just highlighting or jotting down the main points without actually retaining any information in my head. Usually, it's impossible to even highlight the main points because our lecturers/slides do not emphasise on what's important. We also do not have any past year papers.**
**I read that the solution to all this is to pre-read before every lecture or to stop going to lectures and self-study. But there's just not enough hours in a day to do it, let alone pre-read a subject before every lecture. The worst part is that we aren't even ALLOWED to skip lectures for our self-study.
The teachers are very unsupportive and many of them do not know how to explain things at our level. I don't ask any questions or go to the teachers for any help because it's a waste of time as I always end up even more confused than before.
Next, I would like to talk about the exams. As a very shy person, the examiners often mark me down for my nervous or "unconfident" appearance during OSCEs. It's also impossible for me to get top marks because I am not able to form a rapport with patients. I find this UNFAIR as I have always recited and performed the examinations perfectly according to the videos and checklist. There were also many times when I was not given any marks at all because the examiners did not understand my accent. But when I insisted that I have done it during the feedback meeting, there's no way for the lecturers to do anything about it because there's no proof for it (our OSCEs are not video recorded).
Finally, I would like to talk about the environment. Ever since I stepped into this school, I was not able to fit in with the other students who were so much more extroverted and outspoken than me. I was completely ignored and still am. I am introverted, but I want to have friends. There's not one person that I can count on in this medical school because many of them are so self-centred. People often approach me only out of pity because I'm seen alone. I don't bother going out for class outings because it would make feel even more ignored. My social anxiety has increased over the past 2 years and I find that I want to isolate myself more. Basically, a fish out of water.
I feel like my confidence is decreasing ever since I started medical school as they are always forcing me to be the extroverted person I am not (they mark me as having "poor language" during small group discussions when I am fully competent in English). I find it difficult to speak up in group discussions, and teachers have even threatened me with a red card before. Naturally, I found myself even more nervous to speak up.
I'm already going to be in my 3rd year, but I feel like my medical knowledge is worse than a first year. I have been so unmotivated because of the pressure and uncomfortable environment that I was not diligent in my studies at all. My understanding for the basic concepts are so poor, but I somehow managed to pass each exam with a borderline pass.
And now, 3rd year will start soon. I know I should turn a new leaf and start studying from scratch. But I know that I won't have the time as we'll be so busy. I want to start anew in a new school where I can properly understand my subjects, but I don't know whether I should. Am I just not cut out to be a doctor because I'm not outspoken or extroverted or able to form a rapport with patients? Is this really how a normal medical school is? Is it a must for doctors to possess such personalities?
Thank you for reading and all opinions are welcomed.