May 16, 2020
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Hello! I will be an incoming MS1 next fall and I am very interested in dermatology as a potential route for residency. I am also interested in internal medicine (to go about rheumatology route) and surgery, so derm is for sure not what i want to pursue but it is high up on my list. Obviously this is a very hard residency to pursue in terms of competition, so I was wondering if anyone has any advice to how I should start of my first year of medical school? I have a lot of research experience, so should I jump right into that and look into dermatology related projects? I will also be potentially pursuing a MD/MPH as well as a bilingual health track they offer at the school I will be potentially attending. Should i look for a dermatology mentor? I know having connections is huge, as this field is small and having good LORs can have an impact. Any advice or tips will be greatly appreciated :)
 
Nov 12, 2020
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Start with your study strategy/skills. Get keeping up with the volume figured out first, you can always add in research in the second semester.
 
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PhillyMed777

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Agree with the above
It’s ok to be interested in Derm, but don’t overly fixate. Concentrate on being the best medical student first. And yes maybe after getting your feet firmly on the ground, you can think about finding a mentor.
 
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Start with your study strategy/skills. Get keeping up with the volume figured out first, you can always add in research in the second semester.
Agreed. There's nothing wrong with jumping into research, etc. quickly, but I've seen many of my classmates commit to too many things too quickly in the first semester and end up overwhelmed because they didn't pace themselves. Wade into the pool, don't cannonball.
 
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stickgirl390

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And don’t take the above advice to mean “don’t worry about match so early on, you can worry about that later”

The above advice IS the right path to match successfully later on.
 
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Kracin

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Start with school, and give yourself some time to get a sense of what research is out there.

I can count several of my friends who jumped into the first research opportunity they found -- and have ended up on a chart review that is going to take 2 years to complete. It is better to hang back, identify a possible mentor who is Productive, and then reach out.
 
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PapaGuava

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Agreed. There's nothing wrong with jumping into research, etc. quickly, but I've seen many of my classmates commit to too many things too quickly in the first semester and end up overwhelmed because they didn't pace themselves. Wade into the pool, don't cannonball.
This @AlturaAmor. Also, make sure you have your study habits down and adjust them if need be as you move forward.
 
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Med Ed

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so I was wondering if anyone has any advice to how I should start of my first year of medical school?
Having dealt with many brand new medical students over the years, in fact I do.

Your primary goals at the outset of medical school are twofold:
1. Start to build a social network with classmates
2. Focus on performing well on your exams

If you come out of the gate wanting to do everything at once, there is a risk of becoming, shall we say, distracted. Your studies come first and foremost, and working with the right group of peers is invaluable.

I have seen many instances of would-be hotshots who start school asking for the nearest derm or ortho lab. Four months later they are in the third quartile and their career goals have shifted. Conversely, I have seen many students with modest premedical credentials do extremely well. At this point no one knows how you will differentiate academically in medical school. Until that happens, just put one foot in front of the other and take care of business on the tests. The second semester is a good time to start contemplating research and specialty mentors.
 
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PhillyMed777

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1. Start to build a social network with classmates
Very true as well.
I worked so hard to get into derm, it still hurts to this date. If you don't focus on your social network you may regret all the work very quickly.
You will drift farther away from friends who don't go into medicine. What you really need are excellent friends in medical school. They become friends for a lifetime. You don't need to be the most popular person around town, but don't forget you are a human being. Put in the time to develop several good friendships.
 
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Goro

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Hello! I will be an incoming MS1 next fall and I am very interested in dermatology as a potential route for residency. I am also interested in internal medicine (to go about rheumatology route) and surgery, so derm is for sure not what i want to pursue but it is high up on my list. Obviously this is a very hard residency to pursue in terms of competition, so I was wondering if anyone has any advice to how I should start of my first year of medical school? I have a lot of research experience, so should I jump right into that and look into dermatology related projects? I will also be potentially pursuing a MD/MPH as well as a bilingual health track they offer at the school I will be potentially attending. Should i look for a dermatology mentor? I know having connections is huge, as this field is small and having good LORs can have an impact. Any advice or tips will be greatly appreciated :)
Read this:
 
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Dr. Anonymouss

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I can second a lot of this advice. I am in pursuit of a competitive specialty so I tried jumping into research from day 1 and it backfired. I got severely stressed out and had to back off. You have to learn to keep your head above the water in medical school before you can take on anything else. Don’t assume medical school is anything like undergrad because it isn’t, it will suck up all your time and energy. Only when you have solidified your study strategies and can maintain your grades should you consider extracurriculars. I would strongly reccomend holding off on research until the spring of your first year at the earliest.
 
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