I don't know where to post this, but I'm a DMS student and there are a few things I wish someone had told me coming in. DMS doesn't do a very good job of connecting prospective/incoming students with upper classes, so if you are considering or accepting an offer here, feel free to IM me. 1) LIVE IN NORTH PARK. I can't stress this enough. There aren't very many spots at North Park, so you have to sign on really early, but it's ridiculously cheap and nice for it's location, and the students who live there tend to bond in a way that the rest of the class just doesn't. By week 2 my class had divided into "North Parkers" and everyone else. If you can't get a place at North Park, live on campus, and live WITH other medical students (either other 1st years, or 2nd years - not 3rd or 4th years, you'll never see them and they won't be around to help you integrate.) 2) You'll get some form in the mail asking you what kind of experience you want for On Doctoring (shadowing a local doc every other week.) Pick family practice. Even if you know you're going to be a neurosurgeon or a pediatrician, pick family practice. The On Doctoring course is designed around having you in a primary care clinic. You will have assignments to write up things like sexual histories, or to do motivational interviewing on alcohol abuse. If you pick pediatrics or some specialty, you won't be able to complete these assignments. You'll also feel totally lost when you get to the OSCE (end of year evaluation) because you'll have never seen the kind of case you're presented with. 3) Buy a microscope. This isn't a big deal like the first two tips, but we all end up paying $230 a year for the first 2 years to rent an Olympus CH-2. You can buy one on Ebay for $300-$400 and then sell it after two years for the same amount you paid for it. Med school is expensive enough. There's no need to pay more than you have to. 4) If you don't have a car yet, wait to get one. When you're signed up for On Doctoring, they take into account whether or not you have a car. If you have one, they'll send you out to a clinic up to an hour and a half away. Many students end up driving three hours round-trip for a total of two hours shadowing. If you don't have a car, they'll find you a doctor that's local (e.g. you can take the free bus to.) Also, finding housing if you want to live downtown is very difficult/expensive if you have a car. The bus is free, goes everywhere, and runs every 15 minutes (depending on where you're headed.) Most people want a car for 3rd year, but don't feel like you need to get one for 1st year. 5) If you don't have something great going on during the first week of August, sign up for their "review course." I forget what they called it, but they billed it as some kind of free weeklong session for students who think they might need a little extra help, or for those who have been out of school for a while. The people who went to this course had a lot of free time to check out the town together, get to know one another, set up their new apartments, meet the faculty in a more one-on-one way, and generally "settle in." The rest of us scrambled to do all of that during orientation, and started the year off completely frazzled and overwhelmed. 6) Orientation is a waste of your time. You need to show up to three things - the white coat fitting on day 1 (so you get a white coat that fits,) the vaccination clinic (scheduled just after they do some kind of presentation about the student health plan,) and the financial aid session (if you are getting any kind of aid or loans.) Joe O'Donnell's speech is also worth going to, but only for the entertainment value. The rest of orientation is a complete waste of your time, and now that you're in medical school, you really can't afford to waste your time. 7) Don't buy your books. At least not right away. The notes that are handed out are copious and complete, and most people never end up using their texts except as a back-up resource. This isn't like undergrad where you are going to be tested on the readings. You can always read or photocopy the texts on reserve (you get something like $50 a semester in free photocopies.) If you do buy books, go ahead and get old editions. That's it for now. I'm sure I will come up with other things. Maybe other DMS students will post as well.