• Livestream AMA: Join SDN as we welcome Dr. John Ligon, a Pediatric Oncologist with the National Cancer Institute on May 11th at 8:00 PM Eastern. Register now!

Hardest year of med school?

  • First Year

    Votes: 42 36.5%
  • Second Year

    Votes: 47 40.9%
  • Third Year

    Votes: 26 22.6%
  • Fourth Year

    Votes: 3 2.6%

  • Total voters
    115

nope80

Resident
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2004
1,094
6
Status (Visible)
I've heard so many mixed things and wonder what the majority think is the hardest year of med school?
 

WellWornLad

10+ Year Member
Feb 5, 2008
1,088
33
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Might be a better poll for the residents' section. Those who have lived through all the years have probably moved on.
 
About the Ads

BigRedBeta

Why am I in a handbasket?
10+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2007
1,505
1,028
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Overall, 1st year was the most difficult and the most miserable. But my absolute nadir in the whole process was around the first week of February in 2nd year...still 6 weeks away from spring break, it's cold/dark, been dealing with all the BS for over 18 months. You know that you're well along through the classroom work, but you've got Step 1 prep staring you right in the face when the official classwork is done...talk about depressing.
 

mTOR

10+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2007
572
4
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
So far I'm REALLY getting rocked by 2nd year. :(
 

PeepshowJohnny

10+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2007
1,958
10
Earth
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
For me, third year. I worked damn hard second year but it was on my own time and schedule. Third year, which I still enjoyed, means giving up control of your schedule and life to a great degree and by the end it was driving me batty.
 

Blesbok

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 27, 2007
1,369
6
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
2 year by far.

At least 3rd year you get to learn by application and between shelves there is a few weeks of downtime before ramping up the studying again.
 

tacrum43

Behold the mighty echidna
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 19, 2004
3,130
3
38
Seattle, WA
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I voted for 2nd year, but then I haven't had surgery yet during 3rd year...

I thought 2nd year was the most academically demanding and going into 3rd year with very little vacation after studying and taking Step 1 sucked. However, I did like that your schedule was much more your own during 1st and 2nd years. On the more difficult rotations 3rd year where you're on Q4 call, it feels like you basically live in the hospital.
 

Ashers

Bacteria? Don't exist.
10+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2006
5,260
13
Land of Entrapment
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
M3.

I was miserable most days (except on 2 rotations), yet I still had to be enthusiastic and put on the show of "Oh yes, even though I'm probably going to go into some other non-related specialty and I'm working my butt off on this rotation, I don't mind you making fun of my choice every day," or "I love running your patient notes all over the hospital while you eat a donut."

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind joking or doing some scut, but I had some absolutely miserable times last year that I never want to repeat, and I wouldn't wish them on anyone. There were also some decent times when other specialties tailored parts of their rotation to make it more interesting for me, or so I could see how integrate things between fields, and I appreciated that.
 

RySerr21

i aint kinda hot Im sauna
10+ Year Member
Dec 22, 2007
5,931
30
Status (Visible)
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
M3.

I was miserable most days (except on 2 rotations), yet I still had to be enthusiastic and put on the show of "Oh yes, even though I'm probably going to go into some other non-related specialty and I'm working my butt off on this rotation, I don't mind you making fun of my choice every day," or "I love running your patient notes all over the hospital while you eat a donut."

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind joking or doing some scut, but I had some absolutely miserable times last year that I never want to repeat, and I wouldn't wish them on anyone. There were also some decent times when other specialties tailored parts of their rotation to make it more interesting for me, or so I could see how integrate things between fields, and I appreciated that.

:laugh::laugh: that made me chuckle.
 
About the Ads

Dakota

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 5, 2005
2,181
129
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
It depends on what you mean.

M1 was definitely a big adjustment and I didn't think the material was very interesting. Add to that all of my college buddies had landed relatively high paying jobs . . . made me feel like my life was on hold.

M2, the material was much tougher, but way more interesting. I worked harder, but enjoyed it more. I would rather have to repeat MS2 than MS1.

M3 has been amazing so far (but ask me again after I have medicine and surgery). It's nice to finally be in the hospital. Yeah, it sucks when you're on a rotation where the hours are long and you aren't allowed to do much of anything (cough . . . neuro . . . cough) but the fun stuff way outweighs the annoying. Shelf exams aren't so much fun, but they require significantly less studying than my exams did during MS1 and MS2.
 
7

78222

M2 year by far (and I am 3/4 through with 3rd year so I think I can safely say it's not M3).

M1 was hard for the first few months and hard because I hated a lot of the material because it had nothing at all to do with clinical medicine. After a few months though it was pretty "easy"

M3 has been a pretty good year for me. With a few exceptions I have enjoyed all my rotations and although the hours can be pretty rough, I've felt good about what I've done at the end of the day.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
7

78222

M3.

I was miserable most days (except on 2 rotations), yet I still had to be enthusiastic and put on the show of "Oh yes, even though I'm probably going to go into some other non-related specialty and I'm working my butt off on this rotation, I don't mind you making fun of my choice every day," or "I love running your patient notes all over the hospital while you eat a donut."

Maybe I've been less miserable third year because I've never tried to pretend I was interested in a field when I wasn't. My neurology resident: "Interested in Neurology at all?" Me: "hah, no, god no".
 

meister

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2004
2,154
356
USA
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Maybe I've been less miserable third year because I've never tried to pretend I was interested in a field when I wasn't. My neurology resident: "Interested in Neurology at all?" Me: "hah, no, god no".
I think I'll take this approach. People can usually see right through me anyway.

I'm not going to vote in this thread until I'm an intern in 3.5 years.
 

Ashers

Bacteria? Don't exist.
10+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2006
5,260
13
Land of Entrapment
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Maybe I've been less miserable third year because I've never tried to pretend I was interested in a field when I wasn't. My neurology resident: "Interested in Neurology at all?" Me: "hah, no, god no".

I didn't pretend to be interested when I wasn't, starting in my first rotation, I said I wanted to do ortho. I just have an issue where I'm unable to slack off at work, so I work my butt off and try to not look as miserable as I felt (that took lots of energy on some rotations), and some people thought I wasn't working as hard as I could (my enthusiasm wained after 4 weeks of OB/gyn with 2 left). I also generally liked the patients on most rotations (not psych or OB/gyn), so I thought it'd be bad to come in miserable every day.
 

mercaptovizadeh

ἐδάκρυσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς
15+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2004
6,894
2,380
Most people concur that it's either M2 or M3. M2 because these studying is much more intense (and important) than M1 and because of the boards. M3 because of the clinical rotations with long hours, subjective evaluations, and intangibles Probably people who are more book-oriented would hate M3 more and people who are more hands-on would hate M2 more.
 

Blesbok

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 27, 2007
1,369
6
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Most people concur that it's either M2 or M3. M2 because these studying is much more intense (and important) than M1 and because of the boards. M3 because of the clinical rotations with long hours, subjective evaluations, and intangibles Probably people who are more book-oriented would hate M3 more and people who are more hands-on would hate M2 more.
Subjective evaluations are the worst part of 3rd year imo. You can work as hard as someone else and get a worse grade just because you got unlucky and got the ****ty resident.
 

Jwax

Just a minor variation
10+ Year Member
Nov 9, 2005
1,710
9
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Most people concur that it's either M2 or M3. M2 because these studying is much more intense (and important) than M1 and because of the boards. M3 because of the clinical rotations with long hours, subjective evaluations, and intangibles Probably people who are more book-oriented would hate M3 more and people who are more hands-on would hate M2 more.

I felt M1 was so much more emotionally challenging than M2 has been. Yes, I feel like the workload has increased significantly, but I am at least interested in maybe half the stuff we are learning this year as opposed to the maybe 10% that was interesting last year. Like many places, we have test blocks every 5 or 6 weeks, so usually I have 2 or 3 weeks of calm followed by 2 or3 weeks of doing just about nothing besides studying. This was a huge adjustment from the 2 or 3 days (or more realistically, one night) that I spent studying in UG. I was also much more afraid of failure 1st year and have had to adjust to not being a perfect student. This took until the end of first year. The day after our last exam first year, I felt so light-hearted and emotionally free that I really realized how much stress I had been carrying around at all times during 1st year and I decided then that I wasn't going to do that this year. It's worked - no nervous wrecks or emotional breakdowns for me this year.

Of course, I haven't started studying for boards yet. :eek:
 

Sean2tall

Pathology Resident
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 30, 2003
826
0
Indianapolis
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I said third. To me there's no real comparison. I guess if you really hate studying, then you could say first or second. First because it's an adjustment or second because the nature of the material changes. Third was the only year that was grueling at times, then fourth of course was a piece of cake. But I pretty much studied from home for 1st and 2nd and then did whatever else I wanted. If you attend all classes and then try to study afterward, that could make it more tedious, but I look back somewhat fondly on the first two years of just hanging out with my friends and reading stuff.
 

themudphud

10+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2008
133
1
Status (Visible)
  1. MD/PhD Student
Easily second year. Not so much hard as it was high volume. Beforehand they told us our vocabulary would increase by ~10,000 words during that year. Pretty crazy.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 12 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.