How hard is medical school?

How hard Is Medical School

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How hard is medical school? Is it about studying all the time? While there is some truth in these questions, it is a bit far-fetched. Like everything worth having, medical school can be a bit challenging. Medical studies are rigorous and call for committed and well-prepared learners. Despite all this, becoming a physician is an admirable career path.

A breakdown of medical school

Before answering the question, How hard is medical school? We have to learn about it. There are over 130 US medical schools that award the degree to graduates. It takes 4 years to complete, but you’ll also need to spend 3-7 years in residency to become a doctor. 

According to AAMC,  the average cost of attendance for one year at a public medical school (including tuition, fees, and health insurance) was $37,556 for in-state students and $ 62,194.  for out-of-state students in 2019-2020. Average private school figures for in-state and out-of-state students at $60,665, and $62,111 respectively. 

If you’re interested in a medical career. The list  below shows the best medical schools in the USA:

  1. Harvard University
  2. Johns Hopkins
  3. Stanford University
  4. Univeristy of Carlifonia= San Fransisco
  5. University of Pennyslavnia
  6. Duke University
  7. University of Carlifonia- Los Angeles
  8. Columbia University
  9. The University of Michigan.

How hard is medical school?

May high school graduates looking for a medical career path often google or ask; How hard is Medical school? Well according to students who have done the MCAT, it can be quite challenging. It is an experience that is meant to separate those who can’t handle the pressure and responsibility to have peoples’ lives in their hands from those who can.

However, with hard work and the right attitude and preparation, you can easily get through it. The following points will show you what is hard about it  and how to cope with it:

  • Achieving balance

Balancing between school and social life can be hard. This is because you don’t have time to lose and every time spent not studying could make you fail. Sometimes it becomes even hard to maintain healthy habits like exercising.

  • Time management

This is an issue that many medical students and doctors speak about. Many students have to study regularly to stay on track. You have to be the best in time management to be able to cope up with medical school.

  • Life outside medical school

Most medical students lack free time. As a result, most of them don’t have social lives so their relationships suffer. If you’re used to having a social life, hanging out with friends and family, you’ll probably miss out after starting school. 

  • Memorization

The amount of knowledge one is supposed to learn is intense. Some classes will require you to memorize a 1000 page book. Taking in that all that information can be for some students.

For some, studying medicine can be hard but it’s very doable. If you got in, you’re probably smart and you got what it takes to excel.

Why a lot of students drop out of medical school

There are various resources for students once they reach campus, from mentoring programs to wellness lectures. Despite all these, students still drop out. This raises the question; how hard is medical school? And How hard is it that makes students drop out? The following reasons can enlighten on the reasons behind this:

  1. Deciding to attend school for the wrong reasons

In some cases, family or friends can inspire students to choose a certain career. Instead of considering their desires, students may agree to go with that career. After enrolling in medical school, some cannot manage the intense reading and workload that the course demands. Others may also have a hard time participating in practical classes such as those that would require dissecting corpses. 

These students have a hard time keeping up in classes and may not want to continue after realizing they chose the wrong course. As a result, they end up performing poorly and later dropping out

  1. High tuition costs

As said earlier, the average tuition fees can be too expensive for an ordinary student. To try to afford their education, students may turn to part-time jobs. However, balancing a job and the workload in medical school can be overwhelming. Usually, either work or school will take priority. Either way, this could lead to a student dropping out. Those who opt for student loans also have a hard time paying them back.

  1. Mental Health Stigma

At the Havard Medical School, problems with mental health are common. In 2016, a mental health survey conducted by Harvard medical students revealed that 20% of third-year students had experienced either suicidal or self-harming thoughts. Most of them also admitted to having depression. 

Medical students experience mental health challenges. This is worsened by the mentality that when a student seeks medical help, it shows that they don’t belong in medical school. This then adds to anxiety and depression and makes the student unable to handle school. They, later on, decide to drop out. It is important to seek help when dealing with mental health

  1. Length of medical courses

Medical school generally lasts four years followed by three or more years of residency. A student can pass through many life stages (marriage, kids, etc) while studying. Some of these changes may distract the student from their studies. Since medical school requires all the time they have, they may consider dropping out to take on other responsibilities. Some may also be discouraged by the number of years and decide to drop out when it’s still early.


So how hard is medical school? It is a bit challenging to give a definite answer. You may struggle in some classes while you excel in others. That said, you should expect to be challenged in school. It may not be a walk in the park but the end results are amazing.

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