14 Ways Medical School is like High School

by winnell

Disclaimer: please be advised that these views are based on my own experience compiled with commentary from my friends who attend other medical schools

As monumentus as October 3, here goes a Mean Girls inspired post showing you what medical school is like because we’re all trying to make fetch happen!

Upon entering medical school, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I’m more than halfway through and I can say for sure that there are many parallels between high school and medical school, more than I’d like to admit. 

1. High School Cliques

The atmosphere of medical school is one made for collaborative learning as we are all here for the same purpose. Like any other large group space, certain types of people will gravitate towards each other. There are so many cliques and subcliques that stay in their respective corners. Med school cliques aren’t much different than the cliques in high school. I met one of my fellow classmates a few months ago and it’s been 2 years 😩🤣

First, let’s dive into the characters you’ll meet.

There’s no “popular group”, but there are people or groups of people known for their qualities, if you will say. 

2. The Gunners aka Super Nerds

You’ll find them with their headphones studying in class and already ten lectures ahead of everyone else. They know the answers to every question. They are least likely to share their wealth of knowledge or may even resort to sabatoging the rest of the class with incorrect study guides. 

3. The Jocks

These are the guys who workout everyday and are the most attractive and use it to their advantage. They’ve probably recycled the same pick up lines to every girl in class who would fall for it.

4. Class Clown

You can depend on endless unsolicited, tongue & cheek and corny medical humor from the class clowns. We’re adults now and it is a source of entertainment instead of a write up for detention like the old days.

5. Teacher’s Pet

This is the student or the students that are always praised by the professor for mastering the art of kissing you know what. Professors know them by name and they can essentially do no wrong in professor’s eyes. They’re obnoxious as all ever but we can’t knock them for their shamelessness. After all, we do need a stellar letter of recommendation.

6. The person who gets away with everything 

Remember that person who never showed up to class but somehow still advanced to the next grade? Or maybe the people who never changed for gym class while you got in trouble for wearing your sweatpants over your jeans. Yes, we still have these people who get away with everything that 99% of the class does not.


7. The Minorities

Then there’s subsets of groups of people of color who find commonalities based on marginalization. Medical school isn’t as inclusive as you’d think and you’d be surprised to see the spread of ethnicities who conglomerate together, because it simply feels right.

8. Seating Arrangements

There are no assigned seats but there’s an unspoken law of designated seating. From the first day of class, everyone gains their footing and finds their place in the lecture hall, where you’ll sit for the next two years.  Just as in high school, the “cool kids” still sit in the back and the smart and quiet kids remain in the front of the class.

9. Six Hour School Day 

Many medical schools love to stress the flipped classroom concept and the embracing of adult learning. The truth is, you will have a 6 hour school day similar to high school. Once you factor in  anatomy lab, clicker sessions and didactic sessions, you realize, not much has changed. If you’re lucky enough attendance won’t be mandatory or affect your grade.

10. Junior year is comparable to third year of medical school

Junior year of high school is when you start to freak out about college applications. Similarly, third year is when we start to panic about residency applications. Our entire medical school career culminates into this final phase that will determine if and what type of doctor we’ll become. The only difference is our SAT is a 3  part national exam.

11. Research Posters are the new 5 – Page Paper

Medical students make posters about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Many topics are legitimate and well founded, while others are resourcefully embellished  with questionable significance.  I told you, we are always trying to make fetch happen.

12. Hookups

You will spend more time studying with your classmates than you will with your family or friends.  Medical school gets stressful and sometimes you need a cuddle buddy. I mean how romantic would it be to fall asleep to the sounds of Dr. Sattar’s voice describing caseating granulomas on Pathoma? Sketchy Micro and chill anyone?

Some people enter medical school in a relationship and leave medical school in a relationship…with their classmate instead. Medical students are incredibly socially awkward and busy so it only makes sense for them to date each other.

13. We like to Party 

Nobody celebrates parties more than a medical student after a block of examinations. I mean we deserve it. You quarantine yourself for hours a day studying endlessly and taking exams back to back. Then you get to clinical rotations clueless as ever trying to find your mojo , while working long hours and being paid in experience. Everyday you begrudgingly convince yourself that “it’ll be all be worth it”. You’re damn right we’re willing to sacrifice transient hepatitis and dehydration all in the name of happy hour! We know our limits and drink responsibly of course. A successful night out usually ends with laryngitis from singing too loud and quadriceps myalgia from twerking too hard.

14. Who run this mutha? GIRLS! boys

The  ‘Boys club’ mantra  that dominated sports and mathematics in high school is no different in medical school. As of the last few years, medical school classes have 50-50 representation of men and women. Yet and still our male counterparts seem to think they are smarter and more competent. They’ll brag about their grades more, undermine your intelligence and make suggestions of “female friendly” specialties to consider.

The truth is and always has been “anything you can do I can do better!”.

So, there you go mean selfless future doctor girls and boys.

Did I miss anything ?

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1 comment

Can You Have A Life Outside Of Medical School? – Almazrestaurant December 18, 2021 - 10:07 pm

[…] 1. High School Cliques. First, let's dive into the characters you'll meet. There's no “popular group”, but there are people or groups of people known for their qualities, if you will say. via […]


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