Transition from the MHP year to the MS1 year is an experience that one can only describe after going through it, especially under a global pandemic. Therefore, a survey of former MHP and now current MS1 students was conducted, and several themes about their journey are highlighted.
When asked about their initial feelings of beginning MS1, most mentioned emotions of excitement and nervousness. After so many years of working towards this goal, many were nervous about how their lives would change. But their determination to study their calling was plenty to allow them to brave this new chapter in their life. Current MS1, Yusuf Mehkri explained, “I was a mixed bag of emotions, but excitement and the drive to soak in as much as I could as I chase after my dreams kept me moving forward.” Many compared the transition from MHP to MS1 similar to what they felt when transitioning to from high school to college; a multi-faceted experience that can’t be described with just one word. The many lifestyle changes that take place during this transition can be overwhelming, but ultimately rewarding. Students detailed how the MHP made this transition smoother through its early emphasis on clinical application of knowledge, teachings of how to process and interpret scientific data, early opportunities to network with those who teach at UF COM, and the relationships you form with the other students from your MHP class.
The most common highlight that students mentioned when reflecting on their first year of medical school so far, is being able to draw parallels between basic science ideals from undergraduate classes, to clinical treatment in the material they are currently learning. MS1 Erin Tammi expressed, “…getting to see how all my baseline knowledge from various courses comes together, helps me fully understand a condition.”
Lastly, some of our MS1 students had advice to give to those who will be transitioning from undergraduate studies to medical school. They strongly recommended using their current time exploring all of their interests, rather than trying to fit the mold of the perfect undergraduate student. Be open-minded and try to apply how other hobbies or classes that seem unrelated to medicine, can help prepare one for medicine. They recommended that during the transition to be kind to yourself. And finally, to stay true to yourself and what you believe.