Should I buy hardcopy versions of the required textbooks?
Firstly, let’s start by saying that the library will provide you will an online version of all of the required textbooks. That being said, buying hardcopies is all about personal preference. Most students I know don’t read the textbooks to prepare for class (not to say that they don’t prepare for class, just not in the traditional sense). If you didn’t read your textbooks in undergrad, this is NOT the time to completely reinvent the wheel. If you know reading textbooks is not how you learn, why start now? Do what works for you. If you read your texts religiously in undergrad and prefer hardcopies, then by all means spend the money. It will be well worth it! But otherwise, do not do it. You will regret it! Having said this, there are three texts that are pretty essential to buy as hardcopies. Make sure to get your anatomy atlas and dissection guide. You will need to be able to bring these books into the lab, so having a hardcopy will be necessary. Also, many students highly recommend buying the most recent version of First Aid. This will be a resource you will use on a regular basis and having a hardcopy will make annotation much easier.
What should I be doing to prepare for medical school?
Well, this all depends upon you. But the #1 answer you will hear from most students is to RELAX. There is simply no good way to really prepare for what is to come. The best thing you can do for yourself is to enjoy the free time you have, while you have it. Having said that—here are some small things you can do if you want. If you plan on utilizing textbooks, practice speed-reading. When you have 50 pages of assigned reading for the day, you won’t have time to spend 3 hours pre-reading. There are simply more important things to do. Speed-reading, if you are good at it, can be a great help. An additional skill to acquire is being able to type quickly. Why is this important? Well, when you have to write your first SOAP note in 9 minutes, you will thank us for it. Typing is an essential skill to have in order to do well in FOPC (Foundations of Osteopathic Patient Care). However, it’s something few of us have time to practice when classes start. There are bigger fish to fry! So practice now 🙂