Pre-M3 year thoughts

It’s my last several days of M2-M3 limbo. It kind of sucks..I really liked being an M2. I knew how NSU works, I knew where I was supposed to go, I knew what to expect for our exams, and I got to help out M1s and give advice about pre-clinical classes. But, now I’m going to be an M3, where I’ll be entering a whole new arena. I’m going to be completely clueless. I’m going to have to regurgitate information verbally instead of on a multiple-guess styled exam. Everything will be different. I’m excited, but I’m nervous too. It reminds me of how I felt prior to starting medical school.

With rotations coming up so soon, I’ve been having a lot of thoughts about what I’m supposed to expect. I’ve obviously never done this before so the only thing I have to go off of are stories from other students and reading anecdotes online. After hearing about how other students’ rotations went, I have several pre-clinical anxiety-induced questions:

Is my attending going to be a jerk?

Will the residents and attending actually take the time to teach me things, or are they going to expect me to know what to do on the first day?

Is there going to be an M4 that can show me the ropes?

How exactly do I work the EMR system?

When am I going to eat?

Will I have time to pee urinate?

What if a patient codes on me?

What if I get ridiculed in front of everyone?

What if my attending thinks I’m an idiot?

What if my patients don’t like me?

What if I don’t know the proper medical term for something?

What if my coat pockets rip because I have too much crap in them?

How much professional attire should I buy to minimize doing laundry?

Should I wear a bullet-proof vest under my professional attire in case another student tries to gun me down?

Some of those questions are serious.

I went on amazon and bought things that I’ve heard M3s should have for rotations. Small notepads, black pens, colored pens, and pen lights, amongst other things specific to my rotation. I think I’m pretty stocked up now. I probably should order another white coat too. I should have done that earlier (i.e. anytime within the past two years).

I’m going to be making a Clinical Page on the menu but it won’t be ready or accessible for probably another 6 months or so. It’ll basically be an M3 survival guide meant to help out all M3s, not just those at NSUCOM. I’ll also add my Step 1 experience around that time if I feel like it/have the time to add another page. We’ll see. Maybe I won’t even have time to add the Clinical Page. I’ve heard rotations are crazy.

In the meantime, check back once in a while to see if I’m liking M3 year. I have no idea what I want to specialize in yet, so I’m going to try to be open minded about every rotation. I have some classmates that came into medical school with their mind set on a specialty and they’ve stuck with it through the years. How did they know so definitively that xyz was what they wanted to specialize in? Sometimes I can’t even decide what I want to eat for lunch, and when I do finally decide, half the time I wish I ate something else. I’m totally screwed, aren’t I? I hope one day during rotations it just hits me and I’ll have a “Ah-hah! This is what I want to do for the rest of my life!” moment.

Anyways, wish me luck! Into the abyss I go.




  1. Good luck! I’m sure you’ll find things about M3 you like just as much and more than M2. Hope you have a really successful upcoming year!

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