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Letters to a Third-Year Student 2013

School of Medicine


Confused, frustrated, terrified, overworked and under-appreciated are some of the ways graduating medical students remember their third year of school in their letters of advice to incoming third-year students.

Honored, grateful, surprised, shocked and amazed are some others.

After spending two years primarily in a classroom setting, third-year students plunge into the clinical realm, working with patients under the supervision of residents and attending physicians. They cover all the medical blocks and often decide their specialty area in the third year.

To prepare incoming third-years, many graduating medical students take a moment to write a letter imparting advice and wisdom to help ease the transition.

You can read Letters to a Third-Year Student 2013 in PDF form.

Some highlights:

  • Don't sweat the small stuff. 
  • Don't worry about your evaluations because you have no control over them and it will drive you crazy.
  • Catch yourself when you get negative.
  • Don't be afraid to take charge.
  • Assume you know nothing about everything.
  • Do this (the whole medicine thing) because you love to help people.
  • Be aware that third year is a roller coaster.