What to Pack for Med School

August 1, 2013
Emily Hause

MCAT-Kaplan-packingHey my stellar students! It’s quickly turning into August and I’m sure that all of you feel the same horror that I do when I watch TV and realize that they are already playing “Back to School” ads. Why horror? Well, mostly because summer doesn’t ever really feel long enough and those ads seem to start earlier every year, but partly because the next time that summer rolls around I will be done with my first year of medical school and that’s an intimidating thought!You might ask why I am watching TV in the summer in the first place. That’s a great question! I’m trying to pack my apartment to move across the country to go to school and I need something to listen to besides Pandora.

That’s what I want to talk about today. How does one decide what to bring to medical school? Here’s my current thoughts about things to pack. Other people who are about to start their first year- I would love your input!

Books- Obviously I will need some books, but that organic chemistry book from sophomore year, that’s probably not coming with. Pathophysiology textbook- potentially useful. Sure, why not? Trashy quick read books? Yes, but we’ll winnow the pile down to a precious few.

Modes of transportation- I’m driving my car out to Colorado which means it is definitely coming. The two bikes are also a sure thing. Do I really need to also bring rollerblades (yay for the 90’s!) and ice skates and skis? We’ll ditch the rollerblades, but take the skates and skis. I am moving to another state that has winter after all.

Clothes and shoes- I assume medical school is a mix of professional apparel, must look good as I am a future doctor of America, and student shabby chic. That means the sweatpants and comfy study clothes definitely come with, and so do the fancy pants and skirts for preceptorship at the clinic. What do I eliminate then? Probably the clothes from my freshman year at college or anything that I haven’t worn in the last three years. Goodbye undergrad clothes!
Family and friends- I wish these were things I could pack. Unfortunately none of them seem to want to make the trek permanently, something about having jobs, homes, children etc. So, I’ll have to settle for packing my computer with Skype, Facetime, email, and Facebook. With the addition of my phone, I’m pretty sure that with so many methods of communication, we’ll be able to stay in touch.
That said, I usually give test advice to you all, but today do you have any moving/packing/starting school advice for me?
Happy studying!

Emily Hause Emily has been a teacher for Kaplan for over eight years; she's taught MCAT, ACT, SAT, SAT2 and tutored pretty much every subject under the sun in both the classroom and live online (aka Classroom Anywhere) settings. She's also worked for Kaplan in content development and teacher mentorship roles. Emily is currently a fourth-year medical student at the University of Colorado and is hoping to go into Pediatrics. She's involved in many campus opportunities such as being a Prospective Student Representative, admissions committee member, CU-UNITE member, and co-president of the Education and Teaching Interest Group. Prior to medical school, Emily got a BA in Biochemistry and Spanish from Lawrence University and a Masters in Public Health- Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. In her free time, Emily enjoys dancing, baking, playing tennis and exploring her new Colorado home.

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