On surviving medical school, dealing with obstacles, and the problem with schools

Hi there! I'm Haikal. You are receiving this email because you signed up for Sunday Snacks, a biweekly newsletter about effective learning, productivity, and habits.

Hey friends! I hope this email finds you well. I just started going to the wards again, and trying to balance writing and medical school is a bit overwhelming at times. I've faced a few setbacks, but it's important to remember that progress isn't linear and is full of setbacks. What's important is to learn from them and use them to propel your forward!

I'd like to document my journey in medical school, so I'll be journalling the lessons I learnt into a series I'd like to call Life as a Medical Student. Here's the first issue.

That being said, here are three ideas from me, 2 quotes I'm pondering on and 1 question for you.

3 Ideas From Me

I Survived Medical School Because of Ali Abdaal

I discovered Ali when I was applying to medical school back in 2018. I had to prepare for an admissions test and interviews, and he had a series where he explained how to succeed in them. These videos helped me do well for my admissions, and his weekly medical student vlogs gave me insight and inspiration for what's about to happen to me for the next five years.

Here are some of his ideas that have helped me out in medical school.

The problem with schools

I’ve been experiencing this for at least 15 years now. I’ve tried everything to make the most of my time in class: I sat in the front seat, I sat behind; I took notes; I asked questions. It did work, but not as well as when I learned on my own. The truth is, school is slow, ineffective, and sucks the joy out of life.

Lessons learnt from writing daily for 28 days

I didn’t like writing daily. It was hard. There were some days where I have no idea what to write. There were some days where I was busy with other commitments in life. However, I told myself just to show up and forget perfection.

2 Quotes I'm Pondering On

I assume I'm below average

I just assume I’m below average. It serves me well. I listen more. I ask a lot of questions. I’ve stopped thinking others are stupid. I assume most people are smarter than me. To assume you’re below average is to admit you’re still learning. You focus on what you need to improve, not your past accomplishments.

The Obstacle is the Way

Because obstacles are not only to be expected but embraced. Embraced? Yes, because these obstacles are actually opportunities to test ourselves, to try new things, and, ultimately, to triumph. The Obstacle Is the Way.

1 Question For You

What's the one thing your 80-year-old self would regret if you don't do it now?

Thanks for reading!


P.S If you found it helpful, could you give me a hand and share it?