How Hard is Medical School?

How Hard Is Medical School – Overview

Most medical students would say that medical school can be tough. It requires completing a rigorous and intensive program beyond an undergraduate degree, often taking four years of study. The MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test, is generally designed to ensure that the students applying for medical school are well prepared to accept the academic challenges they may face in med school.

Medical students are expected to complete a formidable workload during their coursework.

According to Dr. Aron Sousa, senior associate dean of academic affairs with the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, medical students must work at least 60 to 80 hours per week.

Why is Medical School Hard

Medical school coursework is generally considered more rigorous and complex than undergraduate coursework. However, the requirement to maintain consistency every day at medical school is actually challenging. To maintain consistency and to successfully deal with challenges, you can always follow different methods and try to maintain a balance without any stress.

How Much Do You Need to Study Every Day in Med School

How Hard Is Medical School

How Hard Is Medical School – How Much Do You Need to Study Every Day

There is no right or wrong answer to the question of how much time you actually need to study in a medical school. The answer can vary among different students. However, students who study only for 5 to 6 hours a day and can manage their time often have better learning.

Top 7 Challenging Things of the Medical School

Here are a few things about a medical school that are generally difficult.

1. Lack of Balance

Maintaining a balance is very difficult for medical school students. Maintaining the balance between good habits like proper diet, exercise, and studying can be hard. If your body does not get the necessary nutrients and sleep, it can affect your brain health.

2. Lack of Time Management

Time management is another factor that can be hard for med school students. Taking time for yourself, doing things that you actually like, managing your classes, and studying as much as you need together can be really tough. Finding a balance between personal activities and studies is crucial, requiring effective time management skills.

3. No Social Life

Your social life could be seriously impacted by attending medical school. Usually, you only get a little free time when you start going to med school. Your relationships may suffer during this phase of your life. You may find less time for social activities due to the demanding nature of medical school. It can cause social isolation in your life.

4. Exams are Tough

The exams at a medical school are often more difficult than at regular colleges. To become a certified medical professional, you must pass them. The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1, often taken during medical school, is considered one of the most challenging exams. The other board exams are also difficult to pass. You have to study hard to pass all the exams.

5. Difficulty in Memorization

You need to memorize and learn a lot of things in medical school. Medical school courses often require extensive study material. Utilizing mobile or web flashcard applications can be an effective study tool to aid in memorization and knowledge retention.

6. Some Classes can be Tough

Some classes at your medical school can be extremely tough for you. Everyone has different academic strengths and weaknesses. Certain subjects can be difficult for you to learn and understand. Collaborating with peers and participating in study groups can be beneficial for understanding difficult concepts. You can also join different study groups and learn something together.

7. Overwhelming Feeling

You can feel stressed and overwhelmed in different phases of your med school days. Getting up from bed and hitting the books can sometimes be challenging. Developing a social support network is crucial for managing stress and maintaining well-being throughout medical school. A social support network is a group of friends you can always rely on. You can relate to these friends and talk about anything you want.

You can join different medical school groups that suit your interests. Having goals and activities to look forward to can help students stay motivated and energetic.

How to Deal with Med School Difficulties?

  • Try to maintain a balance between your personal life, social life, and your studies.
  • It is important to avoid overly rigid study schedules that can lead to burnout. Do not let your studies affect your physical and mental health.
  • Do not over-commit anything to yourself.
  • Have some friends whom you can talk to
  • Prioritizing sufficient sleep is essential for cognitive function and overall health.


Studying at medical school can be difficult and stressful for students. However, following certain strategies can help you get through it. There are no fixed study hours for med school students. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and the study hours they need to complete their course differ.

As a med student, you must always try to make a study schedule and not over-commit yourself. Hard work is very important to learn and memorize, but it should not affect your physical and mental health. Healthy habits are always important to keep your brain working.

See Also

Medical School Rankings

Medical Billing and Coding Salary

How Many Medical Schools in the US

How Many Volunteer Hours for Medical School

Nursing Schools in Las Vegas

Current Version
March 13, 2024
Updated By
Franco Cuevas, MD

Follow us