Work/Life Balance

Study Tips

Science Background students:

  • Don’t assume you know the basics;

  • Don’t rote learn, what worked in undergrad – doesn’t work in med.

  • Try not to get too bogged down in science – it’s not always the molecular mechanism level that you need to know but the bigger concept.

  • Think more clinically. Always consider when studying, if this is how this normally functions, what may happen when things go wrong?


Non-Science backgrounds:

  • The first few weeks might feel overwhelming, don’t stress about being behind.

  • Upper years will usually run peer teaching sessions every week covering and summarising the content of that week, so attending is a great way to reinforce your understanding and ask questions.

  • Form a group and support each other.

  • Utilise your lecturers and subject coordinators. They are more than happy to help and would prefer you let them know early you struggled to understand a concept than leaving it too late.

  • Many of the textbook suggestions will be complex, so don’t feel silly to start with basic physiology and anatomy books, or the wonderful 'Crash Course' or 'At a Glance' series. Layer your knowledge like a fine wedding cake.

  • Try not to overwhelm yourself with small details: science can be very specific, so try to think of the big picture.

  • Find how that bit of science is clinically relevant, textbooks often have little side boxes or ‘clinical focus’ pages. That will let you know which parts are important to remember.

General Tips

We know you are incredibly excited to start and we remember being in your shoes, so as you begin the first few weeks keep some of these tips in mind:


  1. Invest time to come into uni. Attend lectures, go to pracs and make an effort to catch up with your TBL/Clin Skills groups to do group study sessions.

  2. Bring food to share and make studying easier and fun! This is how your friendships and memories will develop so enjoy every part of it. You have to immerse yourself to get the best out of medical school.

  3. You will quickly realise how different things will be from your undergraduate or previous work, and it will be a steep adjusting process. It's okay, you will try many different things and find what works best for you.

  4. Remember, you will come across many incredibly intelligent people, so don’t compare or be critical of yourself. Everyone brings a unique set of experiences so learn from each other, and we understand it can be difficult when some of your peers seem to breeze through things.

  5. This is a hard one to grasp: You are FINALLY IN medical school. You have made it, you got through, and you are no longer in competition.

  6. Unlike previously, it is not about getting the best marks, or the highest score, it’s about understanding, and asking yourself week-to-week, have I understood the physiology, the anatomy, and how is this clinically relevant. Everything you learn is to treat YOUR future patients – so put in what you would want your doctor to put in.

  7. First semester will be going over the basics, both on the science front, but also clinically – you will do history taking etc. However, as you progress to second semester you will notice how the disease processes you learn about, and the clinical skill questions you ask, will overlap.

  8. Lastly, get involved in everything you can, attend all events run by societies: learn life skills and go to social events, becoming a well-rounded doctor starts with becoming a well-rounded person so make sure to enjoy life too!

Self Care


It's okay to not be okay. Medical school will present a unique set of challenges and experiences which can at times be overwhelming. It can be stressful and demanding so ensure you take time out for yourself and find ways to relax.

Also, Speak up! There is so much support around you, you will never be alone. Your year will become your pseudo family so speak to your peers, counsellors and teaching staff. If you are worried about someone, don’t be afraid to say something.



The simple economic reality of life is that many students need to work part time to fund their way through university. It is possible to work while studying medicine but it requires great discipline and time management skills. You will have an opportunity to pick the brain of other students who have worked in 1st year as part of the FMSS question and answer session on the first day of the year. Please understand that the University's official position is that the degree is a full time commitment so you can expect very little in the way of accommodation on the topic.

Medicine does take up a lot of your time but try to keep up with things you like doing outside of study e.g. sports, hobbies, relaxing. You need to remain sane to get through this degree (duh) and having a life outside of medicine where you see your family and friends, and do things you enjoy will make your life so much easier and more enjoyable.  



Okay so number one coffee joint is Urban Paddock Co(UPCO) in the Hub, and as FMSS members you will be able to get a large coffee for $4, and a small for $3.

Other (inferior) coffee places are Grind & Press (Hub), T Bar (FMC) Hudson's (Flinders Private), Theo’s (FMC) and Spots (FMC).

There are some great food spots at Flinders, both in the hospital and the Hub. Again, Theo’s and Spots have the widest range of food options in FMC. The Hub has a huge range including Parwana (Afghan food), Subway, Burger Theory in the Tav, Toly’s (Vietnamese). UPCO, Grind & Press and Nutrition Republic provide a wide variety of different lunch and snack options as well.


FMSS Hardship Grants

FMSS offers a range of financial support to get you out of a bind.