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Penn Med: First Year

You can research and talk to all the upperclass med students you want, but I'm not sure if anything can quite prepare you for that first year of medical school. We hit the books pretty hard - so hard, in fact, that we soon earned a reputation within the school for being unusually competitive. A case in point: the Anatomy course is divided into three blocks, and an exam is given at the end of each. Overall grades for Anatomy are based on your performance on all three exams. For the first time in about 25 years, the Anatomy department granted an exemption from the third (traditionally the toughest) anatomy exam to the entire class. Why? Apparently, we all had done so well on the first two that it was impossible for any of us to fail the course. Yep. We're that class.

On the MD-PhD front, Penn does an awesome job in supporting us. We get a lot of guidance and multiple safety nets. We're pretty spoiled in terms of the resources we can leverage, if need be. I'm going to miss that in the real world...

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