Tonight, a little less than 100 first-year medical students at UCSF are sleeping outside in the wilderness of Huddart Park. The camping trip kicks off the school year, and it's an exciting event full of heady introductions and initial meetings. The weather is pleasantly warm, so they should be snug in their sleeping bags...beneath the beautiful stars.
To recap, here is some advice for the MS1's (crap, my blog title is obsolete):
1) Don't buy any textbooks under the "required" list. I know that it's confusing because some are "recommended" and some are "required," but it's untrue. Buy the syllabus (you have to buy a new syllabus after every block, so it's a steady expense) and get Netter's anatomy and you'll be dandy. You're also supposed to read "The Spirit Catches You" by January.
2) Buy a stethoscope and a blood pressure cuff (a $30 is fine). Don't buy an oto-ophthalmoscope unless you have excess money ($500) and a burning desire to practice at home. You can use the ones in the exam rooms at the clinic. You will need a reflex hammer and tuning fork in May for Brain, Mind, and Behavior (BMB).
3) Relax. Pass/Fail will do wonders for your stress levels. Study as hard as you want for the first test, I can't blame you.
4) Focus on meeting people and making meaningful connections. Follow your passions and explore your interests (both academic and personal) this year, above all, do what you love.