First Term of Medical School: Done!

I haven’t written a blog post since September 2016, and a lot has happened since then! In March of 2017, I received my letter of acceptance to medical school around 5:00 in the morning and can remember receiving an adrenaline rush that caused me to leap out of bed, but I was so tired that it didn’t really register with me until a few hours afterwards.


I decided to apply to schools abroad last year. After researching schools in Ireland, Australia, and the Caribbean, I decided that Ireland was the best fit for me.

I fired off my application halfway through January and received an interview invitation from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) a few weeks later! I thoroughly enjoyed the interview process and found the RCSI staff to be extremely welcoming and friendly.

Moving to the other side of the world to study is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I had to put a significant amount of thought into questions such as:

  • How can I finance my education?
  • How can I cope with being so far away from family and friends?
  • Will I have trouble meeting people when I’m in Ireland?

These were all legitimate concerns, but I can say that I am extremely happy that I applied overseas and that I truly feel at home at RCSI.

RCSI’s Main Building

The Royal College of Surgeons has been based in Dublin since 1784 and contains several faculties such as medicine, physiotherapy, pharmacy, and nursing and midwifery. It has an incredibly diverse student body and a variety of clubs/societies, so there is something or everyone. RCSI truly makes an effort to ensure that every student feels welcome and at home, and is a very welcoming institution.

It goes without saying, the volume of work in medical school can be overwhelming. The best way that I can describe the volume of material in medical school is: drinking from a fire hose.

The amount of material there is to cover is staggering, and it’s a bit of a humbling experience, knowing that you simply won’t be able to know everything. It is a very interesting change in mentality from undergrad: when everyone is gunning for medical school during their undergraduate degrees, they strive to be at the very head of the pack and to beat everyone else. However, in medical school, that is not the case at all: instead, the aim of the game is to tread water and make sure that you (and the others around you) don’t drown.

RCSI’s New Library!

In our first semester, we took a total of nine classes: Neuromuscular, Genitourinary, Biochemistry, Gastrointestinal, Health Behaviour/Patient Safety, Hematopoietic and Immune Systems, Clinical Competencies, Molecular Medicine, and Diagnostic Investigations.

I used to think that 4-5 classes during my undergrad was intense, but never imagined that I’d be taking nine classes, each of which are more intense and content-heavy than any class I’ve ever taken during my undergraduate degree. However, don’t be alarmed: the workload is manageable as long as you keep on top of things and don’t fall behind. So far, my favourite classes have been a two-way-tie between Gastrointestinal or Hematopoietic/Immune Systems!

The biggest appeal of RCSI is the camaraderie: my class is comprised of 82 people, all of us coming from Canada, the United States, or Ireland. It has only been 5 months, but we are already incredibly tight-knit and close, almost like a family. Our class is extremely collaborative and we truly want to see each other succeed, so there is no competitiveness at all. We support one another through the thick and thin of the semester!

Overall, I’m thrilled with attending RCSI. I know that the idea of going to an international medical school can seem daunting, but I want students out there to know that RCSI is a fantastic choice and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  The quality of education is superb and the teaching is fantastic: they really get you to start thinking like a doctor from Day One. We’ve already learned how to take patient histories for things like deep vein thrombosis, and have learned how to conduct neurological exams on the lower and upper limbs, to name a few.

Our second semester starts on the 5th of February, where we’ll be diving into classes like Endocrine, Cardiovascular/Respiratory, and Neuroscience, and we’ll also start going into the hospital once a week! I’m having trouble falling asleep because I’m so excited to get back into the swing of the program! Keep an eye out as I post more about the program during the semester!

If any students have questions about my experience through medical school/applying overseas, feel free to email me at, and I’d be happy to answer any questions that you have!

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1 Response

  1. Joe Perkins says:

    Hey Trevor, not sure if you remember me but it’s Joe Perkins from CHEK News (formerly with CTV Vancouver Island). Would love to chat if you see this. My email is Hope you see this. Thanks.