Medical school starter pack

Medical School Starter Pack [Top 12 Essentials You Need]

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Is the medical school starter pack the same as the other school-level packs? To be honest, I thought that what I needed in med school was similar or just the remix of what I had in my pre-med days.

The joke’s on me, though. Medical school is another story, but don’t worry — I have listed the med school starter pack to kickstart your new academic journey.

[Free Download] Want to have everything you need to be a top student on your medical journey? Get FREE access to our Med School Success Handbook to get 60+ tips including the best study, time management, mindset tips you need to be a top student. Download it here. 

Medical School Starter Pack

Every med school is different, but they typically have the exact requirements for first-year students. Most often, freshmen focus more on learning the basics. But that doesn’t mean you’ll buy cheap products.

Although the school and your instructors will likely tell you what you need, it’s still best to research early.

Medical school is already a budget-busting machine — you wouldn’t wish to spend more on buying them every time it breaks. 

I suggest investing in specific, high-quality supplies and equipment for better practice and long-term usage.

In no particular order, here are the top 12 non-negotiable equipment for new med students:

First Aid Book and Other Resources

First Aid USMLE Step 1 2024

One of the most crucial items on your backpack should include the First Aid Book, especially if you are just starting your med school program.

Before learning basic first aid and how to execute it properly, you need a reliable resource or reference to grasp the idea and concept.

The First Aid Book I used in my early years in med school is the one by Tao Le, Matthew Sochat, and Vikas Bhushan. The book is available on Kindle and paperback — you may choose which suits you.


Dagacci Scrubs

I remember going to hospitals when I was younger and seeing med personnel wearing scrubs.

Having comfy scrubs can add an extra push to succeed in med. After all, wearing it signifies you’re only a few years before getting the “M.D.” in your name.

But guess what? It’s now a must-have in med school — how awesome, right? I finally get to wear those cool up-and-downs as well.

Take note that some schools provide students with their scrubs. In such a case, talk to the school first before purchasing outside.

On the other hand, other schools let their students customize their scrubs as long as it complies with their standards and requirements. You can print or have your name embroidered on the garments.

Lab Coats

Vogrye lab coat

It is practical to wear lab coats in your practical class. I mean, even in your lower-level education, it is mandatory to wear lab gowns as a requirement in any laboratory setting.

More than that, your white lab coat prevents contamination of your clothes under it. It protects you and your clothing from chemical splashes.


Top 5 Stethoscopes for Medical Students Littmann Cardiology IV

Putting your stethoscope on your neck during medical school is like living the dream you’ve had since you were a youngster — at least, that made me feel.

Among the current choices of med practitioners and scholars in Littmanns’ stethoscopes is the new 3M Littmann Cardiology IV.

This dual-sized stainless steel diaphragm device allows you to hear different sound frequencies without repositioning your chest piece.

If you see yourself working in the ER or cardiology field, 3M Littmann Cardiology IV is probably one of the best stethoscope lines for you.

[Free Download] Want to have everything you need to be a top student on your medical journey? Get FREE access to our Med School Success Handbook to get 60+ tips including the best study, time management, mindset tips you need to be a top student. Download it here. 


Dell XPS 13

Are you torn between getting a tablet or a laptop in your first year of medical school? What if I tell you that you can get both in one? Yes, 2-in-1 laptops exist.

If you’re into minimal yet aesthetically pleasing laptop designs, then Dell products can be your best bet. The Dell XPS 13 is one of the most powerful 2-in-1 laptops on the market.

I recommend getting convertible laptops for convenience. This is because they are slimmer and lighter than traditional laptop devices — they won’t take up too much space and weight on your backpack.


2020 Apple ipad Pro

One of the few perks of getting a tablet for schooling is that it is way more portable than typical laptops. Plus, they have longer battery life — thanks to their smaller screen size.

I suggest buying an iPad Pro if you want to use your tablet like a phone. You can also customize it as a laptop by getting a smart keyboard. Another thing is you can use your iPad as a notebook. You can jot down notes using a wireless stylus pen.

This product is life-changing since you can have a journal, laptop, and phone in one.

Noise-Canceling Headset

Sony Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

Sony products are an absolute crowd favorite, especially if you’re looking for a headphone with better sound grade and microphone performance. It also recedes low to medium-frequency sounds.

Another cool feature of this product is how it automatically pauses the playback when you decide to remove them in your head.

It is also an excellent option for med school students who are always on the go since it only has 10 minutes of charging time with 5 hours of battery life.

[Free Download] Want to have everything you need to be a top student on your medical journey? Get FREE access to our Med School Success Handbook to get 60+ tips including the best study, time management, mindset tips you need to be a top student. Download it here. 


College laptop backpack

Always remember that packing light is never a thing in medical school. 

But honestly, whether you’re a med student or not, you need a sturdy but fashionable backpack to take to school.

But unlike other programs, your medical textbooks can bear a massive weight, so it’s best to get a more spacious bag with many compartments to hold your books, med equipment, snacks, and personal items.

On top of that, your backpack should also be comfortable to carry around while not damaging your spine.

Student Daily Planner

Daily Planner

I’m sure you know how time-demanding med school is — if not, well, it is. That is what you signed up for.

With that in mind, keeping detailed records of your class timetable, appointments, and due dates is a must.

You have two options: download a planner app on your tablet or buy a planner journal to organize your schedule precisely. It depends on your preference.

Portable Power Bank

Miady Portable Charger

Again, med school requires you to read and review more than your average study hours in pre-med. Aside from keeping yourself a hundred percent energetic, your devices should always stay fully charged.

Because not all coffee shops or study hubs have power sockets. So it’s much better to bring your power bank or portable charger, just in case.

[Free Download] Want to have everything you need to be a top student on your medical journey? Get FREE access to our Med School Success Handbook to get 60+ tips including the best study, time management, mindset tips you need to be a top student. Download it here. 

Water Tumbler

Thermoflask water bottle

Most medical schools are far from where the students stay. So bringing your water tumbler is the most practical way to save money and the environment.

At this moment, I am enjoying the ThermoFlask Double Wall Vacuum Stainless Steel Water Bottle. It comes with 18 to 64 oz.

This bottle is vacuum-insulated, so your hot or iced coffee can maintain its temperature for hours. On top of that, the lid is leak-proof with built-in straw.

Colored Pens and Highlighters

Sharpie Markers

Color-coding your transcripts and review materials is an excellent practice to retain information. It is visually stimulating for most students like myself — just don’t overdo it.

Sometimes, too many colors can make your notes messy, out of place, and distracting.

So it would be best if you assign colors to reference specific information. For instance, I use red for terminologies and blue for their examples.

Want Results Like This?

Download The Free Med School Success Handbook For The Best Step-By-Step Tips For Your Medical Journey!


Here are frequently asked questions about your medical school starter pack and what you need to start medical school!

What Clothes Should I Buy For Medical School?

Some schools allow students to dress casually. However, if you’re nearing graduating or already on clinical rotations, the school will require you to dress in smart business casual or scrubs.

Aside from getting comfy scrubs, lab coats, and smart casual attire, you should invest in relaxing study clothes. It includes purchasing soft and breathable jogger pants and sweatshirts.

You have the freedom to dress however you like, especially when studying online.

What Scrubs Should You Wear In Medical School?

The answer is entirely up to your school. This is because some medical schools have strict policies regarding design and colors, while others don’t.

Each med school has its guidelines in terms of the dress code. However, the most popular choices for scrub colors are black, red, blue, and green. 

Are Jeans Allowed In Medical School?

Yes, but only in your pre-clinical years. Wearing casual clothing is alright because you’re not yet dealing with patients.

However, there’s such a thing as “too much”. Don’t go overboard! While jeans are affordable and comfortable, you must invest in good-quality attire to look more professional and appealing.

Do They Give You A Stethoscope In Medical School?

Some can give you while others don’t. Getting your stethoscope before starting your med school program is much better. In addition, you should get a fine-quality and cardiology-grade one. 

But before purchasing this equipment, ask your school if the stethoscope is included in your tuition because some school does that. Some medical schools can give discounts on specific brands, while others do not provide you with anything.


Do You Need Headphones For Medical School?

Yes. Your noise-canceling headphones can help you understand video conferences clearly. On top of that, the reduced background noise can help you focus more on reviewing.

Getting a soundproof headset is perfect if you have a roommate and want to feel more alone with a peaceful ambiance. 

Should You Get A Penlight In First-Year Medical School?

Yes, because a penlight comes in handy in a wide plethora of scenarios as it can help you access things you need to see without extra assistance.

This small device works wonders if you have the task of examining a patient’s internal ear, throat, and nose. You can also get an otoscope to magnify some things and better understand the inside. 

Is It Best To Join Student Organizations In Medical School?

I highly suggest joining student associations in med school — yes, even if it means lending a portion of your time to the org instead of studying. 

This is because it can help you in the future. Entering organizations allows you to build meaningful relationships and connections you may need after graduation.

And, of course, the students you meet can assist you with your weaker course points and help you with your studies.

Is It Allowed To Have Colored Hair In Medical School?

I can’t speak for every medical school in this query, but a little hair color cannot hurt anyone. Just don’t go for very bright colors.

Although we live in a very inclusive community and era, it’s still best to be mindful of your actions. Some patients and medical instructors may not want their students to get extreme hair coloration. 

Is It Allowed To Have Tattoos And Piercings In Medical School?

The explanation here is almost similar to the previous question — yes, but with caveats.

A study in 2015 by BMJ states that exposed body art, like piercings and tattoos, does not change the patient’s perception of their attending physician.

However, it is not uncommon for some employers to tell aspiring employees to remove piercings and cover tattoos.

To be safe, ensure your body arts are as discreet as possible. Or read the hospital and school standard protocols.

[Free Download] Want to have everything you need to be a top student on your medical journey? Get FREE access to our Med School Success Handbook to get 60+ tips including the best study, time management, mindset tips you need to be a top student. Download it here. 

Your medical school starter pack may differ from others, but figuring out what to bring and wear in med school does not need to be very complicated.

To be honest, it’s unnecessary to get the latest of everything. They will only cripple your funds.

Be mindful of what you’re getting and stick to what you think is only needed (you may start on what I have written here).

Whenever you’re ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

1. The Med School Handbook:  Join thousands of other students who have taken advantage of the hundreds of FREE tips & strategies I wish I were given on the first day of medical school to crush it with less stress. 

2. The Med School BlueprintJoin the hundreds of students who have used our A-Z blueprint and playbook for EVERY phase of the medical journey so you can start to see grades like these. 

3. Med Ignite Study ProgramGet personalized help to create the perfect study system for yourself so you can see better grades ASAP on your medical journey & see results like these. 

4. Learn the one study strategy that saved my grades in medical school here (viewed by more than a million students like you). 

Did you enjoy reading this post? How about reading more relevant med school content?

 Until the next one, my friend…

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