What does a first year med student need

What Does A First Year Med Student Need? [Supplies and Equipment]

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New and appropriate medical supplies and equipment can motivate up-and-coming medical students to study better. It makes you wonder, though, what does a first year med student need?

Medical school is a long, arduous, and bumpy journey for any student who aspires to enter the medical field. Having the right tools and supplies by your side is just the first step you need to take before even stepping into your med school.

If you’re starting your medical journey soon, there isn’t a much better time than the present to look through a list of the essential medical school supplies that can help you get through the following tough years! 

Bonus: Want to learn how I got a 3.9 GPA in med school using a simple-to-follow study strategy? Get access to my exact study method from med school for free here. 

best extracurriculars for medical school

What To Do Before Starting Med School?

Starting med school is a hugely daunting process for all medical students. 

It won’t serve you any good if you go blind and crawl in the dark. Getting lost in the woods isn’t wise, especially without anyone to help or guide you. 

Before med school starts, you must prepare yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally if you want to survive those four years.

The following four tips can be an excellent place to start if you’re not sure what to do before med school:

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Develop Effective Strategies That Can Help You Cope With Stress

Medical school is time-intensive and stressful — a known fact by even those with no interest in medicine, so there’s no need to sugarcoat that. If you’re starting med school, you will need an outlet to balance your clinical, academic, and personal activities.

Find a healthy means to relieve stress and have a more productive experience. You can use several methods to achieve it, including sports, arts, music, yoga, and meditation.

If you already have a coping strategy in the past that seems to work for you, use the time before med school to fit it into your academic schedule. This way, you can practice a healthy life balance and not burn out quickly.

Bonus: Want better grades with more free time (and less stress)? Get access to our free 3-step study system here to see what other top students do that you may not be doing!

Come Up With Good Study Spots and Areas

Identify places in your apartment or dorm where you can study peacefully and get work done. If that kind of space does not exist, make one.

You must have a space dedicated to academics to help you stay focused when things in med school start to pick up and get hectic.

It also does not necessarily need to be inside your home. These study spots can be on-campus, in your favorite café, or in the library. Just ensure that it has good lighting and is distraction-free.

Familiarize Yourself With Helpful Self-Care Routines

Med school will only get intense from here on out. Your social life won’t be as thrilling or exciting as it used to be before med school, as most nights, you might find yourself cooped up in your home to study.

You will need to take good care of yourself. As you go through med school, it won’t be surprising that you lose track of your social life to change your path and go towards a more disciplined routine and lifestyle.

Even before med school, you must familiarize yourself with self-care routines that would work for you. Find time to exercise, eat, sleep, and rest.

Bonus: Want to learn how I got a 3.9 GPA in med school using a simple-to-follow study strategy? Get access to my exact study method from med school for free here. 

Read Early

It helps a great deal if you study ahead of time. If you have subjects or courses that you struggle with, use the time before medical school to read and review.

That way, you won’t be left behind when classes start. Being ahead of the curriculum also helps you adjust easier in school.

A strong understanding of the syllabus can help you excel in your classes. It would also mean that you’ll be able to finish your tasks and activities much quicker, giving you more time to focus on yourself.

Physiology and medical humanities are some subjects that you can review ahead of time. Strong knowledge about them can be helpful during your clinical years. Advanced studying also helps you gain better control of your medical workload.  

Get The Exact 8-Steps I Used To Get A 3.9 GPA In Med School For Free Below!

First Year Med Student Supplies And Equipment

The first year in medical school will force you to directly or indirectly invest in specific and good-quality supplies and equipment for further practice. While your professors will likely tell you what supplies you need, doing early homework and research still pays off.

Not only does this make sense from a financial point of view, but it also helps prepare you for your first day in med school. Now, what tools should you pay attention to?

Here are the top 12 must-haves of first-year med students:



3M Littmann Stethoscope

Several medical schools require students to have a stethoscope on their admission day. If they omit such a reminder, it doesn’t mean you won’t ever need it.

Some schools might feel that mentioning the need for a stethoscope is not necessary. It is, after all, the signature item for most, if not all, doctors.

It is recommended to invest in a good quality stethoscope, one that would allow you to hear clear heartbeats. Typically, med schools require a cardiology-grade stethoscope.

Knowing that this medical tool is a must-have item, you will need to learn how to store it properly. Hanging it is not a good idea as you might knock it by accident.

Having a stethoscope case is vital to ensure your stethoscope’s long life. You can also purchase a stethoscope tag in case you misplace it.

Bonus: Want to learn how I got a 3.9 GPA in med school using a simple-to-follow study strategy? Get access to my exact study method from med school for free here. 


ASUS ZenBook 14

A laptop is probably hands-down the most vital — and expensive — investment you will need to make before entering med school. With the long hours of studying ahead of you, you will need a reliable and trustworthy laptop that can keep up with you, especially during your all-nighters.

As a medical student, you must take many notes and read several books. Technology makes it so that you wouldn’t need to carry a heavy and bulky bag filled with thick medical books to every class.

Nowadays, there are more and more ebooks and online resources available on the internet for your studies. Moreover, with a laptop, you can watch lectures better, take notes more efficiently, and make reports faster.

A fancy and overly expensive laptop is not necessary. Several laptops are within an affordable range for those that are on a budget.

Bonus: Want better grades with more free time (and less stress)? Get access to our free 3-step study system here to see what other top students do that you may not be doing!


Dagacci Scrubs Medical Uniform

Surgical scrubs are a no-brainer! One coolest parts of attending med school is wearing these scrubs.

It truly makes you feel like you’re only a few steps behind from reaching your dream of becoming a doctor. That’s a bit far from the truth, but it doesn’t hurt to dream.

Some schools provide these scrubs, but a few give their students free reign. In these cases, you must determine your school’s design requirements before purchasing anything.

You can have these customized in whatever manner, as long as it complies with the school’s standards and requirements. You may even have your name printed or embroidered on them.

Note that scrubs are primarily for hygiene purposes. Since they are specific medical school attire, please refrain from wearing them off campus to avoid the risk of germ transmission.

First Aid Book

First Aid USMLE Step 1 2024

Many med students make the mistake of not adding this to their essential supplies. It is a crucial item for incoming med students.

Before learning first aid properly, you will need to familiarize yourself with the idea and concept. For that, you will need a reliable reference.

This book is an informative guide and resource material that can help you learn about first aid services. Moreover, it can help you in the board exam later on.

Student Planner

Daily Planner

Medical school is time-demanding. Not having a good grasp of your time early on can make you miss essential tasks.

Since you’ll be a busy student, you must keep detailed records of your schedule, appointments, and due dates. Use a planner to organize your week and month properly.

You can update it every time a new task or assignment comes up. An updated planner also helps you keep track of important dates, like upcoming exams and activities.

If you do not like carrying another notebook, you can always have a digital planner downloaded on your phone, laptop, or tablet. It is much easier to edit everything digitally.

Bonus: Want to learn how I got a 3.9 GPA in med school using a simple-to-follow study strategy? Get access to my exact study method from med school for free here. 

Colored Highlighter and Pens


Entering med school, you shouldn’t be surprised if you spend several hours studying and doing schoolwork. You must discover your preferred studying method to make it manageable and easier for you in the long run.

Some prefer using colored highlighters and pens. They would devise their own system for highlighting and likely use different colors.

Colors stimulate a part of the brain that helps with retention. Specific colors, like red and blue, are the best for improving brain function and boosting cognitive skills. 

Red, in particular, is far better for memory retention and detailed-oriented tasks, by as much as 31%, than blue.

Highlighters can help mark words and text in books so you can quickly find them. It is better to assign colors to reference information.

For instance, you can use blue for keywords, yellow for definition, and green for the terms.

Study Clothes (Sweatpants and Loose Shirts)

Fleece Sweatpants

Marathon study days are not uncommon in med school, especially when exams are coming up. You will need extra comfy clothes to help you relax and be more comfortable.

Invest in soft clothes like sweatpants and loose shirts. You will quickly realize that in this field, jeans and stylish shirts are only cute and much more of a hassle, especially on days that you’re not in school.

Studying for an exam or test will mean hours of standing, lying around, and sitting. Wearing something comfortable can help make these days more manageable.

Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Soundcore by Anker Life Noise Cancelling Headphones

Another excellent investment is noise-canceling headphones. It will be a godsend item during study times when you need to eliminate noises that can distract you.

Good soundproof headphones can help you avoid noisy environments and replace them with a much more peaceful ambiance — which is perfect for studying! It will also be handy if you live in a dorm or have a roommate.

Bonus: Want better grades with more free time (and less stress)? Get access to our free 3-step study system here to see what other top students do that you may not be doing!

Portable Phone Charger

Miady Portable Charger

Due to long school hours, you will inevitably consume a lot of your phone’s battery by using apps to look up particular stuff. Running out of charge before the day even ends is entirely possible.

Since you are likely spending more time outside, there is a high risk of not having access to any nearby outlet. A portable charger can help solve that particular problem.


UGRACE Vintage Laptop Backpack

Of course, as a student, you must have a bag to take to school. However, being a med student means you need an extra sturdy and spacious backpack.

You will need to place your textbooks, pens, lab coats, stethoscopes, study notes, laptop, diagnostic sets, notebooks, lunch, and personal items in a bag. For all that to fit, you will need something that is good quality, has many compartments, and is comfortable to carry around.

Bonus: Want to learn how I got a 3.9 GPA in med school using a simple-to-follow study strategy? Get access to my exact study method from med school for free here. 


Risemart Pen light

Penlight has a wide plethora of uses in various situations. It gives you access to specific things you may not otherwise see without extra help.

Some students would prefer to invest in otoscopes instead, as they do pretty much the same thing. Only that penlight does not have magnifying glasses.

Penlights can work wonders if you have to inspect a patient’s throat, ear, or nose.

Study Desk and Chair

Origami Folding Computer DeskErgonomic Desk Chair

A comfortable study desk and chair are also essential for a med student. Since you will be spending hours sitting and studying, you will need to spend a bit to get a comfortable chair.

Ergonomic chairs are highly recommended for med students since they reduce fatigue and help improve one’s posture. A comfortable desk chair also means good spine and back support.

As for desks, it is best to find one that would suit your height. Using a desk that does not fit you can lead to various health issues, like stress and strain on the neck and body muscles.

Standing desks are also an option for those who prefer to alternate between standing and sitting while studying. That helps relax the body, lessen fatigue, and relieve back or neck pain.

Bonus: Want better grades with more free time (and less stress)? Get access to our free 3-step study system here to see what other top students do that you may not be doing!

Well, there you have it! 

Whether you are doing early or last-minute shopping for med school, we hope that the list above helped you understand the answer to, “What does a first year med student need?

It is an understatement to say that medical school is expensive. The essentials and equipment you’ll need to survive the school is not the cheapest either. 

Research like this can help you prepare for the financial cost. It can also help you find some excellent and affordable alternatives while at it.

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). 

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Until the next one, my friend…

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