You’ve been accepted into medical school. You’re thinking about medical school. You might be wondering how you’ll be able to survive those first few days and weeks. It’s an exciting time, but also one that offers you high levels of anxiety. What medical supplies do you need to buy as a first year medical student? Will you need more supplies in the later years of your education? This guide will help you find what you need, what you might not need, and the best prices that are available today.
Your Must Have Items: A Diagnostic Kit
If you wait around to purchase medical equipment from your school bookstore, you’re going to find yourself sorely disappointed in a variety of ways. Not only is the equipment typically made cheaply and really overpriced, but you’ll struggle to get through your exams with that stuff. Save a whole bunch of money by purchasing your diagnostic kit from another source.
Here’s what you’re going to need.
- A stethoscope
- A blood pressure cuff (sphygmomanometer)
- A reflex hammer
- A tuning fork (sometimes first year, but normally second year)
- An ophthalmoscope
- An otoscope
- A penlight
- A pair of trauma shears
- A pocket chart
You’ll find a number of basic kits are available online right now to help you begin building up your equipment supplies for medical school. A stethoscope and sphygmomanometer is a common combination that you’ll find online, but there are other combos that will help to save you some cash. Avoid the all-in-one diagnostic kits at the school bookstore at all costs. The chart below will give you the budget kits that will keep you within your budget and still meet your academic needs.
Other Supplies You’ll Want for Medical School
Now that we’ve covered the equipment basics, let’s talk about some of the medical school supplies you’re going to want to have even though they are not often discussed. One of those items happens to be dry erase markers. Just because medical records have gone electronic and lesson plans are taught on the internet doesn’t mean you won’t need to diagram stuff on a white board from time to time. It’s easier to do those diagrams physically instead of digitally when the pressure is on.
If nothing else, take a digital image of your white board diagram if you need to submit something for class. That saves a ton of time. And, once everyone else figures out what you’re doing, they’ll want to “borrow” your markers. Now is the time to get them.
You’ll also want to invest into some high quality scrubs for medical school. This is for those moments when you’re in the anatomy lab and unknown liquids begin to squirt your way. Those scrubs will protect your good clothes from being destroyed. Speaking of fashion, you will also want a pair of dedicated medical shoes, like nursing shoes, so you don’t ruin your good kicks because something decided to leak off the table.
If you wait too long to purchase these items, you’re going to have fewer fashion choices and that can be a problem with scrubs. Taz might be fun to watch, but he isn’t always fun to wear.
And finally, if you’re on a tight budget, there is one place where a little extra money is going to pay off – with a great backpack. Look for one that has a lifetime guarantee, with no questions asked. Greasy stuff from dissecting is not something that comes out of every backpack and you don’t want to carry around that grease throughout all of medical school.
The medical supplies you’ll need for the first year of medical school and beyond are affordable if you know where to shop. Take a few moments to review the supplies which will be required by your school. Then take a look at the cost of these supplies here compared to the cost of buying them from the school bookstore. There’s a good chance that you’ll get better equipment for less cash – and you can’t beat that.