Unlike me, a lot of my medical school peers are involved in dance activities, from ballroom to hip-hop, and claim that going to dance classes really helps them shake off any negative feelings from the day. Intrigued, I did a little research. Sure enough, I found several articles espousing the beneficial effects of dance on mental health.
Despite its omnipresence, Time seemed to be in reliably short supply throughout the year. I keenly felt its absence: less time to cook and clean. Less time to exercise; less time to date. Less time to read and to write.
Earlier in the summer, I was speaking with a friend from medical school while we were studying for Step 1, the big test taken by medical students at the end of second year, and he remarked, “There’s really nothing quite like this. We probably don’t even realize how strange it is since we’re so ingrained in it.” He was right: the demands of medical school often make it an all-encompassing undertaking, one that can be difficult to explain to those outside it.
The topic of burnout is huge in today’s medical community. Multiple articles and studies have been published demonstrating that burnout is prevalent in all levels of medical training from the day-one medical student to the most senior practicing attending.
A very important topic is that of mental health in medical practitioners, notably medical students. According to a study in the Student British Medical Journal, 30% of medical students report having a mental health condition — with a majority of 80% stating the level of available support was poor or only moderately adequate. This column was born from these alarming statistics and aims to stimulate conversation on mental health in medical students, from providing suggestions on how to maintain one’s mental health to discussing the taboo and stigma surrounding conversations on mental health in practitioners and students, and how to eliminate it.
During my first year of medical school, I had the privilege of speaking at several high schools and colleges. The purpose of these interactions was to shed light on what I did to matriculate into medical school, my experiences as a medical student, and to answer any questions. No matter where I went though, one question always followed: “What is the hardest part of medical school?”
The life of a medical student can be quite isolating at times. In many ways, the struggle to become competent and knowledgeable on the wards becomes so all-consuming that it is so easy to become one-dimensional. After long hours during the day trying to keep up with the fast-paced schedules of the hospital, we return home with more studying and brushing up to do so that we may be ready for another day of endless learning. It is one simple task — to learn as much as we can — but it is one that can seem too much at times.
After four tough years of medical school and student loans, facing down seven more grueling years of training, aspiring neurosurgeons enter a residency interview process that is as bizarre as it is effective.
My first year of medical school is finally over…and it was rough. Then again, that is not too surprising. After all, it is medical school, so no one is expecting a walk in the park. During my first year, a lot of the advice and wisdom I heard from other medical students seemed to match up pretty well. However, there were definitely a few things I heard that I felt did not quite hold true. While this is only my opinion and it may vary from student to student, here are my top five biggest misconceptions about medical school.
Whenever I hear the word “burnout,” I’m reminded of the ugly, oh-so-dark side of being a medical student, the side that hides in the shadows, away from the prestige and privilege that comes with the noble profession. Maybe it seems like I’m exaggerating; I mean, it’s just me jumping to conclusions when I associate the feelings of being overworked with the days where I can’t seem to find the bright side of anything, right?
Diane Brackett, a recent fourth-year medical student who matched to Massachusetts General Hospital for pathology, gives us her expert advice on succeeding in medical school and beyond.
Samantha Margulies, a recent fourth-year medical student who matched to Yale-New Haven Hospital for obstetrics and gynecology, gives us her expert advice on succeeding in medical school and beyond.