Tag: medical student wellness

Neha Kumar (7 Posts)

Columnist

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine


Neha is a second year MD candidate at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. To combat the cold/snow in Cleveland, Neha spends her time drinking Chai Tea Lattes, exploring art museums, and taking the local brunch world by storm, one sweet confection at a time. She loves the Melting Pot more than any other restaurant, and would always be down to give you suggestions on the best chocolates and cheeses.

Mind Your Mind

A very important but rarely discussed 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/students and how to eliminate it.




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Adventure #6: Climbing to the Top of the World (or the Halfway Point at the Local Gym)

One of my bucket-list goals before I die is to climb Mount Everest and Mount Kilimanjaro. Where did this come from? I’m not entirely sure. Yet something about climbing the tallest two mountains in the world has always appealed to me; I like challenges, and I can see no greater challenge to my physical and mental fortitude. However, even though I try to work out regularly, I’ve never gone rock climbing in my life. Therefore, keeping this bucket-list goal in mind, I decided to grab some friends and go rock climbing for my next adventure.

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Adventure #3: Punching and Kicking is Good for the Mind

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.

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Dr. Burnout: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Grind

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?

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Adventure #2: Pottery Painting (No Art Skills Required!)

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.

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Widening the Discussion of Mental Health in Medical School and Beyond

A fellow student writer recently wrote that she wondered if depression were “just part of life as a medical student.” One of her professors had given a lecture on depression asking students to “think of how many people we knew with the signs of depression listed on his lecture slide” — excluding medical students of course, “because you’ve all got some of these.” There is something so terribly and inherently wrong with that statement.

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Adventure #1: Not Your Mother’s Yoga Class

It should be no surprise that when I asked my fellow medical students their suggestions for ways to de-stress, one of the first answers I heard from all of them was: “Yoga.” I should admit that I have always been a bit skeptical of yoga — I enjoyed cardio-based workouts far more. However, after doing some research, I found a study by Bansal et al. which found that medical students in India who did yoga every day for just one month showed significant improvements in both their general and mental wellbeing.

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Review of Dr. Sandeep Jauhar’s Memoir “Doctored”

Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician is Dr. Sandeep Jauhar’s second book. In keeping with good narrative nonfiction, Jauhar offers a mix of personal stories, thoughtful interludes and an obvious effort to back up claims with facts and statistics. He offers compelling anecdotes, which allow the reader to situate him or herself into the context of health care in New York City. These personal vignettes are especially helpful for highlighting concepts difficult to discuss; an ethical dilemma or complex criticism of the health care system becomes much easier to understand when tied to a tangible person or place.

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Hitting the “Sweet Spot” in Life

To me, hitting a tennis ball is a symbol of how we as medical students perceive mental health: we know very well what habits are good for us and which are not. We know that we need eight to nine hours of sleep each night, a healthy diet and regular exercise. We know to engage in positive thinking, to nurture healthy relationships while cutting out toxic ones and to take time to “take care of ourselves” even when we are at our most stressed.

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Stress Reduction and Mindfulness in Medical School: Yes, It’s Worth It

There’s a lot of talk about mindfulness these days — its importance, its effectiveness, the benefits of meditation and even the structural changes in the brain that result from it. (Do you want a less reactive amygdala and increased neuronal density in the hippocampus? Meditate!) It’s one thing to read about the benefits of doing something, but as many know, it’s another thing to actually apply it and understand it. So how can medical students use stress reduction strategies “in the context of the high-stakes, high-stress and time-limited environment of medical school.”

Erin Ayala Erin Ayala (2 Posts)

Guest Writer

Albany Medical College


Erin Ayala, PhD is a clinical faculty fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Albany Medical College. She conducts research on health and wellness, does clinical work with medical students, and facilitates wellness initiatives and workshops at the college. When she’s not working, she’s training for triathlons, playing with her 2 dogs, and thinking of new ideas for personal hobbies and projects she may or may not actually finish.