“From now on,” our deans told us at orientation, “society will see you as a doctor. Sometimes you may not feel like one, but that is what you are becoming. This week marks the beginning of that transition, which will continue in the months and years to come.”
Monopoly, Risk, Parcheesi — I love them all. Board games have been an integral part of my life since I was young, and I attribute my childish competitiveness to the number of times I was beaten in these games in my childhood.
Depression — the term itself certainly does well to evoke a feeling of doom and negativity. On an everyday basis, we often associate feelings such as the disappointment from a poor test score, the physical exhaustion incurred from a stressful day, and even the unexpected blight of cloudy grey skies, with depression.
As a budding third year just starting out on my clinical rotations, I’ve recently learned the value of a home-cooked meal — there’s only so much take-out Chinese, microwaveable pizza rolls, and leftovers from last week’s lunch that my tastebuds will tolerate. It was only when one of my friends pointed out that it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve eaten a vegetable that I realized I needed to make changes in my life: specifically, culinary ones.
It’s that dreaded season again: spring. Whether you’re a fourth-year getting ready to cross the country for residency or a first-year readying for exams, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that spring is a stressful time for most of us.
Imagine you are a first-year medical student and just moved across the country to start your training. It is a stressful time, adjusting to a new city, a school, and new people.
Admittedly, the strife experienced by hip-hop artists comes from a different place than that of mine and likely many of our colleagues in the medical profession. Yet, the anxiety and fears of being unable to live up to expectations is something we can all understand.
I can finally say I’m in my last year of medical school. It has been a bumpy ride, but only one clerkship, a research project and an OSCE separate me from graduating. I remember receiving my acceptance letter eight years ago.
Growing up in an Asian American immigrant household, I frequently encountered and grappled with my parents’ reserved manner of expressing themselves. Instead of using words to communicate their sadness or anger, my parents would barricade themselves in their room and refuse to say a word.
During our psychiatry block, I learned how the aching sadness within me curls through my brain. It begins in the thalamus, amygdala, and hippocampus — three points that sit like stars in my body’s sky.
When we enter medical school, we bring with us high hopes, dreams, ambition and a passion to help those in need. We radiate vibrant energy and have an insatiable thirst for knowledge.
Despite the fact that it’s fairly warm for this time of year, I was feeling in the spirit to try a winter-themed activity that wouldn’t require travel or cost a significant amount of money. The most obvious activity, given those requirements, was ice-skating.