Mr. G was a patient I met while on the surgical oncology service. He was in his early 50s, a loving husband and the father of two children. He was the middle sibling with two brothers. He also battled metastatic cancer.
Bright Light Therapy (BLT) has efficacy in treating mild-to-moderate SAD. A meta-analysis of eight randomized controlled trials found that BLT was effective at treating symptoms of SAD with an effect size of 0.84, which are comparable to the benefits of antidepressants.
My health deteriorated as I started my second year in medical school. I suffered from intense nausea and abdominal pain, only getting four or five consistent hours of sleep per day. These health issues had started and worsened during the second year, eventually culminating in an emergency cholecystectomy.
Like many medical students, I was vastly underprepared for the emotional turmoil that the nature of the third year of medical school can create.
Awareness of mental health and burnout concerns amongst physicians is simply insufficient; there is a dearth in actionable guidelines for training programs and medical schools to better medical student wellbeing.
Deadlines rush on, relentlessly. / Another email signed, / “Best regards.”
Third-year rotations forced me to reckon with my emotional capacity as a human and future physician. With each patient encounter, I had to decide whether my skin was too thick or too thin.
You’ve taken everything / Nothing is left
Ruchica Chandnani, Class of 2024 at the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine, contributes this poem as an in-Training writer and current managing editor of the publication since 2021.
I wanted to create this piece as a reminder to myself and all medical students: to take a breath, to breathe. Oftentimes we forget to find beauty in everyday life, since we are all so involved in our bustling workdays. We forget to take a pause during the day, to inhale and exhale with intention.
If I don’t text back / Please don’t think it’s you / It’s the abundance of info / That I must go through
The power and beauty of writing rest in a process of active narrative formation. The act of expression helps us make sense of what happened, integrate this into our sense of self, and clarify our values that will influence our next steps. Conveniently, our expression serves as a record of both identity and narrative formation, giving us a glimpse of ourselves more intimately than we typically take time for.