In my second year of medical school, amidst the frequent exams and impending doom of third year rotations, I would often look forward to Tuesday nights. On these nights, students and residents would come together to play pick-up basketball at a local gym, removed from the stresses of medical school.
One step and then another; / the end is near! The end is nearly here! / And yet, it is not. Not yet near. / So, I carry on, though I am weary, / though my telomeres shorten or because my telomeres shorten,
Trauma can be inflicted on the micro scale — to the mind, to the body and to the spirit itself. Oftentimes, we tend to sideline these transgressions, but their accumulation can damage our sense of wholeness and peace with both ourselves and the world.
Thinking. We do it all the time, from the most minute choices to the most momentous decisions. Part and parcel of our daily lives, thought is inextricable from how we see, feel and believe. But how often do we take the time to reflect? To ruminate on our experiences and flesh out how dynamically we are molded by them?
I was not happy when I was accepted to medical school, not like I thought I would be. In the hours and days that followed that fateful email, feelings of shock, sadness and nervousness jostled for dominance in my mind as I processed the information.
I went to college in Canada, and whenever I’d think about medical school, I’d romanticize how great moving to the United States would be in terms of opportunities and career development. However, in college, I was in a romantic relationship when I applied to medical schools in the U.S., and with that, I was very cognizant that I’d have to be in a long-distance relationship for at least four years…
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.
The interviewer smiled, gave a vague answer and followed it with a diatribe about how present-day residents have it so “easy.” How his generation had to “walk through feet and feet of snow” to get to work and how work hour restrictions did not exist. Caught off guard, I wondered what sparked such an emotional response to a common interview question.
Blue, white, red, yellow, pink, brown. These are the colors of the ties and strips of fabric around the scrub pants and tops indicating their size. At the start of medical school, I would squeeze into a red top and red pants: these were the larges.