Tag: mental health

Rohan Patel (4 Posts)

Contributing Writer

American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine


Rohan is a recent graduate of the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. He plans on pursuing anesthesiology, while continuing to focus on global health. His research interests encompass global perioperative health, social medicine, medical education, and quality control and safety. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Bachelor's of Science in biochemistry with a minor concentration in psychology. He enjoys traveling and exploring new languages and cultures, especially in Asia.

The Silver Lining

From the outside, medicine is a grand profession – physicians and trainees work together to help those that are in need while saving lives. However, every day we are faced with darkness that does not get shown to outsiders. How we deal with these obstacles truly shapes our experiences within this profession, often leading to physician burnout. This column will focus on some of Rohan’s personal experiences facing the dark sides of medicine, while shedding light on how one can overcome these challenges, as there is always a silver lining through all the darkness.




Do I Belong Here?

This phenomenon of imposter syndrome is prevalent in many of us pursuing medicine. Especially for those of us who are first-generation physicians, we are left to fend through uncharted territories. While we try to do our best to navigate this difficult path, we are left feeling that there is someone else better suited for our spot in medicine. We feel that we are not deserving of this privilege. As we pass through these high obstacles — basic sciences, board exams, core rotations, even electives — we stew in self-doubt after each success.

Breaking the Stigma: Mental Health and Doctors

As I reviewed the notes, it occurred to me that many of my peers and I have displayed some of the signs and symptoms of mental illness. Our professor’s lectures emphasized the importance of recognizing these features in patients, but what about identifying them in ourselves? Should it also be our duty to recognize the signs and symptoms in our colleagues?

Why Medical Students Need to Be Trained in Vulnerability

In a profession where we are trained to fight death around any corner, any day, students need to not only understand how to handle death in a medical setting but also how to cope with the weight we bring upon ourselves in end-of-life situations. No matter our past experiences, no matter our clinical training or how academically prepared we think we may be, it can be traumatic to feel the burden of responsibility for the loss of a life.

How CrossFit Prepared Me for Medical School

A few years ago, I found CrossFit. Since then, I have spent a large share of my free time training and  improving my health and fitness. As with any sport, there was a large learning curve. However, as I trained, my mind and body adapted. I made strides both athletically and mentally that I never thought were possible. I never imagined that this preparation and development would translate to a seemingly opposing task: medical school.

Call It What It Is

Anxiety defined me more when I denied its existence than it does now that I’ve faced it head-on. Maybe the anxiety helped me get to where I was, but it was a burden I didn’t have to bear — especially not alone. Even knowing how important mental health is as a future physician, it embarrassed me to admit that I might need a prescription to help me cope with my fears and anxieties.

Soulful Medicine

And with scientific advancements came cures and treatments that the healers of antiquity could have never imagined. However, these advances came at the cost of appreciating a holistic approach to health. How pitiful is it when a profession which was once completely focused on healing the whole person must now devote entire conferences and countless seminars to finding ways of injecting that back into both its practitioners and the people they serve?

Navigating Trauma in Your Personal Statement for Medical School

I applied to medical school twice. In retrospect, I was unsuccessful the first time for a few reasons: my timing was terrible, I had too much humility about my achievements and I didn’t ask for enough opinions about my application from people who were rooting for me. My trauma was also too raw and recent to write in a way for strangers to understand.

Medical Students Do Not Owe You Their Trauma

Interviewers who ask these questions in a professional setting typically consider these issues to be academic — purely topics for discussion that might provide useful insight into the way the applicant views the world. But for applicants who have been affected, these issues are not merely academic and their discussion can invoke significant emotional turmoil. So before we continue to tacitly accept this shift in interviewing, it is important to consider its purpose and impact on those being interviewed.

Kathryn Norman Kathryn Norman (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

University of Massachusetts Medical School


Kathryn Norman is a fourth-year medical student at University of Massachusetts Medical School class of 2021. She received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Harvard University in 2015. Before starting medical school, she worked as a CDC Public Health Associate in Modesto, CA, where she discovered her love for both local health policy and hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains.