Tag: mental health

Samuel Rouleau (4 Posts)

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Emergency Medicine Resident, UC Davis Medical Center


Sam is an emergency medicine resident at UC Davis Medical Center. He attended the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, graduating in 2021. In 2017, he graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry. He enjoys reading, writing, yoga, skiing and rock climbing in his free time. Note: The opinions expressed by Sam on in-Training are his own. They do not reflect the opinion of the US Air Force, Dept of Defense, or US government.




Story(ies) of Myself

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.

Letter to Myself

Instead, I was worried that medicine would consume me only to regurgitate me as a mere collection of cells and systems – just like those I would be expected to regurgitate on the test. I was worried that the demands of knowing it all would make me believe that I could know it all, that there is nothing in the spaces between what we know. I was worried that bathing in science would make me stop believing in art.

Medicalizing My Grief

A classmate of mine committed suicide a few weeks ago. Though I’ve heard the harrowing statistics about physician and trainee suicide rates, to be honest, I never expected to personally encounter such a tragedy. The small classes at my medical school allow for a strong sense of community in which we all know each other, celebrate important life milestones, and happily reconnect when we’re together after clinical rotations scatter us throughout the hospital.

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.

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?

Sylvia Guerra Sylvia Guerra (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth


Sylvia Guerra is a fourth-year medical student at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, NH. Prior to beginning her career in medicine, she completed her undergraduate degree in religion at the University of Rochester and her Master of Theological Studies at the Harvard Divinity School. She is interested in pursuing a career in general surgery. She is also interested in the intersection of medical education and health equity and hopes to make this a central part of her surgical career. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont with her partner, their two cats, and eight chickens.