Tag: work-life balance

Ashten Duncan, MPH, CPH Ashten Duncan, MPH, CPH (9 Posts)

Columnist, Medical Student Editor and Former Managing Editor (2017-2018)

OU-TU School of Community Medicine


Ashten Duncan is a third-year medical student at the OU-TU School of Community Medicine located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A 2018-2019 Albert Schweitzer Fellow, he recently received his Master of Public Health (MPH) with an interdisciplinary focus from the University of Oklahoma Hudson College of Public Health. Ashten attended the University of Oklahoma for his undergraduate program, completing a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Microbiology and minors in Chemistry and French. An aspiring family physician, Ashten is currently on a National Health Service Corps scholarship. His research interests include hope theory, burnout in medical education, and positive psychology in vulnerable populations. Ashten is passionate about creative writing and what it represents. He has written pieces that have been published on KevinMD.com and in-Training.org and in Blood and Thunder and The Practical Playbook. Ashten is currently serving as Associate Author for the upcoming edition of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1.

The Lived Experience

As medical students, we sometimes lose sight of our purpose for going into medicine and feel that we are exerting ourselves excessively with little feedback from our environment. It is important that we remember that, while we are living through the experiences that come with our training, our future patients are also living through their own experiences. The focus of this column is to examine topics in positive psychology, lifestyle medicine, public health and other areas and reflect on how these topics relate to medical students, physicians and patients alike.




Lived experience

Flourishing and the Well-Lived Life: The Differential Impact of Hedonia and Eudaimonia on Our Experiences

What does it mean to lead a meaningful or purposeful life? One common feature that appears in many cultures is the pursuit and attainment of happiness throughout life. Recent research has unearthed predominant patterns in happiness, and consequently, two major perspectives have emerged: hedonia and eudaimonia.

Married Medical Student: Prioritizing Date Night

As a tour guide on interview days for my school, the most frequent question I am asked is: “What’s it like to be married — or to pursue a relationship — while in medical school?” This question is understandable. More than a year ago, I was asking the same question to medical students I met during my interview days, apprehensive about how school would affect or change my relationship with my husband. It is a …

Reflections on the First Year of Medical School

It’s almost been a full (calendar) year since medical school began. I’m officially a second-year medical student — and this year’s been a momentous one. As I look back on it, here’s some of the things that I learnt along the way. Fire hose: Med school really is like a firehose you’re supposed to drink from. It’s high pressure, it’s intense, it’s humanly impossible to get it all down your throat. The idea is that you …

8 Ways to Strive for Health and Wellness in Medical School

Whether you are embarking on your Step 1 studying journey or starting your clerkship, it is absolutely essential to maintain your health and well-being throughout medical school. It can be very easy to get caught up in the flow of studying lectures or rounding on patients. Even though it may seem convenient to go for the bag of potato chips when you’re on the run in the hospital or plowing through lectures without taking a …

Work-Life Balance in Medicine: A Dad’s Perspective by Abraham Knoll, MD

Becoming a doctor is a long road. One’s frame of mind during the process is important, because the wrong perspective can make the delayed gratification truly overwhelming. While your friends and family members may have sprinted through school, saying “I’ll be done in a year,” you are thinking “It’s going to be a lifetime before I’m truly done.”

Dreams and Reality: Finding a Balance between Lifestyle and Career Choice in Medicine

“Women shouldn’t be surgeons; it is impossible to find a balance between being a mother and a great surgeon.” These were the words I constantly ran into as I started to consider a surgical specialty for my future career. At first, I paid heed to these words and decided to become a pediatric cardiologist. However, before long I realized I just could not be a clinician for life. The idea of treating patients with medications …

Happiness Within: Work-Life Imbalance

From the first day of medical school orientation, we have been advised to maintain a life outside of the walls of the hospital and to continue our own hobbies and interests. This often feels overwhelming among the endless classes, exams, clerkships and applications, not to mention extracurricular activities. We all want to be a model medical student, battling our desires to be a good friend, husband, wife and person. I find medicine to be an …

Andrew Petersen (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer Emeritus

University of Cincinnati College of Medicine


Andrew hails from Thousand Oaks, CA and studied psychology and integrative biology at UC Berkeley. He is now a Class of 2013 medical student at the University of Cincinnati and is planning to match into internal medicine.