On Staying Sane in Medical School

On-Staying-Sane-in-Med-SchoolYou’ve probably already heard that medical school can be pretty overwhelming. Here are a few ways that you can reduce that stress and enjoy the ride! First, give yourself a pat on the back for getting into med school. Being here means you’ve already demonstrated strong academic and interpersonal skills, which can be easy to forget when you’ve spent four hours in anatomy lab and things still don’t make sense. It’s a nice pick-me-up when things get a little rough. Second, if you do find yourself struggling or lost, don’t get too down on yourself! Medical school is supposed to be challenging, and all students feel confused by the material at some point. First year is Pass/Fail so that you can work through these challenges and figure out the best way that you work. As weird as it sounds, embrace the difficulty! Third, take time to do things that you enjoy — running, reading, hanging out with your significant other, etc. Your future colleagues and patients would much rather have relaxed, yet capable physicians than doctors who spend all their time worrying about minutiae. And lastly, get to know your classmates! They are your future colleagues, after all. Each one has an interesting and unique story that’s gotten him or her to med school, and you’ll all rely on each other to get through the stressful times. Medical school truly is “a marathon, not a sprint,” and keeping balanced throughout will help you get to the finish line smiling. Good luck!

— Chetan V., M1