As a medical student, I find myself experiencing stress and anxiety sometimes. I imagine I’m not alone. As a medical student, I also tend to forget that I am human and need time to take care of myself.
Back in March of 2016, I attended the national American Medical Student Association (AMSA) conference in Washington, D.C. I went to many seminars, one of which they spoke to us about well-being and how the AMSA wants to improve the well-being of medical students. In June of 2016, I attended the Association of American Medical Colleges Organization of Student Representatives (AAMC OSR) PDC conference in St. Louis, MO. I also found myself in a seminar where they talked about physician and student well-being and how important it is we advocate for taking care of ourselves when we’re always busy taking care of everyone else around us. Seeing a trend yet?
I’m here to tell you and remind myself that although changing unhealthy trends in medical education may not be easy, we, as well as our patients, deserve it. At my school, we’ve had speakers inform us about well-being and ways to stop neglecting ourselves. That is something I’d like to see at every school.
Did you know that medical students are at increased risk for poor diet, depression, relationship trouble, and suicide? Not surprising considering our lifestyle theme of tough schedules, exams, sleep deprivation while attempting to balance a healthy lifestyle socially, mentally, and physically. It can be really draining, and I totally get that.
But this is where I’m here to say it’s okay to have time for yourself, and it’s important to take care of yourself. We are only human, so we need sleep, relationships, hobbies, and good nutrition. It’s all about time management. I realize that stress is a necessary part of life, but it shouldn’t prohibit your well-being.
Stay tuned for the next post where I share ways to improve well-being. Until next time!
If you are contemplating suicide, there is help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Life Line at 1-800-273-8255 or chat with someone online now.