As we dive into the spring semester, it’s important to address our mental health and evaluate our overall well being. This can be a particularly challenging time for medical students of all levels.
First-year medical students are concerned on how they will be spending their last summer off, while the second-year students are prepping for USMLE STEP 1. Third-year students are finalizing their career decisions, possibly making plans for away rotations, and creating their final year schedules. Lastly, fourth-year medical students are wrapping up interviews, making their rank lists, and anxiously awaiting The Match results!
It is during these times that we really need and rely on our support groups. I always say there is benefit in having multiple support groups filled with the people you love— your family, friends, and mentors. However, I also encourage medical students to seek therapy from a trained professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, if they feel that is something they would benefit from having. Being in a safe place where you can express your thoughts and concerns openly and freely can be incredibly therapeutic. Many schools, such as my own, provide free therapy services to our students. This is a great opportunity that students can take advantage of and, if you are unsure of what services your school provides, talk to your Student Affairs Office to see what is available. They can also work to provide these services if not available at the current moment!
Ultimately, I encourage all students to find the people that lift you up when times are tough. Med school is surely not an easy journey for anyone but, with the right people supporting us, I believe we will make it through!