It’s no secret that medical school is demanding – from long hours studying day to day, to the big hurdles of board exams and residency applications, the four years of medical school can be as stressful at times as they are rewarding. In recent years, those pursuing and training for a career in medicine have begun to shine a light more than ever on burnout and mental health in medicine. We reached out to students and residents at various levels of their education to see their perspective and their methods for staying motivated!
“As an intern, I have a lot of newfound responsibility, for my patients and on my team. The weight of that responsibility, paired with the long work hours, can absolutely be stressful at times. I deal with my stress by spending my down time as “self-care” time as often as I can – relaxing, running errands, and spending time with family and friends. While that spare time isn’t always as often as I’d like, taking advantage of the time I have and using it to recharge has made a big difference in my mental health, and has helped me avoid burning out during intern year. I am able to give my all to my patients and my team during the day, because I make sure to recharge as well as I can when I’m at home.”
-Dr. Caroline P., PGY1
“Medical school has been simultaneously one of the most enjoyable and most stressful times of my life. Interview season and 4th year have shown me how much I have grown in the past four years, and reflecting on that growth during stressful times – like anxiously awaiting Match Day! – gives me a boost of confidence and helps me regain perspective on how far I’ve come to get here. Knowing how far I’ve come keeps me motivated to finish 4th year strong and to start the next phase of my career with confidence!”
-Addison R., OMS4
“The first two years of medical school have been challenging, especially with my first set of boards approaching this summer. I found that making time to stay active keeps my head clear and helps me stay motivated. I try to be active in some way daily, whether I read my notes on the treadmill at the gym or by taking a walk with my dog. On free weekends after exams, I like to go hiking or travel nearby to visit friends. Making that time for myself helps me reset, in a way, and helps me really focus and work hard when it’s time to buckle down and have a long study session!”
-Sarah B, OMS2