Thursday, September 26, 2013

"You don't know what I go through."

Sometimes medical training can be a source of stress.  A really big source of stress.

I've seen what it can do to a lot of the people around me, in different stages of training:

Some of us drink.

Some of us sleep.

Some of us cry.

Some of us spend hours on the phone.

Some of us argue.

Some of us gain 10 kilos.

Some of us get divorced.

Some take it out on family, friends, medical students, residents, even patients.

I think my family now knows how stressful things can be with my training.  Taking call for this, working overnight in addition to daily responsibilities in the hospital.

Going to this mandatory lecture, this mandatory meeting, this optional meeting you want to make happen so your fellow medical students in the group don't think you're lazy.

It's hard to not buckle under stress.  Things that stress many medical students are:

1. constant HCV/HIV/TB danger
2. what the attending thinks of them
3. what their residents think of them
4. how well enough they're competing with the other med students
5. mandatory lectures
6. Step 1
7. mandatory meetings
8. Step 2
9. shelf exams
10. lack of sleep
11. taking call and being in the hospital the next morning

i'm actually too tired to finish the rest, but it's a long list.  what you have to do is stay positive, and be gentle to everyone, especially your family and close friends.  it's long, difficult training, and the challenges never end


  1. I know what you mean. I'm halfway through clerkship at the moment and i'm already beginning to feel burned out. There are some days that I don't feel like going on 24 hour duty and when I do, I end up getting cranky with patients especially when the reason for their emergency consult is somewhat their own fault. There are some days you just can't win.

  2. thanks for your readership and understanding. I hope things get better for you on clerkships. What you're feeling is normal. A lot of my classmates were feeling very fatigued about halfway through their first clinical year, and it was mainly due to the long hours.

    What's the culture like at your medical school? I hoping that wherever I end up for residency, I can start some kind of "wellness rounds" program where residents have a scheduled hour for recreation or some kind of therapeutic venting session. One can dream!

    Good luck with your training!

    1. In our medical school, we start going on 24 hour duty on our 4th year. We have a 2 month-long rotation per department and we have the senior interns and residents to answer to. Some departments (surgery, orthopedics, ENT) have mandatory morning rounds at 8am sharp. Some of our attendings actually take the time to teach us at bedside during their rounds, which I really appreciate. There's a lot of camaraderie going on between us junior interns and the senior interns and residents. We sometimes go out for lunch or dinner during our free time. :)

      I like your idea of "wellness rounds"! Maybe that will help the residents to act more human towards the interns haha. What's it like at your medical school? :)