Both experience and research tells us that the medical school environment can be highly stressful. If you are feeling stressed, you are not alone.

  • Students enter medical school with mental health profiles similar to those of their peers, but experience depression, burnout, and anxiety at higher rates.
  • There is a tendency for medical students and physicians to be highly self-critical.
  • Many think that one cannot be vulnerable or less than perfect.
  • Competition with others for further training or positions is common.
  • There may be perceived obstacles to seeking help: Is it safe? Will it affect my future? How will others view this if they find out?

Life balance a whole-person model to increase health and wellness

What are you neglecting at this point in time?

  • Mental/cognitive: Pay attention to thoughts, ways you think about yourself, others, the future
  • Physical: Including sleep, nutrition, physical exercise, getting adequate health care, use of regular relaxation strategies
  • Emotional: Learn to pay attention to how you feel and what you need
  • Relational/Social: Nurture relationships with family, intimate partners, peers, friends. Take time for fun and laughter
  • Spiritual: Consider that which gives meaning or fulfillment, transcends the self

What can YOU do?

  1. Seek balance even while in medical school
  2. Combat the stigma of getting help for mental and emotional distress for yourself and peers
  3. Use self-care measures. Seek support from trusted friends or family. Get professional help

Your power of choice as a medical student

  • What are your expectations for yourself in medical school and for your performance on the next exam? Be honest.
  • How do those thoughts, those standards, contribute to or increase your level of stress and anxiety?