From medical student to junior doctor : maintaining good health during the “baptism of fire”
Long working hours, sleep deprivation, and fatigue are just a few examples of the stressors experienced by junior doctors. In the seventh article of our series, Geoffrey Robinson and colleagues give advice on how to overcome these problems
- By: Geoffrey Robinson, Sharmila Bernau, Sarah Aldington, Richard Beasley
The transition from medical student to junior doctor is one of the most demanding phases of a medical career. The junior doctor years are associated with a variety of stressors, which can make doctors vulnerable to several important psychological and medical illnesses. This article reviews these conditions and offers suggestions for prevention as well as early detection and treatment.
Medical students as a group are susceptible to a particular range of health problems, including depression and substance misuse. This may be partly a result of the prevailing culture of medical schools (box 1). The social climate engendered by this culture has traditionally normalised heavy alcohol use for male students.1 More recently, women students have begun to develop this pattern of drinking behaviour. Recreational drug use among medical students is less well studied, but it is known that drug use among university students is not uncommon, and this probably applies to