Dealing with stress
Medical students are often reluctant to seek help. Alex Mentzer and David Sturgeon offer ways to beat stress
It is not easy being a medical student. Medical students have a notoriously large quantity of work. They study and live on borrowed money for a longer time before earning compared with students on other courses. During a medical degree students are constantly evaluated by peers and superiors and must come to terms with death, disease, and complex ethical issues. Some students bottle up their problems so that they appear to be coping. And many have to take on extra jobs to make ends meet.
The burden of these stresses can be multiplied in the face of personal problems. In addition they are entering a profession that has higher rates of mental illness, drug and alcohol dependence, and suicide than the general population.1 Perhaps the most worrying aspect of all of these observations is the fact that doctors seem to acquire patterns of health behaviour at medical school.23