April is National Stress Awareness Month, a national campaign designed to educate Americans about the effects of stress on our health, work, relationships and life. Of course, all college students undergo some degree of stress, no matter the course of study. But medical students face a particularly demanding experience.
In the first year of med school, students often struggle with adjusting to their new surroundings and keeping up with the increased work demand. During the second year, students read so much about diseases that they notoriously develop varying forms of hypochondriasis – then worry about conditions they don’t actually have. Meanwhile, preparing for USMLE and COMLEX Step 1 exams add to the stress. For third-year students, clinical rotations lend a bit of reality, and it’s not always a positive outcome. Losing patients or seeing them face lifelong debilitating conditions can prove distressing for even the most realist students. Plus, this is the year when students must decide on a medical specialty. In the fourth year, students anxiously complete residency applications and interviews, and prepare to transition from medical school to internship. All the while, dealing with tough schedules, exams and sleep deprivation can take a real toll on students.
Fortunately, there are many ways to combat stress while studying medicine. If you’re a current or prospective medical student, WOLFPACC offers these tips:
- Exercise daily.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Prioritize your assignments and activities and be sure to include time for a little fun while managing your schedule.
- Keep those in your support system close, including supportive friends, family and counselors.
- Go in as prepared as possible by taking WOLFPACC’s Pre Med Head Start or USMLE and COMLEX preparation courses.
Medical school is a challenging but highly rewarding experience. Let WOLFPACC help you make the most of it. Call 904-209-3140 to schedule a consultation today.