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Rates of mental health issues in med students/physicians

Discussion in 'Studying Medicine' started by nastya47, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. nastya47

    nastya47 Member

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    Hi all :)

    I was just looking into the rates of mental health issues in medical students and physicians. I know there are plenty of reports on this online, but I wanted to get a primary insight from you guys - how bad is it?

    And, how do you guys handle the pressure of such a demanding profession? Any tips on handling it?

    I am a Year 12 student, and having been busting my absolute a** off this year trying to get perfect marks. I struggle with trying to perfect in everything I do, which in hindsight seems relatively benign/ even a blessing to some extent, but recently it has been really getting me down - because obviously, I am always dissatisfied with my achievements/with myself as a person. Any tips?

    Many thanks,
    sammy04 likes this.
  2. pi

    pi Monash MBBS(Hons) V, BMedSc(Hons) Moderator

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    I suspect a lot of people in medicine are like you in this regard, and I suspect this is also part of the reason (a topic for another conversation perhaps) medical students have high rates of mental illness and suicide. Honestly, maintaining this perfectionism, especially as a badge of honour, is not really compatible with being healthy in medical school or as a doctor, where in both cases you'll see many many people better than you and you'll make heaps of mistakes.

    Nothing wrong with being hard on yourself with the intention to drive self-improvement and growth, but it has to have a limit. If it's hindering your ability to be proud of your achievements and if it's a source of stress, then I think that's an issue worth getting on top of sooner rather than later. Perhaps I'm over-stepping some sort of line here, but it might be worth dropping this by with your GP or a psychologist, as I don't think it's really that healthy in the long-term.
  3. GV

    GV Regular Member

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    I'm only 6 months in to the degree but my advice is this: You should be very secure with yourself and your own abilities. One thing I've found about medicine is that it obviously attracts the crème de la crème from all walks of life and consequently the environment can get quite competitive and somewhat toxic. Everyone is used to being at the top of their classes and knowing everything, but in medical school it's simply not possible for everyone to be at the top. The reason I think it's important to be secure in oneself is that it's quite easy to compare yourself to people around you and though it's good to be aware of where your knowledge sits in relation to everyone else you shouldn't let it consume you. Some people just have more experience in certain areas and will be better in others, and that's OK. Your biggest goal should be to learn what you need to learn to a. Do well academically and B. Prepare yourself for the big bad world as an intern.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017 at 6:32 PM
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