What if I Just Want to Quit Medical School?

Sheila M. Bigelow, DO

Disclosures

August 07, 2013

In This Article

Staying Positive

When we are "feeling blue" but are not clinically depressed, it is still important to address those emotions in a positive way. Go for a run, take a walk; do anything that will get your body moving and switch your mind to something other than the Krebs cycle. Remember to eat nutritious food that will make you feel good from the inside out. (Don't worry, sometimes a little ice cream is okay as well!)

Figure out what it takes to perk yourself up. Is it reading a good book? Checking out some tabloid websites? Whatever it is, find something to do when the last thing you want to do is to read another medical chapter -- find something that offers some feel-good moments. It is not at all selfish or a waste of time to pay attention to how you feel and address those feelings in a positive way.

Surround yourself with a social net to catch you when you're having one of "those days." Step 3 may be right around the corner, but talking to your favorite aunt about what your crazy cousin wore to the 4th of July picnic will leave you refreshed and ready to attack those books. Family and friends who are not involved with medicine can be great help when you need to decompress and relax. We have all been to parties with just medical students and residents and know that most of the conversation revolves around medicine and work. My family and nonmedical friends know me outside the hospital and can offer a unique perspective on what is important in life and a view of life that doesn't revolve entirely around medicine. It's important to realize that, yes, your life is all-medicine-all-the time right now, but there is a world outside of the walls of the hospital or library.

That being said, sometimes you need your medical school friends or co-residents to support you through your first patient's death or other difficult medical career moments, because they have been there and they know what it's like. Going to a happy hour after a long day on the floors with your colleagues to blow off some steam is sometimes what gets you through the rough days. Ten years from now you won't remember your in-service training exam score, but you will remember the colleagues and friends who hugged you after the death of a patient who was close to you.

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