Medical school is stressful. I taught at the University of Miami School of Medicine for 25 years, and in that time I was told that some 20% of students had sought psychological counseling for stress of one sort or another.
Stress, of course, may result from financial, psychological, and family reasons or uncertainty as to field of choice. Most stress, though, arises from the sheer volume of material that needs to be learned. There is so much to learn and so little time to learn it.
Students admitted to medical school are the cream of the crop. They typically do quite well in undergraduate school. However, despite their excellent qualifications, the fact is that in every medical school in the country exactly 50% of the class is at the bottom of the class. This can be a difficult adjustment for a high achiever.
Students enter the wards where there are life-threatening events, but commonly lack the experience and confidence in dealing with such clinical situations at this stage in their education. When I was an intern, I often felt as if objects were constantly thrown at me and I had to keep catching them or a patient might suffer an adverse event.
This blog is devoted to reducing the stress level in medical education, to explore more efficient ways to learn and retain the vast information needed to become an excellent clinician, and to help in dealing with stress in general in medical school, internship, and residency.
I welcome comments and suggestions from students in any area of the health professions.
Stephen Goldberg, MD
President, MedMaster Inc
Professor Emeritus, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine