How to handle stress in medical school

I came across this article that says that physician suicide is amongst the highest. Approximately 400 physician commit suicide yearly.

I was just wondering how you all deal with stress in medical school. Since there have been cases of students doing this in prestigious programs across the country.

For me I run around 40 miles a week, but that will take me anywhere from 6-8 hours per week, ya I’m a slow runner/jogger. I found that this helps me relieve a lot of stress (but I’m not in medical school yet). Is it possible to take 6-8 hours a week from your daily work for working out / run while in medical school? rsb10…


It ABSOLUTELY is possible to do that, and, at least at my school, encouraged. I had a number of classmates who did exactly what you are proposing, including some who trained for the Boston marathon, triathlons, etc.

I think there is some common misperception out there that every waking hour in medical school is spent studying or attending class. This is simply not true. While it is true that a majority of your time is doing just that, there is time for you go out, exercise, plan dinner with family and friends, etc. I think the general pattern for people at my school was that most would try to work out daily to some degree and then take one entire day off per week where there was nothing school related done.

It is important in medical school that you take time for yourself. Learning to balance life is going to be key for your future happiness as a resident and eventual practicing physician. Don’t buy into the old school line of thinking that you have to sacrifice your personal life for your professional life or vice versa.

I absolutely concur with this feeling that time for oneself is just as important as caring for patients. Often, I get looks from the residents with whom I work with on the trauma service when I say that " my health and lifestyle will always come first, no matter what position I am in - medical student, resident, or attending." As future physicians, we must remain true to our core. Otherwise, we won’t be able to help those patients who are in need!

You might have to plan your time a little more carefully, but you can do it. I’m also a runner, if anything I ran MORE in medical school because it helped me focus. A nice thing that’s available now that wasn’t when I was in med school, many programs now post lectures as MP3 files, download-able same day after the lecture. What a great way to multitask.