This may be a silly question but is any one else worried about stamina? I had to work a long shift the other day (16 hours sitting at computer) and was wiped out tired/dragging for the following 2 days. This concerns me. I have always been fairly active --jogging several times a week, previous marathons (slow pace)… .but at 44 yrs old, I am a little concerned about this. Any tips from those who are in med school, residency, etc on keeping up the endurance level and keeping the pace of a 20-something. Thoughts from others?

Remember the older you get the less sleep you need. I’m managing with the hours of a first yr resident and I’m 52!!!

I am 40 and dead by 10pm since starting my Critical Care Fellowship. You will learn your limitations and find out how to work around them.

Being a physician (and training to become one) requires three kinds of stamina: physical, mental, and emotional. You’ll study/work long hours, engage in lifelong learning, and deal with difficult emotional situations. You need to build stamina in all of these realms to thrive as a doctor. You should also remember that some fields of medicine take more stamina than others–there is huge variety. You’ll figure out which area of medicine you’re most suited to as you go through medical school. But you’re right to be mindful of the stamina it takes as you look ahead.



Oh yeah, this is a big questions mark as well. I am contemplating Radiology or Surgery. The latter is scaring me.

I feel quite healthy and OK, but doing work around my house (recently did a lot of tiling and laminate flooring/wall painting), I am discovering that it takes longer for me to recover from effort than before. So with night calls and standing all the time, Surgery is something that I am not sure I will physically be able to handle.

  • Orla Said:
Remember the older you get the less sleep you need. I'm managing with the hours of a first yr resident and I'm 52!!!

I've found that as I've gotten older, I sleep MUCH more "efficiently" than I did when I was younger, if that makes sense.

When I go to bed, I'm OUT not long after until it's time to wake up the next day.

I will say that since I started exercising in the morning (between 5:45 and 6:15) not long after I wake up, I not only feel so much better, I don't experience any issues staying awake/alert during the day even when I go to bed late, say after midnight. I also don't drink coffee very often, just green tea though I may have it twice/day for my long days.


As not only someone in their 50’s, but someone seriously overweight in their 50’s, I have been pretty concerned about stamina.

Throughout med school and into just my 1st month of residency, I’ve found that working the long day or staying up most of the night studying is not too bad. A lot of that is mental, and I’d say one of my strategies this last year has also been spiritual (praying for help/strength when I felt I couldn’t do what was required, and finding that I had that strength when needed).

For me I also have the issue Redoitall mentioned of being physically challenged by the standing in surgery. Have some nerve compression/stenosis/radi culopathy issues. Told the surgeons I rotated with in medical school that I might need to sit down at some point and medically why it was difficult for me to stand for long periods. My last rotation was basically sent out of the OR during 2 cases when I had stood long enough that I got “vasovagal” from the back pain and broke out into a sweat. They made me leave so I didn’t drip onto the field (or pass out). But no one was angry with me. There’s a reason I’m planning to be a family doctor, not a surgeon. It’s humbling but I make the effort to do as much as I can, but also give those I’m working with a heads-up as to what my limitation may be. I’m fairly stubborn about the hours though, and I will keep pushing thru till whatever needs to be done is finished.

Advice: walk every day or some other exercise, and keep it up during medical school. Still trying to have this good habit. Making it about 3-4 days/week so not too shabby:)