Medical school life is filled with endless challenges and difficult tasks. Medical students are required to make a lot of adjustments to survive in medical school and maintain their academic performance. The first two years are packed with a lot of assignments, memorization, lectures and USMLE preparation. You need to learn a lot of information in a short amount of time. The clinical years require you to improve your clinical experience while doing clinical clerkships.
In short, the medical school brings a lot of challenges, excitement and nervousness at the same time. Many students learn how to survive in this challenging environment and work hard to improve their academic performance. While for some medical students, adapting to the medical school environment is a challenge and eventually, they feel stressed and depressed.
Academic burnout and stress are the most common problems among medical students. Maintaining your mental health will help students to perform outstandingly throughout their medical school journey. Whether you are a future medical student or just enrolled in a top medical school and struggling with your mental health, dealing with medical school stress is the key to success in medical school.
Here are some really effective tips for medical students to stay mentally fit in medical school and achieve optimum academic performance.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Students
Medical school is filled with highly intelligent students. It is a major reason many students feel jealous, depressed or anxious. Getting into a top medical school is an intricate process. If you get the slot in a medical school, it shows that you have the competencies to become a great physician. So, never compare yourself with fellow peers, it is a mental burden that can be discouraging at times.
Surround yourself with positive and supportive friends that are ready to help each other. Discuss your study plan with them and come up with some better learning strategies and tools to make the medical school journey less intimidating.
Talk to School’s Support Services
In order to perform well in medical school and achieve an impressive GPA, you need to study for long hours and memorize a massive amount of course material. This academic pressure leads to a high level of stress and students find it challenging to cope with medical school stress. Many medical schools create a welcoming environment for students and encourage them to discuss their issues with their staff and psychiatrists.
Medical schools are aware of the importance of students’ well-being and offer student support services to help their students cope with medical school stress. They have experienced psychiatrists, counselors and advisors who are ready to help students struggling with anxiety and depression. They guide you on how to survive in medical school, deal with academic pressure and perform well in medical school.
Furthermore, learning strategists also assess your strengths and weaknesses. They will tell you the effective test-taking tips, recall techniques and time management strategies that you can use in medical school to become a successful medical student.
Stay Organized to Perform Well
Securing the highest GPA in medical school seems challenging, however, students with a healthy mind and body will achieve this goal easily. Your mental well-being plays a key role in your academic performance. Make sure you are free of stress and anxiety to perform outstandingly in medical school. Polishing your organizational and time management skills will help you accomplish this goal.
Create a study schedule and try to set aside time for lecture revision, assignment completion, lab work, quiz preparation and other important academic tasks. Being organized will promote your mental wellbeing and reduce anxiety and stress.
Effective time management strategies can help you complete all your assignments on time, prepare for your exams in advance and stay motivated throughout your journey.
Eat Healthy to Achieve Optimal Performance
To deal with a hectic medical school schedule, you need to recharge your mind and body with healthy foods. It is tempting to eat comfort foods, but it is not worth it. Focus on a healthy and well-balanced diet to give your body essential fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. Add healthy food such as vegetables, fruits and protein to your diet to boost your energy and concentration level.
Stay Active to Recharge Your Mind
Taking some time away from your books for some physical activities is a worthwhile strategy to refresh your mind, body and maintain a positive well-being.
Medical school requires long hours of studying. Sitting for long periods of time makes it difficult for the body to circulate blood to and from the feet. This can cause swelling, fatigue, and discomfort. Wearing compression socks while sitting can also help reduce this strain on the circulatory system by offering better circulation and improved blood flow. You can also join a sports club, go to the gym or simply go for a walk to recharge your mind and body.
Try some workouts that fall under 20 minutes because according to research a 20 minute cardio 3 days a week is sufficient to keep weight under control and boost immune system that helps in mental health as well.
Medical students are required to absorb a lot of course material, prepare for the USMLE step 1, complete clinical rotations and the list goes on and on. Getting adequate sleep is important to stay fit to complete all these tasks. Lack of sleep leads to poor mental health, attention and focus problems. Therefore, a consistent sleep schedule is the key to performing outstandingly in medical school and minimizing mental stress.
Following a study routine, maintaining a healthy diet, taking breaks, talking to psychiatrists and setting aside your personal time are the few most important steps that you can take to maintain your physical and mental well-being during medical school. Hopefully, these easy tips will help you alleviate medical school stress and become a successful medical student and eventually, a great physician.