The musings of a final year medical student

Thursday, 6 April 2017


First of all, apologies for the hiatus!

I started this blog because I was applying to medical school and really enjoyed reading other medics’ blogs. It was nice to learn about what medical school was really like. However, I haven’t felt like blogging recently. The reason for this is that I feel like I can’t, or rather I don’t want, to share the ugly bits about medicine.

I wish it wasn’t true, but I have been struggling with my mental health. I’ve also been taught by some rude doctors and not had very good teaching from them. I don’t really want to share these issues for two reasons: I feel bad complaining about how lucky I am, and I don’t want to shatter any illusions that hopeful medics have about the course.

I’ve always been honest about my struggle with depression, and towards the end of 2016 I truly believed it was in my past. I was off medication completely and self discharged from counselling. It has now started to come back, or parts of it have.  Until now I have been in denial that it was coming back, because I don’t want to have depression. I don’t want to have a mental health problem, but the truth is I did, and bits of it are resurfacing now.

What made me see things weren’t right, was noticing all the previous symptoms I used to have: awful sleep, constant fatigue, crying daily, bingeing, not exercising, not playing the piano, being rude to my friends and avoiding social interaction.

Studying medicine has been fantastic, a real privilege. And simultaneously, it has been so punishing and unfair. I can see that the sadness I feel currently is being caused directly from the course. Deadlines are looming and I resent being on placement when all my non-medic friends are enjoying their holidays.

I love studying this course, but sometimes the combination of the self-inflicted pressure and the (at times) ferocious environment really tests me. I have never wanted to do medicine more, and I have never questioned it more. That may not make sense, but it is true.

I want to share this publicly, because I know this is not something I should be ashamed of. Having times where I may feel down or overwhelmed is not an embarrassment - it is part of being human. And particularly, it is part of medicine.

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