Why medical students should not let medicine define them
"Doctors are indeed noble for what they do. Their work is undoubtedly physically intense and emotionally taxing. But the notion that they are 'superhuman' and 'different' from the rest of society is exactly the trap that we fall into the moment we don our white coats as medical students. It is because of this trap that we get tunnel vision and let mistakes during our medical school training define our self-worth. We forget that there is a world outside of our flashcards, PowerPoint slides, exams, and clerkships teeming with people, adventures, and stories that, if we so choose, we can enrich our lives with, intellectually, physically, and spiritually.
There’s a reason depression, anxiety, and burnout is disproportionately higher among medical students and physicians. In fact, nearly 400 physicians commit suicide a year, the highest of any profession. Might it be because we are anchored to one thing and one thing only? Those of us who pursue medicine have built our entire personhood around the goal of becoming a doctor. If that is all that is meaningful to us, should we really be surprised at the statistics on mental health?"
King Pascual is a medical student.
He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Why medical students should not let medicine define them." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2018/10/why-medical-students-should-not-let-medicine-define-them.html)