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How to Succeed & Prevent Burnout in Your Second Year of Medical School

The second year of medical school (MS2) is an exciting time. Most students will have completed the more basic science courses like biochemistry and physiology and move on to more clinical material such as pathology and pharmacology.

For this reason, the second year of medical school can be a time for immense academic growth. However, at many institutions, the second year curriculum is even more intense and rigorous than the first year. Maintaining a good work-life balance and reducing stress are especially important as an MS2. The following tips can help you to prevent burnout during the second year of medical school.

The Importance of Post-USMLE Step 1 Decompression

The period of time immediately after taking Step 1 may be an emotion-fueled one. Here is an unpacking of what you may expect and how you can plan on moving forward from the exam.

The Psychology of Physician Burnout

Physician Burnout: The Common Problem

Resources and Tools for Anxiety Management in Medical School

Being a medical student is one of the most anxious times of your life, and not without good reason. Medical school is stressful, from the rigor of the material to the constant testing to the frustrations of grades to residency applications. Unfortunately, these things are inherent to medical school and out of your control, and having anxiety in this situation is understandably very normal. However, much can be done for you to combat this anxiety as a medical student.

All About the Fit: Six Things to Consider When Choosing Your Medical Specialty

You will get lots of advice from lots of people along the way on your choice of specialty and while it’s important to listen to and factor in advice into your decision, ultimately this is YOUR decision. What worked (or didn’t work) for someone else might not apply to YOU. It’s necessary to put out that disclaimer because I encountered many physicians unhappy with their choice of career/specialty. It’s important to hear the bad as well as the good about specialties, but be wary of sour grapes masquerading as advice.

How to Use Your Med School Winter Break to Prepare for USMLE Step 1

By the second year of medical school, most students are accustomed to spending the majority of their free time studying. It is therefore no surprise that most students feel the need to spend their fall, winter, or spring vacations preparing for the Step 1 exam. This article provides some tips for using the winter break to prepare for the USMLE.

The Most Important Lesson I Carry With Me From Medical School

Our new lives were starting that day. It was the first day of medical school orientation, and the 180 of us packed into the lecture hall with wide eyes and excitement. We had made it, the chosen few, selected by the admissions committee to go forth and become the next great lot of physicians. The faculty speeches were countless, and came across as 80% Tony Robbins- esque “Get pumped up and unleash your unlimited potential, great one!” and 20% “Don’t take up heavy drinking and/or stress yourself into oblivion.” It was nothing we hadn’t heard before .

Well-Being & Academic Skills in Medical School – Part Three: Building Resilience with Balance

It’s a pounding heartbeat, a rock in your abdomen, a lump in your throat, a spike in adrenaline. It’s waking up at 2 a.m. and worrying about what you said yesterday or what you have to do today. It’s avoiding facing a situation that you unprepared for or that you dread.Anxiety threatens our peace of mind, enjoyment, work, and our health. It can be destructive and interfere with our studies, our work, and our relationships. Yes, anxiety is a natural and necessary human reaction that helps us be alert and responsive. It can be useful when proportional and rational. But when unfocused and excessive, anxiety lasts longer than comfortable and begins to control our choices. It is not healthy. Whatever your depth of anxiety, you can learn to manage it in order to serve and care for others in the way you want to. Train yourself to become aware of your physiological symptoms of anxiety, so that you can use your awareness to trigger your chosen relaxation response. Here are a few simple tools, tips, and techniques that we can do to win back the balance in our lives by BUILDING RESILIENCE.

Well-Being & Academic Skills in Medical School – Part Two: Building Resilience

We might marvel at the resilience of the physical human body and systematically study how the body responds to a stimulus or stress. The mind is a little more difficult to understand. It is assumed that high performing students can power through a psychological stress in a way that might never be expected of the body. Much of the time we get away with that explanation, but most often it leads to an outcome that leaves a person emotionally exhausted, detached, distant, cynical, or unempathetic. Being honest with ourselves and recognizing when we need to be attentive to our own well-being is an important step in reaching balance in our lives.

Do More. Be Better. How Much is Enough?
This has been the message throughout the last 15 years of academic life and still rings true as I approach my final year of residency. Since high school, when the mantra was “Take more AP classes so that you can acquire a second major faster and get more research done in college,” simply getting by has not been an option. And let’s face it — this was sound advice that got me where I am today. We’ve likely all been heeding it and can attribute our career advancement directly to this drive. But recently, when faced with the decision on whether or not to pursue a fellowship, an attending told me something somewhat counter to the advice I’d received all the way along…

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