Tips For Balancing Medical School & Your Personal LifeOctober 28, 2013
Medical school is a lot of hard work and then some more. Anyone who enters medical school thinking it’s anything different is in for a real surprise. The fact is, the medical profession is very demanding and medical school is structured to prepare you for it. So yes, you have to work hard to keep up. That’s part and parcel of joining this profession. However, that does not mean you should have to give up your personal life completely.
The important thing about getting through the medical school years with your sanity intact is to be disciplined and organized. You have to study really hard but you also have to make some time for life and the things you like doing and want to do. For example, if athletics interests you, it will be important to organize your mornings and evenings in such a manner that you are left with enough time to hit the gym or the track field at least a few times a week.
As far as your social life or night life are concerned, you can definitely still have that as long as you are not doing any night shifts while you go through rotations. Find time to hang out with your non-medical circle of friends. Organize a night out on the town with your social group but do this only on a night when you do not have any early morning commitments the next day. You will have to learn to make time for socializing and letting your hair down once in a while as long as it does not interfere with your studies at school.
Family life and romance are two other important factors that you will have to pay attention to. If you are in a long-distance relationship, it might just turn out to be very stressful. This is especially true of medical school students as studies and finances can take their toll and it might not always be possible for you to visit your partner as much as you would like to. If you have a family that lives far away from your school, you will have to make an extra effort to take time out to visit them whenever possible. This might mean sacrificing on some of your social life but this is the time for you to get your priorities in order.
Technology and video-chatting has made it easier to stay in touch with people you care about but that too can be time consuming at times. Pub-hopping, chatting via social media and watching television are activities that will de-stress you but you will have to regulate the amount of time you spend on them.
While you need to maintain equilibrium in your life and spend some time doing the things you like doing, it is important to know where to draw the line. Allocate some time for exercise, spend a few hours a week socializing with friends, find some time for family and partners and study and work as much as you can. Prioritize all these activities and you will see how much easier your life at medical school becomes.