Connection: the unsung cure

By Pravik Solanki and Susie Westbury

Dear reader, we live in strange times. We’ve been told countless times of the evils of sugar, the perils of experimenting with drugs, and the hazards of straying from the Mediterranean diet. But there’s an important warning that’s never a part of these conversations, something that has an even worse impact on mortality than obesity: loneliness and social isolation.(1)

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Do Better: On the pursuit of perfection

By Mary Crabtree

Do better. Be better. Think better. We are relentlessly slammed with this pressure to do and be and think better. It comes from inside our own heads, and from an illusion that medical students should be able to ‘handle it’. We are inflated by those fleeting moments of praise from a consultant or an inspiring patient encounter, but this feeling is too often swiftly replaced by an overwhelming sense of inadequacy.

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Year 4C: The Premiership Quarter

By Jeremy Cheng

The third quarter of an AFL match has traditionally been coined the “Premiership Quarter”. The quarter where title contenders rush out of the blocks and build an unbeatable lead that brings enough momentum to carry them to victory. The quarter where champions, time and time again, somehow muster the determination and verve to bring out the very best of themselves. The quarter where prior mistakes can be remedied and forgotten. The most important quarter where teams set themselves up for success.

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Your One Stop Self-Care Shop

By Grace Scolyer

There was a stage last year where if I heard my therapist use the term “self-care” one more time, I would have actually screamed. It was such a vague, elusive term that brought to my mind bubble baths and facemasks, green smoothies and 5am runs – a bunch of things that seemed so beneath what I considered to be effective ways of dealing with my symptoms. I didn’t see how adult colouring books were meant to fix my cloudy brain, and I didn’t have the energy in me to give it a go, or the resilience to deal with it inevitably failing to cure me.

So if any part of that resonates with your relationship with the idea of self-care, perhaps this guide will be of some help to you. Self-care isn’t all 10pm technology curfews and yoga; it takes many forms, depending on your experiences, what your busy schedule permits, but most importantly, what you need for yourself.

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An Antidote to Toxic People

By Monique Kowitz

We’ve all encountered them, be it the boss who bullies and demeans you, the colleague who revels in making you look bad, the difficult neighbour, the family member who brings drama every time you see or speak them, or the best friend who constantly flakes on you. What all these people have in common is toxicity. They exude negativity – either consciously or unconsciously – and do nothing to enhance your life. In fact, they do the opposite – they create unnecessary complexity, conflict and, worst of all, stress.

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Rebuilding after burnout

By Rebecca Stone

Every medical student has a simmering pot filled by the stress of long hours, perfectionism, and a seemingly unscalable mountain of study to be done. So I guess it isn’t too surprising that every now and then we can let it boil over. This may result in the triad that any true acolyte of Hassed is well aware of: depersonalisation, emotional exhaustion, and lack of personal accomplishment. In short, the criteria defining burnout.

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On the merits of intermitting

By Grace Scolyer & Meg Kent

It is always difficult for medical students to admit they are struggling or not coping with the demands of the course. But it is even more difficult to admit that is has become necessary or important to take time off. We as medical students struggle with self-care, vulnerability and perceived failure so very deeply; where possible, we take part in self-care provided it doesn’t come at the cost of our academic progress. In this piece, Grace and Meg discuss why, sometimes, it is okay to take a break from medicine.

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Breaking the news that no one wants to hear

By Erin Stewart

Today was the day someone’s whole life changed. Not my own, no — for me, today was a routine and pleasantly sunny day. But for Mrs B, her life would never be the same. For Mrs B, her day was well below average, and I doubt she even took notice of the weather at all.

“Oh, wait. Let’s check her pathology before we go in” said the senior doctor on ward rounds, standing outside her door, unlocking his phone. Mrs B had recently had an operation to remove a suspicious mass. The doctors suspected the mass was benign, and that thought was extended to the patient and naturally Mrs B was not concerned. Just annoyed every morning that the sun was too bright coming in through her window.

“Oh shit, that’s bad”, the only explanation given by the senior doctor. “Oh shit, that’s really bad”.

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