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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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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The tireless pursuit of a good night’s sleep

By Grace Scolyer

If I could make one generalisation about the specific problems with self-care that medical students have, and why our physical and mental wellbeing is so much poorer than the general population, it would be that it all comes down to time.

We have 24 hours a day: depending on the day of the week and your year level, around eight to ten of which will be contact hours, one will be travelling, one will be getting ready, two will be breaks taken for food and coffee, two will be note-taking or preparing for the next day, two to four will be additional study. Leaving four to eight hours. To socialise, watch TV, exercise, meal prep, or scroll through Facebook. And, if we have time, sleep. It’s not always as simple as putting your phone on do not disturb or trying to avoid caffeine after 2pm – it can be ridiculously hard to get a decent night’s sleep.

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Surviving FOMOitis

By Isobel Blackwood

So, you’ve just heard that your friend Jamie has found a consultant to do a ‘quick research project on haemorrhoids’ with on the side, and that Alisha has decided to fly to Sweden to attend the World Congress on Hand Hygiene. You also found out that May is giving up her holidays to volunteer at a medical clinic on a remarkably isolated island, and that Steve has been voted in as the president of no less than three student-run societies.

And then they ask you what you’re up to…

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An open letter to first years: You’re doing fine

By Grace Scolyer & Alannah Murray

To our new medical students,

Relax.

It’s going to be okay. No, really, you’re going to be okay. I know you feel like your world has shrunk and exploded at the same time – after spending so long as a big fish in a small pond, you’re now in an ocean crowded with bigger fish (and it’s pretty hard to breathe underwater anyway). Don’t forget to be kind to yourself.

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The simple things: On burnout and rediscovering the joy in medicine

By Andrew Wang

The fourth years counted down the days. Braced ourselves for the worst.

But nobody could have prepared us for what happened when the day came.

They packed, tight, into the common room, still excited about their day’s learning at 5pm in the afternoon. Their endless chatter of cannulas and pneumonia and heart murmurs filled what was, for a week, a space that had been solely ours.

The third years had arrived, and the common room was already theirs.

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