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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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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Rest and Recalibrate

By Faye Liu

As the weather gets colder, the financial year draws to an end, and post-exam crammed knowledge slowly escapes our brain, most of us would have entered our mid-year breaks – the perfect time to rest and recalibrate. For some, this may be a long awaited period after a busy first semester, for others, the perfect time to make a trip back home.

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The Finish Line: On the race that is medical school and where we go wrong

By Erin Stewart

From the moment we enter into medical school, we have entered a race. We are constantly achieving remarkable things, but do we ever really stop and appreciate them before the next stage of the race begins again? Where is there time to slow down and appreciate all we have achieved? Entry into medical school, exam results, fun clinical placements, an internship spot..?

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Stressing About Stress

By Anthony Honigman

“Can you chase those bloods?”  “Yes, but what’s your management plan for this patient?”  “Have you even looked at the VIA practice questions yet?”  These questions alone are enough to raise the cortisol levels in any budding young medical student!

While some of these are asked tongue-in-cheek, one question still remains — why are we as medical students, and eventual working doctors, so prone to work-related stress and anxiety?

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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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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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