Doctors are humans too: the benefits of embracing your mental status

Vytenis Andriukaitis Health Europe 2017

Vytenis Andriukaitis, Member of the EC in charge of Health and Food Safety, participates in the Ministerial Conference on the follow up to the fipronil incident. Date: 26/09/2017 Reference: P-035227/00-19 Location: Brussels – EC/Berlaymont. © European Union , 2017 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Dario Pignatelli.

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Stavroula Papaeleftheriou, a 6th year medical  student at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Gr. T. Popa, in Iasi, Romania. Ms Papaeleftheriou is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

It was the beginning of December 2015, when an article was published by Dr. Douglas Mata, stating that 25% of medical students are depressed and suicidal. Such an article gives hopes to medical professionals, by breaking the stigma that mental disorders exist among medical students and doctors.

As a medical student one is expected to be stressed over the extensive materials that need to be memorised and understand in order to fulfill a lifelong dream and become an excellent physician. The pre-clinical years are fascinating and individuals fall in love with the idea that in the near future theory learnt will become reality. At the same time one keeps in mind words of older colleagues saying that the upcoming years are easier.

Months pass by studying the same subjects until you can finally start clinics. The thought of using the stethoscope that was bought at the beginning of starting medical school brings joy, to be able to practice clinical examination from Macleod’s videos are what every medical student has been waiting for. Until the stress kicks in, an annoying friend since early childhood, suddenly becoming a fiery demon, provoking abnormal thoughts during the day and night. When it’s finally time to wake up, you find yourself snoozing your alarm and thinking of skipping the day at the hospital because you feel unprepared in taking an anamnesis and analysing the paraclinical tests. After a long battle, you find the strength to stand up from bed and go to the hospital. There, patients and the hospital routine makes you feel better but the snide remarks and competitive atmosphere from other colleagues switches your mood again. Days go by in the same way, a repetitive, vicious cycle until the right decision of getting some professional help is made in hopes to achieve control.

Something amazing happens when you find yourself being part of a medical society where you can speak about yourself, including your mental issues, without being judged. Surprisingly, you realize that you are not alone and more people are struggling with the similar disorders. It feels like a home away from home, since no one understood you better before. In the past, talks with family members didn’t end up where you wanted and the feedback of “ get better you are going to be a doctor”, “it’s such stress” etc. didn’t truly help.

To sum up, I think medical disorders among medical students have always existed; there have been suicides among students and doctors but many were ignored when they shouldn’t have been.

As doctors and future physicians we should embrace the fact that Mental Health among medical professionals can be altered and open ourselves about it. It’s time to break some taboos!

And NO, Mrs. Professor I didn’t skipped my exam because I was feeling depressed because I was missing the Mediterranean sun from my homeland.

About the author

Stavroula Papaeleftheriou is a 22 years old, sixth year Medical Student in the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Gr. T. Popa, in Iasi, Romania. Originally coming from the greek island, of Lesbos. Due to personal reasons, she decided to migrate to Romania to fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor.The past years she has been volunteering on different Societies of my university, as SSMI (Medical Student Society of Iasi), SSCR (Romanian Surgical Student Society), IMJS (International Medical Journal Society).

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Coronavirus: Commission boosts budget for repatriation flights and rescEU stockpile

Theresa May’s global Britain against Philip Hammond’s Brexit fog

Preventing and resolving conflicts must form ‘backbone’ of collective efforts – UN chief

This woman solved one of the biggest problems facing green energy

The EU to bear the cost of eventual sanctions against Russia

This heroic doctor is waging war on rape and the stigma around it

Glasgow and Edinburgh race to become the UK’s first net-zero emissions city

OECD joins with Argentina to fight financial crime

Do men and women really have different leadership styles?

Amid ‘unprecedented combination’ of epidemics, UN and partners begin cholera vaccination campaign in DR Congo

EU-Turkey relations: EU considers imposing sanctions while Turkey keeps violating Cyprus’ sovereignty

‘Abhorrent’ ambulance attack in Libyan capital imperils life-saving work, warns UN

Bosnia and Herzegovina: MEPs concerned by slow progress in EU-related reforms

Japan’s agro-food sector would benefit greatly from policies to boost innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable resource use

COP21 Breaking News: Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation Announced

Around 23 million boys have married before reaching 15; ‘we can end this violation’ says UNICEF chief

Real EU unemployment rate at 10.2%+4.1%+4.7%: Eurostat Update

US Middle East peace plan ‘lopsided’, says independent UN rights expert

How a 3-point plan could help rebuild business for the long-term

JADE Generations Club: Connecting perspectives, changing Europe.

US pardons for accused war criminals, contrary to international law: UN rights office

Coronavirus could trigger a hunger pandemic – unless urgent action is taken

Here’s how a circular economy could change the world by 2030

EP supports local authorities fighting the effects of the pandemic

Further reforms will promote a more inclusive and resilient Indonesian economy

Antitrust: Commission fines Google €4.34 billion for illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices to strengthen dominance of Google’s search engine

The Parliament defies a politically biased Banking Union

Europe, US and Russia haggle over Ukraine’s convulsing body; Russians and Americans press on for an all out civil war

Latin America is a mass-transit powerhouse. But it needs fine-tuning

How wealthy people transmit this advantage to their children and grand children

Can technology save life on Earth?

ECB: Monetary policy decisions

Why home is the least safe place to be a woman

Climate change: ‘A moral, ethical and economic imperative’ to slow global warming say UN leaders, calling for more action

Big world banks to pay $ 4.95bn for cheating customers; Is it a punishment or a gentle caress?

London wants new skyscrapers to protect cyclists from wind tunnels

How to talk to people about mental health – and support one another

President Juncker temporarily transfers portfolio responsibilities following departure of two Members of the European Commission

EU budget for 2019: do more for the young, SMEs and the climate, urge MEPs

Copyright: MEPs update rules for the digital age

An Eastern Wind

UN Assembly calls on all States to observe Olympic Truce throughout Tokyo Summer Games

CEOs say these 4 factors will shape business in 2020

Dare to be vulnerable, and three other lessons in leadership

This robot has soft hands. It could be the future of sustainable production

Four major resources for new European young entrepreneurs

ILO warns of widespread insecurity in the global labour market

This city in India swaps plastic for free meals

‘Multi-generational tragedy’ in Israel and Palestine demands political will for two-State solution

European Commission launches infringement proceedings against the UK following its failure to name a candidate for EU Commissioner

When is necessary understand the cultural marks in health-disease process

Bolivia: UN underlines support for ‘credible, transparent and inclusive’ election

MEPs urge the EU to lead the way to net-zero emissions by 2050

How COVID-19 compares to seasonal flu, and why you should take it seriously

Renewal of cross-border aid operation critical to northern Syria: UN relief chief

Supercomputing could solve the world’s problems, and create many more

European Junior Enterprise Network – Ready to take the Step Into the Future?

A Sting Exclusive: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on South China Sea issue at the ASEAN Regional Forum

Want to shop more sustainably and recycle better? This app could help

Electronic or conventional cigarettes – which is safer?

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s