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burned out and demotivated

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by 78222, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. 78222

    78222 Guest

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    What do you guys do when you have reached a burn out? I personally am having a really hard time focusing this block. I really just cant seem to get myself into the groove of studying or wanting to study. I am way behind now and even the fear of impending doom isn't motivating me as it normally would. I will start working and either trail off into thought or I will think about how this time last year I would have been sitting on a beautiful beach, in the tropics with beach to one side, mountains to the other and lots of people who were really good friends. Then I remember that I am in a concrete jungle that seems to be grey even when its sunny outside and without ocean or mountains for hundreds of miles.
     
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  2. OncoCaP

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    Hey surebreC, I'm not even in med school yet, but I'll try to see if I can say anything that might help you out until the "big guns" like L2D get here. I'm a post-doc; most work days it's me and my computers in an empty lab, 18/7 (I sleep about 5 hrs per day, work out 1 hr). I spend at least one morning a week with the family and eat meals with them when I'm in the same city they are. Every now and then a grad student or undergrad stops by and we chat for a few minutes, but usually not; I'm busy, and they are busy. When I'm working at home, my kids come and check what I'm doing and ask me questions about it or just sit in my lap for a while while I type away (obviously this requires kids). The thing that keeps me most sane and from talking to myself is that I work out once a day. That makes the biggest difference for me. SDN is great fun, but I couldn't see myself on here very much when I'm in med school. I have a friend I work out with, so he makes sure I go. Maybe you're doing this already, I'm not sure. Heck, you could probably tell me why regular exercise (say 1 hr per day) is such a great stress reliever and why it works. Anyway, keep plugging away; I'm sure it will all work out.
     
  3. Long Dong

    Long Dong My middle name is Duc.
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    Burnt out. Nothing like going to a strip club for some time away. But when I'm low on the doe I just go to a movie for a few hours and for those 2 hours life is good, no stress and you forget about not gettting that hi score. If that doesn't work take a weekend off from studying come monday you can hit the books hard again refreshed.

    As for "big guns" this LD is trying to get some. Oh yeah, going to the gym for a few hours also wakes me back up so I can go back and hit the books hard when I'm studying.
     
  4. MartianOddity

    MartianOddity The sexy thing from Mars
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    It happened me last semester, my motivation dropped seriously after the CNS anatomy.
    My trick: Take a whole day off, or the whole weekend and make the free days officially study-free. Forget about studies and duties and indulge yourself. After that treatment you'll be back in action hopefully.

    EDIT: A walk or pumping them muscles up might be good. Using them legs for a li'l runnin' might help ya! Works like charms!
     
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  5. LJDHC05

    LJDHC05 Former Chicken Slayer
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    Personally, when I hit that wall, (usually about once every 2-3 weeks) I take a weekend off and head out and do something completely brainless: skiing, hiking, touristy things in NYC, drink my face off and then go to dim sum the next day, head home to see the fam, watch an entire season of 24 in one day...anything but force myself to study through it...because sometimes the impending "doom" of doing "below average" on an exam isn't enough motivation. And if it's board studying that's wearing you out...it's not like losing 2 days now is going to screw you up too much for an exam 2-4 months from now.

    FWIW, my personal view is that you shouldn't let school/studying keep you from the things and people that you love, because that lost time spent away will translate into a gain of productive time later on.
     
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  6. Critical Mass

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    Play a game of "name the enzyme." Make the dancers tease you until you get it right.
     
  7. G0S2

    G0S2 SDN Angel
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    Last year, as a MS1, I remember the MS2's saying that second year picks up after December and is more difficult in terms of course load. I don't think it is the material as much as it is burn-out. I spoke to our dean about this and he said that burn-out and depression always hit interns around Feb-March and that it is a normal feeling.

    If I just know I can't focus I don't study and go see a movie or listen to some music for a while. Drinking coffee also helps. Then I hit it.
     
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  8. Biscuit799

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    Welcome to the club. I find caffeine pills, black coffee, Tylenol PM and a lot of porn help quell the depression.
     
  9. EvoDevo

    EvoDevo Forging a Different Path
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    Hey man, I know the feeling. My MS1 year was pretty awful. I'd always been a very social and active person before school. But I got to feeling so overwhelmed during my MS1 year that I drastically dialed down doing the things that I loved the most.

    What has saved me this year is frequent travel, even if it's only for a weekend. Last fall I got out of town to what worked out to 1-2 times per module. Went to see friends, family, whatever. Saw football games, ran 5Ks, etc.

    I found that when I returned I had MUCH less desire to "drift off" when it came time to study and I was therefore much more focused and efficient as a result. And my exam scores have proven it. :thumbup: Anyway, I have reached the middle of the second MS2 semester and I'm feeling pretty good. I'm looking forward to finishing off the year and trying to do well on Step 1. I am definitely not burned out.

    So go surfing on a random weekend (even if it isn't in Taiwan;) ). It'll do you a world of good, and more importantly remind you that being a med student need not be the end of your life.

    p.s. - Yesterday I found myself dreaming about scuba diving Okinawa and Guam, or drinking with Aussie and Brit ruggers in Hong Kong. I really miss those days, so I'm going to try and do something similar in the interval between Step 1 and starting our 3d year.

    Good luck, bro.
     
  10. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Are you trying to say you are broke (dough), or into bestiality?:laugh:
     
  11. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Physical exercise is always a great way to get those endorphins flowing and refresh your mind. Honestly, when you're not learning, STOP STUDYING. Yesterday, I was sick, and even though I slept in until 2pm, I got myself up, went to the public library and started reading. No dice. My brain was total mush. So I packed up and went back home to sleep some more. 2-3 hours of good solid learning is better than 12 hours of ADD-studying.

    Also, put yourself in a place where the distractions are limited. I'm at the school library right now, and the only indulgence I allow myself is SDN, which is a lot less time consuming than the other forums and videogames I have at home. :p And I have cable TV, surround sound and a hot wife at home. Hence, I NEVER study at home. Take a few days off. Honestly, you won't be *that* behind. Sometimes, I think the only reason I study for the first two weeks of a new block (four weeks total) is to keep in the game, because it's the last two weeks that really matter.
     
  12. Bevo

    Bevo Radiology, R1
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    take a morning off or an afternoon or something. go to the mall, go to a batting cage

    something to clear your head and forget about school
     
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  13. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    Been feeling burned out after first semester. I looked at the schedule for second semester and it was much easier (almost like a heavier courseload back in college) but I can't focus. I am pooped out from studying and I still have 3+ years to go!
     
  14. Long Dong

    Long Dong My middle name is Duc.
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    Oh snap, freudin slip, don't let the secret out. :eek:
     
  15. PoorMD

    PoorMD Senior Member
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    To the OP, if you are still feeling burned out... a lot of the suggestions here are good, especially those who emphasized "getting away from your studies." Sometimes visiting old friends, who you have most likely abandoned for too long, helps. If you have access to animals, they can bring a lot of happiness with a wagging tail or a friendly lick on your hand. I know my long lost best friend, Sunny was her name, would have given me her paw in any of the worst times I had during MSI... if she was still around.. God I miss that dog!!

    But if you are like me, and you have essentially no non-med friends left (They all graduated and moved on) and no pets to rely on, the next best bet is most likely physical activity of some sort. For me it is basketball. For some it's jogging or lifting weights.. .... but....

    What about the days where you are too damn burned out/frustrated/low to even go to the gym to work out? Those days are tough... Seems a lot of them occur in the desolate heart of winter, the january-march time frame.. Too cold for a walk, too gloomy to get a natural high from nature, etc.. I don't know how to deal with these types of days.. :( Call your family. That is my best advice, if you are so lucky to have family.
     
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  16. anon-y-mouse

    anon-y-mouse Senior Member
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    Vay-cay. 3 days. Preferably somewhere where you fly to. www.kayak.com for amazing deals. Do it. It will re-energize you.

    Or, if material things bring you transient happiness, go shopping.
     
  17. Dakota

    Dakota Senior Member
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    Seriously guys, why do we need 180 different brands of energy drinks? Coffee and strong tea have been around for thousands of years and work just as well today.

    What we really need are motivation drinks. One can allows you to focus on boring, uninteresting tasks for at least 2 hours. I'd pay $10/can for something like that.

    I bet the military would too.

    Anybody interested in helping me with some pharm research? (Especially those with ideas about how we will evalute whether mice have ultra attention spans after taking our drug . . . erm, drink!)
     
  18. anon-y-mouse

    anon-y-mouse Senior Member
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    This is so funny...because pharmacologically, this is exactly what amphetamines do! Noradrenergic agonists making you more vigilant and making boring tasks interesting. The military already likes this stuff! Now if we could only convince the FDA to allow you to market an adderall energy drink...
     
  19. pagemmapants

    pagemmapants Unknown Member
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    Speed in liquid form. . . hooo boy, would THAT sell like hotcakes! Silly puritanical country and outlawing mind altering substances. . .
     
  20. Dakota

    Dakota Senior Member
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    I think I'm seeing visions of adderall and modafinil in a can . . .

    Forget the FDA, lets just call it an herbal supplement.
     
  21. filter07

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    My advice is to just quit and start living the happy life you always wanted. Medicine won't make you happy!
     
  22. SeventhSon

    SeventhSon SIMMER DOWN
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    We had 3 tests within a month this last block and I almost thought I was going to lose it. The best thing was after that last test, i just took 4 days completely off. Nothing. It was scary, but I really had a second wind when I got back to it.
     
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