Med School and Self-Confidence

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Adelina, Dec 7, 2002.

  1. Adelina

    Adelina New Member

    Dec 7, 2002
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    Hi everyone,
    I am new here. I am a first-year student at a top-10-whatever school on the East coast. I can't seem to get my self-esteem back since I've started school. Everyone around me is so smart and knows so much, it makes me feel stupid and worthless. I read (and a lot), but don't seem to retain much or synthesize the information. My grades also reflect this (we have grades and that adds extra stess). Sometimes when i hear the students talk or discuss something in class, I cannot keep up with their reasoning and this is really scary to me. Would I be doomed on the wards?

    I do not do well on the tests largely because I lost self confidence and I don't believe in myself anymore. I just don't know how to get it back! I try study harder, but, once the test comes, all of my knowledge magically evaporates (i become so stressed, I don't trust my instincts on exams), and on short-answer questions, my explanations are very often flawed.
    Has anyone had a similar problem? How did you deal with it?
    thank you in advance,
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  3. hey am sorry about that, am in the honors college in my school(undergrad) and am going to get kicked out for all the reasons u listed above.

    i think if u are in med school then its helpful to realise that u earned ur position in that school and the adcoms think u are capable of making good grades. some schools are competitive but its important that u ignore that and just work hard and do ur best. u could also form study groups but ultimately dont compare urself with ur classmates, do ur best and u will stand out on ur own

    i probably didnt make any sense ;) but *sigh*, good luck. :)
  4. Scalpel

    Scalpel Guest

    Oct 12, 2002
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    Medical Student
    Adelina, remind yourself of why you wanted to do medicine in the first place - NO ONE can take that away from you.

    I bet you are a smart person who is (slightly) intimidated by the surroundings. Get out more and have some fun, plus continue to study hard.

  5. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

    Jun 6, 2002
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    Attending Physician
    As far as your test taking goes, it sounds as if you have test anxiety since your knowledge evaporates. Go see a physician. He/she can evaluate you for treatment. Usually they give you an anxiolytic to take continuously, and a beta blocker (usually propranolol unless you have asthma) to take a few hours before the test. I think the anxiolytic that most are using now is Buspar.

    A friend of mine had test anxiety. Treatment has made a world of difference for him.
  6. hotbovie

    hotbovie Member

    Jun 22, 2002
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    You'll probably need to change the way you study as well. I found that my previous habits that had served me well in all my other educational endevours didn't work as well in med school.

    Do a search for "success types for medical students" There's a web site done by a professor of biochem at a medical school, and he also has developed some great strategies to help students improve their study habits. Some suggestions are on the site, there's also a book you can buy if you want. (I got it the summer before I started med school and liked the strategies a lot)

    And try not to worry to far in advance. YOu are obviously capable of handling the work if you got accepted. The wards are much more pratical than memorizing a bunch of trivia. Plus, some concern that you won't be able to handle the next step is normal. In preclinical years, I had some concern that I wouldn't do well in the wards. Now that I'm just months away from being an intern, I'm starting to feel "oh **** I don't know anywhere near enought to be a functional intern". The residents have the same anxiety about the transition to attending level. Realize that some anxiety is normal, and take steps to get a handle on it if it gets out of control. (Lots of actors have to take meds for performance anxiety!)

    My school has grades too, and I think you'll find that most pass fail schools have gradiations of pass that basically break down to a thinly veild grading system. Also, I have had opportunites to talk to some residency program directors who prefer grades. I even asked one (an optho person) who said she would rather see a 2.0 GPA than a transcript with a bunch of Pass on it, because at least she knows what a 2.0 GPA means. And if your school is lke my school, the weights on classes are such that the 3rd year clerkships carry more points than the entire first two years!

    Hang in there.
  7. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper

    Sep 27, 2001
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    Welcome to my world! :) It's disheartening to enter med school with pretty close to a 4.0 and end your first semester with around a 2.7 (my situation). I don't imagine that this is too far from the norm, though (seems to be about average at my school). I think the best advice on this thread came from an undergrad, ironically. Don't compare yourself with your classmates. It'll mess with your head too much.

    I have a gross exam on the pelvis and lower extremities in two days. I'm SCREWED!!! Let's see how much I can cram in in that time. :) Hopefully I can secure my C (which is a 75%, not a 70% as in undergrad) and move on with my ever so impressive 2.7. :laugh: Maybe a miracle will happen and I can end with a 3.0. Whoopie!!!

    Sorry this post doesn't have a great deal of substance. Just wanted to let you know you are not alone (not even close).
  8. paean

    paean Senior Member

    Apr 21, 2002
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    If you think that the root of the problem is self esteem, you might want to talk to someone in whatever counseling service your school has about the stress. Sometimes talking to someone helps a lot, and they may be a good resource for helping you figure out if you have test anxiety that could be medically treated, or if it's just general stress or depression (which is a lot more common that we medical students like to admit) which would be treated on different ways. Hang in there.

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