Paula Lago Burity
3 March 2022
Third year marked the start of my confidence building, being able to at least hazard a suitable enough guess at questions doctors threw at me, being unafraid to ask questions of my own where squirrelly and terrified second year me could not. I used to blanch at the thought of asking someone about their home life, it felt invasive and personal.
Third year also brought the start of medicine really feeling like the daunting, all-consuming degree it was famous for being. I rarely saw my friends, unless obligated to do so via classes, or if it was excusable to see them whilst silently working adjacent to each other- stopping only to discuss how terrible this set up was for our combined mental state.
Countless journal entries describe how overwhelmed, overworked, overanxious I felt. And countless more detailed how much I actually enjoyed my course, scrawled guiltily immediately following a lengthy description of how much stress the medicine brought me, in a Stockholm syndrome-esque display. It felt like a never ending plate-spinning endeavour, balancing friendships, a new relationship, studies, work, extracurriculars, family, housing - the second I was able to dedicate attention to one twirling bit of porcelain, the next one threatened to slip off the stick.
Managing my emotions, surging forward through the burnout and brain fog became a point of pride. But how far will I be stretched before I snap?
This is your reminder to take a break, so that you don’t break.