Guest Blog: SAMHIN - Taking Care of Our Future Doctors
In keeping with PRMS’ mission to support the greater behavioral health community, we invited Bairavi Maheswaran, a medical student at NYTICOM and volunteer with the South Asian Mental Health Initiative and Network (SAMHIN), to share her perspective on how medical students cope with the challenges that medical school presents. PRMS is proud to support our partner, SAMHIN, and its mission to support mental health awareness and assistance among South Asian communities.
Medical school is one of the most rewarding but most challenging experiences. As in all fields, there are both positives and negatives, yet how can one make the most of the positives with a heavy workload and constant worry about doing the right thing? First things first, stop and breathe. Reassure yourself that you are doing the best you can and that you are doing everything you are capable of.
Mental health is a topic that most medical students do not touch upon because they do not want to seem inferior to their peers or feel that they need extra help. Here are some tips I learned as a medical student that have helped me prioritize my mental health and increased my awareness of the prominence of mental health issues within the healthcare community.
Seek Help When Needed
Many medical schools have counseling centers that offer confidential services to talk with a licensed mental health professional.
Mental health illness presents differently in everyone. Taking the time to observe and analyze your actions can help you recognize illness. Are you spending more time in bed? Are you being less productive? Are you eating differently than normal? Some of these factors can manifest into physical complaints such as frequent headaches and musculoskeletal pain. It is important to be aware of such unusual behaviors so we can be prepared to take care of ourselves.
Take a Break
Medical school can be overwhelming from time to time. It is like eating a lot of pancakes; it never stops. If you feel weighed down by the pressure, stop what you are doing and take a break. I listen to music. Some other ways to wind down after a long study session are spending time with friends or family and taking a short walk. Taking the time to rejuvenate yourself not only improves your mood but increases your productivity.
Talk with a Friend
You are not alone. Medical school is a journey with many people who may feel similarly to you. Sit down and talk with someone, and do not be afraid to reach out to them. There is always someone there to support you.
If you are interested in joining SAMHIN’s mission or have questions about the organization, please contact Dr. Makhija at email@example.com. To learn more about SAMHIN, read Dr. Makhija’s guest post on the PRMS blog from 2016 here and from 2021 here.
If you have any questions or are interested in receiving a quote, contact PRMS at (800) 245-3333 or TheProgram@prms.com.