Medical students definitely experience serious mental health tolls during their time in medical school due to heavy workloads and tough timelines. This toll is especially significant for medical students moving across countries and living far away from their homes and in hostels. One medical student I know experienced depression in his first year due to being nervous about his coursework and his stay in the hostel. Depression affected his studies, and he struggled a lot. As he could not cope with the work and stay on top of his deadlines, he took some time off from medical school and went back home to cope with the situation. I have always found him saying that spending time at home helped him to restore some of his energy which he felt was otherwise being expended too fast in medical school.
I think the mental health of medical students is taken very lightly and it is very important for those who are responsible for devising the curriculum to ensure that the workloads that we medical students need to endure are not unbearable. They must think about this immediately as the rates of suicide among medical students in Pakistan are rising. Even in my hostel, I have noticed many girls who are depressed and are not as punctual to class as they were before. Therefore, there is a strong need to reshape the curriculum. Medicine itself is a vast subject, yet it can be made in such a way that it becomes more interesting so that fewer students become anxious and nervous about the huge content they need to cover.
I too live in a hostel and experience stress and burnout while at medical school. To cope with these difficulties, I reach out to prayers. Also, I have noticed that when we advise other people, it is easier to do that than when this advice is applied to ourselves. So, I believe in actually listening to the advice I give others and you could say that I have made this my rule. When I advise someone and then I experience a similarly difficult situation, I try to apply the same advice I gave them to myself. Healing is something that we are made for, and I think that when we advise other people on their healing journeys, it also helps us. I have felt this personally, for instance, when someone calls me and asks for my company, I would be there for them, in med school. After a few months, I realized that these moments and the words I am using to help them heal are helping me heal too.