Mastering medical sciences, fighting stress

Guest blog by Jolene Kelly, PA-C, PA Program director

Graduate school is a whole new ball game and learning about the intricacies of the human body takes a lot of dedication and work. Combine the two for a graduate degree in health or medicine and you’re looking at some stress.

I’ve often heard students express concerns about not having enough time in the day to study. Their weekends being totally devoted to “catching up” on their studies or they have no time for themselves and/or family. What can be done to prepare you so that you can avoid some of these pitfalls?

Whether you’re already in school or applying, it’s important to make a list of things you know will de-stress you and help you refocus. Maybe being active relieves your stress – in that case join an intramural team or the local ultimate frisbee club. Maybe spending time in a good, non-school-related book eases your mind – look into joining a local book club. And maybe spending time with family and friends is the best medicine for you. Actually set an appointment for it. No excuses, you’ll be setting aside the books to enjoy those that matter most to you.

DMU also has an educational support office. This office is staffed by professional counselors able to help you with stress, anxiety, relationship issues, focus, concentration, sleep, study skills, addictions and other obstacles to your learning. It’s a totally free resource available to you.

I’d also highly recommend Study Without Stress, Mastering Medical Sciences by Eugena G. Kelman and Kathleen C. Straker. This workbook teaches you how to manage your time, how to identify what is most important to learn, how to condense notes from materials studied, and how to test yourself to ensure that you know the material. It is available at Matthew’s, our DMU campus bookstore. Order online or pick one up on your next visit to campus.  

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