Medical PG preparation: How to deal with inevitable stress?

Young doctors often find it difficult to decide whether to work or study full-time for their PG exams immediately after graduation. Many young doctors struggle if they did not find a specialty of their choice and are forced to retake the exam. It is difficult to find common answers to these problems, which applies to everyone. However, it is helpful to see exam related stress and workplace related stress separately.

Planning is the important aspect in either case. If you decide to work along with study you should choose the work appropriately. I can’t stress this more, choose the job or the department appropriately, both in terms of time available for study and less stress levels.

You are more stressed when you do things that you don’t enjoy.

There are few things that anyone could do which I have included here. The list is not exclusive. Remember that there is nothing shameful in being organised. Ultimately all toppers do that very well!

Time Management: A busy work day should be organised by prioritizing the tasks. Candidates should be able to schedule their work and study times in a diary or notebook.

Develop Coping Strategies: Stress is inevitable during exam periods and at work. Candidates should have coping strategies like reading, listening to music, other recreation etc

Share Stressful Experiences: Sharing the stressful experiences with friends and family members

Plan a Holiday: Candidates should be aware that taking a holiday from work and studies at regular intervals is a good way of improving your efficiency and learning.

Yoga and Meditation: The practice of Yoga, Meditation and other mindful exercises is highly advised during this period. However this is left to the person’s choice.

Healthy diet is important to feel less stressed at work. E.g. less junk food, do not skip meals etc. Smoking, use of alcohol or excess caffeine drinks are best avoided. These are just the basics. But the basics are the ones that we often forget. Often we feel shameful when stick to the basics. It is reassuring to know know that constant, relaxed effort could bring desired success.

Also read 30 day preparation for AIPGME

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