I had my first panic attack during my senior year of high school when I was 16 years old. I had no idea what it was and I thought I might be having a heart attack. Unfortunately, it’s still taboo to talk about issues of mental health so candidly in our field, but I find it striking how many fellow medical students have experienced something similar when I mention it. Careers in medicine tend to attract people who are “type A”; perfectionists who derive much of our life’s satisfaction from our external performances. This makes for diligent students, but it often lends itself to anxious personalities. Although I acknowledge it as a necessity for myself, maintaining internal peace can be challenging to do in medical school. I haven’t had a panic attack in a long time but I’ve continued to hold the persistent notion that once I accomplish “x”, everything else in my life will fall into place. In part through my practice of yoga & meditation, I’ve embraced the knowledge that “x” will never stop changing and my life is happening right now. My worth isn’t defined by my external success and my peace shouldn’t be determined by it either. The only way I can reach my highest personal and professional potential is to prioritize the activities and relationships that fill me up, so I can show up in the healthiest way possible for myself and my work. I’m thankful that both with and #withoutthewhitecoat, I’m practicing peace.
MD Candidate | Class of 2023
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
”#withoutthewhitecoat I am practicing peace.