It was the first week of medical school when a petite blond psychologist walked into our classroom which was filled with new faces I would come to spend the next four years with during medical school. She assigned personality tests that probed my personal life. Ironically the following week, she returned with the results during a working lunch which we politely obliged.
The psychologist first started her PowerPoint slide and noted that through a survey we previously took about our traits and lifestyle behavious, about 80% of our class had “Type A” personality. On the next slide, she noted the correlation of Type A personality and the increased risk of heart disease. I looked down at the free pizza provided for this working lunch and thought, “Great. Now what?”
As the weeks passed and free pizza lunches continued, my energy was lacking and my body started slacking. I realized that it was time to start exercising. Being Type A, when I set my mind in doing a task, it’s as good as done. Slowly, after many sore days, I found myself having a better sense of mental clarity. Also, I was wearing my regular clothes again and people stopped asking me why I was wearing scrubs to class.
The more I went to the gym, the more often I ran into my classmates. The guy who is ranked 1st in our class class could now be spotted from time to time playing extreme Frisbee on the lawn. The two girls who are attached at the hip at school sat next to each other during spinning. The class gossip got her groove on in Zumba… and I was there too. It was social, it was healthy, and it was just what I needed to keep my life balanced amidst the stress, Snickers and standardized testing that defined my medical school experience. I realized that from that self confidence in myself due to having better health, that I gained a better self of acceptance and accepted that I belonged in medical school. It also made me realize that I shared a common interestswith my classmates. We are Type A’s and we are at an increased risk of heart disease. Hower as true to our nature, we were all there doing something about that alarming fact.
So, I am encouraging all of my fellow medical and premedical students alike to get out and get healthy. Be social! Whether it is jogging, spinning, lifting, swimming, dancing, or stepping, get out there 3- 5 days a week for 30 to 60 minutes and work out. Fight back. #medschoolproblems
Jade-Michelle Hernandez, M.D. Candidate
Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Class of 2015
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