Maintaining a Social Life During Medical Residency

Maintaining a Social Life During Medical Residency

Jan 09, 2021 Published by Kathrin O'Neill

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Being a doctor is fulfilling. Aside from doing your dream job every day, you are in a position to help people. However, being in the hospital for hours straight could be exhausting. Many doctors complain that they have lost connection with their friends and family because of the physical and emotionally draining nature of their work. Even if you are determined to be the best in what you do, this does not mean that you have to sacrifice your social life. This is the time in your life when you need someone to talk to. You need emotional support from friends and family to keep your mental health in check. If you do not know where to start, here are a few tips that could help you maintain a work-life balance.

Make time for your friends and family

You are at your busiest period during your medical residency because it is the time in your medical career when you aim to get ahead but spending quality time with friends and family is also important. Research has shown that being with friends and family is a major factor in being happy. They can serve as stress buffers, where you can talk out each other's problems instead of trying to seek other destructive coping mechanisms such as drinking alcohol. These are the kind of people you can let your hair down and have fun with, so keep in touch, arrange a date-time with them even for a short time, and include them in your hobbies or sports activities.

Get along with your fellow doctors

It is hard to be with fellow-doctors at social events because of conflicting schedules and other commitments but it is still doable. Set aside a certain time with them like going to the gym at the end of the day or taking a short walk while discussing some medical cases. Your fellow doctors are the ones who can understand you the most. You share the same interests and struggles. You can ask for tips from them, and also help them cope with the daily stresses of being in the medical field. Being with people with whom you share the same experiences could be a confidence-builder in your job. Associating with senior colleagues can also help you gather some information and guidance on how to do your job well while maintaining your social life at the same time.

Classify your friends

Ever since you became a doctor, you were surrounded by people who have the same interests and motivations as you. You definitely belong in this group of people. However, this does not mean you cannot be friends with people from all walks of life. If you are worried that they will not be able to understand you, this is totally wrong. They may not be able to understand your medical lingo and the same way as you to them, but you can understand each other in many other ways. Also, do not be too technical with your friends and discuss medical terms. This might turn them off because they might think you are a know-it-all. Draw a line between your personal friends and your medical peers. Pay attention to the topics you want to talk about and how you discuss them.

Watch out for suckers

There are many freeloaders out there. People might want to be friends with you to take advantage of your expertise. They will call you anytime and anywhere so that you could attend to them or their family. These people would keep on asking for free medicines, prescriptions, and other favors that are hard to provide. There are also those who will ask for free referrals from you so that they can go to other doctors for free. They are not true friends. They are just liabilities that should be erased from your list.

Stay away from expensive people

Even if you are now a doctor, you still have many financial obligations. Stay away from people who will pressure you to spend or ask you to pay for everyone’s bill. Remember, you still have a student loan and bills to pay. Friendships must not be bought.

Go for quality friends

Good friends are loyal, trustworthy, accepting, and caring in good or in bad times. Choose people who do not demand much of your time. Everybody has a definition of what a good friend is but always remember that a good friend is one who helps you to be the best person you can be. If you go for good quality in buying your basic needs, then more so with people you want to be friends with.

In the end, being a doctor can be tough and there are times when you really need to shed some tears. However, being surrounded by positive people can help you get over your hardships. Thus, find time to build and maintain healthy relationships with those who matter to you the most.