A mental disorder characterized by at least 3 of the following symptoms:
1. the feeling that no matter how much time you spend studying, you are not studying enough
2. the feeling that no matter how efficient you are while studying, you are not studying efficiently enough
3. the feeling that no matter how much you learn during your studies, you still don't know anything
4. the feeling that you forgot everything you studied yesterday
5. the feeling that you will fail every exam even though you somehow manage to pass
and at least 1 of the following signs:
1. decline in social skills
2. taking excessive study breaks
Epidemiology: The incidence of this syndrome is highest from the last half of 2nd year through the 1st half of 4th year, although it can occur at any time during med school. There have even been a few reported cases of this syndrome occurring before med school. Earlier manifestations of this syndrome are associated with a higher probability of eventually dropping out of med school.
Treatment: The only definitive treatments for this condition are graduation and dropping out of med school. Other treatment modalities have been attempted, namely remediation and vacation. However, these alternative treatment options have only resulted in temporary success with eventual recurrence of the syndrome. Studies are being done to determine other treatments to relieve the symptoms of this condition.
Med stud 1: Hey man, how was your week?
Med stud 2: It was ok. I slaved in clinic every day from 8-5, then, I went home and studied until I fell asleep on my desk. How was your week?
Med stud 1: Oh man, I watched surgeries all day from 8-5, then, I went home and tried to study, but I just couldn't. Nothing was sinking in, so I kept taking breaks to eat and watch TV. I just don't see how you get yourself to study every day for so many years. What did you learn from your studies this week?
Med Stud 2: ummm...I don't remember.
Doctor: I think you both have med student syndrome. I am going to run some tests to make sure.