Housing, Transportation, Food, Exercise, Physical & Mental Health

by Mohammad Hajighasemi-Ossareh, MD

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    00:01 Welcome to the pre-med lecture series, this is lecture 1.

    00:05 Congratulations, you've been accepted into Medical School.

    00:08 Now is the time to celebrate and reward yourself for all your hard work.

    00:12 It was an extremely challenging process and you have succeeded.

    00:16 But now we need to focus on the next stage of your life, becoming a doctor.

    00:21 Before we worry about what books to study and how to develop a great study schedule, we need to plan-out the logistics of your transition from going to college from Medical School.

    00:31 The first thing we need to do is get the basics organized.

    00:35 You need to establish the basics of food, shelter, transportation and exercise.

    00:39 Yes, this is not a very romantic language but you need a place to live, you need to have transportation to and from school, you need to eat and you need to maintain your physical and mental health.

    00:51 Let's talk about housing, when it comes to picking for a place to live, try to find a location that's close to your medical school campus, this may seem like common sense but I've had friends who've had to commute to medical school every single day and it's quite the hassle.

    01:05 Don't worry about living in a city that's more fun or that has more things to do.

    01:09 You'll be spending the majority of your time in medical school studying and living close to school will save you time.

    01:16 Now take about the extra minutes of commuting to and from school and what that takes away.

    01:21 It really takes away from your study and sleep time so for your own sake, just live close to school.

    01:27 Another variable to consider when picking a place to live is the actual environment itself, not inside the house.

    01:33 You need to live somewhere where it's quite enough or you have hours of uninterrupted work that you can study for, don't live in a party house or if you are going to have roommates, make sure that they also spend time studying as well.

    01:46 If you have roommates, you want them to be academics and they'll live your study living drive lifestyle as well.

    01:52 Last thing when picking a place to live make sure you're able to have dedicated space inside of your house or apartment that's designed for studying and nothing else.

    02:02 Go purchase a nice table and a nice chair, nothing too fancy but get a chair that's built pretty well and gives you good back support, get a desk that's large enough that gives you comfortable space to work and also ensure that you have a nice good lighting.

    02:16 We'll discuss this more later but having a dedicated study space that you set every single day and that's what you do in that space will make a world of difference in your efficiency and also your study skills.

    02:28 Now let's talk about transportation, yes, you'll have to commute to and from school.

    02:33 In medical school you’re gonna have Anatomy Lab, Microbiology and daily lectures, you need to have easy mindless access to and from school, depending on the set up of your city, you may able to use a bicycle, a car or public transporation, whatever means of transportation that you use, makes sure it's readily available to you.

    02:53 The last thing and I mean the last thing you wanna worry about is how am I gonna get to school, how am I gonna get to lab, I have an exam coming up, oh no my car is gonna break down, the bus is going running late, make sure you plan out the logistics of transportation well and advance, speak to family and friends and see if they can help you require a mode of transportation if you don't already have one.

    03:13 Here, it's okay to be a little bit beggy and ask for help.

    03:17 Now let's discuss eating, this may sound like an unusual topic to discuss, you may be wondering, "Why is Mo talking about food, it's food, you just eat it , that's it." Well, that's sort of true.

    03:27 When it comes to your well-being in medical school, you need to take care of your physical and your mental health.

    03:34 It's easy to always eat out or pick up frozen food items from the store but in the long run, these options are unhealthy and actually becomes more costly when you’re studying or when you’re sitting in lecture listening you wanna get the most out of your time, you wanna be the most efficient, eating healthy allows your mind to stay sharp and keep focus, keep eating out and eating those frozen foods, you get kind of fog brain.

    03:55 But let's keep this simple on how to get a solution, you don’t have to become a professional chef overnight.

    04:01 All you need to do is come up with simple and easy recipes that will allow you to have control the foods that you eat and also have control of your finances.

    04:10 Here are some basic recommendations, number one, use a slow cooker, a slow cooker is also called the crock pot and it's just a device where you throw you in meat, vegetables, water and some seasonings, you turn it on in the morning, you'll put on the lead, you come back at night and viola! you have delicious and healthy food, it usually produces some kind of stew but it's delicious.

    04:29 Another thing you can do is this concept of meal prep, there are countless website on the internet that are dedicated to meal prepping, meal prepping is when you take one day out of the week, usually a Sunday, you prepare all the food for the week and you package it up and put it on a fridge and you take it out every day.

    04:46 Meal prepping is a nice way to work one day a week and have food the rest of the week.

    04:51 And also when it comes to eating, treat yourself with something you like to eat every now and then, use common sense, you wanna keep yourself happy, you wanna eat things that you like, but be aware, eating things has more of an impact on your studying and skills that you might be aware.

    05:04 Eating healthy and eating clean keeps your mind sharp and keeps your mode better.

    05:09 Next topic, physical health and exercise.

    05:12 Now, if you have any baseline health problems, dental health problems or vision problems, now is the time to address them.

    05:20 Your time will only become more occupied with school and studying as medical school gets on, get regular check-ups now and address your personal health concerns today, don’t wait until med school starts.

    05:32 Now, when it comes to exercise, I know what you're thinking, "Mo, I won't have time to exercise in medical school.

    05:39 I'll be busy studying all the time." Well, hopefully through these lectures that you're listeing to, you will learn that you have more than enough time while in medical school to do the things you want, exercise is one of the best uses of your extra time.

    05:52 An hour a day of running, cycling, lifting weights or whatever you want makes a tremendous difference in your overall physical and mental health.

    06:01 Now one solution is to figure out what are the hours of your school gym and when do they open.

    06:07 We'll talk about this more in the next topic but be social with your peers, go to the gym with someone else in your med school class, having a workout buddy increases accountability and makes it more likely that you and your friend will go to the gym.

    06:21 Now, going to the gym is kind of a challenge while studying, I'll be honest I have that problem as well but what you need to do is get into simple habit of going to the gym and then you won't be able to stop.

    06:32 You'll notice as well that when you start going to the gym, you'll start to study better and you'll feel more control in your time, that's a good subconscious feeling.

    06:40 The questions here is how to build the habit of exercise, we will use the same analysis of habit forming when it comes to the future topics of studying.

    06:50 Recall that a habit has a queue then the habit and then the reward, we call this the habit cycle.

    06:57 For the queue, you will need to pick a regular queue that will trigger you to start exercising.

    07:02 When you get home from lectures or before you start to have dinner, whatever it is, pick a time and a queue that works for your and stick with it, once that queue has been triggered in your mind then go to the gym, workout, do whatever you like and then afterwards give yourself a reward, this reward can be anything, it can simply be feeling good about yourself, you can eat something you like or enjoy some type of entertainment, this will complete the habit loop, the queue, the habit and the reward and then you'll have a great system in place of exercise that'll increase your efficiency in studying and also make you more healthy.

    07:38 Now, let's talk about mental health, you may have a desire to skip over this lecture topic but this maybe the most important topic of everything we talked about today and I'll be honest with you when I was in Medical School, I would have probably skip this as well but I have gone through the race and listen to me, this is very important.

    07:57 Getting into Medical School as you’re aware is more competitive than ever, Medical students are eagerly studying to obtain high USMLE scores and to match into the residency program of their choice.

    08:08 With the recent increase with Medical School suicide is more important than ever that we as doctors and medical students take care of our physical and mental well-beings.

    08:18 First, if you have any baseline mental health problems, continue or start seeking care.

    08:24 The four medical school is the time to start getting care, don't ignore it, don't delay it, you're only going to get more busy.

    08:31 Something to do that'll help you in this respect is to develop the skill of becoming introspective, you need to learn how to ask yourself, how am I doing? Try to keep an eye on yourself and see if you notice any changes in the following, your sleep. Are you sleeping more? Are you sleeping less? Your interests. Are you losing interests in things you previously like? Do you feel guilty about anything? Energy. Are you more energetic or do you feel more tired? Concentration. Do you feel like you're losing it? Appetite, eating more, eating less and this thing in psychology, we call Psychomotor state.

    09:05 Are you more kinda still not moving or you're moving too fast? And finally, if you’re having thoughts of harming yourself or anyone else? This same question you should ask yourself introspectively but also try to see if you see them in your friends or someone else, you can help other people out, now make sure that you stay in touch with your friends from before medical schools and also your family.

    09:26 A very important thing that we look for Medical School Admissions Committee, is do students have a social network of support? So it's very important that you maintain your social network of support and this actual support system, you will need the support of your friends and family more than ever and especially as the Medical School progress continues.

    09:46 Lecture summary, planning out the logistics of your life before Medical School is the first step to success, it's also a lot of fun, start by organizing where you want to live, live close to school and live with other students who are academic if you have to have roommates.

    10:04 Obtain reliable transportation, bicycle, car, whatever, you don't want to worry about how you're going to get to school.

    10:10 Eat healthy and control what you eat, not only will save you money but more importantly it will improve your studying efficiency.

    10:18 Take care of your physical health and also exercise.

    10:22 Go see any doctors that you need to and obtain the necessary steps, create and exercise habit loop to make sure that you actually exercise and get a reward and lastly, take care of your mental health, stay in touch with your family and friends and watch out for signs from yourself and others of people who are not feeling well. Thank you.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Housing, Transportation, Food, Exercise, Physical & Mental Health by Mohammad Hajighasemi-Ossareh, MD is from the course Premed: Preparing for Medical School. It contains the following chapters:

    • Lecture Overview
    • Housing
    • Transportation
    • Food
    • Physical Health and Exercise
    • Mental Health
    • Lecture Summary

    Author of lecture Housing, Transportation, Food, Exercise, Physical & Mental Health

     Mohammad Hajighasemi-Ossareh, MD

    Mohammad Hajighasemi-Ossareh, MD

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    Practical Suggestions
    By Thomas J. on 11. July 2018 for Housing, Transportation, Food, Exercise, Physical & Mental Health

    All the information that Mo offered was very practical , easy to understand and follow.

    Really helpful and informative.
    By Desiree K. on 30. May 2018 for Housing, Transportation, Food, Exercise, Physical & Mental Health

    The tips were really helpful and I am really taking this lecture seriously becuase Housing, Transportation are essential and also the foundation of comfort and convenience when learning in medical school. Thanks a lot!

    Very Informative!
    By Ace w. on 11. September 2017 for Housing, Transportation, Food, Exercise, Physical & Mental Health

    This is very helpful. I didn't know where to start to begin my transition until I watched this video. Thank you!