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A panic attack brought on by the stress of medical school

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A panic attack brought on by the stress of medical school

"As I leaned against the pristine wall, my vision suddenly dimmed. Everything turned gray. I gulped for air. My arms and legs went numb. I felt that drowning sensation I’d…
May 24, 2021

A panic attack brought on by the stress of medical school

“As I leaned against the pristine wall, my vision suddenly dimmed. Everything turned gray. I gulped for air. My arms and legs went numb. I felt that drowning sensation I’d had in third grade when a nun pushed my head between my legs to keep me from fainting in church on a brutally hot June day. Or like the time when I was eight months pregnant, took a hot shower at the university gym, and almost belly-flopped onto the concrete floor. I prayed that I wouldn’t pass out on my first day of medical school classes. I didn’t want those MDs-to-be, all smarter and younger than I, to know I couldn’t handle this, that I didn’t belong.”

Anne McTiernan is an internal medicine physician and epidemiologist. She is the author of Cured: A Doctor’s Journey from Panic to Peace.

She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, “A panic attack brought on by the stress of medical school.” (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/02/a-panic-attack-brought-on-by-the-stress-of-medical-school.html)

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