Confessions of a neurotic medical student

I’ve been using the word “neurotic” an awful lot lately.  And no, I’m not going to quote the Oxford Dictionary  and tell you what it means like this is a grade 10 English project.  That’s what bloody Google is for.

Anyway.  It led me to think, I’m pretty neurotic.  I worry about a lot of stuff.  Some of it seems pretty reasonable, like passing the comprehensive exam at the end of this year, eventually seeing an optic disc with an opthalmascope, not killing anyone during my clerkship years… But a lot of it is pretty ridiculous.  A list of my favourite worries and cares are below for your enjoyment and derision:

  1. I worry that one day I’ll actually act on that weird impulse to jump off tall buildings when you get close to the edge.
  2. I worry about catching my fingers under the hood of my car.
  3. I worry about inadvertently killing my cousin’s hedgehog with tea tree oil.  I also worry that it will never like me.  Ever.
  4. I worry that I’ll make an asshat of myself if I ever meet somebody even remotely famous.  It would probably involve something like a seizure or getting in a car accident.
  5. I worry that season 3 of BBC’s Sherlock won’t be as good as the first two.  (Completely unfounded, I know.)
  6. I worry when That Guy doesn’t speak to me for weeks.
  7. I worry when That Guy then decides to talk to me.  I usually sound conceited and unintelligent.
  8. I worry that I actually care about 6 and 7.
  9. I worry that I’ll have acne forever.
  10. I worry that I won’t have a high enough serum iron to donate blood in a few weeks.
  11. I worry that my kid brother doesn’t believe me when I say he’s a star singer.
  12. I worry about how few friends I have outside of medicine.
  13. I worry that I’ll never get to act again.
  14. I worry that I’m not attractive enough to be a successful actress, even if I tried.
  15. I worry about those stupid, effing carpet beetles that don’t seem to die, no matter how many times I vacuum.
  16. I worry that I’ll be single forever.  On that note…
  17. I worry that my parents will set up an online dating profile.  In my name.  Without my knowledge.  Again.
  18. I worry that I might be okay with being single forever.
  19. I worry about not having any maternal urges whatsoever.
  20. I worry about the people I’ve met at Streetworks downtown.  I hope she made it through rehab okay.  And I hope he doesn’t have to go back to prison.
  21. I worry that I’ll care too much about my patients.  Burnout’s a bitch.
  22. I worry about going to parties where there are people I don’t know.  Or talking over the phone.  In both cases, I’m at my most awkward.
  23. I worry about what I’m eating this week – the pasta I made is distinctly un-delicious, despite how much money I spent making it.
  24. I worry that anybody who made it to the end of this list will think I’m depressed or something.  I’m not.

And lastly…

25.  I worry that I won’t get to properly enjoy my life because I’m so busy worrying about not enjoying it.

Classic, amirite?  Then again, many of you won’t find this surprising because either A) you know me too well, or B) you’re also neurotic.  And guess what?  That’s how most of us med students got this far – we worry about pretty much everything.  Although, I’m pleased to say, “my grades” no longer makes the short list of stuff I’m anxious about.  Pass/fail ftw!

 – Atalanta

 Photo courtesy of: David Castillo Dominici |



Filed under Medicine, Personal & Blogs

5 responses to “Confessions of a neurotic medical student

  1. Linds

    Awesome blog. I understand the majority of these. Also, it made me laugh (sorry, I’m not trying to be cruel), considering we have discussed many of these, and I can’t get rid of the image of you seizing when you finally meet Cumberbatch, and Sally stands by watching and telling him you’ll be fine…

  2. Katy

    Keen observation and attention to detail – that is what I see in your list. Excellent traits for a physician. MUCH better to be “neurotic” than oblivious.

    Over your lifetime you will be able to gauge the degree of your underlying anxiety by how strongly you respond to the fears listed in # 1 and 2. Minor phobias are excellent for this purpose!

    I have no idea how I stumbled upon your blog.


    • Well, I’m certainly glad you stumbled over! Thanks for the comment – good to know, I’ll be sure to stand on the roof of my building once in a while. 😉

  3. Pingback: Me, the patient? | Atalanta's Antics

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