Wellness Student Spotlight: Carly Wareham, M20
How have you balanced your academics and your personal life as an MD student?
Finding a “work-life” balance is one of the hardest, and in retrospect one of the most important, things to do in med school. And, I have to admit, I wasn’t always the best at it (especially in third year). I found it easier to stay in and study instead of getting ready for a night out in Boston. However, I realized how important my relationships were for my mental health, and began to devote time to spending with friends. I realized that you really just need to pass first and second year courses without perfect scores – yes, it’s true – and took time for myself. My favorite escape was to go to my dad’s house in Plum Island and force my pups to love me.
What surprised you about the MD program and living in Boston?
I did the MS in Biomedical Sciences program prior to starting med school, so I was pretty familiar with Tufts School of Medicine. I had an idea of its tight-knit community and it definitely lived up to its reputation. Tufts does an impressive job of picking outstanding candidates, so I was pleasantly surprised when I met down-to-earth and fun people who became my lifelong friends. I moved to Jamaica Plain first year and have loved the neighborhood feel, just minutes to downtown Boston (and having Chilacates around the block helps too).
What do you do for fun and do you anticipate that will change as you transition to residency?
I have the most fun just being around my friends. That will definitely be harder to do during a surgical residency, but I think with some planning and flexibility, it will still be possible.
What is your favorite healthy snack?
I’m not the healthiest of eaters (I love all things salty – Cheez-Its, French fries, etc.), but I do love hummus and pita bread.
How do you de-stress and how do you plan to carry that through to residency?
Netflix and thriller novels - I hope I can find some time to unwind during residency!
What do you wish you knew at the start of med school?
It will all be ok! It’s easy to get consumed with a bad grade, below average Step score, or poor feedback on a rotation, but at the end of the day, you will still be a doctor (and in the field you want). Just give it your all and do the best you can.
What pearls of wisdom would you like to impart to M21, M22 and M23 students?
M21s, you’re entering the best year of med school – enjoy it! Everything will work out, even with the COVID disruptions (M20s are coping too). Work hard on your SubIs and always, but have fun the rest of the year. Spend time with your med school friends – you don’t know where you will all end up!!
M22s, you’re entering one of the more difficult years of med school but you will survive – we all do. Enter each clerkship with a positive attitude and smile on your face and that will get you farther than you think.
M23s, second year is fun; try not to get hung up on the Step 1 commotion. Start making a study schedule (with time for exercise, meditation, etc.) at the beginning of second year – it is an abrupt change to go from a lax schedule to one where you plan your day down to the hour. Be flexible with your schedule and take a day off per week to do whatever makes you happy!