There is no definitive description for stress! It is any change, internal or external, positive or negative, to which a person must adapt. Simply, "stress is anything that causes physical and/or mental wear and tear on the body and mind" (Joyce V. Fetro, Personal & Social Skills, 2000).

Starting a career in Medicine is indeed full of stress. Even before our students start the official first day in school, they were given this very relevant briefing to help them cope with the demands of their medical education.

On June 10, 2011, incoming first-year medical students were formally oriented on the uermmmc Medical curriculum. As part of their preparation to enter medical school, the Mentoring Committee was tasked to provide them with this activity, which included both a Stress and Time Management Seminar and an orientation to the Mentoring Program of the institution.

Our speaker for the seminar was our energetic then-incumbent Dean of the UERMMMCI Graduate school, Dr. Teresa L. Yap, who is also the adviser of the committee.

Among the highlights of the seminar were as follows: Time is a valuable resource. Managing a medical student's time wisely will reap positive benefits like efficiency, effectiveness, productivity.

Effective time management tips were shared, which included these:

  1. Plan your day.
  2. Set achievable goals.
  3. Don't waste time making excuses for not doing something.

General behaviors and techniques that will help students manage stress are as follows:

  1. Eat healthy meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  2. Maintain a daily routine and schedule.
  3. Exercise regularly.
  4. Avoid caffeine.
  5. Do things you enjoy.
  6. Get good amounts of rest and sleep.
  7. Avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
  8. State feelings in a clear way.
  9. Decrease negative self-talk.
  10. Be with friends who help you cope in a positive way.
  11. Learn relaxation techniques.
  12. Talk to caring adults.
  13. Enjoy humor and laughter.
  14. Most importantly, PRAY.

The college of Medicine's Mentoring Program was likewise introduced, to further assist the College's new freshmen to overcome the hurdles of medical studies.

The objectives of the program were presented as well. These are:

  1. Develop relationships with physicians in the UERM community who can encourage, guide and advise the
    medical students.
  2. Enhance student-faculty communications on the challenges of the medical course.
  3. Identify factors affecting students' adjustment to medical school.
  4. Provide exchange of experiences among physicians and students.
  5. Follow students' progress in the medical course.

The mentoring committee will strive hard to achieve the objectives of the program. With the help of our faculty mentors, we are truly hopeful that this program will achieve success as we look forward to seeing our students graduate and become the best doctors who can make their mark for themselves and for UERMMMCI.


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