Medical Student Syndrome

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Medical student syndrome “MSS” also named medical student disorder, medical student disease and hypochondriasis of medical students is a condition frequently reported in medical students nowadays.

MSS is a constellation of psychiatric symptoms that affect the mood and behaviour of a medical student, especially during the first year of studying medicine.

While Medical students are learning medicine they read lists of symptoms for different diseases daily. Although they are completely healthy, they feel that they are suffering from the symptoms of specific diseases and they have it.

For example: If a medical student is reading about swine flu he may feel its symptoms and do unnecessary laboratory tests to confirm his wrong diagnosis.

Now the disease included millions of non medical students who can easily search in the internet about any disease and believe in having its symptoms.

If you suffered from this syndrome before share with us your experience through writing your comment here.

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5 Replies to “Medical Student Syndrome”

  1. Lol so true.. theres no disease (including some cancers) that iam not having (in my mind).. n sometimes doubt people around me r suffering from serious diseases

  2. Lol this is true. I got checked up so many times. My recent on was last week while i was attaching in ophtalmology clinic. I heard a glaucoma blinded man who said he had flashes of light before it happened, i immediately went to the senior and said i have flashes of light too and got checked but it was all fine 😀

  3. I had the opposite problem. I just assumed that I had medical student syndrome and wrote off all of my symptoms as stress. I had lost 10% of my body weight in 2 months and thought “Oh, it’s probably just stress and walking so much during 3rd year rotations. Yeah, I should be gaining weight from all this stress eating, but it’s probably nothing. ” Then the unintentional weight loss went up to 15% and I started having a constant low grade fever as well as a lot of muscle aches and joint pain, but I tried to write it off as flu season or maybe just being overworked/underslept. Then the weight loss went up to 20%, mind you this all happened over the course of about 5 months and my BMI had gone from 22.4 to 17.6. I started having random blackouts a couple times a week and the muscle pain and fatigue made it so that I could barely get through the day without literally collapsing. I finally went in for a diagnosis and was told it was probably just medical student syndrome, but that they would “humor me” and run some blood work just in case. Turns out it was an connective tissue disease and that the prolonged flare had damaged my adrenal glands to the point that I had Addison’s as well.

    I agree that medical students often overreact and tend to suffer from hypochondria, but sometimes we really do need to get a full work up. Had I gone in sooner, then maybe my adrenal glands would’ve been spared. People know their own bodies better than anyone else. If you feel that something is seriously off, don’t be afraid of being labeled as a stereotypical medical student with MSS. Just go in and see if something is wrong. Hopefully it’ll just be something relatively benign like vitamin D deficiency making you feel awful.

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