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Medical Student Syndrome

Medical students endure a lot of stress while going through university. In their classes they learn symptom lists of many rare diseases. When they have a symptom similar to one in a disease or illness they have studied they believe they have that illness. This is Medical Student Syndrome.

For example, a student studies something such as brain tumors and reads one of the symptoms to be headaches, the student then is convinced that he or she has a brain tumor. Medical Student Syndrome affects people who are not medical students as well. Anyone who reads or has knowledge of medical conditions and their symptoms is perceptible to this illness.

Unfortunately this syndrome is becoming more and more common. Students diagnose themselves or their friends, but are told by a professional that it is (most commonly) nothing. The internet is a highly guilty source to the student’s information. Some of the information on the internet is not precise and completely correct.

Medical student syndrome is a type of acute Hypochondriasis. Hypochondriasis is the belief that you have a serious illness. It lasts normally longer than 6 months. Hypochondriasis only affects between one and five percent of the general population. It is a medical syndrome and cannot be prevented. Medical Student Syndrome is self imposed. Students cause themselves to have this syndrome and let it spread.

Though medical student syndrome may transpire any time in a medical doctor’s studies or career, it is most common in India during the students first clinical year and the first year after graduation. “If a medical student hears hoof-beats outside the window they think it’s a zebra.” – This old saying means that they classify a normal sound applicable to a rare animal, or a common symptom to a rare disease.

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