first world problems

First World Medical School Problems

I am extremely grateful to be in medical school.  I understand how truly fortunate I have been in my life–not just in regards to medical school, but with friends, family, and experiences–so please excuse me while I talk about the inconsequential things I complain about all the time.

I try to be an adult and not whine, but lets face it:  Sometimes whining is cathartic.  I just finished a long, arduous exam and I have been a little bit whiny since I got my grades back.  But even as the petty complaints are coming out of my mouth I understand how stupid they sound.  So I thought I would tell you guys a few of them and see if you all experience these thoughts from time to time.

I spent hours studying the venous supply to the lungs, and they didn’t even ask about it on the quiz!  If they weren’t going to ask a question, why did they emphasize it in class?

troy book

Yes, this one may seem specific to medical school, but I think there is a broader, underlying problem.  I have the tendency to complain about having to learn/perform tasks that never get recognized publicly.  Who cares if I didn’t get to answer a question about it.  I need to know this material whether it shows up on a test or not.

I had to spend two hours cleaning and doing dishes yesterday.  I wish I could just come home after a block exam and not have to do anything.


Who keeps breaking into my apartment and making messes?  It’s clearly not my fault. I want my apartment to be clean, but I don’t want to be the person to clean it.  First of all, this is silly because I should be thankful for my wonderful (very cheap) apartment.  Second, I don’t have a husband or kids to clean up after.  How bad can my messes actually be?  Then, sometimes I have the opposite problem:

 I couldn’t study last night because I was busy Binge Cleaning


I don’t know if anyone else has this problem, but sometimes when I should really be doing something else (like studying for my lab practical tomorrow?)  I talk myself into cleaning instead of studying.  Its really a “lesser of two evils” type of thing.  But then I’m behind on my studying because it was absolutely imperative that I clean EVERYTHING before I sat down to learn the cervical vertebral techniques.

That professor asked us a question on a test that he said in lecture that he wouldn’t test over.


This is the other side of the “I studied something that wasn’t on the test” coin.  Yes, it is frustrating if you get a question on something that you were told you didn’t need to study.  But they presented the material–technically they can test me over whatever they want.  I have the tendency to work myself up until I am blaming the professor for my grade in that class and then I have to sit myself down for a stern talking to.  If I missed a question its not because the professor didn’t cover it in class; its because I ran out of time, assumed it wouldn’t be tested, and ignored that section of the handout.

Now that I am in medical school, I never have any free time, I’m behind on all my TV shows, and I never get enough sleep.


This one is not only something I complain about on a daily basis, but one of the most foolishly whiny things I say.  Medical school–like most things in adult life–is difficult and requires me to work hard.  I would be legitimately unhappy if I had to be lazy all the time.  Not only that, but I actually love everything I’m doing.  Its almost like saying “It is so horrible that I have to learn things in this fantastic school that I was lucky to get into, to eventually reach the career I want, and attain every goal that I set for myself.  My life is so hard.”

Missouri is SO COLD. I freeze practically every time I leave my house.


This one I won’t apologize for.  Missouri is freezing in the winter, and I find being cold unacceptable.  Which also leads to:

I’m sleepy and cold and I don’t want to get out of bed to go to early morning classes/lab/patient rounds.


Again, I’m incredibly lucky to be going to this school.  But some days it seems like the hardest thing in the world to be productive, especially when attending classes isn’t mandatory.

I hungry, but I have no food actually prepared.  Now I have to go to the store/cook stuff.


I actually like to cook, but there are times when I want to eat right now.  Where is my personal chef who has dinner prepared for me after a long day of studying?  I’m hungry just thinking about it.

So those are some of the things that I complain about when I’m being whiny.  I feel like this list is pretty standard, but I’m sure I missed something.  Feel free to fill in any holes in my list if you guys think of anything 🙂