It's alright, I'll just take some Modafinil

Study drugs; what I thought were used by the desperate, the well and truly left-it-so-late-it's-now-too-late hardcore, "academia is my whole life" and "life isn't worth living if I fail" oxbridge types. I look around me right now in the library: I know at least two people in the room are on them. I wonder how many more are.

Some of these people are my friends. They're capable of concentrating, they made it into medical school in the first place without ever touching them and so they are capable of passing exams without them: so why have they resorted to what I thought was a last-ditch attempt at powering through an essay type drug? I'm slightly disappointed by them. We both know that they're capable of passing these exams without them: what it's come down to, is that they're being too lazy to try.

And what if they weren't capable of passing or studying without them? Then if they pass; they're passing under false pretences. In the same way that athletes are stripped of their achievements when they're found to have taken performance enhancing drugs; how can someone be proud of their examination results when they too, have taken performance enhancing drugs?

The second you start taking study drugs regularly (and by that I mean every exam season); you are losing the ability to train yourself to concentrate. Concentrating is not easy. Sitting at your desk, not moving and giving something your uninterrupted undivided attention is not easy. But if you are serious about learning, you train yourself to do it and it becomes easier.

It's one thing to take drugs as a bit of fun with your friends occasionally. It's another thing entirely to base your career on results you may not have been able to achieve without them. Study drugs are also devaluing degrees. I like to think that if nothing else, my degree has taught me how to discipline myself, how to push my mind and how to work hard for something I really want. Those things aren't quite the same when your popping a modafinil every day 2 weeks before your exam to get through one year to the next.

Look, I'm not saying I will enver do it. May be I will get really quite desperate one day and will feel that for circumstances beyond my control it's the only option I have left. May be, when i'm so backed into a corner and there is simply nothing else I can do to save myself, I will turn to drugs, for study or otherwise. But until then, I have every faith in myself that I can complete my medical degree off my own back. After all, if you don't have that, then what do you have?


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  2. While I have strong views against the use of recreational AND performance enhancing drugs (having seen what it can do to a man!), I believe Modafinil and other "study drugs" do not generate the negative connotations associated with, let's say, Heroin! The reason is that the drug use is justified as: I am doing it for something good.

    And yes, as someone who is hitting the books hard, for exam-style study after a gap of half a decade, I can attest to the fact that concentrating is HARD! But yeah, I do not think I shall take the drug way out either.

    Keep the faith, if an oldie like myself can hitch his brain back to biochemistry cycles, you will do just fine. And like they say it, if medical school is not driving you nuts, where's the fun in it? (Well, maybe they do not say it!)

    In any case, keep up the spirits and toil on!


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