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Information for people contemplating
a career in emergency medicine and
other medical specialties

By Kevin Pezzi, MD


Studying with a pet or other creative ways to make it more enjoyable

studying with dog or pet

Essay by , MD: Studying was almost torturous for me. I found it very difficult to concentrate, with my focus frequently shifting to things more interesting, such as women, electronics, snowmobiles, guns, or innovation. I tried studying with my girlfriend, but we would end up talking or having sex. The problem is that the mind craves pleasure and hates boredom, and my mind perceived studying as boring.

With this and other monotonous activities, such as mind-numbingly boring factory work, I found that I could spice it up and make it tolerable or even pleasurable by doing something else at the same time to deliver the pleasure I craved. In the case of factory work, I would either glance at a computer programming book or listen to an audiotape I made discussing it and then think about that as I gave just enough attention to the factory job to not chop my fingers off in a huge metal shear. I suppose I would also hate computer programming if I had that as a class, but studying it on my own is a joy.

A better option for most people who love animals is to study with a pet, such as a dog or cat who might love to snuggle up with you, with that contact and interaction being pleasurable and relaxing yet not very distracting. Animals can help alleviate stress, which is conducive to physical and mental health. If you're one of the folks who hates studying, anything that mitigates that stress is good for you, not just your grades.

I have such a positive association between snowmobiles or tractors and pleasure that studying while seated on them (stationary, not moving) is enjoyable, or at least much more tolerable. With the tractor, I found it most rewarding to drive it down one of my trails and park it in the middle of the woods as I studied. If I had a boat in those days, I'm sure that could have achieved a similar effect.

Decades later, I invented ways to astronomically amplify the pleasure of eating. I haven't yet commercialized them so I can't divulge any proprietary details here, but suffice it to say that they would be extraordinarily able to satisfy the mind's craving for pleasure while permitting it to concentrate on humdrum schoolwork.

If studying weren't so noxious, many more people could achieve their career dreams because the primary impediment to achieving them is not the tests (which take comparatively little time) or even the classes (many of which I skipped, even in medical school), but studying for exams.

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