first- and second-year medical student hydration habits

Most future physicians are pretty health-conscious. However, with the stress and lack of sleep that comes with medical school, it is conceivable that even the most health-conscious person will ultimately give in to some not-so-healthy habits. In this first of a series of rather un-scientific studies, we conducted a longitudinal study of medical students’ hydration habits during the first two years of medical school. Results were collected by carefully-placed-disguised-as-medical-students scientists who simply observed and recorded what beverage was on each student’s desk on each given day. These scientists followed the entering classes of 2005, 2006, and 2007 for two years to obtain the following results.


Medical students’ beverage of choice shifted from predominantly water to coffee during the first two years of medical school with the majority of students drinking mostly coffee by the beginning of the second year of medical school. The switch to mostly coffee drinking persisted until the end of the second year of medical school after which most study subjects were lost to follow-up as they disappeared to cram for the USMLE Step 1.