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Article
June 28, 1995

Binge Drinking in College

Author Affiliations

Madison, Wis

JAMA. 1995;273(24):1903. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520480021020
Abstract

To the Editor.  —Dr Wechsler and colleagues1 provide an excellent assessment of the effects of binge drinking among college students, including "secondary binge effects" on nonbinging or nondrinking students. I propose that similar secondary effects occur among nondrinking students in medical school.When I started medical school in 1983, out of my class of 169, there were no more than five other nondrinkers. As one of the nondrinking students, I came under regular and frequent pressure from many members of the freshman class to drink alcohol when I attended class events. This pressure left me feeling alienated and added unnecessary stress during my freshman year. I regarded this pressure to drink alcohol as significant because I had never experienced similar pressure during high school or college.Even the medical school administration seemed to regard alcohol as an essential part of social interaction within our profession. I have already recounted

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