Yikes, it has been some time since my last post. When medical students say they are busy, they aren’t joking. This past year has been a whirlwind. Not only did winter drag on for what seemed like forever, but step one loomed over my head and my extracurricular responsibilities were ever-present. Even so, here I am starting year three having learned more about myself these last two years than I did medical knowledge (well, it’s almost a tie!).
- Your friends are your best bet.
- Medical school has left me exposed emotionally – some days worse than others. I have been riding an emotional roller-coaster these last two years. One day I’d be motivated and determined to accomplished everything. While the next day, I would fall into a rut – where my bed was ever so enticing. Just a little nap will be fine, I’d tell myself. With my emotions raw, I found myself picking unnecessary fights with my friends. Which is unusual, since I can’t remember the last time I fought with anyone before medical school. Following an argument, I would take a step back and think about where my real frustrations lie – it certainly wasn’t my friends. Even so, my friends never left my side. After apologizing, things would get back to normalcy… well as normal as medical school can be. My friends and I know medical school takes a toll on each of us. So we have an unspoken, universal understanding: we have each other, and nothing can change that.
- Medical school shouldn’t be everything.
- I can’t count how many times I put medical school first. As I look back, I realize is was far too MANY times. I ate, slept and breathed medical school. It dawned on me when I saw how much I was missing. Only after I made drastic changes was I truly happy.
- You’re surrounded by very motivated, intelligent and successful people BUT.. don’t let that get to you.
- Before medical school, I’d never been surrounded by such motivated and successful individuals. I found myself face to face with the best of the best. It’s intimidating to say the least.
- It wasn’t long before I started comparing myself to others. It was tough thinking I wasn’t as smart as them or that I wouldn’t be half the doctor they would be. I can’t say for sure when I made the switch but I eventually learned to accept myself for who I am. I knew there would be others smarter than me but that wouldn’t stop me from trying my best. I deserve to be here just as much as they do. Somethings won’t come as easy to me and that’s fine. I can’t be good at EVERYTHING. Some people can but that’s not me.
- Don’t give up.
- More than once I found myself thinking, “What am I doing here?”. Of course, I don’t like studying. Of course, I wish I was doing something else, anything else really. But at the end of the day, if I gave up, how would I feel? Temporally relieved maybe, but then I’d be kicking myself in the butt for quitting. I knew this path wouldn’t be easy but it would be worth it. So no matter how much I dislike standardized tests and learning things that aren’t always clear cut, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.
So here’s to leaving the classroom behind, and starting fresh in the clinic!