Medicine From The Trenches

Experiences from undergradute, graduate school, medical school, residency and beyond.

Starting Medical School

For those who have been accepted and starting medical school, congratulations. It’s affirming to start a new journey especially one that is long-term and a step towards a goal. I certainly remember the days of sitting in orientation for my medical school with questions, anticipation, and hope. I remember the wonder of all that I would undertake in the upcoming months.

I participated in our school’s White Coat Ceremony which is always an affirming experience. I remind myself of the privilege of treating patients and the absolute magic of making a difference in the life of my fellow humans. I remind myself that every human being is in the image of our creator with feelings and hopes of getting back to good health. I remind myself that my experience and training have to continue with every patient encounter. This is never a job for me but a calling that brings joy and stress sometimes but is a gift.

My late Pop was a physician who always encouraged me to remember that I have to give my best when I am tired, frustrated, and busy. I remember the words of my professors, my teachers, and those who take the time to help me give my best for my patients. I remember that my patients do not come to my care by choice but by need. While I chose this profession, my patients do not choose to be ill.

I remember every long day of rushing around for class and studying late into the evening. I remember the magic of understanding and finding structure in my Gross Anatomy dissections. I remember the joy of every slide examined in my Pathology class and I remember final mastery of the skills for a sound physical exam in my Physical Diagnosis class.

I didn’t become a higher life form by acceptance into medical school or the study of medicine. I became a person of service to my fellow human beings. Even today, I work to be a keeper of their trust and a better servant to those who come into my care. Even today, I read journals, study consistently in order to be the best professor that I can be.

I learn from my students and I teach my students as best I can. The best of what keeps me going after many years of practice is that I surround myself with those who see the wonder of all humans, who love what they do, and who continue to hone the skills that make them good educators.

If you are starting this journey of medical school, remember that this education is going to open the door to a lifetime of service to others. Remember that you have to give everything even when you believe you can’t give any more. Remember that your fellow classmates are going to be people you will refer and consult for your future patients; be cooperative and not competitive as you won’t practice alone; appreciate and nurture those who study with you. Always have to courage to ask for help early and often but enjoy this new journey.

17 August, 2019 - Posted by | medical school

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