I started this blog two years ago with an explanation of why I wasn’t going to medical school. And now here I am, about to tell you about my first day of medical school. But wait, how’d I get here?
That’s kind of what I was thinking yesterday, on my first day of real medical school classes. After two weeks of blissfully calm orientation to the school and the student run clinic, we dove in to problem-based learning groups, info-packed lectures, and genomics lab. Somewhere in the middle of that, I thought to myself this is going to be a lot of work. Also, can I do this? And, why am I doing this?
It’s fairly common to hear that the beginning of medical school can be overwhelming; the accepted metaphor is drinking water from a fire hydrant. For me, it wasn’t even the material itself that seemed daunting, but the dawning realization that there was an enormous volume of information to be absorbed in the next two years. After dreaming about going to medical school and becoming a doctor for a very long time, it was finally happening, and that was a little bit scary.
Oddly enough, a little girl and a bandaid helped to put things in perspective last night. I was at my boyfriend’s hockey game and a girl who was probably 7 or 8 was sitting in front of me, watching her dad. She got a small cut on her hand, and was completely distraught, begging her dad to get off the ice and come to her aid. I realized I had one, found her crying in the bathroom, and offered to help. Of course, she would have been fine, and all I did was pat her hand dry and stick the bandage on her – but her face lit up with a smile and she thanked me before wiping her tears and running back to her sister. And that’s when it clicked, and I remembered the joy that seeing your impact on others can bring; that’s the joy that has drawn me to medical school.