an epoch

To tell you the truth, I’m not happy being back in classes. The work is overwhelming. The difference between Semester 1 and Semester 2 is massive. We were given an hour long lecture on the Pectoral Girdle (shoulder joint) and then asked to figure things out on Tuesday, by ourselves to present to the class (at random) on Thursday. This is berserk.  And since we were shuffled to different groups, everything is awkward right now. You have to get used to new people, you have to get used to new tutorial group lecturers. It’s stressful, it’s painful, it’s hard.

But that’s life right? The uncomfortable moments that you have to push through. Believe me, I’m scared of how much I have to cover in just 3 days. It’s a lot really. Joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, vessels, nerves… the complexity of the human body is riveting and terrifying all at the same time. I honestly don’t know how people do this.

You know how people say “medical school is tough”? Let me tell you, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. It’s mental.  So far, 3 people (that I know of) have left the course. Maybe four. It’s highly stressful and it makes you want to tear your hair out. I swear, yesterday, coming back from classes, I was a bit teary because it felt like too much. It can break you. It has broken a few of us.

SO. How do you hang on when times get rough? How do you handle going through this? You just suck it up. If there is nothing else in the world you can see yourself doing, you make it work. I try to keep my spirits up (and believe me, it’s tough) by watching this medical reality TV series that ABC has made: NY Med. They started with Boston Med last year, where a camera crew followed patients, doctors, nurses and the med staff around to see what it’s really like to be a medical professional. It’s not Grey’s. If anything, it’s like ER but with very much less personal relationship stuff.

Seeing the difference made in real lives, the real people you touch, the real problems you face, the tears they cry.. it makes me want to be better. It makes me want to work hard to be one of them. I chose medicine because I want to help others. It’s the cheesiest line ever but I’m choosing to suffer and cry through medical school, and suffer and cry after because it’s worth it when you touch someone’s life. It’s worth the pain when you know the outcome is positive.  I may spend a lot of time bitching about how hard things are but never think that I don’t want to be a doctor. I do. I may imagine being a lawyer or a scientist or a teacher sometimes but nothing feels more “home” than being in the medical field.

I guess that’s because my parents are medical professionals. I spent most of my life in a clinic, helping out at the reception counter or chaperoning while there are female patients or just hanging out with my parents. I remember that I asked for a “doctor’s medical kit” for Christmas when I was 4 years old; I still have the pictures.  It’s the only thing I’ve known. As far as I can remember, I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be like my father and to pursue the dream my mother couldn’t afford to go after. You can say that I did it because of my parents but I’m also doing it for me, now. That’s how you know that something IS for you. If it’s what you’ve wanted your whole life, if it’s something that you want now, you have to pursue it. (Here’s a side story for you: My cousin, Crystal loves to draw. As a child, she went everywhere with a pencil and paper. She keeps drawing, always. Now, she’s in a local university pursuing her dream as an artist. And believe me, she can draw.. like, seriously, draw. Some things just require passion, you know?)

I don’t really know where this is going. I just felt like it had to be said (And THAT is a slightly altered quote from Legally Blonde the musical. This is me, dropping trivia, that no one cares about). If you want something, you go after it. If it’s hell, and you still want it, you better work your arse off for it. Some things are worth it, some dreams are worth fighting for.

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