Hello everyone! First time contributor here, excited to be part of a group of medical students sharing stories and experiences in hopes that something clicks with you, makes you wonder, or nod your head and smile. So, to myself, welcome (I’m relaying the warm welcome I’ve gotten from the people behind the scenes).
I’m a rising second year, meaning I’m halfway through the summer after my first year of medical school. Aka, my last summer. Most schools are starting to drop this summer break, so that their students can spend more time in clinics. However, we at Dartmouth are a bit more traditional with 7 weeks off to sleep, play, research, and rejuvenate. And I’m so thankful.
As a former teacher, I cherish summer vacation. It’s when I try cooking new recipes, travel, and catch up on an often-forgotten reading list. Yet also like teaching, break is a time to reflect, re-evaluate, and remind myself why I chose teaching/medicine in the first place. One year in and I’m incredibly humbled by this field. I’m lucky to have found a field–trauma–that excites me everyday. Not many first or second year students can say that. Each case presents significantly different experiences and each patient has a unique story that demands immediate action. It’s in those urgent moments when you hear that story and learn. It’s like reading Tchaikovsky while skydiving at 125 mph.
To keep that thrill going, I’m privileged to be doing trauma research at both Dartmouth and at OHSU. One is purely clinical, the other is mostly bench research looking at blood coagulopathy in TBI patients. While being confined to a lab running assays may seem disconnected from the ER, I get to see how the world of research connects with practice. Oh yes, and I attend rounds, conferences, and shadow in the ER/OR for overnight shifts too, so there’s plenty of exposure. In short, it’s cool.
Even if I were to switch fields–which is a total possibility–I know that I’m making the most of this very moment and my interests here and now. So for anyone out there worried about not knowing “what you want to do with your life,” just enjoy what you’re doing now and see where it takes you.