My days as a student in a classroom are quickly drawing to a close! It’s both terrifying and exciting. In two months I’ll be taking that wee old USMLE Step 1 and starting rotations. Rotations mark the transition from academic medicine to clinical medicine. I’ll finally be learning how what I’ve learned these past two years is actually practiced in real life. To me, this is the most important aspect of any kind of learning–application. I find that I remember concepts easily when I’m actually forced to use them.
That being said, I’m a bit scared about entering the field. Mostly because I really have zero experience with it. I’ve never sutured anything. I’ve never drawn blood. The only invasive thing I’ve done is percussing someone’s liver. I’m terrified of being utterly useless. Despite reassurance by many deans, advisers and administrators, I’m pretty skeptical that it’s going to be all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.
On the other hand, I’m really excited that I’ll be sampling the major fields of medicine. It’ll be interesting to figure out which fields I’ll hate and which fields I’ll love. I am going to strive to keep an open mind because I don’t want my biases to ruin the many experiences that I’m about to have. I’m also really curious about the differences between academic medicine and clinical medicine. When we’re in class, we’re told how things work, how they go wrong and how to treat the dysfunction. Learning it from a book is one thing, seeing how it’s applied in the hospital will be completely different!