As a 4th year, I’d hardly say I have wisdom about the field of medicine. In fact, I’ve learned that the more I learn, the less I actually know. And I’m about to go into residency, where I’ll learn an incredible amount of knowledge and skill in a short amount of time. They say it’s like drinking from a firehose.
But I figured I do carry some knowledge about medical school, as I’m about to finish my experience. So since Match, I’ve been reaching out to underclassmen and sharing experiences with them that are appropriate to where they’re at. For first years, we’ve talked about their “last summer” and how to maximize time off with being productive. For M2s, it’s about getting through the mental gauntlet that is Step 1, and for M3s, it’s about securing the right sub-Is for their desired specialty. It’s a bit nostalgic to reflect back on my own experiences.
That being said, as helpful as wisdom is from upperclassmen, I’m a firm believer that people learn primarily from their own lived experiences. So while I share advice with my colleagues, I figure they will have to make their own mistakes and find their own successes.
At graduation, the alumni draft a series of “wisdom stories” to give to M4s. This is a book of anecdotes and advice that they learned throughout residency and as an attending. And while I’ll read it, I figure I too will go out, find my own successes and make my own mistakes. That’s how I will learn.