It’s probably the last thing I would typically call myself–particularly since as a second year student, you don’t actually provide much medical treatment. But today I’ll allow it because today was our children’s hospital annual CHaD HEROES event, a fundraiser and half-marathon race where 100% of proceeds fund critical child and family support services.
It’s challenging enough to be a medical student, where time is very limited and free time is even less available. When it comes to working out, cooking, and other work-life balance activities, training for a half marathon is nearly impossible. But when it’s for a good cause, I guess you are able to find the time to work for it.
This wasn’t my first half-marathon, but it was probably one of my most memorable. At the starting line, families and patients cheered you on as you started. Hundreds of runners were dressed in superhero gear, running in what looked terribly uncomfortable–all of it for a good cause. The same patients and their parents stood at the finish line, congratulating every finisher who made their way across that line hours later. The hours of training, the months of running, the injuries and the change in diet all were validated crossing that finish line for those patients. In this race, my impact as a future physician was not typical–there was no D&T–but I believe it was just as influential in those patients’ lives.
This experience reminds me of two pieces of advice I’d give to anyone pursuing a health profession, whether you’re a high school student or have been a physician for decades.
- Don’t find time, but rather, make time for experiences you find valuable. If you like running, do it. Every. Day. It has made me much more efficient with my time.
- Keep a “why” always in perspective. Write it down. Carry it with you. Is it a patient? An experience? What is your motivation? Hold onto that. Because this work becomes too daunting at times, too overwhelming, too upsetting. This work is hard, and I know I can’t do this work without knowing why I do it.