Many wonder why I chose to do undergrad, my masters, and now medical school all at the same institution. I found my answer one night when my grandmother was rushed to the hospital. Within 4 hours, I was able to notify my school that I would be absent, grab my clothes and make it home to my grandmother’s bedside. While we waited to find out if she will be okay, I was able to spend time with her, sitting through her favorite TV shows. My mom and I stayed at the hospital, while there, I was able to get some much needed studying done so after my grandma went to sleep, I spent time learning antibiotics. It is all worth it.
Medical school yields us the opportunity to learn the intricacies of the human body, to understand the physiological foothold of our most common ailments. It teaches us to be good doctors and to communicate these things to patients, to understand this metaphorical line between life and death with its thin, dashed, and dotted sections. What medical school doesn’t do is teach those of us learning to take care of patients to deal with these things personally; it doesn’t protect us from life.
So I realize through this experience why I stayed. Because my life isn’t just mine, it belongs to my family. Being here means more to me than anything else, medical school is important but at this moment, this is where I am supposed to be. The stress of medical school can cloud this. Studying for hours on end, I am guilty of sometimes sending calls to voicemails, ignoring texts, waiting until I have time… This makes it all so clear that time is transient. It is a gift that I haven’t begun to appreciate yet.