It’s hard to believe it’s been FIVE years and FOUR years of blogging on my way to MD + MHA. FOUR years of thoughts, feelings, advice, ideas, reflection. FOUR years of transparency. I thank each of you for following me and supporting me throughout the years. I hope my words and posts have provided you comfort and support. It’s surreal to reflect on my medical school journey and life experiences.
I remember attending my first AMSA conference during my first year of medical school in the spring semester. I remember walking by the Merck Manuals booth having a delightful conversation. I always loved to write, but I never thought anyone would want to read it. I was given a card and an email. I followed up as I always do with anyone who provides me contact information. I was encouraged to submit a sample blog post. To say I was intimidated is an understatement. I thought to myself, “how would I ever be selected? These writers come from prestigious institutions and incredible places. I’m just a small-town Mississippi girl wanting to make an impact in her community and become a servant leader and great physician.” I remember writing my sample post thinking, “here goes nothing. I probably won’t get it.”
If I could go back, I would tell myself that I deserved and earned every opportunity regardless of my background. When I received my selection email, I was over the moon. I started believing in myself. I started believing I could make a difference and leave a positive mark.
Merck Manuals Med Student Stories, thank you for the opportunity of a lifetime—to share, to reflect, to connect, and most importantly, to grow. I am forever grateful! Thank you, Merck Manuals!
I also want to thank my family. They have been the rock that I needed the whole way.
I thank my mentors, my friends, every extracurricular activity and leadership position—all of these people, positions, opportunities have shaped me into who I am.
I thank the doors that have closed and the opportunities I didn’t receive. It helped me develop grit, resiliency, and become more faithful.
Lastly, I thank YOU! To all of my readers, I appreciate you! Best wishes to everyone, and I hope you stay tuned for hearing from me when I return as Avani K. Patel, MD, MHA!