The last 5 days of medical school. While my friends are studying for Step 1, finishing rotations, or about to finish their first year of medical school, we M4s are saying our goodbyes. All week we have been busy with events, from picking up regalia to taking photographs, one of the best parts of this week has been revisiting old traditions. They say at Dartmouth “let old traditions fail” but the last week has been nothing but nostalgic. Hiking my favorite trail, visiting our old favorite restaurants, having a champagne toast to some of our esteemed faculty. Most of us are not planning on staying in the area for residency, and we’ve taken it upon ourselves to be nostalgic.
Yes, medical school is incredibly hard, and it’s easy to be frustrated with the experience. But in these experiences, we define memories that will shape our futures. How did we get through the tough times? Where did we go? What did we do?
When I started medical school, I joined the Student Government, because I wanted to think about “what will we remember from our medical school experience?” When I look back, I think about the late nights in Dana Library, spending extra hours in the anatomy lab looking for the ureter, joining our weekly trivia team, the 6am Starbucks barista who knows my order by heart, falling asleep on the couch with a burrito when I got home from Surgery, and the 4am sub-I start time so I can go to the OR on time. During this week, I’ve had the chance to meet up with classmates to reminisce during this pivotal moment in our lives.
A few days ago, I had the chance to sit in on a celebration, where first years would talk about their experiences and goals for the coming year. It was truly humbling and exciting to see that my experiences were amplified by theirs. I am humbled to graduate medical school knowing that we have a shared experience, part blessing, and part struggle, where we come together. I am excited to graduate, and in one year to hear about what my friends do.
Also, I cannot imagine who I will become in a year. Stay tuned for that…