Given that many of us, myself included, are in the middle of Step 1 dedicated period I thought I would include at least one post addressing a particular point of joy I have found within medicine during a time that seems anything but joyful. That source of such positivity is musical song parodies. Long before I began my personal journey as a medical student this genre of music has been a source of profound support, fulfillment and occasionally education.
My love for medical school song parodies began more than 6 years ago when as a pre-pre-med I sought inspiration and comfort as I began my journey on what is rightly considered one of the most challenging life paths one can select for oneself at the University of Chicago. My early selections were consequently high aspirational the University of Maryland’s cover of the Wanteds’ “Glad you Came” opening as it does on “the MCAT’s done, decisions are out” and looking still farther ahead ZdoggMD’s “Doctors Today.” This sort of motivation became all the more important given the struggle of my first trimester and the consequent suggestion from many of those who care for me that I consider a different career trajectory. Into this state of uncertainty came not only new medical song parodies but also a person to share them with.
Shy and new to the enterprise as we both were, a couple’s retreat into the world of medical school musicality was critical for forming and sustaining our bond. Despite this early importance as a unifier, my love of medical song parodies also revealed to me the first signs of fracture. After a year of embracing new experiences and building a stable pre-med life together, I found myself increasingly deciding first to retreat into my room and my music and eventually doing so in the midst of rooms filled with nominal friends and loved ones. When the ultimate break did eventually come, medical parody was yet again critical. While I had not known this to be the case when I first enrolled at the University of Chicago, it is among the greats of medical school music. Lost yet again, the ability to see many of my “heroes” as they went about their lives was invaluable (though looking back perhaps a little bit awkward when I built up the courage to approach them). In this way, the next few years passed I completed both my BA and Masters and began my own time in medical school.
Now, as a medical student myself, my love for medical song parody is in no way diminished if a bit subtler, restricting it primarily to pre-test motivation and certainly never shifting to the other side of the screen. The irony of this shift has been that I seem to have decided to hide my light under a bushel just at it seems the world has taken the opposite view. I am filled with a combination of joy and wonder as song parody has seemingly become the default way medical schools celebrate second look, match day and all other manners of event. In concluding I hope you found some measure of joy in my sharing my own and generally in the midst of the stress of Step studying.