“Learn one thing everyday.” This is something that one of my residents told me during my medicine acting internship.
This is a sentiment that isn’t entirely new to me. I’ve heard it being said again and again throughout medical school. But, I never really understood the significance of this statement. In fact, I only began to understand it once I was well into my 3rd year.
During the first two years of medical school you are either trying to stay awake in a lecture or furiously cramming for a test. The idea of learning “one new thing” doesn’t really apply.
The great part about third and fourth year is that the never ending lectures and constant testing stops. This is a major part of what make third year so enjoyable – you get to start using what you’ve learned in real life, on real people. But it is also very easy to get lost in the routine of going to work, coming home, going to work, coming home, going to work, coming home, and repeat.
It is at this point that you have to make a decision – to learn one new thing or not. It sounds so simple and easy, but it is also so easily pushed to the back burner. But those “one things” pile up, and they pile up quickly. The field of medicine is constantly changing, and this idea of “learning one new thing” is a great habit to nurture. It will continue to be applicable throughout the progression from medical school, to residency, to fellowship, and beyond.