I took my last shelf exam back in June and finished my last M3 clerkship accordingly and all of a sudden, I was now an M4, just like magic. Prior transitions from one year to another were marked by orientations, but this one happened overnight. I definitely don’t feel any different and I certainly am not pre-intern material right at this moment.
In some ways, I feel like my clerkship experiences have helped me learn so much and I have definitely improved since my first rotation back in August. Nevertheless, the journey and the learning are never complete and I’m glad that I have a full fourth year to truly round out my medical school career.
Although some have said that fourth year is mostly just time to do a few sub-internships and apply/interview for residency, I find that this year is my last year to be a student in the truest sense. I have the freedom to take electives in all areas of medicine. I can continue to volunteer and serve my school and community in various roles. I can commit to a short-term research project. Residency will be a full-time job with greater patient responsibilities. As the year progresses, I hope I can ease into the M4 status and live up to all of its pizazz.