Here I am ready to share with you the adventures of my first year of medical school. There are so many words to describe my first year, but here are just a few: trying, amazing, thought provoking, growth, happy, stressful, and everything in-between. This past year was by far one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life.
Let’s start with the books. At my medical school, we have yet to move to the pass/fail system, meaning we have numbers that are supposed to “define” us. Well, I fell into the trap of letting my numbers define me as a future physician during my first semester of medical school, and let me tell you, that was a total mistake. I was constantly comparing myself to my classmates just to find that whether I did better or worse, I still didn’t feel good enough. It took re-evaluating my mindset to realize that at the end of the day, being number one of my class wasn’t going to make me happy, which lead me to another question. What is going to make me happy? I found that seeing my family and friends, getting enough sleep, being involved, and doing the best that I can academically would be enough. Once I lost the mindset of comparing myself to my classmates, I found I did so much better in all areas of school, and I was much happier, efficient, and open.
Lesson #1: do the best you can. If you’ve done your best, be happy in knowing that you’re working your hardest. Your patients are going to care more about how hard you work and how you make them feel, not if you were number one in class.
I hope that my story with the first lesson I learned was comforting for many of you. At any point in medical school whether you’re at the top of the class or the bottom of the class, I think we all face a feeling of inadequacy, and I just want you to know that you’re not alone. We wouldn’t have been given the privilege of a spot in medical school if no one saw potential in us.
Keep rockin’ and stay tuned for another lesson my first year taught me.