Written a month before graduation from medical school. It reminded me of that infinite medical school wisdom, when all is said and done, P=MD.
I walked into the medical school today morning, smiling at being back in a place I’d not seen too much of in the last year and a half. I stopped midstride, as I saw a sea of new faces sitting in the common area. The faces I saw were young, eager, full of promise, hope and fear- clearly new first years.
It struck me then, as I began to walk more slowly through the hallowed halls that had educated me- I was officially an old man.
I recalled, four years ago, walking into the medical school for orientation. I can relive the emotions that roiled inside my chest in each moment. Eagerness, disbelief that I had made it, the confidence from college that I would be the smartest, the fear that I wouldn’t, and most of all the angst of the unknown path I was treading.
I remember walking into our big lecture hall and sitting on the left sided batch of seats- something I still do to this day. I remember sitting there just watching my peers, who in a few short months will be MDs and wondering what kind of MDs they would be. I remember seeing those same people that evening at the social event uninhibited by copious doses of alcohol and wondering all the more.
I remember the drive to do well on my tests and get that honors, the degree to which my self worth was tied up so intimately in the letter my course gave me. I recall the gnawing feeling in my gut when I didn’t get honors, or did “okay”. I smiled when I thought of the first time someone had let me do something in the hospital and how cool it felt. I remember how uncool it felt when I had to do something after my 5th surgery call night.
That walk wasn’t a long one, but my mind walked the ups and downs of the three and a half years I’ve spent here during it. I had a discussion group to run for the new first years about a book they all read. After I was done, one of them came up to me to talk. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, she reminded me of myself during first year. As I left I gave her a parting word of advice, “Don’t worry too much during med school”, I said, “It ebbs and it flows- but ride it out and you’ll be just fine.”
My journey here will end soon. In a few months I’ll be an MD. In a few more I’ll be a resident. And sometime after that maybe I’ll be a good doctor. But I know that leaving this door will also mark the next unknown path my feet will follow. And I know now that I’ll be just fine.