6.06.2007

Medical School year 1 in review

As I sat here, procrastinating studying for my psych and neuro finals, I was thinking about the past year:

With great power comes great responsibility...

I started on this journey not so very long ago, on a hot August day. I packed my Corolla with everything that I owned, and put my TV and bike into my parent's car and headed on down the 'pike, leaving behind my beloved Bay State. I was feeling good, new doors opening, new people to meet, a new chapter in my life. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and between the free beer and everyone on their most friendly behavior life seemed good. They repeatedly told us "with great power comes great responsibility" and other such comic book-esque speeches. Then they put the short white coat on me, and they instilled that same sense of power and responsibility which they spoke of.

I compare the short white coat to the venom suit in Spiderman 3, it felt really good to have that token costume showing who I was going to become. Unfortunately, much like the venom suit, it is parasitic in nature. As the year wore on, I became more and more isolated from everyone that I care about for the pursuit of medical school. My life has become a constant battle between having enough time to do what I need to do to survive school and and having time for the things that matter most in life-my family and friends. Unlike Spiderman though, I'm not saving people and I'm not defeating evil, I'm frigging studying Neuro...

Medical School Year 1 in review

So over-all the year has had the constant theme of change. I've moved to a new place, met a bunch of wonderful friends, and completely changed my lifestyle. I've also
figured out what I'm getting myself into, and I'm surprisingly OK with it.

I'd have to say that the overall sense of uselessness at this point is the most frustrating part of medical school. I'm a smart person, I'm paying a lot of money to be here, but I'm just sitting here like a sponge, absorbing science that is starting to overflow from my pores. I was also disappointed in the level of social maturity of my classmates; you'd figure that most of the whackos would be screened out in the application process but we've got some of the most socially stunted human beings roaming our campus waging passive aggressive battles amongst eachother, and complaining when things don't go their way. There's also a level of accountability that I've seen missing from these kids and it makes me worry for the future of medicine. Finally, the insight I've gained into the economics of medicine are horrifying, and I wonder how I'm ever going to pay back these loans.

With the bad, comes good too: I have a definite sense of accomplishment when I look back on all of the material that I've covered. I now know a decent bit about the normal, healthy human body and how it functions, and I have to say that some of the processes are absolutely fascinating. I've made a bunch of good friends here at school, and there is a definite sense of comaradarie that has formed between us from the collective suffering, and the sigh of relief that we breath after every exam. Most of all I feel like I have some foward momentum in my professional life, whereas my year off in research felt like Ground Hog Day (The Bill Murray movie). I'm on a career path, and all I have to do is my best and that part of my life will turn out just fine.

On the docket for the summer is a 6 week pediatric EM fellowship in our hospital affiliate, which I am pretty stoked about. In my free time, I'm probably going to watch the Red Sox, drink some of the quality local microbrew, hang out with my family down the cape, teach myself how to fly fish, catch up on movies, read a few books that have been gathering dust on my shelf and generally catch up on sleep. I know there's only 9 weeks of summer and that seems like alot to accomplish, but I've got to squeeze in the good life before I'm locked away in the hospital for the rest of my life.

Hopefully, I'll have some interesting cases to post on here, as I'm sure that I get a lot of hits for people searching for whiny med student angst. Peace

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I actually found this entry by googling "medical school blows". That was only after first trying the terms "medical school sucks" and "medical school is sucking my soul."

I'm in first year and I'm already miserable. I don't want to study any of this. Frankly, I am overwhelmed. I don't even remember why the heck I ever thought that I wanted to do this.

I'm not sure it will get much better if I stay (I'm seriously considering quitting, if it weren't for the fact that I'm soooo not a quitter and I don't want to have to explain it to my parents...but anyway).

Any advice? If you choose to reply to that question, thanks. I'd rather not provide the link to my blog, so I'll just come back to this entry....I do that googling thing very often nowadays. My life is sad and pathetic.

Thanks.

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