Medical school: Exciting and daunting all at the same time. Where do I start? So, I didn’t exactly know right off the bat that I would end up pursuing medicine. It was not until the end of high school that I “knew” – but I didn’t realize how tough the journey would be. As any pre-med would do, I declared Biology as my major. I then embarked on my 4-year long journey of completing all my required classes and labs and extracurriculars and volunteering… isn’t it crazy to think of all the things one has to squeeze in within 4 years?
I want to let ya’ll in on a little secret. You ready? I only got one interview. WHAT!? How. Crazy. BUT – I also got accepted. What. Are. The. Chances. My odds never looked very well to begin with. Without getting into lots of detail, my numbers weren’t super great – In my opinion I was pretty average. I did extracurriculars, shadowing, and a little bit of research but nothing super spectacular. Being in medical school right now was one of the biggest blessing in my life. Despite all odds being against me, I truly believe that the Lord has placed me where I needed to be.
Fast-forward to second year of medical school. I’ve come to learn that balance is important. During my first year, I would spend countless hours in the library (which, yes, lots of studying is expected) when I’m not even being productive anymore. Also, I was not prioritizing my spiritual health as well as my physical health. Toward the end of the first year, I got so burnt out that I put all those things in the back burner. Then when second year came, I felt like I had a better idea of how to handle all the stress and did my best to incorporate self-care.
As future doctors, we’re expected to take care of other people. Yet a big issue that people in the medical profession are facing is burn out. Whether it’s medical students, residents, and even those in other aspects of medicine, we all experience it. I have come to the realization that if I neglect to first take care of myself, I will not be able to put my best foot forward in taking care of others. Yes, it may mean sacrificing my grade between an A and a B because I decide to get some rest and sleep before my test. Or, it may mean taking thirty minutes to an hour to get moving by lifting weights or doing yoga. Taking some time to prep my food on the weekends. Or most importantly, starting my day off by doing my devotions in the morning instead of hitting the books right away. Yes – it all adds up and the hours are diverted from studying, but if I don’t do these things, I will be miserable. Medical school doesn’t have to be miserable – you just have to find time for what’s important and realize that you have to make sacrifices in certain areas of life.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means perfect and I don’t always get to do these things day in and day out. But it’s the fact that I try to prioritize it so that in the long run, I will be able to give my best to my future patients and colleagues.
Best wishes to all those pursuing medicine, and if you ever have any questions feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey everyone! My name is Dorothy & I’m currently a second year osteopathic medical student. I graduated with a Bachelors in Biomedical Sciences and a minor in Sociology. After graduating, I took a year off and worked as a receptionist at a primary care office. When I’m not studying, I love to go to the gym, spend time with my friends and keep up with my blog called Life In The Med Lane. This blog has been such a fun outlet for me throughout medical school! I hope to continue to inspire others – whether they are in medicine or otherwise – to maintain balance in life! Also, did I mention that I’m getting married!? Yes, during medical school! Life doesn’t stop – we just have to make time for what’s important 😉
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