My anatomy team and I uncovered the body of an elderly lady draped in white sheets, the smell of formalin wafting through the air, and I…barely still upright. It was as if I was handed a concoction of apprehension, anxiety, and not-from-concentrate fear. So I took a swig. What had I gotten myself into?
This feeling lasted for two weeks until the first anatomy exam. Up until this point, there aren’t many medical students who are completely sure they have what it takes to succeed. That is, until they receive their results and realize that they did not fail. A sigh of relief ensues and the grind begins again, albeit with a little more confidence. I wish I could say from that point on that things have gone as smooth as a Ray Allen jump shot. But that is hardly the case, the first two years are filled with ebbs and flows. In fact, at times during the midst of hours upon hours of studying, I would often think of how I could be spending this time doing something else other than medical school. Imagine, if I spent this much time dedicated to a different cause…what could I accomplish? Experience? Enjoy? These mixed feelings reach its apex at the end of second year, with preparation for the USMLE Step 1 board exam.
Now, I’m currently three rotations into my third year of medical school. Interacting with real patients, providing care, often comfort, and at the best of times…a cure.
What was once a theoretical love for medicine has finally been actualized. It is so worth it.