Friday, September 05, 2008

The real first day of medical school... a moment six years in the making.

I told a group of first-year pre-med students today, "The moment I'm at right now is where you want to be."

True, they all want to become doctors, so technically the moment they really want is med school graduation.

But what I'm talking about is that the learning I'll be doing this year - on the wards, seeing patients, learning medicine - that's the learning they wish they were doing this year.

Unfortunately for them, they are a long, long way away from this moment, and the learning they have to go through now is very different.

For them, they have to take courses in intro biology, biochemistry, organic chem, physics, a whole degree's worth of courses... the MCAT... the application process including interviews and admissions...and then two years of medical school which are fun and exciting and horrible and challenging and gruesome and interesting all at the same time.

All in all, at least a six-year that many of them might not make it through... and yet all they really want to be doing is learning how to take care of sick people in the hospital.

I know that it will only be a couple of months before I'm burned out from the day shifts, the night call, and the studying in every spare moment around those shifts, but right now, I'm so excited to start.

I had to keep myself from showing up to shadow at the emergency department tonight, after the doc orienting us this morning told us we could drop in anytime. Maybe I should wait until orientation week is over, I told myself.

Finally, we get to do what I signed up for.

Finally, there is a light at the end of the tunnel... only two years until I graduate.

Finally, it's starting to feel for real.

And talking to people who are six years of hard work away from this moment reminded me of what it took to get here, and made me appreciate it so much more.


Anonymous said...

It really is exciting! You have come so far! I saw an Parke-Davis ad once that showed a med student studying and the caption was "you bet your youth".

And you do.

Just getting this far is a HUGE accomplishment and you really have to respect the amount of study and sacrifice it takes to carry the responsibility of an MD.

I know I do. : )

Great post! If you are half as good a med student as you are a blogger, you will make a great doc!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on making it so takes a lot of determination and a lot of intelligence to be able to make it through those first few years, and I have tremendous respect for those of you capable of pulling through it. Good luck in your clinicals!

Ramblings said...

I'd like to take this opportunity to share with the public my blog, which begins my own journey towards medical school. As vitum mentions the road first-year students must take before acceptance, I will be documenting my journey towards medical school, starting from my first day as an undergrad. It's a project I'm excited to start, so please join me in welcoming the start of:


p.s. Good luck on your 3rd year vitum!

Anonymous said...

Good luck on the wards, Vitum. It's a lot of good, and a lot of bad, but it's all awesome.

Anonymous said...

Nice! I am very Jealous! I want to be an anesthesiologist.