All good things must come to an end

Today’s inane image of the day:

A nighttime view of a street in San Francisco. This was taken from the back of a trolley [one of the highlights of my visit to San Fran – they’re so fun to ride!].

The best part of vacation as a single [as in, unmarried], non-parent? Being able to completely remove yourself from your world – everything falls away when you leave your comfort zone and explore somewhere new. You can temporarily ignore all the things that plague you. You can tell strangers lies about your life. You can breathe, freely.

But, all good things must come to an end.

It’s not that I don’t want to go back to school, but I’d rather not feel stressed out 24/7. Nor do I enjoy feeling relentlessly overwhelmed with the material. Or feeling very lonely while studying [though, Mike has been great about keeping me company].

In so many ways, the pre-clinical years kind of suck.

Participating in the Cardiology internship was a reminder that there’s a point to all of this. There are individuals out there with heart-wrenching stories of courage, hope and determination that I want to hear. Things don’t always work out, but when they do, it means more life. More love. More memories.

One year ago, I was preparing to start a new chapter of my life. This year, we get an extra week of summer to enjoy before starting classes on Monday, August 13. Although the nerd in me is excited to put some new creases into my textbooks and break out a new set of highlighters/pens, another part of me is dreading our return. I am fully aware that in order to be a competent physician, I need to learn the material – but some part of me wonders if there’s a better way to do medical education.

Incoming M1s, please do relish in the excitement of this first week – it’s an exquisite feeling that cannot be replicated. You will learn all about our school and be greeted by an endless number of fresh, smiling faces. You will be interested in joining all of our organizations [come say “hi” to me at the Activities Fair – I’ll be at the AMWA table, of course], receive your laptops and lots of free food. You will bond with your classmates through group and evening activities. At the end of this week, you will be presented with your white coat by your PRISM mentor and have a million photos taken.

Then, you’ll be thrown headfirst into an ocean of material. Like I said, all good things must come to an end.

4 thoughts on “All good things must come to an end

  • August 12, 2012 at 3:28 am
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    Hey Amanda, I commented once but I don’t think it worked….

    Anyway, I just wanted to ask if this dread that you have is something that makes it really hard to keep persevering through the intensity of medical school. I am worried that I will lose the passion/interest in medicine simply because of such prolonged stress. How do you manage to maintain the stamina needed to get through these years? Did you know going into medicine that you would face this?

    Cori

  • August 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm
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    I’m about to start as a MS1 at Drexel. What advice would you give a new medical student about the first couple weeks of class? What worked? What didn’t?

  • August 13, 2012 at 12:00 am
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    I’m sorry to hear that you were having trouble commenting! If you find that it doesn’t work, there’s always email [amanda@amandaxi.com].

    Anyway, as for your concerns about losing passion/interest – I believe that if medicine is truly the right path for you, that this won’t happen. I did suspect that going into medicine would likely lead me to a completely different level of being stressed out, but by taking things one step at a time, you find that it all flies by rather quickly. That, and having a strong support network [whether it be in the form of a significant other, family, or someone online] will really put the odds in your favor. Maintaining some kind of stress-relieving activity [exercise? writing? yoga?] also helps.

    Keep in mind that the medical school admissions team wouldn’t admit you without a strong sense that you’ll succeed and that you have the right kind of passion for this work.

    I may moan and complain here, but in the end, I cannot imagine spending the rest of my life doing anything else.

    Good luck and keep at it! As always, I’m around for advice. =)

    Amanda

  • August 13, 2012 at 12:01 am
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    I’ve posted an entry of links to different versions of “First Year Medical Student Advice” – check it out and feel free to comment with specific questions if those don’t help!

    Good luck and enjoy delving into your first couple of weeks!

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