In medical school, Rants on April 21, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Got back the other day from my last second look and it’s nice to be able to finally say I definitively know where I’ll be attending school for the 2010-2011 school year! Whoop-wooooo! While applicants have until May 15th to decide where they’re going and then a few months left to relax, I find myself already packing and itching to leave.  I’ll be leaving home for the last time the last week or so of May. That’s approximately 5 weeks lefts of freedom.  I’ve never been one to enjoy free time…oddly enough, it gets my antsy.  It’s too much time to sit around and think and plan, and while forming a game plan ahead of time is good, it can lend way to worry.  This is where I am.

First off, I’m tired. But it’s not a physical tiredness, but more like a psychological slash energy of my being fatigue.  It’s hard to explain. I’m tired not in the traditional sense of “Oh, I need rest,” but more in the sense of I need stimulation – a jolt of energy.  In a way, I’m jaded with my situation for the next few weeks. Ever since I’ve been back, I just feel blah, because now, I feel like I’m just sitting and waiting for my real life to pick up again.  I have always hated being bored. I hate it!  Even as an only child, I found many times where I was bored and would do any and everything to entertain myself.  Now, not so much.  Oddly enough, as jittery as I get when I’m bored, I’ve been quitting jobs left and right! Illogical? Slightly. I mean, I still have two jobs left, so it’s not like I’m not generating income, but you’d think that someone who wants to stay occupied would jump at staying busy with work.  Probably has something to do with the mundane jobs I have (the ones I’ve quit)…boring is boring, and I’m cutting as much boredom out my life as possible.  I find myself with ample free time to sit around and think.  And we all know that too much of anything is not a good thing – thought included.

I am starting to panic about what I’ve just signed up for.  After all these years of hard work, the vast amount of money poured into this career path, and time and energy spent working to get in, I find myself not even able to rejoice in this good news.  Shoot, I’ve been accepted since October and every time I tell someone I’m going to med school they respond with “Congrats! Shouldn’t you sound happier about it though?” And a part of me is ecstatic. But that happiness is muted by fears of inadequacy coupled with anticipated years of debt. I’ve talked to many friends throughout the past years who are currently in med school, following their progress and asking for advice along the way. The most common advice I’ve received is, “Run while you can!”  – said half jokingly, but still… We’ve all heard the analogy of the amount of information covered in medical school is akin to trying to drink out of a fire hydrant. I’ve also heard it described as academic bulimia…neither images are particularly appealing. I find myself wandering over to the allopathic threads on SDN, and coming across multiple posts about academic probation or failing or feeling overwhelmed…to be honest, the immediate future does NOT look bright.  I’m starting to fear what awaits me in a few months.  Added to this crazy workload, I am being overly ambitious and pursuing an MD/MPH program to be completed within the traditional four-year medical program.

At times, I think I just might be a masochist. Maybe I quietly like a little (or a lot of pain).  I look back at my post-bacc experience, and I realize that, on the low, I enjoyed being a bit of a nerd. I liked my strict study schedule I made for myself, and the hours I spent studying for my courses.  Even more so, I enjoyed seeing the fruits (i.e. A’s) of my labor. I like being smart and I like being a hard worker and I like actively putting work into my future. Shoot, I even like rote memorization! Sounds like I might like med school…might.  I find solace in a few things. 1) I had intense course loads for my post-bacc (not quite med school intense, but certainly more so than undergrad) and I excelled with ample free time to enjoy life. 2) I approach this upcoming obstacle with the mentality of Yeah, it’s hard, BUT if just one other person has done it before, surely I can do it too. Other advice I received form some friends was to not concern myself with how or what my classmates were studying, but to stay on my schedule and use my own methods, because whatever I did that was good enough to get me here will carry me on.  While I think there will be room for adjustment in my methods, I firmly believe if I stick to this, I can and will succeed. 3) Finally, and most importantly, since this is what God has called me to be, I will be it, I will not fail.

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