The “S” in medstudent means Strong not Smart
To help mankind
To achieve my childhood dream
To help/cure the sick and poor
To become rich
To become cool
To make my parents proud
To pursue someone else’s dream
To become an instrument of God’s healing hands
From the list above, you may find exactly your answers to the Most commonly asked question in a Med School interview: why do you want to become a doctor? Whatever the reason is, let me emphasize that It is easy to forget your goal when you’re already working on it, especially when not everything is going as planned. When you feel tired, you lose hope, you feel down. You feel like you just want to give up. You may find yourself frustrated when your painting of yourself fades during the actual exhibit itself. This “exhibit” will only last for 6 semesters (if you are to really simplify the duration of Med school didactics). If you can imagine how could 6semesters or 3 years make or break someone. In this time, make sure that your colors won’t fade. So easily said than done.
“I am not Smart/I am Super smart ”
Although Med Schools require a certain grade in NMAT and College GWA, these do not equate to being smart. Being smart at this level is in no way a guarantee that you will become a doctor. Some smart people are even too proud to learn. They think they already know it all, so they fail to educate themselves with the kind of smartness that a doctor needs. It is a combination of Med School and a bigger percentage of your effort that will hone you to become a different kind of smart. And that kind of smart will only be yours if you stay strong during the process. Now, we get to the strong part.
What does this mean?There are different meanings of “strong” which are relatable to physical power, moral or intellect,etc. Among those, my favorite is “being able to withstand force and pressure”. It is almost a cliche that you probably don’t want to hear it anymore. However, we cannot separate our minds from the thought that we need be strong in order to move on. Strong and staying strong are two different things so you have to remind yourself or at least surround yourself with friends who will never get tired of reminding you about this!
“I am not strong enough”
Medicine was never for the weak. Even if you are weak to begin with, you may still choose to be strong. Ironically, the strength comes from knowing your weakness. With that, I’m telling you that the fine line between a winner and a loser is the decision to be strong and persevere. After you have completed the first task which is to DECIDE that you really x 1000000000000000000 want to be a doctor, train your mind that getting the MD goal is the only endpoint. That is fixed, but the path going there remains to be unpredictable. From here, adaptability and flexibility are of key importance.
“I am already strong”
Once the perils and various Med School agendas starts to accumulate, those who thought that they were strong are actually the ones struck the most with disgust. Especially if they keep their feelings and frustrations to themselves. They may look cool outside, but they are actually brewing inside. If you somehow relate to this, most of the time you will find yourself weary and tired because of the repressed emotional baggage that you thought you were handling well. The key here is to not let yourself boil too much. Just like a kettle, cover the lid tight and it will absorb all the heat. The next thing you’ll hear is its whistling outcry. If you don’t want to feel all the heat, vent out. Try to find a friend who you think will understand you. If you don’t seem to find a real friend, find an outlet. Do not keep it.Never ever keep it.
“I thought I was strong”
Before I entered Med School, I wondered what exactly made Medicine difficult. Knowing that I have a strong personality, I convinced myself that it I would be unlikely for me to ever doubt myself and want to quit. But you know, Med School is not your only life. It is not the only issue we deal with on a daily basis. Among the other stressors lie in your family, relationships, love life, financial difficulties, Illnesses, self-esteem/mental health issues, to name a few. You may find yourself confused lost. This is what remind myself and others: “Do not always blame yourself, do not be hard on yourself, do not be disheartened.” There are things that you cannot control and for those things, what you can only do is storm the heavens by prayer. But of course, you better do your best. You decided that you wanted to become a doctor, so you must be stubborn with your goal.
FOR THIS TOO SHALL PASS.Soon enough, you will thank yourself for enduring this. Whatever kind of DOCTOR you’ll be, remember to be a good one.Just HAVE PATIENCE AND YOU WILL SOON HAVE YOUR PATIENTS.
This is for all struggling Med Students who are working hard to be the best version of doctor that they can be.
————————————————————————————————————————————-The thought of writing this stemmed from my repressed emotional baggage and mental turmoils this sem. We absolutely have different perspectives towards this MD journey of ours. With that, let us not invalidate and disregard these feelings. And instead, start acknowledging the experience.