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In Anticipation of Med School

Posted by on Monday, November 27, 2017 in First Year.

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It’s amazing to me that I’m sitting here writing this post on my feelings and thoughts of entering med school. Why, you may ask? Well, because I wouldn’t be writing it if I had not gotten into medical school. I wouldn’t be writing this at all if my expectations of a potential future, dreamy aspirations, and academic exertions (not to mention luck) had not culminated to end at this very moment in life. Yes, it’s sentimental, but I still take pause. And even though I type with restless and excited fingers and am still surrounded by hills of rolling cardboard moving boxes I can’t help but to contemplate on the next four years. Here are my expectations, aspirations, and envisioned exertions along with some personal reflections.

I expect medical school will be very challenging. I expect it will be encompassing. Not to mention, it will likely be exhausting and laborious. And I anticipate that I will probably enjoy every bit of it. When my wife and I began to prepare for our move to Nashville and into medical school we thought it would be smart to meet up with some older doctor families that we knew. Unequivocally, they all said we needed to take a “vacation you can’t afford” before diving into medicine. I was not going to argue with that air-tight logic, so we booked our two week long Europe trip. And it was so fun to plan the trip, all the stops, all the food (and the wine). The prospects for European euphoria was sky-high! We got our wallet stolen six hours in. Six. Hours. In. We must have looked like prime tourist bait. Our expectations for what the trip was going to look like were stripped away along with all our credit cards. But, what we were surprised to find was the absolute adventure of figuring out how to live on Clif bars all day and finding sketchy looking banks to wire cash. That trip will not be forgotten easily. In very much the same way, I expect for there to be bumps in the road. My plans might get derailed some and the end destination might look vastly different than what I hope it will be. But I also know that it will be a total blast to figure it out. I expect surprises.

Here is a surprise for you: I aspire to be a good medical learner and practitioner over the next four years. Shocker! But it is my genuine aspiration to respect the practice of medicine, to honor those who came before me, and to contribute my very best to its progress and improvement. Part of this is my weird love of kidneys and online surgery instruction videos. Another part is my desire to use the skills I've been given for the holistic healing of human suffering. It’s actually kind of funny looking back now: In college I aspired to become a physician, which quickly turned into aspiring to first get into med school. That hope quickly devolved to “I just want to get an A in this class” to at times “I just hope I pass this test!” It’s interesting because even though by the end of college I have to admit I was in that last stage in a lot of ways, I am now back to my first hope: To be a doctor. My dream has crystallized and become an actual realistic hope! And, I aspire to never forget the ultimate aspiration, to become a physician, even in the midst of all the work.

And, that will take exertion. It would be dishonest of me to say I’m not nervous of the workload. But I trust the practice of medicine as it has grown and improved for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. I have confidence in my classmates and in this institution that strives to develop medical leaders. So I will gladly work hard. That will also mean taking time to work at resting. Work at wellness. Work at relationships. But I anticipate my exertions to be in the end altogether worth it.

These are the things passing through my mind, expressed in my excited fingers, and into these words on the screen. I never thought I would be at my number one medical school. But here I am, and I feel so lucky. So I will end with one of my favorite and heart-felt quotes from one of my heroes: “You miss all the shots you don’t take –Wayne Gretzky –Michael Scott.” Indeed, I am glad I chose to take a shot at this wonderful vocation and at this institution.