I wanted to try to put into words how awful med school is, but there is really no way to do that. Unless you’re in med school, you won’t understand. Let me just say this…there is a certain look that med students get on occasion. It can be hard to spot, but if you’re in the right place at the right time, you might catch it. It is a look of panic, fear, exhaustion, worry…but mostly regret. If put into words, it would read: What the hell did I get myself into…
Let’s just say I’ve seen the look a lot lately. I see it in my classmates, and I see it when I look in the mirror. I knew med school would be hard, and up until recently I felt I was prepared for the level of difficulty, but over the past few weeks I’ve been completely overwhelmed. I just keep thinking Is this real life?
Because it feels very surreal. There is just more to know than can ever be known…yet we are expected to know it. For instance, tomorrow we have to do case presentations for immunology. We have over 30 different immunodeficiencies that we are expected to know. I can’t even pronounce half of them, let alone tell you how they present and how to treat them or what defect causes them.
The only thing I know for sure is that I am going to look like an idiot in front of my classmates and my professor. But it is okay…because one thing that med school has taught me how to do well, is fail.
I will say that I am holding it together better than some people. The trick is to try not to think more than five minutes ahead. If you wake up in the morning and think about everything you have to learn by the end of the day, you won’t be able to get out of bed. And after a certain point, you just have to accept that you can’t know everything, say “screw it,” and go to bed. Which is what I’m going to do right…about…now.