As I am nearing the half-way point of my medical school career, I thought it would be interesting to reflect on how I have changed since I started this journey. I am definitely a very different person than when I first began, and I can see that I have changed in many, many ways – some good, some not-so-good.
1. I know waaaay more.
This seems fairly obvious, and one would hope that two years of medical school would cause someone to know more, but it really is amazing how much I have learned in two years. I probably haven’t learned so much since I was a baby, first discovering the world. However, the interesting thing about medical school is that it also opens yours eyes to how little you know in the grand scheme of things. Sort of like I took two giant steps and then looked up to realize that I am only two steps into a marathon.
2. I worry less.
I used to be such a worrier. I would lay up at night worrying about getting straight A’s and getting into medical school. But medical school has taught me that I can survive just about anything. Weeks that seemed so busy and so tough just flew by, and everything turned out OK. So why worry?
3. I drink coffee.
I used to hate coffee, and before med school people would always say, “Oh, you will like it when you get to med school.” Yep.
4. I am more easily annoyed with people.
I have a lot on my plate right now (and it just keeps piling on!), and sometimes when I hear my non-med school friends or family talking about their busy schedules, I can get pretty annoyed. I try to remind myself that it isn’t a competition – other people are busy too, and I chose everything on my plate right now. Hopefully, I can continue to remind myself to take other peoples’ problems seriously, especially since my career is going to consist of listening to peoples’ complaints.
5. I know how to study.
I always thought I knew how to study, but really, I was just kidding myself. I didn’t know how to study until med school. It makes me a little sad. I can’t help but think if I had studied like this is in college, that I would have done better. I guess I am glad I figured it out eventually, but as I only have one month of classes left, it kind of feels like a waste.
6. I don’t go to class.
Okay, okay. I know what you are going to say. Me? The girl who criticized non-class-goers only a year ago on this very blog? The truth hurts. I started going to less classes when I first got pregnant because I felt terrible, and since then it seems like the chairs have gotten less comfortable and the room has gotten warmer… Okay, I won’t use pregnancy to justify it. The fact is, I study better when I don’t go class. I have learned that I can’t sit still and pay attention for six hours a day. I do better listening to lectures on double speed when I am ready to focus.
7. I have a lot more illnesses.
Not a week goes by in med school where I don’t diagnose myself with a serious or fatal illness. One of the unfortunate parts of learning about diseases all day, is that all of the symptoms start to sound like problems you have. The best part is when you tell your friends about it, they actually agree. Future doctors…
8. I take better care of myself.
Probably because I think I’m sick all the time, right? Well, whatever the reason, I do take more of an interest in my own health. After all, I am my own first patient. I am still a work in progress, but I try to be a good example of healthy living, and hopefully I can walk the walk when I recommend healthy living to my patients.
9. I am more thankful.
Everyday is a challenge in med school. I say a prayer before every quiz, every exam, and every practical. And I have learned over and over again that I can’t take credit for my own success. I have a lot of people out there cheering me on and praying for me, and I try to never forget how much help I have had in getting to where I am. I am so thankful for all the people who have influenced my life, for every word of encouragement, and for every answered prayer.
10. I love my life.
I don’t want you to think that I didn’t love my life before, but I really love my life now that I am in med school. Medical school has been one of the most frustrating, challenging, rewarding experiences of my life. Coupled with marriage and pregnancy, I mean, can life get better!? I submit that it cannot!