Sunday, May 26, 2019

Reflections from a 25% MD

I am 25% done with my medical education, and supposedly the toughest year of med school is almost behind us. As the year has been wrapping up, complete with a copious volume of exams, I've been able to reflect on how much I've grown in the past year.

I can now sit down in front of a random histology slide and name the organ it was cut from. I can now complete a physical exam, head to toe. (Granted, I know nothing about pathology and can't interpret abnormal findings, but that's a problem for next year me.) I don't stutter like a fool when I talk to patients. I no longer want to die when I get pimped by attendings. Imposter syndrome is now just a thing I feel on bad days, not a means of defining my entire existence. 

Perhaps more than anything, I have a better grasp of what I don't know. And if I learned anything in the past decade, it's that acknowledging what we don't understand is the first step in beginning to grasp that knowledge. 

A mentor helped me understand that I'm just a mere pupa at the beginning of a long career - the beginning of an era of learning how to merge this calling with the other, arguably more important, spheres of my life. How do I fit medicine into the spaces of my life, and how do I avoid diving in so deep that I find myself instead trying to fit my life into the spaces of medicine?

Because I know I'm just a pupa, I know that I'll make mistakes. It's inevitable in this life, and I want to give myself the space to learn, to tweak, to optimize. But throughout this time, I want to also learn how to slow down; how to enjoy the ordinary; how to stop and enjoy the life God has deigned to give to me. 

In addition to all this, I want to learn how to be humble; how to ask for help when I need it; how to acknowledge the consequences of my inevitable failures, and not buckle under that burden in the future. 

More than anything, I'm looking back on this year and am immensely moved with gratitude for what God has built in the past 10 months. I moved to San Diego without a community, and started school with the attitude that I would certainly not find that community at school. I've felt a strong sense of community at church for quite some time now; however, this past month I've reveled at the depth of friendships and fellowship I have additionally found with my classmates. 

So at the end of the day, God is good. It's been a year of learning and growing in community. A year of unpredictable, but decidedly good, direction from the Father. A year ago, I still thought I'd be going to school in LA, and I'm not saying that would have been bad, but I am very thankful that God brought me to San Diego. 

Keep learning, keep loving and serving. Here's to reflecting on being 50% MD in a year.

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