Ten more days. I just cannot believe how time has flown by, not just this summer, but these past four years as a post-bacc, and the quarter century that it took for me to realize my dreams. After years of planning, learning, and preparing for my future, reality has suddenly hit me. I am actually going to medical school. Should I feel excited or terrified? Will I do well? I am not sure. Ten days before I fly off to med school, I am feeling the same anxiety as I feel when I arrive at the top of the track of a roller coaster, right before it takes its plunge.
Looking ahead at my life beyond school, I realize that the hard part is yet to come, not in med school, but in the working world. It will not be easy being a doctor, with the long work hours, the physical and mental stress, and the pressure to balance frustration with bedside manners. I will start questioning my motivations in becoming a doctor when I inflict pain to help others and realize that not every patient will help me help them. The question “will I do well?” will suddenly become much more complex.
The next four years will not be easy, and surely the medical profession will seem tough to me now as well, but with the boot camp treatment I will receive in med school and the emotional callus that I will develop during these next few years, I will soon be able to handle the stress and the rewards of being a medical professional will become clearer. As my comparative anatomy professor at UGA, Dr. Hesse, calls her exams “opportunities to succeed,” I will extend this euphemism to the whole experience of med school and the medical profession. It will be my chance to learn as much as I dreamed of, gain as much wisdom as I can from those around me, and become the best healer, mentor and friend I can be to others in need.