26 7 / 2014
26 7 / 2014
Exactly one year ago I started medical school. Looking back, orientation week was the most exhausting one of the entire year. It was so hectic, in fact, that the photo above was the only shot I got from my first day—I finally remembered to take a “first day of school” photo while on my way from class to my first society dinner. When I lay down to sleep that evening, my head was spinning with uncertainties of how was I going to survive the rest of the week, let alone the next four years.
Throughout the rest of orientation week I had mini meltdowns regarding just about everything, from using a PC for the first time since the 1990s to pointing my stethoscope ear buds in the wrong direction. By the end of the week I was a hot mess stuck in a self-depricating tailspin, but luckily I had friends and family who continuously reminded me that I was worthy of being accepted into medical school and, therefore, I was adequately prepared to make it through the most challenging workload I would ever face.
At the end of the week faculty and first-year students gathered to celebrate the beginning of our journey at a white coat ceremony, where we swore in as students and took the Hippocratic oath. Putting on that white coat felt surreal, and a little sterile, but I have since broken it in as it has accompanied me on many memorable patient encounters. (The photos below are from that special day. It was also a momentous occasion for my dad, who took his first ever “selfie” that afternoon.)
One year later, I find myself in a totally different place. I have both knowledge and experience under my belt, and I’m helping to usher in the new class while I prepare to take on my second year as a medical student. Sure, I’m nervous about the increased expectations, but I’m more excited than anything else to see where this year will take me.
Much of the last year has been a blur, the kind you experience when you ride a really scary, stomach-churning, billion-mile-an-hour roller coaster—you exit the ride with your feet and stomach catching up to the rest of your body, feeling a little woozy, chockfull of adrenaline, proud that you forced yourself to take part in the experience, but all the while knowing that there’s not enough money in this world to get you back on that ride a second time. That being said, I’m all aboard and strapped in the second-year coaster, excited to experience my first free-fall as an M2.