Med School Diaries

Sacrifices

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You know, when you start med school they warn you that you’re gonna have to make sacrifices… but I guess that means different things to different people. Like giving up something you really want now for something you’ve wanted your whole life. Or spending less time on yourself so you can spend time with someone you really love. At some point, you might even have to give up your own sense of safety and well-being. But after a while, it doesn’t feel like you’re giving up anything at all. – Scrubs

One of the reasons I like Scrubs are the soliloquy at the end of each episode reminding me that despite J.D.’s childlike disposition, he is a character of depth- a doctor whose heart remained unjaded despite the routinary nature of hospital work. The kind of doctor I wanted to be before I began med school.

I never dreamed becoming a doctor. As a child, my inclinations were toward the arts and science, but never health care practice. My parents were the ones who pushed me to pursue medicine (although I have to admit, I wasn’t so sure myself what I wanted to do with my life so it was probably easy for my parents to do so). So even though it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, I went along and took up Biology for my premed. Of course, there were instances in which I questioned my being in the Biology department, but my parents seemed fixed on the idea of me being in med school and me being the obedient (passive) daughter that I am, I didn’t give much fight for what I really wanted; it also didn’t help that I learned to enjoy (and love) my program. As a result, I didn’t think much about whether or not I truly wanted to pursue a medical career. It actually came as a surprise to me when I started looking forward to med school during my last semester of undergrad.

And now I’m in med school.

It’s only been a month and yet I have never felt so stressed, tired, pressured, and doubtful– all at the same time. I guess I put too much pressure on myself and ended up stressing unnecessarily. Even now, it takes effort to remind myself not to get ahead of myself. To take life one learning issue at a time. Nevertheless, I still can’t help but wonder if I made the right decision coming here. I can’t help but wonder if I have what it takes to become that doctor I said I wanted to become during the application. Looking back, I lied a lot during the interview. Ok, it was more like exaggerating than lying– put my best foot forward, so to speak. Right now, the credibility of my answers to the interview are being tested and it shames me to see them crumble bit by bit.

I honestly had not given this pursuit much thought.

The other night, I finally spoke to someone about my dilemma after holding it in for so long. Ever since I started med school, I guess I unintentionally secluded myself even from Ethel. I sort of have forgotten how it was to share one’s heart to another and it felt good to be able do so. It felt good to have someone listen and help you make sense of things. When our conversation ended that night, I felt relieved and encouraged to give it another try. To look at this journey with better sight and renewed purpose.

Maybe it’s not so bad being a doctor. I guess I still fancy a picture of me in a white coat four years from now. But to get there, I must go through hurdles of difficulties, moments of doubts and second-guessing myself, and nights of staying up late reading dense textbooks. It also includes putting off interests and rendezvous for another time to study for PBL sessions and doing tasks. Sacrifices have to be made, basically. Tons of sacrifices- big and small- are required of me in this journey.

For now, I start small by giving up time for social media in order to make more time for study.

I await for the time when it no longer feels like I’m giving up anything at all.

 

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” – Ernest Hemingway 

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