How did 2 years fly by so quickly?!
It only feels as if a few months have gone by since Dr. Malin’s first class about embryology, or when we were given our whitecoat and recited the Oath. Sitting here on a window sill on a rainy afternoon in Yerevan is turning out to be a very nostalgic afternoon. I reminded myself to make this post a few days ago when we visited an amusement park. In the moment of pure exhilaration and euphoria, I was thinking of medical school. In that moment, I realised that medical school is very much akin to an amusement park.
Time flies for a child, heck even an adult, when they are at an amusement park. Some rides make you feel uneasy, a little off your game, just as med school feels like on some days. And some ride leave you feeling great; you could ride on them, over and over again, for the entire day! Those are the days for me when I have a great experience during a patient encounter, when I learn something fascinating, or a shadowing shift that makes me think that yes, this is something I can do for the remainder of my life. But have you noticed something? It does not matter how upset a child’s stomach gets or if they have a bad experience on a ride, they always leave the amusement park in bliss, and await the day that they are to return. Despite a few ill experiences, people are always willing to return to the amusement parks! Similarly, after reaching the half-way point of the MD degree, I have not a flicker of doubt regarding my decision to study Medicine. I would not hesitate to follow my interest and curiosity to learn about our bodies, if I had to make that decision again. If anything, I am even more passionate about learning to aid the human body in the process of healing, and on that journey, encounter some amazing individuals as peers, mentors and patients.
But these two years did not pass without some challenges. Some days, the daily happenings can get pretty close to a point when I think I cannot possibly do this, that it is inhumane! But then I tell myself that, many have done it before us, many, including us, are doing it right now, and many will continue to do this after us. During those moments of pity, when I start questioning why I decided to do this to myself, I remember the emotions I felt on the stage when I wore my white coat for the first time and recited the Oath with my cohort.
I remember the proud faces of my parents, my friends, my peers and what that Oath symbolised. I recount all those times when I have loved studying medicine from basic sciences to the anatomy classes to answering questions that your friends and family expect you to know since you are now a ‘medical student.’ The wave of those memories, emotions, and the reminder of hard work that went in to reach this point purges the feelings of frustration and being overwhelmed away. Kind of like taking a sledgehammer to a mosquito! A little break, a snack, a walk, a chat with a family member or a friend and I can start whatever I was doing anew. But oh! I would rather be doing this than anything else!
Well, this is it for now, time for me to go find a local café and order a nice steaming cup of cocoa, grab a book and enjoy the showers.