There’s this analogy that medical school is like drinking from a fire hose. I’d heard it several times, and I didn’t really believe it—until I began medical school.
I’m currently in my first block, and we’re going at a rapid pace. Each week is the equivalent of a semester long college course. BSCI440 doesn’t seem so bad now that we’re covering biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, physiology, histology, molecular biology, microbiology, cancer biology, pharmacology, and infectious disease all in a matter of 13 weeks. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve studied more over the past three weeks than I did during junior and senior year of college combined.
In many ways, going to medical school is like working a job. It’s easy to get caught up in all the material and lose sight of work-life balance. I’ve been trying to do the things I enjoy during my free time, whether it be volleyball, badminton, ukulele, writing or chess. Of course, I want to get good grades and learn all the material, but I don’t want to lose my sanity in the process. I think that’s something that can applied to anyone working or in school.
It’s also easy to fall into the trap of thinking I’m in this endeavor alone. I realized after a couple of weeks here that I was so concerned with keeping up with everything that I had allowed God and prayer to disappear from my everyday life. Looking back on my senior year at UMD, trusting in God to help and guide me through academic challenges made all the difference. It really is comforting to know that I’m not alone in this pursuit, that he is always right there beside me, along with my family and friends. Every night when I crawl into bed, I feel so grateful and blessed to have this incredible opportunity to become a better student, a better person, a better Catholic, and a better doctor so that I can make the world the better place.
Approaching medicine from a Catholic perspective gives me the opportunity to see Christ in others and care for my patients much more deeply. It allows me to relate to my patients rather than treat them as diseases, diagnoses, or puzzles waiting to be solved. It’s not always going to be easy; there is a lot of suffering in medicine. However, faith has taught me that so much joy can also come out of suffering. There’s no doubt being a Catholic in today’s ever-changing society and healthcare system is difficult, but I’m eager to embrace the challenge and grow in the years to come.
That’s all I’ve got for now—time to get back to drinking from the fire hose in the library!