Today was supposed to be a good day.
I woke up around 8 and that felt too early. Anything before ten these days feels ‘too early’ but then I remembered that I was late to clinical skills last session and so I got myself out of bed – I thought ‘it’s okay, I can sleep in tomorrow.’
I got dressed, warmed up my coffee and woke up hubs so I could get a ride to campus. Today we were doing a male genitourinary exam and digital rectal exam. Most practicing physicians have probably done hundreds of these exams but being a medical student, I obviously felt nervous. I also felt really grateful to the standardized patients who allow us access to their bodies so that we can learn to be better healers for our future patients, who allow us to perform exams that most would shy away from even when there is something wrong.
The majority of the first year of medical school, you learn about how humans work. You learn about the various mechanisms that allow our tickers to tick, our liver to flush out toxins, how the brain controls so many of those mechanisms. And once you feel like you’re finally getting a grasp on how we work, you get to second year and learn all the ways that we don’t. You learn about the pathology of each organ system and you start to wonder… how are any of us still alive and functioning? Life and living start feeling miraculous. And other than the bouts of ‘med student syndrome,’ (where we start thinking we have any disease we’re studying at the time) you really start to appreciate good health more than you ever have.
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Alan Kurdi, one of thousands of innocent lives lost in this crisis. His family has requested that this photo be used instead of the drowning one. This little boy sparked a fire under us when we became complacent about the atrocities in Syria and the current refugee crisis. Let’s not let the fire go out without doing anything to help the victims.
“You have to understand, that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.”
– Home, Warsan Shire
Enough is enough. Seriously, how is any of this real? I don’t understand how such atrocities can exist in this world for years on end and somehow the world keeps on spinning. I wish it didn’t. I wish it would just stop for a second so we could all be jerked awake to the many, many injustices that exist in this world. So that babies wouldn’t have to wash up on the shore for us to realize what’s going on. So fathers wouldn’t have to sell ballpoint pens on streets to make money to feed his family.
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So as I stated in my previous posts, I’ve been really stressed about starting second year. The summer before I started medical school, between the wedding and moving three times, was so hectic that I never really had the time to stress too much about the future. I kind of just showed up to orientation and somehow a year passed without me even noticing. After remediating successfully, I was of course so grateful for the opportunity to move onto second year with my cohort but I’ve been really nervous too. Part of me still feels really unsure about whether I belong here or if I ever learned enough during first year to actually competently be able to take care of patients in the future. I know that self doubt can be really poisonous and I need to get all this negative energy out of me so I’m trying to put my best foot forward and move on.
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