It took medical school 259 days to knock me down.
At some point in the 4 years of medical school education, you will step into The Pit. I’m not talking about feeling down after a poor test score or being discouraged by a heavy course load. I’m talking about the suffocating blunt force that slams you flat on your back with the wind knocked out of you. It may be your first week of Year 1, or halfway through your Year 3 clinical rotations. But it will happen.
I honestly never really expected to arrive in this dark place myself. I thought my deeply-rooted passion and joy for medicine would steer me safely from it’s boundaries. But I have come to realize – no one is immune to this process. I have lost my joy for studying. I find myself wanting to sleep all day and night. I have found myself interacting with others less and less. I can’t even open my emails because of the heavy boulder it places in my gut: just one more deadline, assignment, expectation.
It is incredible we successfully float through this at all. How is anyone supposed to study such an immense amount of lecture material, while integrating additional material from STEP1 resources, working on research publications and submissions, spending countless hours finding research conferences to present your work at, volunteering and organizing clubs – all the while trying to balance family and spouses and real-life responsibilities like filing your taxes or FAFSA or paying bills or getting your oil changed? I have lost all sight of any hobbies I once embraced, and instead I have evolved into a human machine engraving and regurgitating facts and numbers. I am watching days roll by with something very crucial missing in those hours I am watching: me.