Reflection on Term 1 of Medical School

I started medical school about 5 months ago with a lot of excitement and moderate levels of apprehension. Whilst some myths were debunked (No, I don’t have to actually use a needle on a patient until a long while later!) some held true…(Yes, PBL and tutorials are basically fun chats while eating snacks and discussing hypothetical patients). Believe it or not, I actually know how a stethoscope works now, I can kind of communicate with you about your pain and I actually know more science than I thought I did.

Medical school is pretty fun. You get to meet fun people – the doctors, the researchers, the international kids (who by the way are super smart and have always got cool stories to share), the ones with more experience (some of my course mates were dancers, bankers, musicians and the odd scientist too, before they chose to give it all up for medicine) and of course the patients – without whom, medicine would obviously crumble.

Of course its not been without its challenges. I’ve had to say no to social events more than I have said yes. Sometimes I stare at my computer screen blankly, wondering what on earth is that nerve and how on earth did that drug work? Sometimes I just give up and close my books and gleefully (and guiltily) binge watch Netflix. There have even been days when I have looked at my timetable and wondered quite honestly why oh why I ever thought doing medicine was a good idea. And I’m still only in my first year…

But then I reach the university hospital. And the first thing I see is the bustling hospital with patients of all shapes, background and back story, the paramedics laughing whilst on their break or bringing in seriously ill people whilst leaving their coffees half way through a break…, the junior doctors sporting ‘save the NHS’ badges and smiling even after an 8 hour night shift, professors answering questions about anything from the cardiac cycle to the ethics of euthanasia even if the lecture was supposed to finish 15 minutes ago, right down to us – students, getting up dutifully every morning and blearily making it to morning lectures or ward rounds. And its because actually 99% of the time medicine is worth the toil, sweat and quite frankly horrible days.

Just got to stick the 1% and believe in a profession that inherently provides a lot more happiness that it does sadness to not only those who work in it but also to those who require its services.

Talking of which, I should probably get back to finishing my notes…






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