Artist: Alicia Roselli, Editor and Writer
D.o.’Ing Medical School
Hello PO Readers!
I just finished Term 2… onto the final term of first year! This term we start out with a quick unit in head and neck anatomy and then we move to our first systems based course in Heme/Onc.
Some reflections on Term 2. I really LOVE anatomy and physiology. I had the privilege to learn from dozens of cadavers this term, and every time I go into the lab, I am constantly reminded that I am working with someone’s mother or father, brother or sister, husband or wife. I walk in and see their brains carefully preserved in clear buckets - a window into their life - their every thought, memory and emotion. I am grateful to have had some wonderful “first patients.” As for physiology, it was definitely hard but fascinating to learn the normal workings of the body and it laid the foundation for the transition to pathology as we move on to systems.
A piece of careful advice to myself and anyone who embarks on the journey to medical school. Stop comparing yourself. Just stop! I saw a really cool analogy today “flowers are pretty but so are sunsets and they look nothing alike.” In medical school, your colleagues are some of the most intelligent and dedicated people. We are go getters, grinding non stop, always looking for ways to improve ourselves and those around us. It is easy to compare yourself to others on this journey, but it’s also important to be mindful that this journey is uniquely yours. At the end of the day, everyone is going to carry the title of physician and everyone’s path to get there will look different.
In college as pre-meds, we did a lot of “checking boxes” - clubs and extracurriculars, research, shadowing and volunteer work. These are all important experiences, but never feel less if you are not able to do some of these things. In undergrad, I couldn’t bring myself to do wet-lab research (it seemed that every lab worked with drosophila or mice and that just wasn’t for me haha). Instead, I did educational research to learn more about study strategies for college students. My point is that if you feel the pressure to do something just to make yourself more competitive, take a step back and make sure you are doing it for the right reasons - because you WANT to! We are already going through some of the hardest years of our lives, and it is absolutely vital that you take the time to prioritize your happiness, sanity and wellbeing. 1
Happy vibes until next time,