Thursday Born

The everyday life of a psychiatry resident (who was born on a Thursday).

Doing what you have to do

with 4 comments

It’s easy to become overwhelmed in medical school, no matter your previous educational background. Already, the sheer amount of information is bewildering, and to think that we have barely scratched the surface so far as first year is just laying down a basic science foundation.

For some of my classmates, it’s been a smooth, easy ride so far. They were science majors, and science majors of the sort that means they’ve learned much of this ten times before. Some have even known since high school or before that they wanted to do medicine, and they’ve been building their basic science foundation for years.

Me? This summer will be four years since I decided to do medicine. Before then, the last time I had taken Biology, I was thirteen years old. There is something to be said for innate intelligence, but there is much more to be said for time and hard work. For experience and for exposure. My 1 year of full time research, a summer of general chemistry and 2 years in college (during which I still needed to finish my Psychology major), cannot compare to the much more intense and involved backgrounds of the majority of my classmates.

My medical school has given us the “luxury” of a Pass/Fail first year, a chance to level the playing field. Can 1 year make up for the years of difference between me and the rest?

Not without a lot of hard work. Not without a lot of frustration and struggling.

It’s possible, but it’s easy to forget that it is. And worse, it’s easy to forget that I need to work harder than my classmates, that just because they’re taking it easy, doesn’t mean that I can.

Written by Aba

January 30, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. I think it’s also easy to forget how hard the rest of your classmates had to work *initially* to learn all of this information. They had to bust their tails too, just as an undergrad instead of a med school student. I know you probably get the whole “don’t get frustrated, you can do it!” speech a lot, so I’ll spare you that (but it’s true).

    The way I see it, it might be tough going right now, but it’ll be easier for you in the coming years. You’ll have already established good, thorough study methods and be accustomed to hard work; the other students who are coasting through this year–and maybe next–will have to develop these on the fly. The habits you make now will ultimately be to your benefit later, methinks.


    February 1, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    • It is the hard work that they’ve already put in that I find daunting. And when you read articles talking about how it is hours of hard work and not innate talent that really makes the difference, it’s hard to ignore the years that they have put in that I have not.

      I probably should not have said “taking it easy.” Med school taking it easy is still studying nearly every day for most people. And my school in particular is known for picking high stat people. High GPAs, high MCAT scores. My classmates are a hardcore bunch. It will be interesting next year, seeing all of them at full Type A potential. =D

      This is just an interesting environment for me. Being at a point in life where past time starts to make such a difference. It’s almost like trying to pick up a new sport at my age. I can become very, very good if I put in a lot of work, but to be olympic athlete level would be incredibly difficult, if not impossible.

      All is not lost though! :D Excelling at this is not one and the same as being a great doctor. Once third year rolls around and we’re in the hospital, the playing field will be leveled for real and that’s when we really start building our foundation for being a great doctor. I think (I hope?) that’s when I’ll get my chance to really shine and stand out. :)


      February 1, 2010 at 3:19 pm

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