Thursday, July 23, 2009

Halfway There

Yesterday was a milestone. For me, it marked the end of the first two years of medical school -- at last. I say that because, as regular readers know, I ch

Holmes - Steele 1903 - The Empty House - The R...

ose an option that allowed me to split the first year into two. As a result, it's really the end of the first three years but if I don't explain myself, people think I'm nearly done. What is significant about all this takes us back to my medical school interview.

It was November 17, 2004 and the only interview I'd been offered in three years of applying. Medical school admission is sometimes like Andrew Shepherd's description of citizenship in The American President: "you've got to want it bad because it's going to put up a fight." This is especially true when you don't fit the traditional mold: bits and pieces of you stick out all over the place. Perseverance is the word.

So, there I was, finally telling someone my story, face to face. At one point I said, "I may not be the most stellar student you'll ever have for my first two y
ears, but if I can just get through them, in the last two I'll shine." You say a lot of things in an interview, trying to be persuasive. But I felt that was truer than not because I'd been a clinician and the last two years of medical school are hands-on.

It occurred to me this morning, I've gotten to that place. We all have our demons and mine has tormented me with the fear that I'd never make it this far. Something would prove insurmountable and I'd have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, bloodied fingernails clawing the ground, off campus. Yesterday that demon was sent packing and as far as I'm concerned, it's good riddance.

(Quote from The American President written by Aaron Sorkin, 1995. Image via Wikipedia)
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