Somehow I blinked and I am four, well now three, tests away from the end of my first year of medical school. Actually, when I started thinking of this blog entry, I was actually a month away from the end and couldn’t believe that–and at this point, it’s probably only 10 days. Crazy. I know that since I started college the time has just been whizzing by. As an ironic twist and reminder of this fact, my ten year high school reunion is this weekend, though that may be a story for another day. Anyway, as everything is wrapping up and getting lost in the craziness of studying of finals really seems like the thing to do, I realized that this moment isn’t really going to be remembered unless I make the conscious effort to do so. I’ve been doing a lot more yoga this year and one of the points that always comes up is ‘living in the moment.’ Now on the surface that is such a cliched and tired phrase that you roll your eyes to yourself while struggling in downward dog and don’t even give it a second thought. The sad reality is that living in the moment has become akin to eating better or exercising more, which are things that are good for us, but too hard to do. So here I am, in the moment.
In one of our small groups we talked about oaths and professionalism and one of the questions posed to us was if we felt like we were being socialized into the ‘doctor culture.’ We spent a lot of time debating if there was a uniqueness to the relationship at all in the first place and I know a lot of people felt uncomfortable with the idea that we’re ‘special.’ I didn’t really focus that much on that aspect of it as much as how weird it was to think of myself as a doctor in the first place. I’ve found that when I talk to people who are doctors, and there are plenty around in my family, I find that I am more ‘real person’ than I am doctor. I think it’s so easy after slogging through school and killing yourself in training to forget what it was like ‘before doctor.’ I know at one point I’m going to be really good at thinking like a doctor and making decisions and having an opinion that other doctors have, but I don’t want to lose that ‘real people’ aspect of myself. I already find myself thinking more like a doctor than I used to, but at the end of the day, the ‘real people’ are who we are going to be taking care of, so holding onto that humanity is important in being a good physician as well. So in that aspect, yes, there is a culture we’re being groomed to become a part of, but hopefully that is not the only thing they are teaching us in med school–I hope they are helping us hold onto ourselves as well.