“A Short Story, to Fuel the Long Road”
When I looked in her eyes, I saw the pain she was enduring. I saw the fear, distress, weariness— and when she quietly grabbed her bags and walked out of the hospital room, down the hallway, I felt her helplessness.
“To whom much is given much is required”. A semester into my pursuit of medical education, I realized that every description of what medical school is like bears true. Yes, its like drinking from a fire hose. Indeed, it is like having to eat 10 pancakes per week and choosing to 2 a day vs 1 on Monday and having to 6 on Friday. One block’s syllabus is more than I’ve covered in a semester of and undergraduate or graduate course. Even so… I wouldn’t have it any other way. When I chose to pursue medicine, I knew it would be just that, a pursuit. If my life thus far has taught me anything, it would be that nothing is given, it must be earned; and if it’s greatness you seek… you have to go TAKE what is yours.
In the scene above, I describe a woman, a mother, I encountered on a shadowing shift in the PICU. Her son was in critical care, and at the moment, had no true diagnosis. For most of the time I was there she sat quietly beside his bedside, her eyes to the floor, only looking up to ensure that her son was in good hands with each maneuver the nurses and physicians made to her son. Suddenly she stood up, stood over her son, rubbed his forehead…. back to his hair…. slowly to his shoulder. She took a deep breath, turned around grabbed her things, wiped a tear from her eye and walked from the bedside, down the hallway to the waiting room. I’ll never forget my feeling in this moment… my feet cemented to the floor, vision centered solely on this subtle interaction as if it were a dramatic reenactment of a fictional story. This was life, so precious… a mothers love for her child, fully entrusted in the hands of medical professionals. So if asked are my studies worth it… yes….absolutely, without question.
In this graduation season, many are pursuing new opportunities, new challenges, new cities, new programs, and acquiring new fears. As you transition, understand that you haven chosen your path—- no—- your path has chosen you for a reason. You have answered the call and it has been written that you will succeed. Your only charge is to believe in yourself at all times and give your best to each obstacle you may face. The world is yours and everything in it.