Medical Mentor: Thoughts From an M3

I like to write. I like to write because it gives me just a little bit of space in my day to breathe fully and be alive without any other expectations than just that, be alive. And oh man, is it good to be alive. I think it’s so easy to get so busy in life, and especially in medical school, that we forget to be well, alive! Of course, not in the literal sense of vital signs but then again maybe it is the literal sense. There is such a blissful feeling from stopping to be mindful of everything good and from the pause to just experience the now. It makes the constant lub-dub feel like a great big gift that I’m not sure I know how to properly articulate in words.

Today was as weird as any day is in clinicals. My expectations of clinicals was to be in a clinic for the full day but seldom am I in a medical setting for more than 4 hours. Some days, I don’t even have a schedule or expectations until the same morning. It makes it so hard to plan when to study and when to take care of other responsibilities and every day I just ride by the seat of my pants. I recently joked with a few friends that if this is what being a doctor is like when residency shows up, everything I have learned on TV medical dramas has been a lie! It’s been frustrating to say the least and a tough adjustment.

However, it all went away as soon as I saw one of my patients today. Every ounce of frustration and angst I felt disappeared. This is where I’m supposed to be. As I conducted my interview and as I listened, I was amazed at the life story and incredible human who sat in front of me. I smiled way more than I had in days and I was touched by her request for me to drop my mask for a brief second so she could see my face like I got to see hers. It was a raw moment of being human. A moment of trust and sincere care between two people who had never met before today. And something I forgot mattered so much! I can’t wait for the day where we can take masks off again.


I think the universe sends simple reminders of the things so good in every day experiences, especially when we forget to give them the attention they need. As I left and finished up my notes, my patient reminded me that, “God is good and he will protect you. You have been an angel to me.” I think no matter what religion you practice, these sincere words from patients can make you feel like you are on top of the world. As I stepped out of the care facility and walked to my car, I noticed that a few clouds had started to roll in. A few blocks later, they split and this gorgeous view was my reminder that not even the darkest of my clouds can stop the best of things from shining.


So future physicians, I think what I’m trying to say is keep going. Keep going when the sky seems dark and the visibility is low. Keep going even if the wind blew your map out of your hands. Keep going even if it’s haling and you forgot your umbrella. Keep going even if it seems like there are more reasons to stop. Keep going because you were meant to be a doctor. You are meant to be here. You are already an amazing human and I have no doubt you will be an even better physician. I believe in you. So, keep going!

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