Clouds litter the sky illuminating a bright white light that sears the humans’ corneas. It creates a bumpy path as the plane soars forward through the daytime skies. With every bit of turbulence, there is always some sort of clearing ahead. Honestly, it’s a great metaphor for medical school. As I write this entry, I’m currently sitting on a plane heading towards Toyko, Japan. It’s the first time in a very long time when I realized that I have absolutely no school work to do. No studying, no memorizing, no reading handouts, no listening to lectures. It’s weird.
I cannot believe that a year has gone by and now I’m an MS2. And what an incredible year it has been.
I’ve had the privilege to explore the human body anatomy via cadaver dissection. We’ve held the human brain that is the treasure to all of our thoughts, actions, and emotions. Cleaned out muscles and ligaments that we use every day without thought. And held the heart and traced its veins and arteries.
I’ve learned about the critters that crawl under the dirt, in the water, in feces, and enters our body. How different cancer cells can proliferate and manifest. How our lungs expand, our hearts beat, and our kidneys filter the body. We’ve seen the skinniness of pulmonary diseases, a kid with “half a heart” with the greatest spirit, a comedian who loves his life despite the many hours of dialysis.
I’ve explored the hard issues we will face in medicine. The death of a patient and the grieving family. The stages of childhood and the importance of nurturing youth. The distribution of supplies and services, and who has the medical decision making power. Care of the old and the young.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting patients from Nepal and the Congo, learning the different parts of the physical examination, including the infamous rectal examination, and have taking history become second nature.
I’ve found the greatest group of friends and have amazing, supportive classmates. I’ve kept in touch with those far from me and fostered relationships.
I’ve experienced rock bottom and how things can go up. I’ve studied for 12-13 hours a day and slept a great amount to very little. I’ve understood more how to work in medical teams. How to be very patient in things and fight for what you want. I’ve learned that Friday is not study time, but my time to relax. I’m amazed with how much information the human brain can store and how much more I can stretch it.
So as first years moving onto second years, we must continue to revel and delight in the knowledge. To always be fascinated and enthralled by the wonders of medicine. To take part of patients’ stories and absorb their pains and happiness. This is the way to find joy in medicine.