My last exam ever…………of preclerkship (I’d be living on cloud nine if it was actually my last exam ever :p) is coming next Tuesday, and I thought I’d just share with all of you exactly what I’m feeling right now. And what better way to do so than with an image:
This is when my free sb (starbucks) drinks come in handy. Free drinks during exam period? 7 letters - a.m.a.z.i.n.g. SB is a lifesaver. We just finished our second last day of class, and I have what feels like a million lectures to catch up on. Although I’ve done well and limited myself to one drink a day, it seems increasingly more and more difficult to stay within these confines. Am I stressed?—not when I have free lattes!
Yours truly —the girl with the (soy) green tea latte.
We had hoped to document our progress - both personally and educationally - during this incredible journey, so it is really unfortunate that we didn’t start this blog sooner ): Alas, here I am trying to make up for our silly forgetfulness by documenting my life through the art of being quiet.
Each of us has many influences that shapes us and redefines us in many ways; and med school definitely changed my outlook on life, medicine, and more significantly so, myself. I remember, quite distinctly, from elementary school and until maybe all the way to high school, believing myself to be a remarkably shy and quiet person. And I say “believing”, of course, because this was an internal reflection of my own thoughts and not necessarily the reflection of anyone else’s. Everyone has their own strengths and their own weaknesses and life throws at you all these different circumstances, and given everyone’s little talents, we learn and we adapt. Let me tell you how I did so:
My “quietness” was a hindrance. I needed to change - or so I thought. I believed it stopped me from standing out, from being noticed, from succeeding in the long run. I had achieved a lot to date by sidestepping my quiet side - always trying to convince others that it was not a part of me, it wasn’t who I am. I kept lying (maybe it was more like I was in denial) over and over again. I downloaded this “quietness” onto an external hard drive and nearly forgot about it (as much as anyone would forget about a fly on your wall). Except this fly kept buzzing around me, reminding me that this is who I am, and that it is a very difficult quality to change.
It took me nearly two full years of preclerkship to realize that being quiet can be a strength. I would love to say that I figured this epiphany all on my own, but much to my chagrin, it was a mentor - a preceptor - who told me this:
You are a quiet person, but I just want you to know: don’t ever change. You may feel that those around you - colleagues who speak out during rounds - will be more successful; they will get their first choice residency program, and you will be left behind. But don’t. You have a quiet professionalism about you - one that most will appreciate in the long run. Your honest sincerity allows others to be heard. You input is truly valued, and I can see that your colleagues now, and in the future, will appreciate your ideas. So, don’t ever change.
Such inspiring words! I have been told, for almost 23 years, that I should speak up and stand out, yet all it really takes is just one remarkably contrasting words from a mentor who believes in you to make you actually believe in yourself.
So now, I decree that my quietness is an art. A means of showing others that I am strong and capable, but I can also listen. I admire those who are loud and carefree, but I have a newfound appreciation for those who are quiet.
First of all I just want to welcome you all to our blog! We’re both super excited to start sharing our thoughts, ideas, experiences with everyone! Its a little regretful that we didn’t do this sooner - I think it would’ve been great to share our experiences with everyone from when we first got our acceptance emails to now. I think it would’ve been great to see how medical school has shaped us into the people we are today.
But alas, here I am, writing my first blog on the second last day of preclerkship. Amanda and I were late again, as per usual. I think our ability to make it to class on time has slowly diminished over the two years that we’ve been here. On our first day of medical school, I remember Wiley (our favourite anatomy prof) telling us that it was considered a lapse in "professionalism" if we came to class late. So Amanda and I would rush to class every morning to make sure we get there before our lecture started. Soon though, we realized that no one noticed if we were late or not. Then we started coming 1-2 minutes late for class. This held for another couple months, until we realized that Starbucks in the morning is a really good way to keep us awake in class. It was a great incentive to even GO to class in the first place. So, now - we arrive about 10-15 minutes late, but only because we need our Starbucks fix before the start of class. Latte? You make us late…..