Year-End Musings

The academic year is about to close and internship is just a few weeks ahead. Sometimes, I just turn into an unstoppable thinking machine and think about the decisions that I made years ago.

In my first few days in medical school, included in my procrastination time is reading thoughts and comments of doctors and senpais about their chosen field and the topsy-turvy experiences they had in med school. I’ve read blogs, entered forums, and even infiltrated a few “hospital lounge” groups on Facebook in search for stories that would further ignite my interest in my chosen path. But of all the things that I read during those days, one particular thought made a permanent etch on my mind:

during your stay in medical school, you’ll repeatedly think that medicine is not for you.

Becoming a doctor is hard. But being a doctor is surely harder. For a person like me who invests a lot of time in procrastination and other hideous delaying tactics, my stay in medical school has been the toughest chapter in my life so far. It’s tougher than my days in college where I used to detest almost every day because I never really liked the course that I’m taking up until later. It’s definitely harder than my emo days back then when I experienced consecutive heartbreaks. At some point, I have thought that maybe God gave me this because life has been so easy for me ever since. I mean, come on. The college drama and the dark days of consecutive heartbreaks that I had are absolutely nothing compared to what some of our unfortunate brethren in the streets have to face every single day. I finished college without giving my parents a single headache. I’m blessed to have them who supports me and were able to send me to a good school. Without hardships and sacrifices, I won’t be successful. Without failures, I won’t endure the challenges of life.

I failed a lot of times. If in your life you have never ever felt dumb and stupid, try going to medical school. It’s a place of enlightenment and transcendence. There, you’ll realize that you’re not as bright and intelligent as you think. Sometimes, no matter how hard you study for an exam and how much time you put into it, you still don’t get reciprocated. You still end up with an average score. Worse, a failure.

I’m tired. B always reminds me that tougher days are ahead of me when I reach residency and fellowship. “Ginusto mo ‘yan eh.” (“You wanted that.”), she tells me. A lot of times I thought if medicine really was for me. A lot of times, I thought about quitting. What if I just used my license to practice nursing? Maybe I’m with her right now in Canada. Life would definitely be a lot less complicated. “What ifs.” Life’s toughest questions.

No matter how close I think I am to giving up, I just think further and realize that I am also that close to getting there. Whenever it becomes even tougher, I pray and I just remember why I started.

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