At various points in your medical education, you reach a point where you have to ask yourself whether or not all your effort has been or will be worth it. Most of the time, you tell yourself that everything you’ve done up until this point has been a step in the right direction that will ultimately get you to your career in medicine. Sometimes, it becomes difficult to keep your head above water and reassure yourself of what you know to be true.
You’re away from family and friends, and you spend any time you have outside of the classroom inside of a library. There will be some exams where, regardless of how hard you study or how much you think you know, you’ll do poorly. It’s discouraging, because you begin to feel like nothing you do to prepare has any effect on the outcome. You begin to resent the professors for writing ridiculous questions, your classmates for somehow outperforming you, or your friends outside of medical school who are busy starting their own families instead of wasting four more years and another $150,000-$200,000 after college.
I have plenty of things to look forward to at the end of my second year. I’m getting married in May, and I start clinical rotations in June. I’ll actually be getting hands-on experience with real patients instead of pretending to treat actors with fake medical problems. I’ll be leaving Pennsylvania and moving in with my wife to a brand new house.
But when you’re stuck inside every weekend preparing for a 2-3 hour exam every Monday morning, it’s difficult to think that far ahead. You start getting run down, tired of treading water and going through the motions. I know that it will be worth it in a few years when I’m starting a family and doing what I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember. It’s just that right now, all I can remember is that I should be studying instead of typing this.