By: Robert McRae
Originally published on Op-Med on Jun 12, 2019.
As I prepare to make the transition from medical student to intern, I find myself reflecting on the past four years of my life. In doing so, I am filled with gratitude for the teachers, hospital staff, and patients that enabled an intimidated, know-nothing student to become a self-assured, know-a-little-bit intern. I also take pride in realizing that I accomplished something as challenging as an MD degree. Despite these positive emotions, however, I would be lying if I said that within the gratitude and pride there isn’t a dose of regret.
During medical school, I was often overwhelmed by my perceived lack of knowledge compared to those around me. As an M1 and M2, I was intimidated by my classmates who came from prestigious universities, carried advanced degrees, or were already experienced in the medical field. Because of this, I rarely spoke up when I had questions and tended to take an observing role during group learning activities. Furthermore, during my third year, regardless of how much I studied or prepared, virtually every night (sometimes mornings) I came home feeling discouraged by how much more I needed to know in order to be fully responsible for patients. Only after I opened my letter on Match Day and found that a residency program I coveted “liked me too,” did I realize that, despite continually feeling like I didn’t stack up, I was actually a competent and successful medical student.
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