Saturday, December 19, 2009


There are lots of things that pass.

You pass cars on the road that are going to small. You pass the time. You pass the butter, salt, or pepper. You pass from one stage of life to another.

But few things are more gratifying than passing into the second semester of medical school.



I thought I knew what I was getting into when I went to medical school. I had been a nurse for several years, I knew faculty at the school I was attending, and I knew lots of physicians. Although strangely enough, very few of the physicians who found out I was going to medical school had much more than a concerned look on their face.

I probably should have paid more attention to that.

Not because I am not happy to be where I am -- on the contrary, I am beyond thrilled to be in medical school. And even more thrilled to have survived the first semester. But now I know why they gave that look. It was much less about not being encouraging and much more the look of "Oh my goodness, I remember what it was like...."

I now completely understand the look.

People say that it doesn't take long for those in medicine to being to discourage those who are thinking about that career path. I can see why -- not because they don't think it's a fantastic path, but because medical school is like nothing words can explain.

The volume of information. The constant stress level. The effort it takes to be around people who are stressed to the max day after day. The feeling like you know absolutely nothing. There are no words that can prepare you for that. You know medical school is going to be tough, but you have no idea that it's going to be the way it is.

Some things no one can tell you, you just have to learn on your own.



Arizaphale said...

And all the more impressive that you are sticking with it and passing. Actually, the way you describe it reminds me of three things; childbirth, motherhood and small boat sailing!hahaha. No, seriously, I think from your absence we have all taken on board how much of a mountain you have to climb. Congratulations on Semester 1 Maggie!!!

Unknown said...

One down and behind you! Congrats, Maggie - we are all so proud of you.

Bejewell said...

I've got to say, DULY IMPRESSED that your blog has managed to survive a semester of med school. If I was in your shoes, the blog would have been the first casualty.

natalie said...

Maggie!! Congrats on finishing your first semester! I agree with Arizaphale...your description reminds me of other situations. No one knows or understands until they, too, have been there. Although I have to agree with you (without knowing, of course) that the about of information that must be learned in such a short amount of time must be completely overwhelming. The body is so complex! I think about all that M's ped knows about every little ailment she MIGHT have! It's incredible! Not to mention, he knows about her club foot and her kidney reflux (although he does send us to a specialist for treatment)! Good for you! I've missed you blogging, but completely understand how busy you are!

Cara said...

Woo Hoo, first semester down. Hang in there Maggie you will make it. I went to PA school which is a lot like medical school (but probably not as intense) so I have felt your pain.
Like other have said, I am so impressed that you are still blogging even on occasion and working. You Rock!