It’s been a month since med school has begun, and it’s just been a whirlwind of events.
First of all, Orientation Week was pretty good. I was semi-disappointed that a lot of the events were just mainly drinking, aka, I didn’t go because I just don’t like the idea of possibly losing control. That, and there was a lot of safety training, which was necessary but slightly boring. But on the whole it was good. I guess the highlight was finishing it off with a trip to Niagara, which was great for bonding.
Like all orientation weeks though, it involved a lot of meeting people who I will probably never speak to again. But that’s okay, because I did meet some nice people who I speak to often.
I have this strange habit of writing how I speak in my blogs. Some people might think: Oh! A med student with a blog? It’s going to be so insightful and eye-opening and… Yeah, no. It’s just me, talking about my feelings and what happened in my day and the like.
Speaking of feelings, there’s a class we have to take called Professional Competencies. It’s probably my favourite class (yes, my favourite one…out of like… 3…. which all rank pretty close to each other) because it reminds me a little bit of Inquiry. There are seven domains: effective communication, lifelong learning, moral reasoning and ethical judgement, population health, professionalism and role recognition, self awareness and self care, and social and cultural dimensions of health. In essence all the non-sciences if you may. Part of the reason why it is my favourite course.
At the end of our first year Inquiry class, one of the peer tutors left us with this parting message: “Never underestimate the power of the arts.” That has really stuck with me. I’ve always been such a fan of the arts: I’m pretty much a music geek, a bookworm, a Frenchie (more like Frenglishie) and a lover of philosophy and religious studies. It excites me. But I discovered that in university, there is a certain stigma associated with the arts. This party image, this slacker image, which is just terrible in my opinion. I think one of the best tools you could possibly have is to be able to express yourself in words that can appeal to the masses. But I digress. The point is, I really appreciate the school for integrating this into our program in such a way that allows us to really contemplate how much we are all interconnected.
Clinical skills is my next fave, for obvious reasons. It makes me feel that much more like I’m going to be a doctor. And thank goodness for pro comp (professional competencies) because there’s many things I know I’m going to encounter in clinical skills that are going to challenge me in ways I have never been challenged before. It’s reassuring to know that there is this safe space for me to understand how to handle what I am being faced with. And most importantly, how to be a good doctor.
Last on the list is everything else: tutorial, large group sessions, anatomy. Those really get jumbled up together. My tutorial group gets along well, and we do effective learning together. Large group sessions are interesting, but it sometimes feels irrelevant in the moment until I get to the point where I’m like, “OH WE HAD A TALK ABOUT THIS.” Anatomy is just, anatomy. All these components give me a sense of excitement (like, “AH I’M LEARNING SO MUCH!!!”) coupled with a sense of uncertainty and insecurity (like, “DO I NEED TO KNOW THIS? DO I KNOW ENOUGH? DO I NEED TO TRY HARDER?”). I guess I find comfort in that we are all in the same boat. Oh the beauty of problem-based learning (PBL). I’m sure I’ll find my groove, but I just hope that it’s soon, because I hate this odd feeling in the pit of my stomach that won’t seem to dissipate. Maybe I have something. Too bad we’re still on cardiovascular system and not yet on GI.
The other day I went for a run after this lecture about inhaling fungal spores and I swear I have spores chilling in my lungs right now because I breathed in a lot of nature.
Last week I also had this weird meltdown because I was getting a little tired of people having unrealistic expectations and being a little mean while talking to me due to my Bachelors. I know a lot of people in my program got in third year as well, but it was just getting to a point where I was just sick of people having all these unrealistic expectations for me just because I have a little bit of experience with PBL (which was not in any way even close to what we’re doing now). To be honest what really set me off was a couple of people saying “Oh you’re one of those people” after I tell them my background. Like really guys? How old are you? Grow up. Or maybe I should grow up and stop taking those comments offensively. But it’s stopped. Thank goodness, and now I can move on with my life.
I’m just going to try and focus on the best thing about medical school: knowing that I’m doing something that I love and feeling like I have finally found part of my purpose in life. And it feels great.