As my first year of clerkship (aka my second year of medical school) comes to a close, I have come to the realisation of a simple fact: “I still don’t know.”
When I wrote my last reflection entitled “I Don’t Know”, I foresaw clerkship as being this roller coaster ride with an unknown ending. This time I’m going to very confidently say, I still don’t know how it’s going to end. But it’s still okay.
When I had imagined myself as a clerk by this stage, I imagined myself as someone who was very put together and knew what they were doing. Maybe to some people I look like I know exactly what I’m doing. Sometimes I do, and when I don’t , I ask for help. But that’s okay. I imagined myself as being able to retain in the best fashion the vast amount of knowledge required for this time of my life. The truth is, I’m still having difficulty, but I’m making progress. And that’s okay.
When I had imagined myself as a clerk by this stage, I imagined myself as being confident in my residency application. I’m not. I’m as scared as those who are applying to extremely competitive specialties. I’m scared that I won’t match. And that’s okay.
Being okay is probably the simplest concept that I have adopted in my life, but it’s been one of the best. I suppose some credit goes to “The Fault in Our Stars”, but the majority of the credit goes to an upper year tell me that things are going to be tough, and that’s okay. We live in a time where we are so consumed by not being okay, it’s almost impossible to be okay. When we meet up with an old friend, we often talk about how stressed out we are, how things aren’t going the way we expected it to be, how this is a bit out of line, how our schedules are off track… It almost seems taboo to be okay. The point I’m trying to bring through is that it is possible to find comfort in the midst of discomfort, albeit difficult. The only advice I have in doing so, and how I have done so, is by accepting the possibility of falling.
I am still afraid of failing, and failing is not exactly my top option. However, in accepting the possibility of falling, I have come to terms with the fear associated with it. I am okay.
I still don’t know, but that’s okay.