The Journey of Medicine
With only one week left of school and eight weeks out until I take boards, I am in the peak of burnout. Quick recap of the timeline of medical school. The first two years are all in classroom. First we take anatomy and molecular medicine to get the basic sciences down. Then we move into systems courses. Each systems course (cardiology, dermatology, etc.) includes anatomy, physiology, pathology, and pharmacology pertaining to that system. At the end of the two years we take Level 1/Step 1 of boards. The score we get on Step 1 determines how competitive of an applicant we are (so the pressure is ON).
After the first two years and Step 1 of boards, we move onto clinical rotations. The 3rd and 4th year are spent in the hospital rotating through all the different specialties of medicine. I have almost made it to the fun part!
All that being said, my focus is dwindling. I find that I have to reread pages over and over again because I can’t focus. I am missing stupid details on practice board questions. My breaks are getting longer and more frequent. Now is not the time to start slacking, so I needed to find some motivation.
Someone recently told me, “The next few months are going to suck. The time is going to pass anyways, you might as well give it your all.” For some reason, that just did it for me. No matter what I spend my time doing, the time will pass and it is going to suck. I might as well study hard and feel accomplished rather than guilty at the end of every day. That idea comes from a quote by Earl Nightingale.
“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use. ”
You better believe I set that quote as my computer background!
Finding Joy Every Day
That quote really helped me step up my game to stay motivated. At the same time, I have already felt burnout and now is not the time to get more burned out. For my sanity and health (and board score), I need a little get away from medicine, even through board studying.
My little getaway: a glass of wine, a good book, and a good record playing in the background.
Right now, I am reading Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder. Essentially, it is a philosophy course dressed as a mystery fiction novel. It makes you step back and look at the big picture of life. You realize how amazing it is just to be alive and have the ability to adventure through the world and figure things out. I am not going to say anymore because you really have to read it yourself!
A Wine that Values the Joy in the Journey
Finding a delicious wine to pair with my records and books is definitely a must. Right now, I am loving the 2013 Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvingnon by Wente. It is smooth and delectable with notes of current and mocha. I also love that Wente Vineyards is constantly promoting finding joy in the journey. No matter what is going on in life, it is so important to take a step back and reflect on things. I personally like doing this at the end of every day with a glass of wine.
Reading Sophie’s World has really helped me put things into perspective during this stressful time. It is easy to get tunnel vision when you are only focused on getting through one thing: boards. All in all, with boards coming up, this is not a fun time in my life right now. However, I have to find ways to find joy every day or being a doctor is not going to be worth it.