So today at 11 AM, all the letters notifying the scrambling medical students were sent out. So if people didn’t get any news, it was an indication that they were hired somewhere to begin their residency, embarking on the next couple of years of an entirely new life. I was extremely excited to hear that all my friends had matched and are now in the process of awaiting the actual Match Day to figure out exactly where.
All of this kind of brought me back to my beginnings as a medical student. I remember when I first attended a neurosurgery clinic with my friend, it was one of our required preceptor activities as a first year student. At the time, there was a third year neurosurgery resident there and a third year medical student. I remember how glorious this student and resident looked and it never really dawned on me that my eventual future would be to stand in similar shoes as themselves (maybe not necessarily in the direction of neurosurgery but you get my drift). Now that I recall, people who were in the two classes above me always struck me as a lot farther up the hierarchy of medicine. To a first year student, a third year student just seemed so much more intelligent and knowledgeable yet not as distant as a resident or an attending.
As of now, I still maintain this sort of feeling towards the current interns (whom yes would’ve been these third year students two years ago). On the other hand, to those in the class directly superior to mine, I feel I have a stronger connection with them. Ever since I was a clueless first year, they were the ones who provided the most practical words of guidance to me. As those who are closest to what I was about to experience within the next year, I felt I could somewhat relate to them yet still they were advanced enough to give me the most relevant guidelines on what I needed to do to pursue my next step into becoming a physician. I felt despite the class differences, I somewhat underwent their experiences with them … maybe not within the same timeline but close enough to realize that I wasn’t far from what they were undergoing. For instance, I remember hearing about all those horror stories of the insanity of studying throughout second year … of course, this was while I was a first year student. And then of course, Step 1, then onto clerkships ….. they were those whose experiences I didn’t seem too distant from.
So when I found out about the match results of my friends in the class above me, I couldn’t help but realize that I myself am also extremely close to becoming a full fledged doctor myself. That image of a resident back when I was a first year, that distant picture of what a doctor was, it now was becoming so much more palpable. It didn’t even hit me when I saw a former fourth year student become an intern when I was a second year student … and even with the new interns who were two classes above me … but now, it’s really getting close. Congratulations again to those who matched today!!!
Oh my gosh …. the reality of becoming a doctor is really not very far anymore. Even for me.
And now, I soon will become the rising fourth year. My colleague mentors will all disperse to different parts of the country to pursue their lives and it will then be I who embodies the four-year experience of medical school. Though these soon-to-be doctors still will be my mentors, medical school won’t be the same without them. It’s kind of odd and sort of sad, possibly surreal, to think that I no longer will have a superior class after this summer.
And so it all begins.