The not-so-far future.

So as I continue to wrap up my final studies for Step 2, I continue to feel ambivalence towards the arriving future of me becoming a physician … the fact that it will happen is scarier than I’d ever expected it to be. Seeing friends’ status updates – those who are currently interns – on their lives and what they go through, at moments it’s scary and other times, I’m excited about it.

Then I reminisce on my past as a rotating student and wonder … if I’d handled situations well? Was I respectful to others while getting the job done … and am I not becoming too jaded now …. I’m exhausted, no kidding, and my level of enthusiasm isn’t the same as it’d been when I started as a rotating student. We have to care, as doctors it is our duty to care … unfortunately, the fact that it becomes our duty makes it difficult to be constantly passionate about. Like everything in life, we need a break from things … but as people who follow the road of becoming future physicians, regardless of how we truly feel inside, we’ve signed up to become the privileged few to treat people …. so it is imperative we pull it off with class and grace, even when we’re spread thin and on the breaking point of becoming crazy.

So the idea of actually becoming responsible of other people’s problems … is a scary thought. I was skimming through this old intern handbook I’d bought at the beginning of third year to supplement my notes for my internal medicine rotation that was written by the internal medicine residency director at my school. It is extremely well written, containing guidelines on how patients should be seen, what should be done on various shifts (for instance, night float, prescribing antibiotics, and whatnot etc etc), and of course with little tidbits on where residents can relax and enjoy themselves around the city. Before, when I was beginning the internal medicine rotation, I was going through enough trouble just trying to figure out how to decipher this complex book. Now that I have, I’ve looked in other sections of it and seeing what I’ll be responsible for …. in about a year.

I’ve had this fear at the start of third year too … well, not as much fear but rather, the desire to know things, to be a good doctor. When I see someone who knows how to handle situations well, I develop the utmost respect for her and try to emulate myself into becoming like her.

In the end, though I don’t exactly become just like her, I do develop myself into a direction of something similar but of my own style. It’s interesting how we evolve through our experiences with different people and the messages they leave behind for us.

Just a few more hoops to jump … and I should be there sooner than I expect myself to be.

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