This piece by Laura Gilbertson, from MUMUS Community and Wellbeing, describes the feeling of leaving medical school, and the new horizons that emerge. This piece featured in The Auricle‘s October-December Edition in 2022.
With the end of medical school fast approaching (for some of us at least), I thought I’d check in with some of the things I’m feeling as this phase of life comes to a close.
Change is incredibly scary. It’s certainly not easy saying goodbye. Goodbye to friends, to places, to teachers, to memories. Goodbye to being a student, the world of no responsibility and of clocking off at lunch time.
And yet at the same time there is the excitement of something fresh. The world of work. The possibility of new friends and new memories. That feeling you get when you hold the pager or make a referral (and only get yelled at a couple of times) – like, hey, maybe I can do this? In many ways I’m excited to no longer be a student, to finally feel like I have a place, and like I’m no longer a fly on the wall.
When I think back to the first day of medical school, I’m not entirely sure how we got here; how and when everything changed and came together. I think we all battle with imposter syndrome to some degree, especially in the early years. After feeling out of place for so long, it’s heart- warming to reflect on how much I’ve grown and how much I’ve learnt. I did make the right decision all those years ago.
I also appreciate that medicine is not everything. Finding happiness and meaning outside of work is important, especially as we approach a busy and emotionally demanding internship year. Take time to check-in with yourself and prioritise self-care; watch that movie, go to that restaurant, take up that new hobby.
Most of all, I hope you’ve learnt that you’re worth it, that you belong. You will make an incredible doctor. As long as you show up, try your best, and show genuine care for the people around you, the world truly awaits.