What no one told me about studying medicine

Apparently, being a medical student is a well-documented process in a culture where the image of the doctor has been popularized by movies and television. Perhaps more of us as career aspirants have envisioned a bright future in the surgical world like Meredith Gray or Gregory House, solving complex clinical cases or revolutionizing hospital care like Max Goodwin.

For many decades, the doctor represented a previously relevant social figure, and there are still many myths and stigmas about what it means not only to be one, but to prepare to be one.

There are a number of things I wish I had known before I started my degree, which perhaps due to the gradually absorbing nature of this profession we gradually integrate into medical culture once we become part of the guild, but which I certainly would have. caused surprise in preschool.

1. The title of doctor is not blind.

Many times we talk about medicine as a profession full of nobility and service, thinking that the profession that brought us here will always justify any context in which the doctor must pass his work, even if it endangers or threatens it. its integrity or their dignity, directly or indirectly.

Sometimes the patient expects the doctor to become an instrument of unconditional service, forgetting that like all people, they also have flaws, have basic needs, life expectancy, require places of rest, etc. Let us begin to question our own vocation when fatigue, insecurity, fear of humiliation, and physical deterioration itself undermine our ability to hold, learn, and care for patients.

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2. Medicine is violent.

Perhaps the most common jokes we’ll hear in the healthcare industry are those related to claims of “nursing staff scolding,” an intern doctor “saved” as punishment in a hospital, disgruntled patients; erratic service of the most absent places, etc.

From our first stages of training we will be taught that hierarchy is of greater value than proof and that the superior must always be right, and the division between the various stages of training will be constantly repeated, arising from the supposed authority which the doctor acquires over his colleagues. : younger.

We will often hear that we cannot claim a score of ten because we cannot know more than the teacher, that even when the evidence confirms our knowledge, we must accept the testimony of whoever is responsible that we must know what they are asking. of us, even when we have not been taught, and that humiliation, rudeness and deprivation of sleep, food, water or rest will be weapons often used in training against any doctor who fails to live up to the expectations of his superiors.

3. You will learn more medicine yourself than from your teachers.

The first educational shock we will face will be the fact that despite having classrooms, classrooms, and teachers, the teaching of medicine must be largely self-administered. That we need to be able to understand our brains and discover how to make it more efficient at learning all the information that passes through our eyes.

We are constantly told, “You should start reading,” and we will fall into the delusion of studying too much, forgetting to study better. Until we find our study strategy, we will optimize the way we integrate knowledge. And while our teachers play an important role in understanding and reinforcing, we as learners are always expected to acquire, process and share knowledge.

4. You will feel that your life project has been left behind.

Once you start your career, you can still keep in touch with your high school classmates and it’s incredible to tell them what you got to see during your training as a doctor. Over the years, you’ll see friends of your generation graduate, become engineers, get their first job, get married, travel the world, or buy their first car, while most medical students will continue to depend on their parents for support and carry multiple cars. college education awaits him.

Patience is key to moving forward, even when you feel like you’re falling behind.

The reality is that while every life project is compatible with medicine, this path will somewhat limit your ability for personal independence and take you a little longer than others who graduated high school with you. Patience is key to moving forward, even when you feel like you’re falling behind.

5. Only one who knows medicine or medicine knows.

You will hear over and over that the medical career is jealous, and although it is a profession that requires a lot of time, we must be smart not to allow ourselves to be consumed by it. Being a doctor is not a personality, just a profession, and it would be easy to believe that as students we are obligated to breathe, eat, consume and dream medicine 24/7. At first it makes sense and seems like a novelty in our lifestyle, and it becomes difficult to put on the mask of a permanent doctor and remember that it is okay to have other dreams and passions, to devote time to family and friends, etc.

Sometimes I think I wish someone had shared these things with me when I was going to be a medical student. However, today I also believe that it is part of the discoveries that we must gradually make as we develop ourselves as doctors. At the end of the day, no one teaches anyone else, the important thing is to be receptive and not lose the ability to surprise ourselves, good or bad, at the little things that make our careers special.

Follow Doctor-in-Training Rocio Guadalupe Gonzalez Gonzalez on Instagram @_oyechio.

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