This week, I felt like a future doctor and every once in a while it would hit me, that I’ve made it.
I don’t have ‘classes’ per say
A lot of my loved ones have been asking me which of my classes is hardest or the most interesting. I didn’t really have a clear idea of how class schedule worked in med school so not having set class schedules for the whole semester is different. I have a weekly schedule that I access online. Every day, I have various traditional lectures, workshops, and team based learning activities. Each is usually an hour to an hour and a half and focuses on a specific topic such as enzyme kinetics or protein folding. All of these classes fall under ‘block one’ of my Foundations of Clinical Sciences.
*Note, this is how my medical school does it, others have different structures for curriculum.
Imposter syndrome is real
Being surrounded by people who have had careers, graduate degrees, and more years of chemistry or physics, while exciting, is also terrifying. The other day, I had to ask what ‘vaso-occlusive crisis’ meant and I felt like a moron. In case you were wondering, it’s when sickled blood cells build up in vasculature leading to a painful crisis for sickle cell patients. Some classes, I’m terrified that people will realize I got in on a system glitch. But based on my conversation with my peers, I’m pretty sure everyone feels that way. Plus, the admissions staff seems to have their stuff together so I doubt they make mistakes too often 🙂
I will need to change my study style
My study techniques got me through undergraduate courses and the mcat, so yes they have worked. But I do not think they will be sufficient. There’s a saying about retaining all the information from medical school.
It’s like drinking from a fire hose
And it truly is. In one hour of a workshop, I went through approximately one month’s material from an undergraduate lecture. Adjustments will be needed. I’m trying out a few this week including maintaining a cumulative study guide rather than making one right before a test as well as utilizing online material and self-quizzing more frequently. Based on my next exam’s score, I’ll continue adjusting.
I owe Elon a lot
I was so blessed to go to Elon – not only because I loved it and made some amazing friends there, but because my science classes prepared me so well for med school… or at least they have so far haha. We’ve mostly been going over molecular biology, genetics, and biochemistry. My previous undergraduate lectures have allowed me to be familiar with these concepts and I’ve even been able to utilize old notes (because yes, I do save them all).
I am exhausted and have never been more giddy
I am living my dream. When I think about it too much, I honestly start to tear up a little. I feel like I’ve truly found a place where I can be pushed and appreciated and surrounded by people with similar interests to my own. I’ve never felt so immediately comfortable somewhere before (though I am still terrified of keeping up, honestly). I try to remind myself to be grateful any time I forget how incredible this is and start to complain about the workload or lack of sleep. I am a lucky girl indeed to be able to do this and I am privileged to be learning here with so many brilliant classmates and teachers.