After 4 long months of school, I am officially 3/8 M.D. The first half of second year has definitely been the hardest year of school of my entire academic life. Neuroscience/Clinical Neurology, Pharmacology, and Pathology were the headaches of this semester. I do have to admit that there were times when I felt like I could not do it, I felt I wanted to cry and give up; the enormous amount of information/lectures thrown at us on a daily basis was so immense that I felt like a fish without water. Nonetheless, this semester has taught me so much at different levels. I have learned to develop my studying skills, my studying habits, my clinical thinking, and above all, I have learn that you can always worker harder. Just when you think that there is no way you can work any harder, there is always a way to improve. I have also learned that it is ok to seek help. Being a male and coming from a Latino/Hispanic background, I was raised that as a man, you can do everything on your own. And although that might have worked before, medical school is at another level. I have learned to talk to my professors, to my friends, to the deans at IU, and most importantly, to physicians who have gone through the same rigorous training. See, seeking help and realizing that you cannot know it all and do it all is ok. One of the biggest mistakes people make is believing that the hardest part in this journey is just getting into medical school. But realistically, staying in medical school is harder. It takes a lot of work, a lot of dedication and a lot of sacrifice. It is a humbling processes as well as a journey of self discovery.
Therefore, wherever you find yourself in this moment, you have to believe in yourself, but you must also learn to seek help, advise or just even motivation. On the many nights I found myself in distress and worrying about learning so much material which seemed undoable, I reminded myself of why I am doing this, and why am I here. Furthermore, it was remembering all the nights of no sleep in undergrad and grad school, all those days when I didn’t to save money to pay for MCAT and my medical school applications, as well as all the sacrifices my parents have made to help me get here. It was remembering the days when I sold shoes at the mall for $7.25/hr, or when I worked with my dad as an electrician to be able to save money for this journey that helped me push through. Whenever I felt like giving up, those memories of hard work pushed me to give more of myself, to sacrifice sleep, family, friends, and life in general. Therefore, if you are reading this post and you find yourself in a circumstance where you think you just can’t do it, remind yourself of why you are doing this; remind yourself of the sacrifices made and the end goal in mind.
Today, looking back, I have no regrets. The sacrifices have been tough but in the end the feeling of accomplishment has no words to describe it. So for everyone out there, keep pushing, keep fighting the good fight and God will take care of the rest! Enjoy every moment of it and most importantly, love to do what you are doing. If you do things with love and try to understand everything you study instead of memorizing, you will find that studying and learning becomes enjoyable.
Hence, keep strong and fight on! Know that none of us are alone in the journey and that help is always there if you ask! Stay blessed and merry christmas!