February 16, 2010

sucking the marrow out of the weekend

2 of my most favorite people

This weekend was our first break since January 4th - and by break, I mean that every weekend since then we have been studying for an exam or scrambling to complete an evidence based medicine assignment and trying to catch up.

They say in medical school you're perpetually behind, so the best thing to do is to accept it and keep on keeping on with everything. I think that quality of never being able to feel like we're actually on top of what we have to do may be one of the reasons that lately, everyone is feeling so down on themselves without really knowing why. This is why weekends like this past one - a long weekend combined with a final exam on Friday morning, so that the whole weekend was spent in complete and utter glee - are so important. They let us pursue the other parts of our lives, the other parts of ourselves that we may not have created a space for at medical school - partly because there's just not enough space for full personalities, and partly because there are not enough different situations to bring out very many qualities. Mostly medical students are super bright, uber motivated, incredibly curious, really kind, and very hardworking - but that's because those are the qualities perpetuated by the institution of medical school. But what about the parts of us that are creative? or fun? or daring? or interested in chinese american history, athletic events, knitting? Is there no place for any of these things in our lives during medical school?

Early on, a professor told us to decide on one non-medical aspect of our lives to work really hard to maintain during medical school, because the rest would fall apart. I remember thinking, one non-medical aspect of my life - hah! There are so many non-medical aspects of my life that are vital to my well-being, how could it be possible I would only have time enough for one?

Fortunately, I have been able to maintain more than one - but only slightly and only with incredibly hard work, diligent time management, and impossible energy. And my more than one non-medical aspects are staying in touch with my family and very close friends, as well as working out consistently. That's all I consistently commit time and energy to that has nothing to do with learning medicine. How is it possible that my life went from so full of so many questions and directions to being even fuller with just one big thing.

Side note, I went to the Museum of Chinese Americans this past weekend - and it was one of the greatest museums I have ever visited. It made want to learn more about Chinese and Chinese American history. I'm looking for book suggestions.

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