Medical school is terrifying. This is not something I feel like I am supposed to admit — or let alone feel — because it conveys insecurity. For all the learning we compress into our days as students, we operate in a constant state of not knowing. Perhaps paradoxically so, uncertainty itself seems to be guiding us down the path laid before us. It is as if we are walking with our hands stretched out in front of us, groping in darkness. Every day, we face the unfamiliar, not just in terms of knowledge, but also the larger questions of whether we are turning down roads that feel true to us.
The call for a more global medical curriculum — one that not only recognizes, but prioritizes health issues that transcend national, political and cultural demarcations — is coming from all sides. American medical student interest and participation in international electives is considerable, and surveys indicate that its growth has accelerated in recent years.
Photography taught me how to see. It taught me to listen using my eyes, rather than my ears alone. This is something that I have carried with me throughout the beginning of medical school. Though some people assume that the arts and the sciences do not mix, photography has actually informed how I envision my work as a physician.