The first time I saw a vertebra in medical school was not in anatomy lab. It was on a Thursday afternoon on the playground at Rolling Bends, a low-income housing community in West Atlanta. The smooth, white bony processes poked through the woodchips alongside broken glass and cigarette butts, almost, but not quite, unnoticeable.
Enthusiastic. Proud. Motivated. I smile sheepishly as I approach the coastal town of Pondicherry, nestled in tropical South India.
As I lifted my head away from my work, I realized that I was being watched. On the other side of the window was a group of five young women, mouths agape and eyes wide open. They were students, up and coming radiology technicians, brought here to observe. Their instructor was hoping to desensitize them to the harsh reality of death and prepare them for the day that they would venture here alone with mobile x-ray machines.
The library opens at 8 a.m. As usual, I overestimated my commute and arrived almost 15 minutes early. This became an everyday occurrence for not just me but for another library inhabitant like myself, That one guy. As I approached the library’s closed double-doors, I saw that one guy waiting.
As a medical student, I have big shoes to fill. I feel that void in my foot-space at all times. These shoes are expensive, and they are monstrously huge. We’re talking circus clown, Shaquille O’Neal, Andre the Giant shoes.
One week after I took Step 1, I found myself frustrated with my mother. The reason? Not completely clear.
Just a few minutes into my drive I made a right turn and my car suddenly lost control. It was snowing the entire day and I realized the road was covered in ice.
As medical students, we spend endless hours stuck in a library, with tons of books and piles of notes that we try to get into our heads … It is only logical that it is challenging to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine while aiming for academic excellence.
I don’t want to admit that medical school is tough for me. I want to be a natural at this. I want to devour my schoolwork and never satisfy my thirst for more.
It was a Friday afternoon in the middle of October during my second year of medical school. I, along with my classmates, was preparing to complete our formal graded “check-off” for intubation.
It has become more and more evident with time that the health care delivery system in the United States is riddled with issues, which have led to many disagreements about policy because there is no clear and universally acceptable solution to our problems.
I breathed in and out, in and out, in and out, trying to slow my heart rate. Countless hours of preparation had led to this day: the day when I would get the honor of donning the white coat that characterized the profession I was about to enter.