A Taste of Your Own Medicine, Columns
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Just Saying Hello: A Nod to All Those Who Helped Us


ATOYOMWe had our white coat ceremony on the third day of medical school. Each student was given a rose to give to someone who helped during their journey to medical school.

As soon as we started school, we had lectures to attend, books to read and frequent tests to study for. Everything started off with a bang! Before we knew it, we were nose deep in books, and we quickly forgot what life was like before medical school. Important things had to be pushed aside—like doing laundry, buying food and even showering (for some people).

But this is what we wanted—you wanted: to finally become a medical student.

The white coat ceremony was a gentle reminder that your journey not only consisted of you, but also of all the people who helped you and influenced your decision to go to medical school.

A physician that you may have shadowed gave insight to the day-to-day life of working in a clinic. The leader at a volunteer organization may have seen potential in you and was confident that you would become a great doctor. A school advisor walked you through the steps of applying and ensured you would get accepted. A medical student you befriended during interviews may have shown you what the life of a medical student is like.

Don’t forget your family and friends,all of whom believed in you. This process was as puzzling for them as it was for you, but they stood by your side even if they weren’t sure what exactly was going on.

Before you forget, drop these people a line: a text, email or letter. Call and update them on medical school. Tell them how you’re (hopefully) enjoying it. They’ll be happy to know that you appreciate them.

Then there are those of us who are in our next phase of our medical career: applying to residency. I have people to thank for inspiring me, mentoring me and taking the time to give me advice. From students to residents to fellows to attendings: I couldn’t have done it without them.

That’s why I am more than happy to help other students who want advice on medical school. We’re all in the same boat, so we might as well help each other. Helen Keller got it right when she said:

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Reflect and think where you were a year (or more) ago. Sometimes, it’s nice to just stop and smell the roses.

Oh, whom did I give my rose to? My parents.

Valentina Bonev Valentina Bonev (21 Posts)

Columnist Emeritus and in-Training Staff Member

Loma Linda University Medical Center

A Taste Of Your Own Medicine is a column that gives you a taste of medicine. It focuses on important and interesting topics relating to medicine and being a medical student.

Valentina is a general surgery resident at Loma Linda University Medical Center. She graduated from University of California, Irvine School of Medicine.