I am waiting for my coffee when / a middle-aged Turkish man / asks if I am a medical student —
They say you’re at the top of the class / I say I’m barely able to pass
I know better. / I know nothing, and I am useless. / So don’t throw words at me insinuating that / I am knowledgeable.
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.
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.
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.
I was once asked if medical school is an unhappy place. It is a good question, the kind that it takes someone outside of medicine to ask.
The entirety of the third year of medical school is an act. If you want to be a good medical student, you are what your team wants you to be. Amenable, pliant, easygoing — even when inside you are a bitter angry little thing who’s tired of being pushed around.