This quote from an article in The Atlantic entitled “For the Young Doctor About to Burn Out” is one that is profoundly meaningful as we start the last year of medical school. While most of our mind is occupied with the thoughts of where we will match and spend the next chapter in residency training, we can’t help but also reflect on how far we’ve come, what our career means to us going forward, and the endless opportunities that lie ahead.
Lately, we have come across many articles on medical student burnout. There are a vast number of students who find themselves buried deep inside a pile of test grades and competitiveness among their classmates, become emotionally exhausted, and start questioning whether medical school is right for them.
Where did the humanistic qualities that we brought with us go?
It is easy for us to relate. We both came into this journey of medicine as 17-year-old high school students, hoping to make an impact on a group of people while expanding our scientific knowledge.
Coming into the final year of medical school, it’s time to remind ourselves of that original motivation and rediscover why we chose to make medicine our lives. It has been a while since we wrote our last column — we were buried deep in that pile of “medical school crap” that took us away from nourishing our imagination.
The way we nourish our imagination is to nourish ourselves, with new and good food. We have been experimenting with fresh recipes and going outside our comfort zone with eating new foods. Here is one recipe that we like with collard greens and black-eyed peas. We hope it nourishes you.
2 cups black-eyed peas
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 bunch collard greens, tough stems and ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
4 carrots, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion, garlic and celery and cook until onion is translucent, five to eight minutes.
Add black-eyed peas and broth, bring to a boil and skim off and discard any foam on the surface.
Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until peas are tender, about 45 minutes.
Add collard greens and carrots and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes more.
Season with salt, pepper and cayenne and serve.
As medical students, we often find ourselves attending countless hours of lecture, studying late at night in the library, and eating junk from the hospital cafeteria. We forget that there is a life outside of the bubble that is medical school! Read our column to take a break from the work and exist outside of medical school.