“What ifs” in Medical School

I feel like I see this more in medical school than in any other academic institution I have been in, and that is the “what ifs”. Having talked to several people, I know it is not just me. When school started, I was very optimistic and happy. The hardest part was over right? Well, no. It was just a bump on a long road. And that idea seems to aid in the manifestation of “what ifs”. There is so much done for that acceptance letter it feels like a contract.  I must continue on and finish otherwise all that hard effort would have been for nothing.

Now, I am not saying I regret choosing to pursue medicine. However, I am trying to explain where this what if mentality may come from. With all the pressures to succeed, the what ifs appear. “What if I can’t keep up with this pace of learning?” “What if I can’t get a passing score?” “What if I can’t remember this detail?” “What if I am not preparing enough for boards?” “What if I laugh at the word ‘frenulum?’”

While the last one might not be as relatable to everyone, the others probably are. The thing is not like I haven’t had similar thoughts before in the past. They just have not been as reoccurring and frequent. Even now as I type this, I am having these thoughts. This is interesting because of the development from when I first started. These thoughts while still frequent are becoming more like murmurs on a crowded street. I started not caring at them, and that happens. I am told things will get harder and worse. Yet, we will become so apathetic about the pain we move on. I get why things have to be this way, but just seems kind of unfortunate. But that is just my thought for today.

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