This past year is one of the most challenging years I’ve had to deal with both mentally and emotionally. I decided to pursue one of my goals and enter medical school in another country that is considered not developed. I went from being there with my mom as she went through health complications to helping my parents navigate the healthcare system from far away. I also had to deal with an end of a relationship of 2 years. And through all this, I was trying to accept and succeed in school after having to repeat my first semester. And of course on top of that, survive a category 5 hurricane and continue school on a cruise liner. However through all this, I survived, am stronger, more confident, am more sure of who my true friends are, and overall, thankful.
If I were to pick an overall theme for this year, it would be adaptation. Being a physician means you have to learn to adapt to the fast paced work environment, patients will be stable one moment and not the other, and you can have all these other things going on in your life but you need to perform at your best when treating a patient. I’d like to think that this year proved that I can adapt quickly. Below are a few things I learned about myself and am most proud of in regards to this past year because there’s always positives out of everything :).
- I can adapt to a different country and fall in love with it even if it’s not what I’m used to.
- I’m a little more certain about what I want in a partnership.
- I’m able to see who the people I want to surround myself around quickly and deepen those friendships/maintain them. This has been a problem of mine growing up but now that I’m older I realize time is finite and we all have busy lives so it’s the quality that matters not the quantity of friends.
- Having to repeat a semester doesn’t define me nor will it mean I can’t succeed.
- I proved to myself that I can succeed in medical school and I’m capable of being a physician. I ended my second semester that was on the boat strong and much better than I expected. I didn’t do well on cardio on my first mini but was able to redeem myself and did well on it for the final. Also learned neuro in 8 days and did very well in that block (and it’s one of my favorites now!). Did amazing on my clinical skills exam and realized I absolutely love seeing patients. It’s so much more fun being able to apply what we learn in the classroom.
- Hard work does pay off.
- One of the research projects I worked on was published and two more are currently being reviewed.
- I’m extremely thankful for all the friends I have from home for being so supportive, kind, and understanding. One of the toughest things about being in school is missing all the milestones in their lives but even the little things makes it tough. I’m also thankful for the friends I now call family I made in school. We had to experience the holidays away from home and go through this crazy year together so it only made our friendships stronger.
I hope that 2018 is kinder to all of us. Maybe it’ll be a year of consistent improvement and good karma :).