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Nov 20, 2007


Today I led tours and had lunch with a group of 12 interviewees for the incoming med class. Boy, talk about validating! Those kids were so young! So innocent! So blissfully unaware of what was (hopefully) about to happen to them! It was awesome and make me feel like I am operating at an entirely different level than I used to be when I was a mere pre-med.

Actually I never was a pre-med. I went to graduate school for opera, of all things, and then went back to school to take the pre-requisite classes that I didn't have to have for music (like, all of them. Opera singers don't need physics or chemistry. Weird.). But I never had the real pre-med experience. And I am glad for it.

I think that there is a reversal of the trend to make more 'well-rounded' doctors. I certainly benefitted from that trend, but I think that it is getting less popular. I feel that so many of the incoming students have never been outside or in love or felt great tragedy. For example, today, the students were all - ALL - biology majors coming straight from college. Some having done college in three years. None of them had traveled abroad. Only one of them was from out of state, and, of the remaining Ky residents, none had ever lived outside of this state. Their humanities experience in college was limited to Literature 101 classes or, worse, Logic.

Why would these people think to go to medical school? Do they understand what it is they're signing up for? They are going to be with people at the most extreme moments of their lives - the birth of their children, the death of their spouse, a terminal diagnosis. These people will have to navigate and even lead the formidable interactions between emotion and decision. This is not to be taken lightly.

I don't think that anyone could truly be prepared for this commitment and, in fairness, I will say that I certainly didn't know and maybe still don't know what it is I'm doing. However, I have been out in the world. I have talked to people, lived a life. This is so important when interacting with people who are counting on you.

It's just as we're always told, but never understand: Take care of yourself first.

2 Readers rock!:

The Scrivener said...

Huh. I see the well-rounded trend continuing -- I always pop my head in the admissions waiting room for coffee and conversation with the prospectives, and many of them have done really cool things, as have lots of my classmates.

Maybe your school lumps everyone with similar backgrounds on the same day to make it easier to compare them?

Katie said...

That's certainly possible. I am glad to hear that your school doesn't seem to be moving back toward the old way of science people only. Hopefully, I just caught them on a particularly non-diverse day!