As I promised in my previous post, I would write a little more about medical school…
It’s…interesting….to say the least.
I want to be a doctor. Sometimes I have my doubts, but it’s hard not to. I am a human being after all.
Med school is definitely doable, with a lot of hard work and persistence. However, it takes an emotional toll on you. Your morale is questioned a thousand times. You realize you’re at the bottom of the medical pyramid and can’t do anything about it. Classes are difficult. Tests are difficult. It’s difficult, period.
You see friends who seem to be absolute naturals at medicine, and here you are, wracking your brains as to why you used to be such an awesome student in college, but here you’re just average. You wonder a thousand times whether you’re cut up for being a doctor and never find an answer to the question. You feel stupid, you feel destroyed.
All of this happens inside your head and you keep quiet. Keep quiet because nobody wants a “weak” doctor. That’s the prevailing attitude: suck it up. It’s survival of the fittest.
So, I was the one who couldn’t “suck it up”. It wasn’t in my nature to simply ignore what was constantly drilling at my brain. I couldn’t do this alone. Nobody can do it alone. And nobody should. So I went to the school psychologist, I spoke out, I looked for people who would listen. I eventually came across a wonderful psychiatrist, who is my current therapist/doctor/moral support. I was willing to speak and I found people who would listen.
Finally, I was diagnosed with moderate to severe Major Depressive Disorder. It honestly came as a relief, to know that the hell I was going through was not something I was supposed to “suck up”, that it was real, and what I was feeling was not something I was “making up”.
As an aside, for anyone in medical school who is experiencing similar feelings: look for help. Even if it’s a close friend who’ll listen, just look for help. You can’t do it alone, and you shouldn’t. And that’s OK.
So that’s part of my story.