One of my classmates recently pointed out to me that with the graduation of the fourth year class, there’s no one above us on the School of Medicine student pecking order anymore.
Not that there’s any hazing of the lower classes – I like to think we’re pretty nurturing – but I used to feel like I was protected from too much direct attention by the ability to shift the questions I didn’t know to my fourth year. Many thanks to all of them who worked with me and saved me from questions while I was floundering in the scary waters of “I don’t have that memorized and now my palms are sweating.”
And now there aren’t any fourth years.
Because in one week – it’s us.
Admittedly, I have no idea how this happened. It feels like last week that I took this picture:
But it’s from a year ago, after an overnight call on Surgery. That watch has stopped ticking. I now wear my engagement ring on my finger instead of around my neck, and the I-don’t-hate-my-pager face is long gone.
You know what’s most surprising? While this year has zoomed by like a med student late for rounds, I’m ready for what’s next. I think we’ve been well-prepared.
Professors, Faculty, Attendings, Nurses, Therapists, OTs, PTs, MAs, LVNs, CNAs – so many people have helped teach us. We’ve learned a little about both the medicine we’ll be practicing, and about the people we want to be while we do it.
Do I have all the knowledge I need to go save lives? Of course not. I have a year left. And after that I have internship. And after that I have more residency.
But with just a week left of third year rotations, we are ready to be fourth years.
Terrifying though that is.
And to you who are moving along to second or third year in a very short time, you too are ready for what’s next.
More than you think. Promise.