How Medical School Changed Me

Authored by: Anna S. — UNTHSC

Paradoxically, medicine has made me more confident.

One of the first things I learned in medical school was that I’m not that smart. I’m smart enough to stand out when compared to the general population, but in med school, I’m nothing special. I have to work hard for average grades and scores.

During my first year, this revelation was pretty crushing. My whole ego was set up about being the clever one, and suddenly that was no longer true. But in the process of scrambling to learn how to study and apply myself, I learned some very important skills, and discovered I have other strengths, namely emotional intelligence and personal discipline. I have learned to approach my learning in a systematic and disciplined fashion of which I wasn’t previously capable. This method of learning makes me look back at other “hard” topics like law, physics or mathematics and realize: hey, I could probably use this skill set to learn that body of information, too.

So, as I enter M4 year, I look at myself in a very different way. I no longer identify myself as particularly intelligent or talented when compared to my peers. At the same time, I have proven to myself that I can actually hold my own in an extremely competitive environment, so I feel more competent when facing the academic and professional challenges ahead.

Overall, I prefer this new outlook. Feeling sure you are adequate is WAY better than feeling insecure about being “gifted.”

  1. I am really angry about this virus. I am 71 with several co-morbidity factors and I take care of father…

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