October 2010 Archives

1/16th of the Way There

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"There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm."
-Willa Cather

Last week marked week 10. Week 10 was significant for two main reasons. First, it was our infamous midterm week in which the first year medical students had 4 days of exams covering anatomy, histology, embryology, genetics, and biochemistry. Secondly, it mean that we were 1/2 way done with the semester. 1/4 way done with first year. 1/8 of the way done with our first 2 years. 1/16 of the way done with medical school.

After the round of midterms, my body buddy (or one of the classmates I share a cadaver with in anatomy lab) made that observation that we were 1/16th of the way done with medical school, but he didn't feel like he was 1/16th of a a doctor. While I don't know what 1/16th of a doctor feels like, I thought he raised an important point. We are well on our way through medical school.

Looking back on the last 10 weeks, there definitely has been a lot of blood (from looking at histology slides), sweat (our classmates are rather athletic and some ran the Twin Cities Marathon), and tears (from both frustration and happy moments). There have been times when studying seemed to go slower than molasses on a cold winter's day and there have been times when I could not be any more excited to be dissecting in anatomy class. Medical school definitely has it's ups and downs, but overall I have been very happy. Even when I struggle with a topic or am frustrated, I feel a general sense of happiness overall....after all, being able to overcome something that is hard for you to do instills a sense of accomplishment and motivates you to keep going. After all, we are 1/16th of the way there.

The Cost of Education

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"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."
-Derek Bork

Last week I went in for a financial aid meeting and learned that the average indebtness for a graduating student from the U of M Medical School class of 2010 was $175,000. That's right, $175,000 or the cost of a small house or two 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class GL550 4WD with V8 or 175,000 items from the Dollar Store. While that is quite a daunting number, the value of the education I and fellow medical students will be receiving will be worth it.

Now approximately 2 months into medical school, I have realized what an investment medical school is. On the individual level, it is is an investment in terms of money, time, and energy. In addition, to the loans one must take out, one is also sacrificing a lot of their time into learning and gaining the competencies necessary to be a successful doctor. On the institutional side of things, the school is also investing many resources to help students succeed. Thus, overall medical school can be seen as a costly endeavor but in the end it will be worth it. The hours upon hours studying in the library and the thousands taken out in student loans will pay off in the end. The education we are investing in now will enable medical students like me the chance to work in a field we love and are interested in and also improve the health of the community. While the costs may seem high now, in the end the rewards will be worth it.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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