This week is full of excitement as the class of 2017 joins medical community. They are excited, we are excited…everyone is excited. The class has already been featured on the Queen’s Undergraduate Medicine Blog and believe me, they look like an impressive crew!
First day of O-week!! So exciting #qmed
— Saleha Munawar (@saleha12) August 26, 2013
Unfortunately third years aren’t particularly involved in orientation week…While we are meant to be preparing for clerkship, we can still feel the energy and remember the nervousness of starting out.
One orientation week tradition that stands out as one of the best moments in medical school for me was the Pearls of Wisdom. In this hour professors who were unknown to us at the time shared tips for our medical journey and quickly became some of our most important mentors, greatest teachers and biggest sources of continuing support. Simple tips like:
- “remember the first time you listen to a patient’s heart and trying to relive that wonder with every patient encounter:
- and “It’s okay to say, ‘I don’t know…but I’ll look it up’”
were great and have stuck with me. Two years later I still draw on their wise words and know that I will continue to think of them as I move forward into clerkship.
Since I am not all that wise I cannot offer much advice to the 2017s about medicine beyond: take good notes during the Pearls of Wisdom session then live by them (just kidding, you didn’t actually have to take notes!). But since I just finished preclerkship, I do feel somewhat qualified to comment on that small stage of medical education. So what is my preclerkship pearl?
It doesn’t sound profound and it’s not profound. It’s simple but effective. You’ve all worked hard to get here (believe me, I know). Now you get to show up and do what you’ve always wanted to. Show up to class, show up to social events, show up to intramural games, show up to observerships. Get a twitter account and show up to the #FOAMed and #qmed online conversations. Show up to whatever you choose but when you do, really show up. When you show up, come prepared. Be ready and willing to learn and contribute. Showing up means sharing when you are meant to, learning what you are supposed to, asking for help when you need to and having fun along the way. Showing up means asking questions, then answering those questions. If you like something, show up; you’ll probably like it more. If you don’t like something, still show up and you’ll be better for it. Show up on time. When things are awesome, show up; you will get to share wonderful moments with others who show up too. When things get hard, show up; you will be surprised at the support you can find when that’s the case. Showing up is not passive. Showing up is active.
Just Show Up.
I wish I could offer better, more tangible advice as new medical students start preclerkship but that’s all I have for now. If you have any questions for me or if you are further along in training and have advice for new medical students please comment here or on twitter @purdy_eve.
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