I have always heard that medical school involved copious studying, but as with all experiences, it’s impossible to understand a process through anecdote. The sheer volume of material that is presented to us as medical students is so great it is terrifying: a vast, mercurial ocean of correlations, causalities, and outright facts of human development and histology.
Every week the tide of the ocean rises and threatens to sweep me off my feet, but I manage to keep myself firmly planted to the earth and make connections between the information. When I see a term repeated and understand it in a completely different context, I flush with pride because I know I have properly internalized the material.
The subtlety of all this is that I’m only about a month and some into this herculean undertaking. I still have three and a half blocks left of this semester, let alone 4 other semesters.
The thing is, my motivations stem from my desire to be less ignorant about the entirety of human anatomy, microanatomy, and development. After I master these concepts – which are all universal truths – I can harness them to affect the human conditions of my future patients. It is with deep humility that I understand that I am entirely unqualified to hold the tenuous life of a dying patient in my hands. I want to reverse that notion and be able to confidently recreate a person’s life through my academic undertaking. Otherwise, my studying is moot, useless, and in vain. A degree is a piece of paper. Knowledge for knowledge’s sake is, in my opinion, a waste. There should always be some intention behind any academic pursuit. That is the mark of maturity.