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Sometimes I Wish…

Sometimes I wish that my childhood was filled with more academic failures. I’m not trying to sound arrogant or anything. Medical school, I have found, is one of the most humbling experiences one can go through. At this point, I don’t think I’m a genius at all. But, I suppose one could say that life is one long, humbling experience as well.

Occasionally I’ve been asked, “Are you smart?” The question doesn’t really make any sense to me, and I don’t know why people ask it. It’s probably a question better suited to sort out the arrogant from the humble. But what has become my customary reply to this question is, “I used to believe I was smart. And then I started Kindergarten.”

It is no secret that the majority of medical students performed very well during elementary and/or high school. (For traditional students, college is pretty much a given because college performance plays a large role in medical school acceptance.) And this is a very good thing. But because of past performance, there is an added pressure to continue to do well.

The bright students in elementary school are expected to do well in high school. Brilliant high schoolers are expected to make it into good colleges/universities where they will choose from among the toughest fields of study so that they can accomplish great things.

What kind of great things? How about significantly contributing to society? Or changing the world?

Talk about pressure…

And so, sometimes I wish…

  • I totally know what you mean with this post. I was the typical student that did well in elementary, high school and college. Even in medical school, it wasn’t until the second half of second year that I got my first “C” on the final. I was so devastated, to the point of wondering if I was smart enough anymore and if medicine was the right career for me. Perhaps if I’d had more failures beforehand, this one grade wouldn’t have been such a blow to my confidence as a student. After that I started to be less focused on the actual grade and more about the amazing experience as a medical student. It’s the one time where you get to learn on a daily basis without the huge responsibility since you still can’t sign orders and stuff. I just hope that changing my mentality to focus on learning in order to provide better patient care is what will really pay off and allow me to do “great things” in the years to come.

  • I totally know what you mean with this post. I was the typical student that did well in elementary, high school and college. Even in medical school, it wasn’t until the second half of second year that I got my first “C” on the final. I was so devastated, to the point of wondering if I was smart enough anymore and if medicine was the right career for me. Perhaps if I’d had more failures beforehand, this one grade wouldn’t have been such a blow to my confidence as a student. After that I started to be less focused on the actual grade and more about the amazing experience as a medical student. It’s the one time where you get to learn on a daily basis without the huge responsibility since you still can’t sign orders and stuff. I just hope that changing my mentality to focus on learning in order to provide better patient care is what will really pay off and allow me to do “great things” in the years to come.

  • FD

    Same as medobsession here…

  • FD

    Same as medobsession here…

  • Kate

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Kate

  • Kate

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Kate

  • Smart people are a dime a dozen. The further you climb on the ladder, the more you realize that you don’t really know anything at all.

  • Smart people are a dime a dozen. The further you climb on the ladder, the more you realize that you don’t really know anything at all.