As I find myself in the midst of balancing job applications and interviews, alongside clinical rotation responsibilities, I bridge the past that I’ve known and the future that seems so incredibly uncertain. I am excited for what is to come but apprehensive for the steep learning curve that accompanies transitioning from a student to a doctor.
I am grateful for the wonderful education I have received and I know that it will serve me well. However, I also know that it is just a foundation and that the “real world” will teach me to truly apply all that I have learned. Even once I leave the walls of the teaching hospital, there will be so much more to learn. So, for now, as I get ready to leave the nest and spread my doctor wings for the first time I will work to strengthen my flight muscles in anticipation by being confident in my decisions, admitting my mistakes and learning from them, and taking every opportunity that I can to learn from those around me.
Confidence can be difficult to cultivate during fourth-year. It’s so very easy to doubt my knowledge and accept that I probably don’t know as much as those around me, but, in doing that, I am letting myself down. I have worked too hard for so long to just give up on me. Why should anyone else give me a chance if I can’t give myself a chance? I need to believe in me so that others will believe in me too.
I am not perfect. I’ve known this for a long time. Yet, even when you accept fallibility, it can still be difficult to admit your mistakes and truly allow yourself to learn from them. However, what I have come to realize is that unless if I really accept an error I have made, I do not gain anything from the experience. I move on from it but don’t allow it to help me to improve. As uncomfortable as it may be, I need to really take time to acknowledge where I can improve and give myself the opportunity to grow from the discomfort.
And lastly, I need to embrace asking questions and learning everything that I can now so that I can continue this practice once I graduate. I love learning; if I didn’t, I never would have made it through this much schooling. But what I seem to have forgotten is how fun learning is because somewhere along the line it became a necessary evil, not something to be enjoyed. I hope that I can reconnect with my inner excitement for learning and allow that to follow me into practice. I love that I am part of a profession that keeps me on my toes and gives me the chance to always learn more.
Even though it’s a time of change and new things, I can confidently carry what I have learned in the past along with me as I embrace all of the new adventures that lie ahead.