I started my medical journey with a drive. California to Philadelphia. 7 days across the country. I made a video featuring Ping, my trusty, perpetually-sleeping red panda.
Hopefully this starts off a series of blogs/vlogs documenting my time here in medical school.
I have 4 goals:
Document my training (Aka: don't disappear)
Over the years, I've watched many of my friends go through medical school. But truth be told, sometimes I'm surprised. I see their initial white coat announcement post, and then suddenly, four years later they've matched to their residency. What happened in between? I've found medical training to be a sort of black box that no one non-medical can penetrate. Is it because talking about struggles in medical school seems too technical for others to understand? Is it because HIPAA laws make it hard to tell stories about complex narratives we'll face? Maybe it's just not a priority. I really don't know. But magically, my friends become doctors.
To me, the process is important. I've embarked on a journey that will be filled with victories, losses, and rigorous challenges. I hope that by talking about my experience, my friends, family, and acquaintances might learn with me.
Fight isolationism (aka: serve the people)
On a connected note, I believe that doctors should be grounded in the communities they serve. Naturally, the deluge of study sessions and hospital rounds will create a tight knit group of medical friends, but it may also drain me significantly. The stresses of medicine may push me to withdraw from even colleagues.
But I must fight the temptation of isolation. In times of high anxiety and pressure, I will draw strength from my immediate community of classmates/faculty, but also from my extended community of those I serve. I'm in medicine to serve the people, and so when I'm feeling weak, I must remember that ultimately I am training to serve, build, and advocate for the communities I love. I don't want to hide in times of struggle; I must remember that vulnerability is not a weakness, but a strength. It is a reminder that we are human.
Cultivate Authenticity (aka: stay weird, stay me)
I came into medicine with a very particular dream: become a doctor and director. All through my interviews, I stressed my passion for storytelling and its natural synthesis with medicine, which many remarked was a very strange combination of interests. But I never once doubted that my interests will serve me well, and ultimately make me the kind of physician that relates to a whole spectrum of folks. I'm determined to fully embrace myself as an individual, with all my quirks, hobbies, and passions. I hope to write about things that make me, me: from my love of film, my latest cooking misadventures, to my latest video game victories.
tell stories (AKA: do all the things i love, not just medicine)
I don't expect to be writing novels (or maybe I will!). Medical school is a busy time. But, "I'm too busy," is not an excuse for dismissing my passions. The advice from doctors I've shadowed is that I should not lose myself in medical school - delaying passions 'until I'm done with medical school' is the quickest way to burnout. Therefore, I'll continue to pursue the things I love, even if I have to evolve them into bite sized projects that I can complete in smaller amounts of time.
That's it for now, folks. In the next posts, I'll explain the title of my blog. I'm around on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube if you want to see what I'm up to in between the blog posts. Hope to see you around :)
Stay in touch with me! Let me know in the comments or tweet me @phildelrosario any questions you might have or anything you'd like to hear about.