Well we are currently in the midst of some of the toughest weeks I think I’ve ever had to face (these don’t even come close to “finals” weeks in college). A grueling 12-15 hours of studying for almost 2.5 weeks culminating in 60% of our grade for I&I. Why is it necessary to study 12 hours a day, you ask? Because the exam covers well over 1500 pages of notes, plus two full books on disease case studies. I’m not even sure if 12 hour days are enough to get through it all. But in the end, I know that my classmates and myself will prevail!So in the midst of all of this, I thought it was incredibly applicable to title this post perseverance. Because this has been a marathon, not a sprint, and we still have 5 days to go.
Side note… if you think you have any kind of bacteria/virus/parasite/fungus/immunological disorder, come find an M2. We’ll be happy to diagnose you.
I’m not sure there are people in the world who truly understand the amount of dedication and perseverance it takes to make it through medical school, unless you’ve been through it yourself. Picture yourself sitting down at a table (or cubicle) in the library at 8am and only leaving your seat for bathroom breaks. You packed your lunch and dinner (and made sure it was food that didn’t crunch when you ate it) and plan on sitting at your desk until 10pm. Without talking to another person and without looking at your phone. I’m not sure the majority of the world could do that… and for extended periods of time too. I’m not saying that no one else could, I just recently have been impressed with the amount of dedication and perseverance shown by my classmates doing this exact thing.
In BJJ, there is this saying “OSS” that floats around everywhere. And I’ll admit – I had no idea what anyone was talking about for quite a while. Until one day, while reading a BJJ blog, I had discovered its meaning. OSS or “ossu” means Oshi Shinobu – which translates into “persevere under pressure”. It’s all about never giving up, and having the determination and motivation to withstand whatever is thrown at you. It’s all about the idea of inner strength.
How appropriate! I feel as if I should write OSS all over every page of my notes to remind myself that even the hardest and most trying times eventually end, as long as you have the strength to endure it.
Unfortunately, these 12 hour study days haven’t been extremely conducive to training recently. Though I did get to go Friday night after our exam, to work off some stress. There is a physician at my gym – very close to getting his black belt – that actually attended the same medical school I’m currently at. And guess what?! He not only survived med school – he worked his way toward the incredibly prestigious BJJ black belt. Now if that’s not inspirational, I’m not sure what is.
So to all my fellow classmates, keep it up! I’m proud of our class and how hard we work every single day. And to everyone else, no matter what you may be doing in life, make sure you do it with the perseverance and motivation that it requires. You will never be great at anything unless you truly put your heart and soul into it.
What I’ve recently realized is that sometimes we’re in such a hurry to be “extraordinary” that we often forget that the most advanced techniques come from a strong base of basics. Take, for example, medical school. We started off in biochemistry – the building block, and are now in infection & immunity, a class I would consider to be advanced. However, the other day when studying I realized that simply memorizing these big “fancy” medical words weren’t going to make me a great doctor unless I actually understood what they mean- which meant going back to the basics. I don’t want to become the kind of doctor that can throw out all the medical jargon in the world, but cannot for the life of them have a regular conversation with a patient. Basics. A med student can get so wrapped up in the books and being sequestered in the silent library that they forget something as simple as how to communicate effectively.