Farewell to the Classroom

I have officially had my last classroom lecture of my life – not to say that the hard work and learning is over by any stretch. I have been sitting in a classroom [well… I don’t know how much I

First and last days of school!!

sat still when I was in preschool] for 20 years, and finally at 23 I leave the comfortable and safe world of desks and lecture halls behind. I am both incredibly excited and truly terrified that all my future learning will come from real patients and not just cases studied from in books. It is one thing to read about how to treat an MI and an entirely different one to use that treatment on someone having a heart attack!

I’m feeling slightly nostalgic. Some of the greatest times in my life have revolved around school. I met my best friend on the school bus when we were 11 and we used to pass notes in class (we were terrible at covering it too).  I learned the preamble to the constitution with School House Rock. I dissected my first frog in 7th grade and was so grossed out I could barely look at it. I learned the value of a great novel in high school literature. I found my love for writing in AP US History. I learned Spanish, Math, and Chemistry with great friends. In college I began to debate about philosophy, religion, sociology, and morality. I have grown into the person I am today because of everything I’ve been able to learn and apply inside and outside the classroom.
First, ahead of me I still have my final exam in Organ Systems next Tuesday. Then we have our comprehensive year 2 exam next Friday. And starting next Saturday I will begin my 38 days of board studying. I have alluded to it several times – on June 11 I take USMLE Step 1 (U.S. Medical Licensing Exam). There are 3 steps required before you are a fully licensed physician. Step 1 is honestly the most important test of my entire life. It is 322 questions over 8 hours. A passing score is a 189 and the national average is usually around 220. You don’t get a good score? You will not get a good residency. It’s that simple. So what does it cover? Everything we’ve learned in 2 years of medical school. (Check out my bookshelf that’s actually missing four 2″ binders)

What I’ve learned in 2 years

To prepare, you study for 14 hours a day (I will be doing 7am-9pm) including 138 practice questions a day and studying high-yield books. I will get a 3 hour break on Saturdays to visit the academy and try to stay sane with my favorite jiu jitsu brothers and sisters (literally just visiting since I’m officially off the mats for 6 weeks due to a broken foot). 

 This quote feels incredibly relevant to my immediate future:
William Osler once said “Medicine is learned by the bedside and not in the classroom. Let not your conceptions of disease come from words heard in the lecture room or read from the book. See, and then reason and compare and control. But see first.”

Ready to take the next steps on my journey. Thank you to every friend, teacher, and classmate I’ve ever had. You challenged me every day inside the classroom to learn and outside the classroom to apply my knowledge to make me a better person.

So long, cozy lecture hall!


Hello, doctor’s offices!


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