When I was in high school and even college, I wanted nothing more than to go to medical school. That did not happen, obviously, and although I would still love to do it, it's not in the cards. That makes me sad. It's okay, though, because to say med school is hard is sort of like saying that brain surgery is delicate. No shit it's hard. It's a nightmare – an amazing, bloody, life-or-death nightmare that can make you or break you. Med school students deal with so many things, all of which simultaneously give me FOMO and make me grateful that I'm not the one dealing with them.
1 The First Day
I can only imagine that every first-year intern experiences a combination of excitement and utter terror when they start their first day. Good lord, you are a doctor and you will be saving lives.
2 Losing All Your Friends
Unless they're on the same shift, except then they're not so much friends as they are rivals, competitors, family, and teammates.
3 Discovering That You Will Not Be Rich
I always laughed at my fellow pre-med students who bragged to other undergrads about how rich they were going to be. Like they were going to just start making mad bank as an intern or a resident.
4 Realizing How Long It Will Take You to Pay off Those Med School Loans
You will have to do approximately eight million appendectomies to pay for your education. (Rough estimate; probably inaccurate.)
5 Your First Digital Rectal Exam
Don't laugh. Don't laugh at the person doing it. Someday it will be you.
6 The First Time You Suture
You feel, very briefly, like THE BEST DOCTOR EVER.
7 Sleep Deprivation
You will be sleep deprived for the next 5-10 years. It's fine. You'll be fine.
8 Rounds Are Not Fun
They are not like “Grey's Anatomy.” Everything at SGH is a lie.
9 The Importance of Sleep
You will soon sleep anywhere and everywhere. You will learn how to fall asleep in five seconds. Fifteen-minute naps will feel like a luxury.
10 Three Words: Medical Student Syndrome
At some point, you will become convinced that you have every illness or disease you've come across. Every cough, pimple, and ache is serious business.
11 The Joy of Diagnosing Everyone You Meet
You will. Family, friends, lovers, cashiers – you'll start diagnosing everyone. They will all hate you.
12 Hating the People in Another Program
This happens in every group. Even hospital personnel gets separated into cliques. It's like how, in band, the brass section always hates the woodwinds.
13 Sucking up Even when You Don't Want to
Even if you've never sucked up to anyone in your whole life, you'll find yourself sucking up to at least one of your superiors.
14 The First Time Someone Ejects Bodily Fluids onto Your Person
Might be puke. Might be pee. Might be poo. Might be snot or blood or pus. But it will happen.
15 The Surge of Adrenaline
When there's a trauma or an emergency or a new case – that adrenaline will keep you going even if you've already been up for 36 hours.
16 And the Inevitable Crash
Oh, it's bad. It's so bad. There's not enough coffee in the world.
17 Saving a Life for the First Time
You are a Fray song. You are amazing. You are awesome. You are an MD god.
Med school students? Let me live vicariously through you. Share your stories. Please. Pleeease?