Hello Aspiring Physicians,

Match week! This week is always filled with mixed emotions from happiness, joyfulness, sadness, frustration, relief, uncertainty, panic, doubt, elation and I could go on. I remember when I matched 11 years ago I had a mixture of relief for knowing that I had a job, joy that I matched at my number one residency program choice, and utter jubilation that I was going to be an orthopedic surgeon one day. At that time in my life, I was going through a divorce which took a toll on me emotionally but having to study and grind daily was just outright difficult some days. I was told by more than one individual during medical school that I just didn’t have what it takes to be an orthopedic surgeon and that I should pick another specialty for my back up. When I look back on those conversation now, I realize that those individuals were trying to protect me but at that moment it made me so mad to think that they doubted me. So what did I do? Well I tell you what I didn’t do was apply to another specialty. Being an orthopedic surgeon was MY dream and no on was going to take that away. So I worked harder, smarter and found those mentors within my specialty to help me get to my dreams. And now when I reflect on my medical training journey, I look at those road blocks and I am glad that I never gave up and let other peoples’ opinion dictate my life. And you shouldn’t either. I digress a bit but the point of this post is to celebrate those mini hurdles or victories that you have along your medical training.

We are so used to grinding and keeping our head down that we need to take a moment to celebrate what we accomplished or we will burnout when we get into practice. For example, I recently just passed my oral boards which is a huge feat. This is the test that allows me to say that “I am a board certified orthopedic surgeon”. Wow! What an accomplishment. But what do I do? I keep grinding, never stopping, never actually looking at my certificate and realizing what I just accomplished. It took several individuals to help me open my eyes as to what this accomplishment really meant. And then I did stop! And I sat in my office and I cried tears of joy. What?? I don’t cry. I don’t show those kind of emotions. But I did and it felt good! So good to think that “I made it”. Whatever that “it” was, I don’t know. Staring at my ABOS certification, I reflected on my journey after all the anxiety after exams and interviews and the self-doubt that crept into my soul because I was listening to others. This was MY accomplishment, MY dream. And I took time to celebrate! And you should too!

Take time to celebrate matching into a residency or fellowship program, take time celebrating passing or acing your exams, STEP/COMLEX exams, MCAT; take time to celebrate finishing a rotation or a block in medical school; take time to celebrate being accepted into medical school. Why? Because you deserve it!

This medical journey is not easy. You will have ups and downs emotionally, mentally and physically. You may never think there is an end but I am here to tell you that there is and it is waiting for you. So as I always say – keep grinding, keep smiling, work hard but celebrate those moments.


Your Med Mentor

Prev post: Married/Dating A Doctor In TrainingNext post: Medical School Curriculum

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *