We had a first year student leave school this week. Nobody knew about it until some of the small groups had to be rearranged, which is one of the saddest things I think I’ve ever heard – especially since many of us knew this person and liked her. She’s just gone.
I joke about the stress level of med school on this blog, but I’m in two minds about it – on one hand, it’s doable. I may write about how hard med school is, but I have time to write this entry, watch some tv, and talk to Boyfriend for an hour every night. I’ll be honest – med school mostly cuts into whatever activities are deemed least useful at any given moment (mostly laundry and cleaning my room). But on the other hand – med school just piles on the work, every single day – no break from the action, no way to catch up past the weekend.
For example – because the anatomy test was yesterday, most of the class skipped the morning histology lecture. The morning was valuable study time, so we all felt like we could podcast the lecture later. But after the anatomy test, it was definitely time to celebrate – which led to a lot of people missing the next morning’s 8am histology lecture. So now you have two intense histology lectures to catch up on, and then a whole new anatomy lecture about a totally different region of the body, and you can’t even start studying until after anatomy lab finishes at 5pm. And god help you if you took on one of the many extracurricular groups that meets on Tuesday nights. And yet, all you did was take a morning to study for an afternoon test, and an evening to celebrate. It sounds so reasonable.
I love med school, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else – but the material never stops coming, and the idea that I’m only ever one bad week away from being irreversibly behind and drowning in the material… that’s scary. The student who left may not have left for that reason – but whatever it was, she sure as hell didn’t spend 4 years of her life trying to make it to the point where she got into Metropolis Med only to leave. None of us did.