Meredith Grey once said, “They make it hard on purpose… there are lives in our hands. There comes a moment when it’s more than just a game, & you either take that step forward or turn around & walk away. I could quit but here’s the thing, I love the playing field.”
Now I’m probably one of the very few people who has never seen an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, but I do like some of their quotes. This quote speaks to the difficult journey that is medicine.
Medicine is notoriously known to be hard, whether you are embarking on the path to becoming a physician, or you already are one. It is a career of life long studying, fatigue & sacrificing yet in any given year there are hundreds of thousands of applicants. Now, I know on several instances I have complained about how hard it is to get into medical school. The perfect applicant has to maintain a high grade point average, volunteer, shadow, build relationships for future letters of recommendations, research, take the big bad MCAT exam & after all that compete with hundreds of thousands of applicants. It’s enough to make your head spin. Especially if statistically you do not measure up to the perfect applicant.
I am not the perfect applicant & I have not been for a very long time. Life made sure of that. Since my detour, I was the person who complained about how hard it is to get into medical school & how unfair it was that one mistake could hold you back from your dream career. Now, sitting here writing, I’m happy to tell you that my viewpoint has changed. Reading that quote has really put everything in perspective for me. Becoming a physician should be hard because you’re standing on the precipice of life & death with someone else’s goals, dreams, failures in your hands. That someone who has entrusted you with their most prized possession – their life, every – single – day. On that scale – one mistake is one too many.
I agree, we are expected to be perfect, we are only human & it is extremely difficult to be perfect. It is easy to get discouraged, or to shy away from an opportunity because you’re afraid of failure. All that being said, I would not have it any other way. Physicians are entrusted with many lives & we all need to earn that honor. Once that honor has been earned, we serve to maintain it to the best of our abilities. Being premed is hard; it is hard to make sure that the right people go into the field. Now, I don’t know about you, but I do know that I am the right person for the job & I will work as hard as I can till I can utter that oath & after I do, I’ll work even harder to make sure I’m worthy of the title.
You’ll never hear me complaining again.