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Over the Past Few Weeks, I Have Spent A

Over the Past Few Weeks, I Have Spent A

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Published by a4agarwal

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Published by: a4agarwal on Sep 16, 2008
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01/18/2010

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Over the past few weeks, I have spent a good deal of time analyzing exactly why Iam nervous to enter medical school. In doing so, I revisited two poignant points in mylife where I felt a similar blind apprehension. The first, I was in eight grade and wasgoing down to Costa Rica with a summer program for three weeks to study tropical botany. It would mark the first time I would be truly out of contact from my family for an extended period of time. The trip marked a true coming of age for me—as I waslearning about different tree types, I also gained a more intimate understanding of myself.For the first time, I felt my passions lead my questions, felt a confidence and calmnesswith my gained independence and felt a deep responsibility to my classmates and myself as we hiked through the jungle and faced numerous challenges together. Two years later,I faced a whole new set of challenges as I began running cross-country for my highschool. I started running because I was bad at it. I wanted to push myself physically in away I never had and, in the process, learned about both my physical limitations and mydeterminations. I also learned the value of a team—a group that provides motivation,honest feedback and constant support. More than anything, cross-country taught me howto push myself past my comfort zone in order to reach my goals.These rites of passage have taught me so much about myself—be it about my passions, my fears, my limitations and my potential. I take these small lessons fromevery step of my life and look to these experiences to give me strength as I enter the nextfour years. I now know that I am driven by passion, that I can be pushed past my comfort point, that I feel a great deal of personal responsibility and that I care deeply aboutworking with other people to reach our common goals. Undoubtedly medical school willchallenge me in ways I have never experienced but I hope these lessons will provide mewith the strength and confidence to move on.As I start my next four years, I often reflect on my initial motives for applying toPLME. I was originally inspired to pursue medicine from reading Dr. Sacks’ booksgrowing up. I loved the mystery of medicine as I viewed each case as a veritable ‘Whodunnit?’ of the body. I remember even then being acutely aware that, on the one hand, Iwanted to diagnose bizarre, highly complex neurological disorders and on the other, Iwanted to work closely with patients to help them to improve their lives—in my mind,medicine has always existed as a humanitarian/scientist duality. Ever since then, I havenever seen myself pursuing anything else.Even after my first few days in medical school, I can tell the journey will not beeasy. I have already begun to realize my new strengths and weaknesses in this new field.For instance, I can already see that, in class, one of my strengths as a learner is mytendency to synthesize as I learn. This means I take notes, ask questions and truly try tomaster a concept as it is being presented. Unfortunately, this tendency does have somedrawbacks. I tend to fall behind when taking notes, missing important information as Ifocus on the previous concept.Overall, I know that I am embarking on a long journey, but it is one that I am trulylooking forward to. I find medical school exciting because I know that I am finally pursuing a field that I have wanted for so long. The years of anticipation are finallycoming to fruition and for me, there is nothing more exciting. My greatest fear inentering medical school is failing—just as pursuing your dream is invigorating, thethought of failure is devastating. That being said, I know I will face setbacks and I

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