Thanks for the reminder

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget what I’m doing here. Four hours of class. Another 3-6 hours going over those lectures, mandatory clinical sessions, hospital visits, and sometimes managing to cook a meal, there’s not much time in the day for reflection.

So it’s really great to have an amazing significant other (SO) to help remind me why I came to medical school in the first place.  SO is a bit younger than I, and thus a little less jaded, although still plenty angry at the state of affairs in the world. My anger at such things has faded into, “well that’s just how it is.”  I still get angry when people are shocked when they hear about homeless kids or drug addicts who are the victims of domestic violence, or a college graduate becoming homeless.  My reaction is, “really? You’re shocked and appalled? Where have you been? These things happen on your doorstep, in your city, on your block, everyday!”  But that anger has faded, and the momentum to do something about these things has slowed. 

Hello? SR? This is why you came to medical school! Social justice! You’re a science nerd who loves the world a little too much, did you forget? Everyone deserves healthcare, because without health, one can’t pursue the life of one’s choosing, and everyone deserves those choices. That’s what I believe, that’s what I want to help provide and fight for in my career.

Thank you, SO, for waking me up.  The boards are looming, scheduling third year, and the prospect of life after med school seems feasible and scary now. Thank you for pulling me back down and reminding me why I came here in the first place. I know you didn’t even mean to. You were simply venting your frustrations about your own efforts to make social change. But I saw myself in your words. I don’t know what the answers are or how we can make meaningful change, but I have to believe our efforts will help someone.  I don’t know how to fix all the systematic problems that lead to poverty, lack of healthcare, discrimination and all the unfair things in life. All we can do is try. I’m so happy you’re someone who tries. Thank you for reminding me that I am too. 

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