You will do really dumb things though, for example, a wet prep is called a WET prep for a reason…you need to put a few drops of water on it. It might be a change from being a protected doe-eyed medical student to be paged by an older resident or attending to ask you to explain why you did such a thing. Just say, I’m sorry, cry in the corner for one second and get over it. You are not a bad person or incompetent because you made a mistake. This cannot be turned off and have the potential to bring bad news at any time. I’ve done enough deliveries now that I have fun with them. Step back and realize how totally amazing your job is.However, I must add that having a pager is also something that becomes normal very quickly and grows more annoying than scary as time goes on. I was so nervous when I did my first speculum exam as a resident that it took me five minutes to realize that the speculum was actually broken and that I wasn’t just a complete idiot that didn’t know how to use it. You will develop your own style and you will learn. Something that helped me get through all the nerves is reminding myself that almost everybody that graduates from medical school survives residency and graduates to be a competent physician. You get to help people at their most vulnerable moments.As intern year winds down and all of the giddy 4th year medical students are shelling out 200 dollars to rent that a robe for one day of pomp and circumstance, all of us interns are impatiently waiting for the fresh meat to arrive.Having just experienced every single emotion under the psychological rainbow this year, I am going to give a few pointers (or not really pointers but just some anecdotal evidence that it’s ok to feel the way you’re feeling).You might start to feel naked without the two pounds of buzzing plastic with two lines missing from the screen. Being nervous reminds us that we are taking care of people who are sick and we shouldn’t be nonchalant about it. If you are completely over your head, ask for help. The most awesome thing about being an intern is that while I almost vomited during my first delivery, I now am comfortable in the delivery room and can handle many different situations. I get to use needles and knives, scissors and suture as everyday tools. Wade through all of the crap, the hurt feelings, and just appreciate how great it is to be a physician.
Being a medical student will involve working harder than you’ve ever worked in your life – but chances are, it’ll also involve having more fun than you’ve ever had before.
There are plenty of off-putting myths about being a medical student, but in reality it’s enjoyable, interesting and highly rewarding, especially in light of what you’re working towards.