Many in this world are learning to live together. My medically-minded friends and I are living to learn together.
Not that we’ve anything against figuring out how to end wars between countries or siblings or political parties, but our future careers kinda depend on our brains. And our brains rely upon each others’ (see fortune above).
We wonderfully push and pull one another closer to understanding academic concepts. The life cycle of Ascaris lumbricoides becomes crystal clear within the context of Ray-Lily’s highlighters and erasers. I can grasp adverse transfusion reactions when summarized by Shasta (who doesn’t even write books or go to class!)
P might equal MD, but where would my medical knowledge be without dear friends?
Nerding out at the same library table serves as an accountability of sorts. When Jesus knit me in my mother’s uterus, he formed this embryoblast within a unicorn shaped trophoblast full of never-never land sparkles. And puppies. My brain is essentially fashioned to wander more than wonder.
Thankfully, my mind isn’t the only one! By God’s good grace, us friends have been made for each other, to help one another stay on the study tracks. When I get to typing more than usual or checking my WordPress reader, my friends have this sixth sense:
Peony: HD, what are you doing!?
Umm…(I show them a really cool picture of something medical found on one of my fav artsy blogs, Emorphs.)
Peony: Stop blogging!
Jaybird: HD’s writing another post!
Noooo, I’m not!! (Pouty face to friend that put me in timeout last Sunday.)
Shasta: She’s got five minutes.
Ray-Lily: HD, are you blog-tweeting?
(I sheepishly put phone aside.)
Ray-Lily: Chair. (Points me to her side of the room.) We talked about this. If you blog, you have to come study beside me.
Good friends, if you can keep them, will keep you from blogging your way out of medical school–also–from passing out. Sometimes we forget to eat, breathe, workout. For better or worse, I am really good at telling people to take a deep breath. My dear friend, Peony, bakes us some killer deserts of the educational variety (above). We rotate in and out of each others’ various zumba/bike/swim schedules.
Learning how to help future patients begins with keeping each other up and running! Example: post-yesterday’s-test, we made sure to visit a Taiwanese diner before grocery shopping, for organic yumminess, til closing time then playing dance central into the night. Everybody dougie.
But the best thing about living to learn together? Perspective. The vision which can’t be gained by delving into aqueous and vitreous humors. One afternoon while studying for a very important immunology quiz to take place the next day, my friend, Amaryllis, and I had this revelation–
Most days, a med school brain looks like this:
Emotions often trick us into focusing on this tiny part:
Then friends and faith help us see such:
Who knows how long we’ll be stuck in medical school? But as long as we survive, we’ve got to keep our wits about us. Tomorrow’s studies aren’t guaranteed to be more productive than yesterday’s. And along the way, friends can help friends stay sane and alive with and for each other–there’s too much micro, immuno, physio, uh-oh to memorize alone.
We will do well to work together as a team–and I’ll not be the first to jinx that fortune cookie.
Unrelated/related and interesting article about teams of physicians and pharmacists and social workers etc for whole patient healthcare: