“Aren’t You Burned Out Yet?”

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After leaving clinic on Friday, I went to Baylor Med’s interview day to talk to prospective students about life as an MS3 and give them a tour of the Texas Medical Center. During the afternoon, an applicant asked me how I still had the energy to be so enthusiastic about medical school and come back to Baylor Med after a busy clinic. In her words – “aren’t you burned out yet?”

My emphatic response followed without hesitation – “no way!” I’ve written about this several times through the months, but the further I get into medical school, the more appreciative I am for this opportunity to help people in a way that very few can.

When I think about it, I’ve lost touch with a lot of my classmates and friends outside of med school. Fortunately, this void has been quickly filled by anticipation for the patient encounters I’ll have on the wards. What new conditions will I see? What life stories will these people share with me? How can I become a better student-doctor today? Learn a new fact. Nail that diagnosis. Be a better teammate. All things considered, the day-to-day responsibilities can burn people out, but it’s all about finding what inspires you, being grateful for having a medical school spot when countless others could not, and framing your day in the context of your future career.

I’m now sitting on my bed reading over the surgery section of Boards & Wards for my shelf exam in three weeks. I feel utterly unprepared. I know this is going to be a long week. Yet there’s that part of me that knows by tomorrow afternoon when I’m in clinic with the wonderful residents and my amazing teammates, I’ll forget about all these pressures (for better or worse) and make more precious connections with my patients. 🙂

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