Friday, 14 July 2017

How I feel about finishing medical school and becoming a doctor

I graduate in 3 days' time. THREE DAYS.

In 3 days I will become Dr Hannah, after 5 years of hard work, tears, happiness and elation. I can honestly say that I have loved medical school, especially the last 3 years. I have loved living in Liverpool, meeting some incredible people, learning so much content that I sometimes wonder how it fits in my brain, and being privileged to be able to help patients whilst on placement.

The best part of medical school has definitely been our clinical placements, as I much prefer learning on the job than sitting in lectures all day. I have especially enjoyed General Practice, psychiatry, palliative care and A&E, and have met some inspiring and fascinating people during these placements, both patients and medical staff.

I also feel like I have learnt a lot about myself over the past 5 years, and I genuinely believe that studying medicine has helped me overcome my depression. It has given me a focus, a passion, and also showed me how strong and resilient I can be during tough moments. The joy of finding a career that I feel like I was made to do is indescribable. As soon as I decided I wanted to be a doctor 6 years ago, everything just seemed to click into place, and I knew that it was the right career path for me.

As well as the cliche of being able to help people, I am also able to learn something new every day through medicine. I get to meet new people all the time, I never know what the next day will hold, and I have learnt how just listening to someone can make all the difference in the world. I am now the master of small talk, as well as knowing when to pause and just let someone speak - and I've learnt all this at medical school.

I will miss the security of medical school and knowing that I probably wasn't responsible if something went wrong. I will miss having days off and long holidays. I will miss some of the people that will be moving away, and the structure of being in education.

However I am really excited about being a doctor. I'm excited about being responsible for patients and being able to make some decisions about their care. I'm looking forward to having a little more freedom than medical school. And I'm not going to lie, I'm looking forward to earning some money! I now feel ready to move on and start the next chapter of my life.

On the other hand I'm also quite scared about what being a doctor will mean. I am equally scared about the responsibility and what will happen if something goes wrong. I'm scared about being able to manage the long hours and whether I'll have time to see my family and friends. I'm also hoping that the pressure will be good for me, rather than make my mental health suffer again.

I think being a doctor is going to bring lots of good days, as well as some bad days. I'm hoping that the good days will be really rewarding and will remind me of why I chose medicine in the first place. I'm hoping that I will thrive and be the best doctor that I can be. I'm looking forward to finding out, and to see what the next chapter brings!

Hannah x

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