Starting Med School has been the main theme of the past few weeks. So much preparation, moving to another town, clearing out notes from my previous degree, and dusting off my anatomy text books and old notes.
It has been the strangest experience, preparing for this new journey of starting med school.
As J.R.R Tolkien once said….
“Not all who wander are lost” .
So to bring everyone up to speed; I am 30 years old, moving from my home town Pretoria South Africa. Exactly 1458.95 km away to a new city, with new friends, new memories to be made and a new church community to join. In the same breathe I am moving away from the place I have once come to call home.
During the past 11 years in Pretoria, I have met some amazing people, especially those at Summit Rehabilitation – Muelmed. They have shaped my dreams and believed in me when no one else did.
I have become part of a church community at 3CI Church Pretoria, who have given me a family and a place to call home in the local church. I think those who have touched me and influenced me the most, are the numerous patients that I have treated. Each patient has taught me so much and has assisted me in being the person I am today.
Just this morning a patient who had suffered a right hemispheric stroke. He looked at me with his expressionless face (due to his stroke) asking me; “You have a lot of patience, hey??” My answer to this gentlemen, was what I usually answered to most:” I only have patience, because this job has taught me patience, I am not a patient person by nature. My friends and family can contest to this.
So today at the end of this chapter, and the beginning of a new one. I would like to thank each individual that has crossed my path in the last few years. I want to thank them for teaching me dear lessons in life. Some lessons have been pleasant, and others less pleasant. But nonetheless, I am grateful. So as the famous lyrics from the Verve go: ” Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony, this life”. I look with excitement on the new chapter in my life.
In the following 27 days I am packing up my life as “I know it”. This to start a new one in Cape Town. For 6 years I have been trying relentlessly to get into med school, with no avail. This year market a “change in season”, the start of a new chapter, a new dawn if I may.
On the 13 September 2016 I went for a Med-School entrance interview, which seemed to be one of the worst interview’s that I have attended in my life. I walked from that room thinking, I had said all the wrong things. The Friday morning of the 16 September 2016, just after writing the Wits Additional Placement test for the umpteenth time, I received a call from Stellenbosch University congratulating me and informing me that I have received a place in the MBChB Programme.
I wish I could capture that moment with all the emotion, all the feelings, and all the thoughts that circled my mind at that exact moment. I had come to proclaim this year, that 2016 would indeed be ” My Year!!” and so it did. And off course I accepted the offer…
I am excited to commence my journey of becoming a Doctor, including everything it entails. So let the long hours, the late nights, the relentless sitting and memorizing of facts, the listening to podcasts, the clinical rotations, the hours in the dissection hall, let it all come!! I am so ready, and have been ready for a long time!!
And when people tell me “But you will need to work in a Government hospital” I tell them “Great,I am looking forward to it!!”I have worked in the a government facility and I am not blind to the challenges and the odds. The relentless hours of helping people with a lack of resources, is not new to me. But my experience has helped me, to be ready now, more than I have ever been, to take this on!! I am up for the challenge!!
During the past six years I have come to learn off those not-so-rare individuals in the world, who have strived to get into Med School with no avail. Our situation in South Africa is not very different from those, living abroad. Starting Med School is a daunting tasks, and few even get a spot in this prestigious course.
The dire truth is that our Country is in desperate need of skilled, passionate and committed Doctors. The truth is that our Medical system is overloaded, there are way too many patients for the amount of Dr’s trained and graduated. Yet there exists the challenge that so many others have experienced,that individuals who want to pursue medicine due to passion for the profession, rarely get into Med School, or find it very difficult to get into Med School. The competition is tough, and the odds are highly stacked against those who want to pursue a career in Medicine.
Needless to say, I have been blessed to receive this opportunity, and I deem myself as “One of the lucky ones”.
So in the next 27 days I will be moving down to Cape Town to pursue my career as a Doctor. Having undergone undergrad training and qualified as an Occupational Therapist, I feel just as daunted by the beginning of the first semester of Med School, as would any other first year student. What to expect? What would the work load be like? How will the lectures be? Do I still know how to study? Can I even remember half of the anatomy that I have learnt?
So with boxes, packed, my stethoscope ready, my Netter Human Anatomy Atlas dusted off and my lab coat washed and ironed, I anxiously and in anticipation await the beginning of that which is to signify “My new life” ” My new chapter”.
I am excited for the new friends I will make while starting med school, the new knowledge I will acquire, and the new experiences I will have.
About two months ago I decided that I will start a blog, to document my med School Journey, after starting med school. I have since stumbled across some profound bloggers who have attempted to do the same. So it only seems fit to mention, thank you to Stethoscopes, Simplicity and Syrrah www.sssyrah.com for your inspiration, as well as Aspiring Doc Diaries; www.aspiringdocdiaries.org.
So I hope you will follow my journey. As I endeavor on the greatest, most exciting adventure I have been on, up to date, starting med school, Please look out for blog posts to follow on my first semester in med school (including a discussion on modules) etc. I will also be posting blog discussions on Neurology ( something I am very passionate about). I will start off with a blog discussion on the different functional areas of the brain, so please watch this space.
Till next time