CPM Winter 2020 - 13

daup h i n c m s .o rg



early two years ago, I was at the lowest point in my
journey to medical school. I had applied to and been
rejected from nearly two dozen medical schools. I had
been dreaming of being a physician since childhood,
and now I felt like the type of cautionary tale that they tell
pre-med students beginning their undergraduate studies - that
inevitably most of us will not "make it." Despite the good GPA
and MCAT score, research, and community service, I found
myself suddenly with no hope of entering medical school that
summer. While I had pretended to be calm and told anyone
who asked that the decision could go either way, I had been
quietly, desperately hoping for an acceptance, as everyone does.
Now, totally shell-shocked, I had to continue on business as
usual at my job as a pediatric medical scribe at a moderate-sized
group practice.

I had the good fortune of working consistently with the same
physician, which is fairly uncommon for scribes. I had told a few
people at the office in what probably did not pass as a nonchalant
way that I had not gotten into medical school and, that I did
not know what I was doing next year, but I was "figuring it out"
and had some "irons in the fire," among other lies I had told
myself. While I did eventually figure it out, go back to graduate
school part-time, shadow more physicians, and be admitted to
Penn State College of Medicine, it was during the few months
after that rejection that I was really grateful to be working with
an incredible mentor. The pediatrician for whom I scribed was
never anything less than encouraging. While I am sure that he
gave me words of literal encouragement, I do not remember
those, but I do remember that he continued to show me parts
of the exam, offer clinical pearls, allow me to sit in on grand
rounds, and help me develop my clinical reasoning. Even as a
scribe with only an undergraduate education, I was always made
to feel like an intellectual equal. Despite being disappointed
and not having a clear path into medical school, I had a strong
mentor who every day reminded me of why I wanted to go into
medicine. At our lowest points, people at all levels of medical
education need mentorship not only for the practical aspects
of learning, but also to remind us of our passion for medicine
and scholarship.
Now, in the midst of my first year of medical school, there
have undoubtedly been some low points, and not every instructor
or other faculty member is someone I will find inspiration in.
However, it is those mentors who are eager to share the practice
of medicine and to foster curiosity in the next generation of
clinicians and researchers that help me remain motivated and
continue to shape the type of physician that I want to be. Not
every physician mentor has to be a beacon of positivity at all
times, but it pays to keep in mind that one interaction can keep
a student going or add to the long list of reasons why maybe
medicine was a mistake. My advice to all physicians is to give
an opportunity to someone junior to you whenever you can,
because they may appreciate it more than you know.


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CPM Winter 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CPM Winter 2020

CPM Winter 2020 - 1
CPM Winter 2020 - 2
CPM Winter 2020 - 3
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