For your captain obvious insight of the week, I present to you the following information: Medical school is hard.

I’m not saying that I’m surprised by this fact, but I do feel a bit as though someone turned my treadmill up to 11 while I was still in warm-up mode. Or perhaps I should go with the tried and true “drinking from a firehose” metaphor, which I have heard no fewer than five times this past week. (It has become no less accurate with repetition.)

I suppose the real shock to my system is the utter lack of “ramping up” that occurred before between casual-laid-back-if-you-feel-like-it orientation classes and let’s-cover-all-of-cell-biology-in-two-days-and-you-don’t-mind-if-we-slip-two-quizes-and-an-ethics-lecture-in-there-and-oh-by-the-way-here’s-histology. I spent Monday, Tuesday and half of Wednesday in a partial daze wondering if maybe a pass/fail system wasn’t quite fool-proof enough for me.

As I started to get my footing later in the week, though, I also realized that postbac started much the same way. Those first few days of chemistry, I struggled my way through laughably simple equations like a rusty gear struggling to turn. Sitting in a classroom having utterly no comprehension of what is being said with the sinking sensation that the person sitting next to me is hanging on every word is not as new of an experience as it felt. Sometimes the difference between comprehension and confusion is just a few hours sorting through powerpoint slides and online textbooks in the library.

It’s the first weekend of medical school and I’m still standing, albeit listing slightly. I spent six hours in the library on a Saturday and I have a sneaking suspicious I should have been there longer. I’ve got my game face on and I’m pretty sure this is exactly where I’m supposed to be right now.

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