Make the money, don’t let the money make you

I am frustrated at finding the balance between community advocacy and medical school academics. I know that this medical knowledge will not only one day help individual patients, but will give me the tools to understand the epidemiology, the biological basis of any disease.

As a medical student I found it maddening to slog through lectures and sit around making PowerPoint review slides about different kinds of endometrial carcinoma when I saw a direct need for education, for services, for grants and awards to implement programs that will help people in need. Am I supposed to ignore all of that and bury myself in my books? I am having trouble convincing myself that if I study hard now, I can do so much more in the future, as opposed to getting involved NOW and doing things NOW, even if it comes at the expense of my test scores.

I was talking to MB about how I have to go through this medical training right now in order to accomplish the things I want to accomplish. He said, “But in the process of your training will you be able to remain the person you are right now, will you still want to make the changes you want to make right now?”

That made me take pause. How much will my schooling change me? How much will my interests narrow in order to get ahead in training? Will I become that resident, that attending, who ignores opportunities for charity care and sees patients as learning opportunities because of their biochemical pathology instead of their social pathology?

Title credit: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis 

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About the friendly intern

Ask a question: The Friendly Intern My personal blog: Pathos and Pathology
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