My undergraduate background was very science heavy. All they ever talked about was how tough medical school is, how intense it is, and how everything is multiplied by 11. An analogy that was commonly used was that it’s like you’re drinking water from a fire hydrant and it’s gushing in your face.
That was something I had learned in high school and as an undergrad, and I think a lot of science programs try to teach that because of the expected difficulty of medical school. It was something I’d worked on coming to terms with before medical school.
As I’m starting to see, it’s true there’s a lot of information to take in during classes. But Stritch chooses their students well, which has made things less overwhelming. Everyone who is here and everyone who I’m working with is very well-suited to that kind of intensity, and we don’t spend as much time as you would think just studying. There is time to keep working on your hobbies or to find extracurriculars through the school.
I find this really helpful, because it allows me to develop a bit more of a personal life as opposed to just concentrating solely on the academic side. There’s a student group I’ve taken a liking to called Healing Notes. A bunch of my classmates and I get together every Thursday and we’ll go to the pediatric ward for an hour and play music and sing with the kids—it’s great.
I’ve found over my first year that it’s good to keep yourself grounded, especially when things get heavy in terms of the academics and the tests and all the stuff you’re trying to learn. It’s a good way to remind yourself of why you’re doing this in the long term. The faculty is also really good about making sure the students aren’t being overworked or overstressed. It’s good to know that while you are learning how to take care of others, the school is making sure that you’re also taking care of yourself.