26 January 2012

Getting to know you

Our school offers an optional program for first-year students where we are divided into small groups and assigned a doctor in the community. We sit in a circle and confidentially discuss our feelings, our deeply personal stories, and our conflicting emotions about how we have had to change ourselves to accommodate medical school. Many tears have already been shed, and it's only been the first session.

The people in my circle are classmates that I encounter every day, but who I never really got to know until now. I already feel more of a sense of community. All it took was a patch of floor, some conversation, and some tissues.

I'm surprised by how much is stressing, gnawing at, and tormenting our class just below the surface. Med school seems to have whittled away some of our resiliency and ability to deal with stresses. I can better understand why mental health issues are so pervasive among physicians, and I suspect that in some of us, the bottled-up inward tension will occasionally erupt.

I'm glad to to have found blogging as an outlet. It helps me take a step back. It lets me make sense of what I am doing and why I am here. And I do appreciate how readers like you let me share it with you.