By: Nizza Ann Regalado
For many a student entering medical school, it quickly becomes apparent that this is an undertaking that would require you to invest more of yourself than you had ever invested in a single endeavor. We’ve all heard the horror stories – toxic competition, seemingly endless readings, and sleepless nights born of an attempt to keep up with the first two. Some of us may have witnessed the horror firsthand –zombie is a word my Mom would often use to describe me during the school year.
With these apocalyptic implications, one could even say that to enter medical school – to enter the field of medicine at all – is to enter into a crisis. In a way, one would be correct.
When faced with a crisis, the word emergency often comes to mind. While that thought isn’t entirely wrong, it isn’t entirely right, either. To reference our dear friend, Merriam-Webster:
: the turning point for better or worse in an acute disease or fever
: an emotionally significant event or radical change of status in a person’s life
When faced with a crisis, we often dwell on its likeness to an emergency – the tendency for the situation to evoke feelings of urgency, panic, and dread. In doing so, we fail to remember how they differ – while an emergency is simply an urgent need for assistance and relief lest we fall into a more dire situation, a crisis has the potential to turn us towards a better course and to change our lives for the better, if we just make the right choices.
When faced with a crisis, it is so easy to make the wrong choice. It is so easy to fall prey to the culture of toxic competition, seemingly endless readings, and sleepless nights that is all too prevalent in medical school. It is so easy to become the one-dimensional zombie our loved ones would describe us to be.
For a while, I did. For a while, I was.
Call it an adjustment period, but this student’s first few months of medical school felt like being in a constant state of emergency – once one complication was treated, another one would emerge. Moments to take a breath seemed few and far between, each breath more constricted than the preceding one.
I was investing so much of myself into medical school that – I realized – I was divesting myself of the things that may have gotten me there in the first place.
This is the Med Life Crisis.
Upon entering medical school, we are gifted and burdened with the call of the profession – to save lives. With such a noble call, it is no wonder that the little things would have to take a backseat – hobbies, interests, and even relationships. However, we forget that it is the entirety of who we are – and not just the part that can read books and take tests – that was called to this profession, and that includes the little things.
When we make the choice to be more than just one-dimensional zombies who study far too much and live far too little, we are turning towards a better course and changing our lives for the better.
For this medical student, the choice to turn back to writing was the first of many to turn the tides.
Hence, the blog Med Life Crisis was born – the brainchild of a medical student’s need to be more than that. In this blog, I write about medicine, the little things, and finding the balance in-between.
My name is Nizza Ann Regalado and I am a medical student. I am also a writer, a registered psychometrician, an events host, and an advocate. Sometimes, I am an athlete. Sometimes, I am a spoken word artist.
This is my balancing act.
Keep up with my balancing act by following me on WordPress (nizzaregalado.wordpress.com), Twitter (@nizzaregalado), and Instagram (@nizzaregalado).