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Looking Back: Tehmina Ahmad, Medicine Class of 2017



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Second year medicine; the last year of true didactic learning. This year has felt like you are training for a marathon but are not yet able to appreciate, acknowledge or recognize any of the gains - simply because you haven’t run the Clerkship race yet.

In fact, with the second-year students being in charge of all of the interest groups and heading extracurricular activities – while simultaneously balancing out research and the daunting CaRMS resume building feats – it feels kind of like you are running as fast as you possibly can, just to stay in the exact same place. But the moment take a break, you are a mile behind.

Academically speaking, during these past two years we’ve trained our minds to become sponges that absorb every little piece of information possible. Yet as quickly as the information comes in, it feels like it is already on its way out. At least it may feel that way in the moment. But if it weren’t for all of the knowledge you built in first year – or the last 17 years for that matter – you’d be lost walking into second year.

And there is a silver lining. As you navigate through medical life itself, you really learn to test your own limitations. Throughout this year, I have found continuous inspiration from the perseverance, passion and drive of my colleagues. Even when you feel absolutely defeated and the burnout begins to set in, you take a step back and realize, “we’re all in this together”.

There is a lot of care and comfort from your classmates to keep you afloat. It’s a pretty incredible feeling. Whether it’s a coffee date, a movie night or practicing yoga, take time for yourself. And if you feel like you have no time at all, look around you at this amazing opportunity that no one outside of medicine is experiencing. You are surrounded by some of the most incredible people. Take a second and just take that in.

Overall, I feel as though second year tests your resilience for medicine. And if I have any advice to give, it’s to take onus for your education. It’s so easy to forget the hard work, people and experiences that have shaped you to be here. But moreover, take a minute to cherish and reflect on the relationships that you’ve made. And in those moments where you begin to question if you’re cut out for this career, realize that it’s those moments that make you human.

You aren’t going through this alone and now you have 170 colleagues standing behind you. Keep on keeping on. The best is yet to come.

-Tehmina Ahmad, Medicine Class of 2017

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