Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 1 of Medical School

How can I describe Welcome Week of medical school? Little/no sleep, little/no food, and packed, nonstop action. It's only the second day, and I'm already a mess. My pants are significantly looser, my body is on hyperactive-to-overcompensate-for-sleep-deprivation mode, and I've already come down with a nasty cough. But honestly, the fun makes it more than worth it.

Living in downtown Philadelphia is like nothing I have ever really experienced. Sure, I've visited downtown cities several times before, but I have never in my life been able to leave the front door of my home and walked right into a noisy intersection interlaced by cutthroat taxis and daredevil drivers (not to mention pedestrians who do not seem to understand the color red). It's actually quite exciting, but I can already see myself in a month or two yearning for the suburbs I have always known before. Well, it will take some getting used to.

One really, REALLY awesome advantage of going to JMC is the fact that you are literally 5 minutes away from a legitimate Chinatown with real, legitimate, down-and-dirty Cantonese food (Gordon always claims that anyone who wants to treat me on a date should just take me to a dirty food stand). I've been getting to know that area of the city pretty well...especially the restaurants. :)

Anyway, I've already visited a few other places near campus and met lots of people. One thing that's struck me is the endless amounts of free food they provide us. And I don't mean chips or cookies. I mean legitimate free food. In fact, we actually had a wine and cheese reception today that included decent wine, elegant appetizers, and an actual miniature orchestra. Now we know what that giant tuition of ours is funding. :P

One thing that really did touch me in one of the several long (and often boring) speeches we've had to sit through so far was a speech called Medicine: An Excuse From Living. It's about the fact that often, doctors are so caught up in the profession of medicine that they often forget their own personal lives - which actually comes back and bites the doctor's professional life in the butt. After all, how can a doctor going through divorce, troubled children, or family drama focus on giving his patient his utmost attention and care? People always focus on the plaques and medals on a doctor's office, or his title, but they never seem to care about his ability to juggle both his health, his relationships, and his job - which honestly is the most daunting and crucial feat of all. I hope that when I grow up I can reach such a balance in my life.

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