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ACP Medical Student Story Slam
View the following extraordinary stories of resilience from some of our ACP medical student members.
Step 1 Failure
I was devastated. My entire world collapsed around me at that moment. There’s no way this could be real. There’s no way I could fail Step 1. My heart pounded and my mind raced, yet all I could do was sit and stare in disbelief. One point. I was just one point away. But how?
Asking the Right Questions
As a student hoping to go into IM, I wanted to share this story about one of the first patients I connected with during my IM clerkship. It's also a tale about some of the self-doubts I've experienced and continue to struggle to overcome.
Mental Health Matters
I consider myself to be a very career-oriented person; as such, I had a very clear path for my career in my mind. This plan altered drastically about 2 years ago when my father was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer. During this time, my family and I struggled significantly, both emotionally and financially. This added a tremendous amount of stress to what is already a stressful career path, so much so that I often became overwhelmed with sadness.
Treating a Patient Who Endorses Hate Speech Directly Against You
During my 6-week psychiatry rotation at VA hospital's PTSD clinic, I opened the door to my next patient with a mix of great discomfort and slight curiosity. My patient—a 70-year-old Caucasian man and Vietnam vet coming in for PTSD follow-up—was wearing a shirt that read, “I'm the infidel that Allah warned you about.” As a brown, bearded man and proud Muslim, I felt as if I were the target of the very patient whose concerns I was trying to address.
Healing Yourself by Practicing Medicine
During the clinical part of my medical school education, I spent several days working as an assistant in hospitals located in a multiethnic environment in the Balkans. Numerous war-like civil conflicts were reflected in the constant tension and dangerous situations. Those specific situations resulted in increased stress and fear during work in the hospitals. However, an immeasurable love for medicine and treating patients strengthened doctors to overcome their fears and be as optimistic as their colleagues in peaceful parts of that region.
Not Being Able to Get Out of Bed in the Morning
This story is about a challenge I overcome every single time I try to get out of bed on a Sunday morning. Sunday mornings for me are the most difficult to get out of bed and start the day because of the large study workload that I have as an M1. I often feel discouraged, sluggish, and unable to get started with my day because of the amount of work that I need to get done. However, every Sunday morning, I reflect on my childhood and the incredible people in my life who made it possible for me to pursue my dreams of becoming a physician.
We Can’t Always Be 100% Students
When I was 19 years old and a premed student at the University of California, Irvine, I became a mother to a daughter born prematurely at 28 weeks. She stayed in the NICU for 3 months with remaining health complications afterward. With this, several obstacles presented themselves in my preparations to attend medical school. More than one program advisor recommended that a different field might have been more realistic for me.