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You Are Not Alone: An Aspiring Surgeon Overcomes Mountains

Amanda Kaine, MS writes the first of a series of articles for premedical and medical students, aiming to make them feel less alone and to share how important balance is.

May 6, 2024

(Stay tuned for a SoMeDocs Conversations episode on this article, with its author!)

Ever feel down, depressed, or life feels so heavy it hurts to breathe?

I have been there, I have seen the dark, and I have come to now be able to see the light. It takes time.

As a premedical student, and even as a medical student, you may feel compelled to push yourself to the limits, and never hit the brakes… I am here to tell you; it is okay to pause sometimes. I wish I didn’t rush it all, but we can only go forward in life.

 

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During college, I felt like I needed to be doing everything.

Every club, every volunteer opportunity, every class that seemed interesting, every studying session offered… it never ended.

This sometimes led me into a deep spiral of being overwhelmed,  one in which many don’t talk about.

I am writing this piece and now series, to provide my insight and share my story on how I battled test anxiety, and overcame hardships. I sometimes felt so alone through it all. I am here to tell you that if you’re reading this, you are not alone.

During this entire series, I project to share my story, share what I have learned, connect with physicians and share their journeys in medicine, and overall to inspire premedical students that it is okay to take your time and enjoy life, and still being successful.

So, here is my story..

 

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I graduated high school at 16.

I graduated college at 18.

I was the youngest in every class, and was deemed to be “a baby” throughout most of college, and many did not want to associate with me because of that.

I have now been in a few gap years since that time and will start medical school soon. It is scary to think that these “gap” years period could have been avoided, only if I slowed down. But, hey… I am graduating with master’s degrees, and I have really got to enjoy, and experience, all life has to offer.

 

I graduated high school at 16. I graduated college at 18. I was the youngest in every class, and was deemed to be “a baby” throughout most of college, and many did not want to associate with me because of that.

 

I worked for Emergency Medical Services for a short time, and I got to drive the ambulance, work 24-hour shifts, be someone’s first responder, and above all, be there for people in their scariest moments in life. Wow, what an incredible experience…

I have also worked for hospitals. I loved every moment of it.

I have shadowed so many hours, and found my love for the operating room, over and over again. I cannot wait to be a surgeon soon..

I have also volunteered for organizations I am so passion about and got to help out in hosting free clinics for those who are in need.

Something so imperative to emphasizing to me the importance of giving back to those who are in need. I will forever do this.

 

With all this to say, the journey has been so difficult.

I flunked the MCAT multiple times.

I had to pick myself up over and over again.

I got many medical school rejections.

I have lost friends, and missed out on a lot- as this journey in medicine requires sacrifices.

I never had a high school prom, or graduation, or even got to go to any dances.

I feel like I missed out on life and did not grow up like most of the the young adults around me…

 

The journey has been so difficult. I flunked the MCAT multiple times. I had to pick myself up over and over again. I got many medical school rejections. I have lost friends, and missed out on a lot- as this journey in medicine requires… Click To Tweet

 

And now, I am making up that time.

I am an adult who is fully living life to the greatest potential, while academically thriving.

I have started a Writing for Healthcare program at Harvard Medical School, doing amazing research (on burns, and I am so passionate about it), did extremely well my last semester of my Masters, and will soon begin my next adventure at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York.

All of this is happening because I now have BALANCE! I am also taking my time now…

 

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So, my reminder to you… take your time!

You get college once, don’t rush to the finish line.

You have one life.

Time matters, but so does the experience!

Enjoy the journey.

Do well in your courses.

Do well on the MCAT, so you don’t have to take it multiple times.. study hard.

Spend time with those you love… And thrive!!

More to come…

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

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