Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On the Eve of the Match...

Tonight is a big night in the lives of my fellow fourth year medical students: the night before the infamous Match Day, the day when all senior medical students receive their single residency program acceptance. Match Day is very much like rushing a fraternity or sorority---you interview at lots of programs but you only get accepted to one of them--and like rushing, it can be a very stressful time for many people, especially if you are hoping to get into a particular location or program.

I am feeling fortunate that I am not going though the Match tomorrow. T still has another year of residency remaining, and so I am decelerating for a year so that we graduate next May together. But I still have butterflies in my stomach tonight, knowing that tomorrow I will find out with all my med school friends where they will be going to practice next year. Bittersweet in many ways, because tomorrow marks the beginning of the end of our time together in medical school.

Today, however, was the Gold Humanism Pre-Match Day Retreat (and even though I am not matching with my class, I was in charge of today's retreat!). The Retreat is a really special day, receiving generous funding from the Minnesota Medical Foundation, and is just another impressive testimony to how supportive the faculty and administration at my medical school are of compassionate patient care education. It serves as a day for the senior class to gather together and reconnect (we haven't all be together in over a year), reflect on our medical school experiences, and renew our commitment to a compassionate, altruistic, respectful, empathetic, self-sacrificial practice of medicine. The day involved speakers and small groups, skits and a band from our class, awards and a panel on how to succeed as residents.
This is a picture from the retreat, along with a portion of my opening address to my classmates. I had just finished admitting to them ways I have failed and fallen short in compassionate patient care during my clinical years, in order to emphasize that we all inevitably fail and fall short. But, what is really important is where we find the motivation to renew our commitment to these ideals in patient care:

"So where do you, where do I, find the motivation to renew our commitment to these values? What I know about myself is that the motivation to live up to these values is not within me alone. To regain it, I have had to plead in prayer to a God who is far more loving and more compassionate than I am able to be on my own. I have had to ask for help to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, and gentle. Especially around this time of the year, as Easter approaches, I am renewed by the thought that if there is a God who could die on a cross to pay the penalty for my failures, I can surely get up tomorrow and offer compassion to my patients. I hope today will be one of many days in your career when you take an opportunity to reflect on your care of patients, attributes like the ones above, and how you can do better. If you haven’t already, I hope you seek out your source of renewal so that, after days of falling short, we are able to get up, dust ourselves off, and start again."

To my dear friends who will be matching tomorrow, know that my heart is overflowing with excitement and love for you tonight--knowing personally so many of the labors you have gone through in the past 4 years. You are the focus of my prayers tonight, that God would give you a heart to trust that the outcome tomorrow is all part of His amazing plan for your life. Peace be with you.

Happily Ever,
Queen B

1 comment:

B-Mama said...

B, how awesome that you were able to share such a powerful message to your WHOLE class. What a blessing you are to them!! Awesome job and way to stand firm!