Is it ever enough? Is it ever over? When success is still not enough.
I smiled as I congratulated my friend for matching into her #1 program. Please see my previous article for some context on the match process. My friend explained the delayed disappointment at not being placed in a prestigious or academic program. So much had been accomplished and it still wasn’t enough to snuff out the effects of the comparison game.
So here I was looking at a medical doctor, a future board-certified medical doctor whose excitement and sense of accomplishment were dampened by the social belief that our peers’ success was better than hers just because of where they matched or what they matched. It was the prestige olympics.
Imagine finally getting to the finish line and still feeling inadequate.
When I fell ill and had to abstain from school and the match, I had failed to broaden or change my perspective. Now that I was removed from the “hamster wheel” of med school I had to heal properly: mind, body, and soul. I now had time to write, of which I hadn’t done since high school. I had joined a new online community and found out how to use Twitter for good, for education, and for entertainment. . My outlook on many things was allowed to change. I also whole-heartedly believe I’m a better person now. I now had time to change unhelpful thought patterns…unhelpful and nonconstructive patterns in general, honestly. I spoke with my grandmother (who I now contact better!) about how my mother redirected my sadness by reminding me going through residency, getting what I wanted when wanted may have not turned out so well. Residency is hard but one-handed? Yeah, no thanks. Knowing me I would have fought through it, but who’s to say I would have made it? Had everything gone my way, I would have had my stroke during my intern year of residency, the hardest…