Dear SOTGC community,
Sometimes, we come to a point in our lives where the next step, the task ahead, the upcoming challenge, can be quite intimidating, daunting, and even downright scary. It’s sometimes these exact points in life, however, that inspire us to step outside our comfort zone, allowing us to accomplish things we never thought were possible! In other words, sometimes exploring the uncharted can lead us to a place where all the magic happens!
I spent the past month fulfilling my rural rotation in surgery as a member of the general surgery team at a small community hospital. Words cannot describe how truly amazing this experience was for me! In all honesty, at first, the entire experience seemed quite daunting and intimidating. As someone who had little exposure to surgery and the operating room up to that point, and having heard that a rural surgery experience would involve being very hands-on and involved, I was slightly nervous to embark on this next phase of my training. Nevertheless, I was also excited to see what the experience had in store for me.
From my very first day, I knew that I was in for a thought-provoking and insightful experience … an experience that, in retrospect, allowed me to not only develop a true appreciation for the complexity and beauty of human anatomy through the practice of surgery, but also allowed me the opportunity to partake in a working environment that truly exemplified a team approach and patient-centered care.
My experience was indeed very “hands on” from the get-go, but in the very best way possible. I was at the forefront of patient care, and I had the opportunity to reason through symptoms, signs, investigations, and diagnoses independently. I found myself reconnecting with that yearning to piece things together that had drawn me to medicine in the first place. I left the hospital every day feeling fulfilled, knowing that the work I was doing had meaning and was making a difference. I was part of a team that knew each other well, supported each other, and worked together towards serving their community to the best of their ability … a truly beautiful aspect of practicing medicine in a small community.
Walking away from this experience, I feel truly grateful for having partaken in it. It has definitely been a highlight of my medical school education and has reaffirmed in me much of what I love about medicine.
This experience has reminded me that sometimes the things in life that scare us the most end up being the experiences that also allow us to grow the most ….
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” What a beautiful notion.
If this post resonated with you, allow it to serve as a reminder to never feel afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone, exploring the unchartered, and stepping out to where all the magic happens! Encourage your friends and peers to do the same!!