May 29, 2008


The whole reason why I took my USMLE early was to go on a family vacation. My brother graduated from college and he was moving to Boston to pursue a Ph.D in Aeronautical Engineering (so in some ways, it was a "last chance" at a family trip before he got even farther away from Hawaii.) His girlfriend's family organized most of it and we spent the majority of our time at a few national parks: the Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon/Lake Powell and Bryce Canyon. There were a lot of breathtaking vistas, splendid hiking trails, interesting wildlife and great family-family bonding moments.

Now that I've settled in back at home in Hawaii and I still have another month before school starts up again, I find myself almost at a loss for what to do next.

Perhaps I'm not quite capturing the feeling exactly, as there's a lot of things that I want to do. I want to go SCUBA diving, take guitar lessons, learn how to read facial expressions and tell stories, do some ballroom/salsa/tango/swing dancing, relax at the beach, bike, hike and play frisbee more.

Why do I feel aimless?
Why have I spent my third day back in Hawaii sitting around at home watching TV?
Where has my motivation gone?

My list of things to do is a list that I wrote as a "distractor" from med school and if I can be perfectly honest... a lot of it I felt would help me branch out from medicine and ground me better. I might even meet someone nice. I'd like to have an activity partner to call me up and inspire me to go out and do something on a nice and bright shiny day like today.

However, it wasn't until I did some catch-up blog reading and came across R.W.'s note on Cognitive errors in medicine that I realized -- it's hopeless for me.

There's no escaping my enthusiasm for learning about medicine. More than my list of desired hobbies, I found myself getting truly passionate again about academic medicine. It was as if I were denying a part of myself by saying "nope! no medicine for a month, you've had enough of that already" and now that it's back, I feel joy again.

Sure, I'd still like to SCUBA and strum and sing and samba.
I'll also read and blog and celebrate my learning even if my classmates catch me and call me out on it -- "You're on break! get a life!"... this is my life folks!

I feel validated. I feel passionate. I feel... relieved. I hope I can continue feeling this way for the rest of my life.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you feel that way about medicine. I think it's really important to feel that passionate about things that you spend so much time on. But, I do hope that you get to have some fun also (SCUBA would be awesome, and you get to go to Lana's wedding soon!)