Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 524: Humble before the human body

My dad loves to tell me to be humble in my pursuit of medicine. More often than not, I tend to say "okay" half-heartedly and move on with my life. However, my dad's words never rang more true than this past Saturday.

Saturday was my Stanford School of Medicine mentorship lunch. The gist of the get-together was to get a better idea of the program and to meet our med student mentors. The whole experience was refreshing on a number of levels. I was amazed to discover how normal and, dare I say, cool these med students were. They were all incredibly diverse and interesting and sociable. My mentor and I are going to get along fine. I don't foresee us becoming best friends or even genuine friends for that matter, but I do think he's got a lot to impart.

The coolest, most wicked thing about Saturday (and my mentor) was when he took me (and a few others) to the Gross Anatomy lab. The whole experience was surreal and amazing and I am now dubbing it surrealazing. As he was unzipping the bag to his cadaver, I wasn't sure what to expect. I tried to pray as fast as I could to the universe and to this woman for giving her body up to science. I was just trying to be thankful and humble and understanding and open and a whole lot of emotions I couldn't even acknowledge, much less name.

The body, all in all, looked a lot like meat. As flippant as that sounds, it's honestly the best description I have. The body didn't even look like anything I recognized. And that helped me view it more scientifically. I saw nerves and lungs and a heart, oh my! It was just sincerely surrealazing.

The whole experience invigorated me towards the application process. Having completed around 13 secondaries (I've actually lost count and am guessing it's around thirteen), I am feeling a little done. Flip me over. I'm sick of selling myself in a new and original way to each school. I can recycle a little but not enough that I don't put actual effort into each one. Meeting the med students and seeing the cadavers and just being on the School of Medicine campus really showed me that this is what I want. It's nice to know that my passion for this isn't going to die down any time soon and it's not something I did because I could.

I really, really want this.