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Apr 26, 2013
@ 7:30 am
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Anon Question: Being ‘Good Enough’ for Medicine

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Hi Anon!

The answer is complex. 

To me, you can never give enough or be good enough for medicine. It wants all of you. There is a strong “Keeping Up with the Jones’” attitude that pervades many medical attitudes and minds. You can let that drive you crazy or find a way to be okay with that. It is unfortunately ‘normal’ that people doubt themselves or find themselves in endless competition with their peers. A little healthy competition is fine, but it shouldn’t drive anyone crazy. So I have a different way of thinking about it: 

I have learned to see medicine as not a symbol of perfected self, but as a calling. You don’t asked to be called. Something happened to you that made you susceptible to hearing it. It’s better than comparing yourself to some idol or vision of perfection in a white coat that you will never, ever be. A calling is for people who have a story to tell, a mission in life. And I think that’s something we should all have.

When you think of medicine as a calling, all you can do is give it your best shot. Sometimes you screw up and you want to stop. Some days you win life’s jackpot and nothing brings you down. Some days you are brought to your knees, humbled by what you have seen or experienced. Some days you fall to the ground and you feel like you can’t get up. 

I’m not good enough for a lot of things; I don’t know if I’m good enough for medicine. In that way, I can’t answer your question and I apologize for that.

But what I do know? Everything that has happened to me has led me to medicine. It gives meaning to my experiences and ignites my passion. It gives me the tools to help those who need help. If I can take away a little pain and replace it with something better? I’m enough for myself and maybe enough for medicine. 

My answer is way off the beaten path, I know. Thank you for your question!

md-a

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