Re: School

Information might just go in one ear and out the other, but it leaves a track on the way through.

Study smart, not hard.

Anytime you see an acronym it means the person who discovered it thought it was too complicated and hard to remember, so don’t stress, and don’t bother memorizing it.

Some people are going to remember everything without ever studying. You are not one of those people – and that’s okay.

You don’t have to be in church, spending time with friends, volunteering, or leading worship to be doing God’s work – God is still present and working in seasons of hard work, studying, and homework.

Learn to trust your classmates now. They will be your future colleagues, your future patients’ specialists, and one day, your doctors.

Find a classmate who remembers the opposite kinds of information as you do – and spend the week before the exam talking through all the material, and teaching eachother. (Eg. If you are great at pathophysiology/logic, find a friend who is great at clinical decision making).

Be prepared for medical school to be both the best job and the hardest job at the same time.

Keep the perspective. Nobody knows Obama’s marks.

Be your own assessor in a pass/fail system. Passing the exam is sufficient – you don’t need to know every detail. Do you know the clinical approach? Do you know the clinical presentation? Do you know the basics of management? Can you describe the gist of the pathophysiology? Then as long as you’re passing, you’re good.

Re: Practice

You can’t walk around with textbooks stored in your brain, but you can walk around with textbooks stored on your phone.

Know your limit, practice within it.

Medicine breaks your life up into series of 2-5 year chunks. If you keep putting your life off until you reach the next chunk, you’ll retire never having started your life. You’re not waiting for life to begin, this is your life.

You will make a mistake and it will harm a patient. The only thing you can do is learn from it.

Get used to owning small mistakes. It makes it easier to own up to the big ones, and sets a tone for the rest of the team.


Re: Faith

God provides the things that he knows we need, but it might not always look the way we thought it would.

Rationalization (lying to ourselves about our shortcomings) in prayer comes from a fundamental disbelief in God’s grace for us.

Patience isn’t passive. (James 5)

Psalm 23: “He leads me beside still waters” – it’s not an image of the Lord leading you to a beautiful peaceful place. “Still waters” is translated from the original which more closely reads as “He leads my beside stagnant waters”. Stagnant water is disease-ridden and unsafe for drinking. God leads us beside the still waters. Following him keeps us away from actions that would be harmful. When we follow Him, we don’t drink from the stagnant water.

If we think we aren’t that hard to love, and we do things to try to earn love, we will never experience the fullness of God’s unconditional love – we will attribute it to our not being that bad.

Re:  Balance

What feels balanced for somebody else might feel unbalanced for you.

You can’t pour from an empty cup.

Balance doesn’t mean everything gets equal time during every season of life.

Find what makes you feel fulfilled, relaxed, and centered. Prioritize those things as highly as you prioritize school.

Exercise, spending time with friends, extra-curriculars, and all the other things we try to balance on top of work/school are long-term solutions: they might make us feel more stressed in the short term because they take up time we feel we don’t have, but in the long term the net result is that they lower our stress levels. Don’t sacrifice them!

Self-care is important because you are a person and you deserve to be cared for. Not everything has to be about better caring for your patients.

Re: Relationships

Intimacy in friendship is valuable and requires cultivating, just like intimacy in romantic relationships.

Spending time making music with people is what makes me feel truly connected.

Sometimes the best thing to do is to end a relationship (romantic or otherwise) and move forward. That doesn’t remove your responsibility to forgive and to ask for forgiveness.

Re: Life

Actions might speak louder than words, but words still speak loudly.

Mentorship is crucial, but doesn’t just fall into your lap – you have to make the effort to find good mentors to walk through life with you.

Adventure and the unknown are attractive, but community and good roots are essential.

Everything in life has a ‘honeymoon’ phase. Be aware that it will end.

Sometimes running away from your problems and starting over is okay. Just don’t rely on it – learn to cope.

“Saying yes to something means saying no to something else” isn’t always the best attitude – you don’t always miss out on things when you make commitments. Sometimes saying yes to something just means saying yes to something you’re excited about!

Exercise actually is medicine. Sports or fitness classes will clear your mind, and running/swimming is excellent time for thinking.

“Sometimes you reap what you sow. Sometimes, someone else comes along and reaps what you’ve sown. Try to keep planting good seeds anyway.” -Hank Green

You might need to experience overcomittment, backing out of things, and letting people down in order to learn the importance of setting boundaries and not overcomitting yourself in the first place. It is better to say no than it is to say yes and bail.