What’s It For

Throughout medical school, we jump to “How’d I do?”

After all, feedback, grades, and evaluations are the engine of success for medical students. But, the answer to “How’d I do?” depends on another, more important question.

“What’s it for?”

When we skip that question, the one that defines the meaning and purpose of anything we do, we end up enrolling in a very specific rubric based on a set values that may or may not align with our own.

For students, every aspect of the curriculum comes with a finely tuned, bullet point list of precise objectives.

What if you’re not doing it for that?

What if you didn’t go to that patient’s room just to remove a few stitches, but also to give them an ear and a chance to feel valued and cared for? How do you define a job well done in that case? 

What if you aren’t in the radiology small group to answer every question right, but instead, are there to help your anxious friend build the confidence to read a chest x-ray in front of his peers.

It doesn’t matter if it’s not on the rubric. It can be on your rubric.

It can be a chance to bring more meaning, humanity, and personal touch to the lives of the patients and peers who share this path with us.

A chance to show up for someone, connect, and uphold the reasons we all come to medicine in the first place. To make a difference.

How’d you do?

I don’t know. That’s up to you now.

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