This coming week I'll be taking my last formal exam at National (hopefully). The next two trimesters consist solely of clinic. It's another milestone -- they come quicker the closer one gets to graduation. I have mixed feelings about it. It's the end of an era. On the one hand, a few of my larger life goals have never seemed closer. This is an opportune moment to envelope myself in the task of creating the person and physician I want to be. It's always an exciting prospect - to feel as though NOW is the time to fully invest in those internal and external goals.
Flashback to the early days
But something is holding me back. Somehow this doesn't feel like I think it should. It's tinted with with a touch of sadness. I've formed many connections and friendships with the people I've met here. They have been my teachers as much as any professor. From the people I've called my friends, I have learned some of the most important lessons. Lessons that are hard to teach and even harder to learn. In a way, they taught me to be stronger, to be discerning, and in a way -- autonomous. I learned the crucial role trust plays in interpersonal relationships, not just cerebrally, but experientially. It's an important understanding to apply to any form of clinical practice.
The conclusion of this trimester marks the end of my days spent on campus (for the most part). It means spending less time around many of the people I have come to know and relate with. I may not see them as much any more, probably not many of them at all after graduation. However, I will never forgot the important lessons I've learned from them. No doubt the resulting knowledge will continue to be a part of me and shape the person I am forever. So, while you're here, cherish the early years. Soak up the atmosphere of friendship before it all changes.