Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Again?

"Would you do it again?'

That was a frequent question this weekend at my medical school reunion. The answers were, surprisingly, a pretty uniform "yes." Everybody had a qualifying "but" to add, but affirmed their initial decision to go to medical school in the long run.


Which leads me to the next question --- why? Why go to medical school back in the late 80s, knowing what we know now, with the future of medicine not looking terribly bright? I think a clue came from listening to the fond memories we shared of our time at The Best Medical School in the Country®. It was fun. It was like sipping a fine wine with friends --- if you like to sip your wine from a fire hose.

College, for me, was like sipping a glass of wine, or drinking a cup of tea on a nice sunny morning. Relaxing, enjoyable, with the time to savor the experience. Medical school? Oh, it was a wee bit more involved. The increase in workload over college was pretty substantial, with a torrent of information to get through, absorb, understand, and have on hand to regurgitate on a moment's notice. As a result, there was no time to savor the experience --- we were all furiously drinking as much as possible from a fire hose, knowing all the while that every time we stopped to take a breath massive quantities of important information blew right by us, never to be seen again.

What made that seemingly impossible situation fun was that we were all in it together. A shared experience with like-minded folks under pretty intense pressure tends to bring out the best in people, be it their humor, humility, graciousness, or interest in helping others. I have closer friends from those 4 years than from any other part of my life, people who I can (and have) see once every decade and enjoy their company as if we had just seen each other yesterday.

So, yeah, I'd do it again. In a heartbeat.

Besides, you really wouldn't want to be reading a blog called "Aggravated CarSalesman."