Hello future doctors and dentists!
I am honored and humbled to serve as a guest blogger for this new project created just for you. I want to commend the creators for launching this amazing idea. It is our hope that you benefit from it, and when you do, it is our hope that you spread the wisdom that we are proud to share, both from experience and from those who have gone before us.
I also want to thank Ms. Nicole Haughton for the amazing introduction and I’d like to take this opportunity to expound a bit:
First, I do enjoy traveling very much. I realized this passion during a two-year stint in South Korea. Living and working as an English teacher/missionary in Korea opened the doors to experiencing several other Asian countries and their unique cultures. Since then, I knew that experiencing different cultures annually was a must in my life. Therefore, by God’s grace, I desire to work as a medical missionary in whatever capacity the Lord sees fit.
Second, I am currently in transition into my 3rd year of medical school. I have the luxury of taking a semester off, essentially, to study for STEP 1, which will take place in less than 3 months. So, you get to go on this STEP 1 journey with me!
Once I take it and pass (I’m claiming it NOW), I go on to clinicals in January, 2012. In my school, we have the choice of completing our clinical rotations in various cities around the U.S or in the U.K. Of course, I would choose the U.K to satisfy my thirst for new adventures. The U.S will always be there, I propose! My 20s are a time for adventures!
I am excited at all the hands-on-experience and the travels all around Europe that is to come in 2012. I can’t wait to share with you this exciting journey that is sure to take place in the next few months and beyond…and also to share with you anecdotes from the years past, leading up to this moment.
Sometimes I feel as though I am hovering above myself, seeing all this activity happening down below. Yes, I do realize that in psychiatric terms, this is deemed a Dissociative Disorder, called Depersonalization. But, I am partly speaking in jest, and, so no, I’m not insane.
Another example would be: sometimes I feel like an imposter. That’s more like it.
What am I doing, masquerading as a doctor-in-training? Who am I, to be deemed this honor? Believe it or not, many more medical students/residents have feelings of being an imposter than they care to admit. We have our own insecurities, feelings of inadequacy, and fear of failure that we dare not verbalize to our peers, lest we seem weak in this competitive
bloodthirsty, dog-eat-dog profession.
Research shows that up to 30% of 3rd and 4th year med students tend to suffer from Major Depression (not just sad feelings). Yet, a good percentage of them never seek help. And sadly, some untreated cases of depression culminate into suicide.
I had the honor of delivering a speech, as a member of the Honors Society, at the White Coat ceremony this past May. The purpose was so encourage and offer some words of advise to those who were was about to embark on the same journey I started just 20 months prior.
It will never be “easy” to deliver a speech. In fact, right before I delivered it, I said a prayer, and felt as though I was hovering above myself. Again, depersonalization does not insane make.
At any rate, the topic of my speech was about how I felt like an imposter as I sat in my own White Coat Ceremony in 2010. Was I good enough to sit there with the other medical students? How did I fool the admissions committee into accepting me, Natacha Pierre, into medical school?
As the days and weeks went by and I successfully passed my block exams, I begin to gain confidence and knew that I was set here for a purpose.
I quoted from one of my favorite poems, Deepest Fear, by Marianne Anderson:
My deepest fear is not that I am inadequate; my deepest fear is that I am powerful beyond measure.
It is my light, not my darkness that most frightens me. I ask myself,
“Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who am I NOT to be?
I am a child of God and my playing small does NOT serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around me.
I was born to manifest the glory that is within me. And as I let my light shine, I unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
At the end of my speech, I asked the students to repeat the mantra:
“I AM brilliant! I AM gorgeous! I AM talented! I AM fabulous…and I do deserve to be here!”
So, for any of you doubting that you deserve the opportunity to become a physician and to make a difference, you absolutely do! And no one can take that away from you.