The Most Important Thing….

April 19, 2012

As you make your way along the path of becoming a healthcare professional, there are many things this site can offer you  to guide you along the way. We’ve written about the AMCAS application, good summer programs to consider, what it takes to become a pharmacist  etc. However, despite all that, we have yet to provide you with the most important advice that can or will ever be provided on this site.

The life of a professional school student is one  where you always feel like “so much to do yet so little time”  You’ll need to make time to eat,  time to sleep, time to study ( lots and lots and lots of time) and time to relax, but somewhere in between all that I implore you to make time for God! This is the most important piece of advice that this site can offer you!

Pursuing your professional goals is important, but never forget that it is not the most important business that you are to be about on a daily basis.  Your first business is to seek God. Why?  Well firstly, this earth is not our final home.  ( ‘nough said)  Secondly, as you seek God daily and develop and perfect a relationship with Him; your journey, though tough, will be easier than it would have been without Him. Your relationship with God will keep you positive and give you strength as you navigate one of the most challenging periods of your life. A positive outlook will enhance your productivity and ability to absorb what you are required to learn.  As you spend time with God, you will hear Him  guide you regarding where to apply and where to accept an admission offer. You will remember that you are called to do what  it is you are pursuing and thus by design, equipped for whatever academic challenges come your way.  When you face particularly difficult times ( known as block finals) , just by looking to the Lord and casting the burden of your future on Him, you can walk into exams with a sense of relief, knowing that your success is not all resting on your feeble shoulders.

Am I saying that having a relationship with God means you don’t have to work hard? Absolutely not; but like Matthew 6:33 says seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things ( academic success, favor with your superiors, miraculous outcomes of seemingly impossible situations, etc, etc) shall be added unto you.

So as the end of the school year nears and as some of you look forward to starting professional school in the fall, or entering a new and more challenging year of college, don’t forget what’s the most important thing.


God has you right where you’re supposed to be

February 5, 2012

As long as you find yourself right in the middle of His hands, you will be alright.

In case you were wondering why things aren’t working out quite as planned, remember:  God has you right where you’re supposed to be.   Life often will not work out according to our schedule, but ultimately God’s will and purpose for your life will be achieved.   I have seen this fact to be true, both in my life and that of those around me, (even in the life of our own medical student blogger, Natacha).

I started medical school in 2005, but did not apply to the Match until 2010.  What seemed like a delay, was just another example of God’s orchestrating power in my life. The things I learned about life and myself, and most importantly God’s ability to provide for my needs far outweigh being done with residency a year early.  The relationships I have made with the residents who I started with; (one year late) are some of the most valuable relationships that I have had thus far in my life.  During my interview season; (one year late)  I happened upon one of the most beautiful, genuine, effortless relationships I have ever formed in my life.  And through that friendship I have seen God work His own orchestrating  magic in her own life, by things that on the surface seemed like  delays.

When I was submitting my rank list for residency, I was sold on one particular hospital and quickly ranked it as my number one choice.  The city was quaint and beautiful.  The pay was good, cost of living was cheap, the hospital was nice, the perks were fantastic and there was a BMW plant nearby and for some reason I thought that meant I’d be able to find a cheap one 🙂   My interview had gone well and I felt like I had a pretty good chance of getting in there.  Then Match Day came.  (By then, I had actually changed my mind, and didn’t want to be that place anymore, but it was too late, because my rank list had already been submitted.)  I was sure I would end up there  because the interview had gone very well.  As my name was called to open my envelope, I nervously fumbled with the tape that sealed the flap and unwrapped the sheet that would determine my fate for the next 3 years.  That place I had wanted so bad, wasn’t on it,  I had gotten my second choice. On the surface it seemed like I had gotten second best, but God’s timing and choosing is perfect!

We have to trust that God knows what we have need of and remember that He is equipped to provide accordingly!  We have to trust that He wants the best for us. We have to remember that he knows the end from the beginning and thus He is not confined by our human concept of time and when things “should” happen.  So, while today may seem grim, and while your dreams may seem like they are ever so far from your reach; trust me, and most importantly trust God, that He will bring you to the place you were meant to be, in the time you were meant to be there.  The plans He has for you are better than any dream you could conjure up for yourself.  Trust Him and ask for His guidance.  Ask Him to help you to trust him.  Ask Him for peace as you wait for Him to show you what direction He is leading you in.

If you live and wait long enough, you will soon see that what seems to be a disappointment was God’s orchestrating power at work to give you something better.


Motivation Through Music

December 5, 2011

As finals week gets underway, you may have to put in some long hours and late nights to ensure that all assignments are taken care of and that you are prepared to ace your finals. Like you, I”ve been there, and during my toughest days, one of the things that helped me get by was music.

Music is one of the most powerful agents  in the world.  It has the power to evoke intense emotions, both positive or negative. During medical school, music definitely came in handy in lifting my mood, especially during late night study sessions. I can’t remember studying for a pathology or pharmacology test without getting a little bit of a boost from Yolanda Adam’s : Victory, blasting from the laptop of one of  my three study partners.  He would always seem to put that song on at the right time too – like at 2:30 am when I couldn’t bear to memorize  one more drug card or look another slide. The words of that song  “I’ve got / got the victory/ I’ve got the sweet sweet victory in Jesus /, would remind me that God would see my through.   Then on test day, as I drove in to campus, Mary Mary’s : “I just Can’t Give Up Now”  would resonate in my head for my 20 minute commute.  During our Match Day ceremony, when your name is called to come down and find out where you’re doing your residency, they play a little snippett of a song as you walk down.  People often choose something funny, or pick out a song with lyrics that represent them. My snippett came from  It Ain’t Over by Maurette Brown Clark, as a testimony to the God’s leading in my journey to that point.

I encourage you to have  mental  / actual playlist of motivational tunes for tough days, when you feel like your strength is spent and you just can’t make it.   Music is in no way a replacement for the promises in God’s word, but simply a reminder that points us back to God and His abiliy to specialize in things impossible.

What are your favorite songs for when your academic spirit needs a little boost?   Check out three of my personal favorites below.