Friday, March 21, 2014

Everest Base Camp: End of one trek and the start of another

I've started a travel blog called "Farthest Away from Home" about my upcoming trip to Nepal, including a trek to Everest Base Camp at 18,000 feet. This piece is x-posted there but I thought it relevant for medical school here on the eve of Match Day. I will be updating my travel blog now before I leave and along the way. 

The most important reason that I am going on this Everest Base Camp trek is because I believe I can do it. Finishing medical school has given me a kind of confidence in myself that I've never had before because I know that I have made it through a very challenging four years.

What have the past four years been like? Medical school was without a doubt the most demanding thing I have ever done. Maybe other people have been through more trying situations but relative to my experiences, medical school has the most challenging thing I have ever done. I had to learn more information that I ever had to before. I had to give up things that were important to me. I had much less free time to explore my hobbies and interest and to relax than I really wanted to. Many times I was really jealous of my peers who had money AND free time.

What have I learned now at the end of four years? I feel empowered. I feel like I can endure hardships for a greater reward because that's what I did every evening I spent in a basement study carrel. The trek to EBC will be physically demanding, I'm sure. But I know I can get to 18,000 feet because I feel like medical school was a mental challenge at least equivalent to that height.

I am less than 12 hours away from finding out the results of my residency match, where I will training for the next three years. It feels like the end of a long trek. As this trek finishes, it has prepared me to begin another.

Next time I will share with you some of the physical preparation for the trek...

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