Friday, May 4, 2007

In the Beginning...

While it is not the beginning of medical school for me (we had our start last August, which seems like it was several years ago at this point), it is the start of the Annals, a blog which I hope will better distribute a bit of what I am learning to whoever might be interested. The hope is that this will become a bit of a vlog (video blog), with some more dynamic presentations and a display of the attempted acting skills of my classmates and myself.
When I applied to medical school, I was determined to change the way medicine reaches the community. That determination hasn't changed, but the sheer volume of information we digest could be a bit of a distraction at the beginning of the year. Now, however, I am a bit more accustomed to the routine, and can try to focus more on that original goal. I remember a poem given to us in my immunology class in college. My professor, a very dynamic and brilliant man named Hidde Ploegh, gave us a few lines by C.F. Cavafy's "Che gran rifiuto"

For some people the day comes
when they have to declare the great Yes
or the great No. It's clear at once who has the Yes
ready within him; and saying it,
he goes from honor to honor, strong in his conviction.
He who refuses does not repent. Asked again,
he'd still say no. Yet that no-the right no-
drags him down all his life.

The great yes can come at any point for any of us, and we simply have to be ready to accept its responsibilities. For me, medical school is a way of preparing myself for some as-of-yet undetermined great yes. This post probably won't be like the others on the blog, but I hope that anyone who reads this will learn as much as they might from a later, more information-packed post. Nonetheless, I think it is important that we who are lucky enough to go into a career of medicine should never forget that we rely upon our patients as much as they may someday rely upon us (this is ambitious talk for a pre-clinical student, but still), and so I hope this blog inspires some real open conversation about how health and medicine affect us every day.

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